How to make your Android look like a Pixel

Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL are being appraised for a lot of things (which they deserve). Google has done a remarkable job this time, especially their design team. The new Google Pixel and Pixel XL flaunt a design makeover both externally as well as internally. Many of us love the refreshed internal design and want to embrace it. Well we can’t do much with the hardware part but we surely can revamp the software.

google-pixel-specs-pixel-xl-specs
Pixel [left] and Pixel XL [right]

Tasting the Nougat

The new ‘Pixels’ come with Google’s latest mobile operating system, Android 7.0 (Nougat). Nougat introduces notable changes to the operating system and its development platform, including the ability to display multiple apps on-screen at once in a split-screen view, support for inline replies to notifications, as well as an OpenJDK-based Java environment and support for the Vulkan graphics rendering API, and “seamless” system updates on supported devices. If you want to get Android Nougat, there are two ways for you:

  1. Get the Nougat OTA update from your manufacturer
  2. Flash the OS on a rooted device

The first way is easier and safer. However if your device hasn’t got the OTA  update yet, you are only left with the second way. To know if your phone has received the Nougat update, go to Settings -> About Device/Phone -> Software Update and let it check for the update. However, if you choose to go the other way, you’ll need two things:

  1. A rooted device with a custom recovery installed
  2. The Nougat factory image for your device

To know about how to root your device, perform a Google search with the following  syntax:

” How to root a “+

Example: How to root a Galaxy S7 Edge

To know how to flash an OS on your phone, follow this article.

After successfully flashing Nougat on your phone, go ahead and experience your revamped device.

Getting Visual

If for some reason you can’t get an update or don’t want to take the risk of rooting your beloved device, you can give your Android a complete makeover by just doing one simple thing that is, installing a custom launcher.

pixel
Pixel launcher

A launcher is the app that controls the way your homescreen and app drawer looks. There are lot of amazing launchers which you may want to give a try (have a look at this article for more info). Even if you’ve got Nougat up and running, you might miss the Pixel look as you’ll need the Pixel launcher for that one. The easiest way to do it is via Nova launcher. For those unfamiliar with Nova, it is a feature-rich launcher that has been providing a stock-like experience since quite a while.

Along with the launcher, you’ll need an icon pack to get the icons similar to Pixel. Have a look at this one.

Here is the step by step guide to making Nova Launcher look exactly like Pixel launcher:

Step 1: First you need to download and install the Nova Launcher. PlayStore | APK. You should consider buying the premium version, although it’s up to you.

Step 2: If you downloaded the APK, make sure that installation from ‘unknown sources’ is enabled.

Step 3: Now we need to tweak Nova’s settings. Launch Nova and long press any empty space on screen and tap on settings. Go to Desktop -> Icon layout and increase the size to 125%, also change the desktop grid size to 5*5. No go back and scroll down to tap “Page indicator” and set it to “None”. Then enable “Swipe to drawer indicator”. Now go back to the main menu.

Step 4: Now select “App and widget drawers”. Change icon size to 115% and set color to white with 10% transparency. Also, change the grid size to 5*5. Go back to disable “Card background” and enable “Swipe to open”. You’ll have to also enable the “Search bar” option. Go back to the main menu.

Step 5: Now select “Dock”. Tap “Dock background” and enable it. Select round-rectangle as the background shape with 95% transparency (and white as the color). Now go back to “Icon layout” and change the size to 115%. Go back and select “Folder” and click on “Folder background”. Choose “N preview” to get the exact look of Android N folder styles. Go to “Icon layout” and set the size to 115%.  Go the main menu.

Step 5: Select “Look and feel”, then go to “Icon theme” and select the icon pack you’ve downloaded. That’s it.

Some final touches

The launcher will give us the look and feel of the Pixel but, what about the apps? To get a complete experience you should also download the updated Google apps including Goolge Photos and Music. The other apps include YouTube, Chrome, Maps along with others.

Along with updating the apps, get the official Pixel wallpapers here.

So there you go folks, we’ve just transformed our Android devices to the new Google Pixel! Take a tour of your refreshed device to know more about the changes and remember that it’s your phone so you’re free to experiment. Do share your thoughts about Pixel’s new design and if you feel that I’ve missed something, feel free to tell me. Don’t forget to share this article on your social networks. Have a good time!

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