I want to buy a new Google Pixel phone as I’ve heard good things about them. I love using physical feedback to control my phone too, so am wondering if the Pixel 3a has Active Edge and whether I can use that silence a ringing phone?
While a lot of smartphone developers have been using radar-like systems to track hand gestures over the phone’s screen, many Android manufacturers have also been focused on physical gestures too. Google in particular appreciates how this can be a great way to interact with your phone, including my favorite feature on the Pixel line: flip to mute. Flip your smartphone screen down – with this feature enabled – and you won’t get notification buzzes or other alerts. Instant mute. Don’t like that? Flip it screen up and it’ll behave as normal.
In a similar way, a couple of companies are experimenting with the users being able to squeeze the edges of the phone as a kinesthetic input gesture. Google calls it Active Edge and it is supported in the latest generations of the Android operating system, including Android 10 on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 lineup. What can it do? Let’s have a look!
First off, as with everything, start out in Settings…
Yes you can rummage through all the zillion settings to find what you want, but it’s much easier, faster and more efficient to use the tiny search box at the top of this screen. Tap where it says “Search settings” and enter ‘squeeze’. You’ll see that there are a couple of matches:
You can directly enable the squeeze setting you want – Squeeze for silence – but tap on the name of the feature instead so you can see all the settings at once:
Give your phone a squeeze. Did it register? You can adjust the sensitivity of that squeeze gesture if it triggers too easily (like when you’re pulling your phone out of your pocket!). More importantly, notice the three squeeze gestures you can enable: Squeeze for your Assistant, Allow when screen is off, and Squeeze for silence. I have all three enabled, as you can see, but you might opt to disable the “Allow when screen is off”, for example, so you don’t get surprised when an inadvertent squeeze triggers an event on your phone.
In any case, that’s how you fine tune your Active Edge settings on your Google Pixel phone. Samsung and HTC phones also support Active Edge, but they have different names for the feature. Anyway, if you don’t like it, you can also completely disable it, so give it a whirl! Or, um, a squeeze…
Pro Tip: I have a lot of Android tutorials on the site, so please check out my Android Help area while you’re here!