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Whether it flops or not 5 Reasons the Google Pixel Phone Will Flop 5 Reasons the Google Pixel Phone Will Flop There is a lot of hype surrounding the new Google Pixel phone, but the phone probably won't hit its mark. Read More , the $650 Google Pixel phone certainly looks like the next generation of Android smartphone hardware. Its unique features are tempting, but what if you can’t afford a new phone?

This is a problem we can solve.

Android is the most flexible, customizable mobile operating system out there. It almost goes without saying that you can get the Google Pixel or Pixel XL Google Pixel XL Review and Giveaway Google Pixel XL Review and Giveaway Google's first branded device delivers one of the best devices in the Android ecosystem: the $770 Pixel XL. The XL launched with similar specs as the $500 Nexus 6P, but is it worth $770? Read More features you want most on any Android phone!

And better still, there are options for rooted and non-rooted Android devices.

Get Google Pixel Features Without Root

Don’t want to root your phone? You’re in the right place. Three options are available here: the nice new round icons, the dialer, and the slick Pixel camera. For the best results, you should be running Android 6.0.

Install Pixel Icons Without Root

To get the icons, you’ll first need an Android file manager The 7 Best Free File Explorers for Android The 7 Best Free File Explorers for Android There are a bunch of file management and file exploring apps out there for Android, but these are the best. Read More from the Play Store. Once you’ve got one installed, download the Awesome Icons app. Then download the necessary files from this Mediafire download page.

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This ZIP file contains all the Pixel Launcher icons. Open it in your file manager (you’ll find it in the Downloads directory) and select the Extract All option.

The next step is to run Awesome Icons, ensuring your current launcher is selected in the drop-down menu in the top-left. You’ll see a list of apps. Not all of these are compatible, but the ZIP file you downloaded has replacements for:

  • Calculator
  • Camera
  • Contacts
  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Google Messenger
  • Google Photos
  • Google Search
  • Hangouts
  • Newsstand
  • Phone
  • Play Books
  • Play Movies & TV
  • Play Music
  • Play Games
  • Settings
  • Voice Search
  • YouTube

To change each of the icons, first tap an app name, then tap the current option under ICON to Select Icon Type. Tap Picture, then browse to the directory the icon pack extracted to.

Select the matching icon, and you’ll be taken to an image cropping screen. Make sure the icon is within the selection boundary, tap Crop, and then OK to confirm. You’ve now created and applied your first Google Pixel icon, and can repeat the process for the others. Editing these will only change the Home screen version of the icons, and you’ll need to replace the existing versions with these Pixel-ized improvements.

If you’re using a custom launcher What Is the Best Free Android Launcher? What Is the Best Free Android Launcher? Nova launcher, Apex launcher, and dodol launcher are all solid free launchers, but which is the best? We put them to the test. Read More , you could also use this Pixel Icon Pack from the Play Store

Get the Google Pixel Camera on Nexus Phones

At the time of writing, the Pixel camera has only been ported to the Google Nexus 5X and Google Nexus 6P handsets. Whether this changes in future or not remains to be seen.

To get the Pixel camera app, you’ll need to be running Android 7.0 on your handset, and should enable the installation of Unknown Sources Is It Safe to Install Android Apps from Unknown Sources? Is It Safe to Install Android Apps from Unknown Sources? The Google Play Store isn't your only source of apps, but is it safe to search elsewhere? Read More . Head to Settings > Security > Unknown Sources and set this to Enabled.

Next, open your phone’s browser, navigate to this Mediafire link, and download the Camera4.2 for N.apk file to your phone.

When the APK file has downloaded, tap it to install, and you’ll soon have a great new camera app on your phone. The Google Pixel camera has a few features that you may have seen on various third-party apps, such as a viewfinder grid.

Most interesting, we think, is the exposure adjustment, which appears as a slider on the right-hand side when you tap to focus. This feature is ideal for improving your smartphone photography 10 Simple Tricks to Boost Your Smartphone Photography 10 Simple Tricks to Boost Your Smartphone Photography There are a few tips that are especially useful when you're taking shots with your phone; they'll help you take your pictures from "blah" to "fantastic" in no time! Read More !

Get the Pixel Dialer

One thing that always tells you you’re using a new phone is the dialer. The Pixel devices have their own unique dialer app, which isn’t all that unique really — since you can install it on your device! The Pixel dialer includes some new features that you’ll probably see in Android 8, but you can enjoy them now by installing the dialer.

Unfortunately, this isn’t available for all devices. You should be okay with the Google Nexus 5X, Google Nexus 6P Nexus 6P Review and Giveaway Nexus 6P Review and Giveaway Google's newest high-end Nexus phone is here, but is the fingerprint sensor enough to make this pure Android device worth it? Read More , and the OnePlus 3 OnePlus 3 Review and Giveaway OnePlus 3 Review and Giveaway OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 were tricky to get hold of, despite attracting favorable reviews. This time around, things are different. Read More , as well as anything running CyanogenMod 13.

Begin by enabling Unknown sources in Settings > Security, then download this GooglePhone.apk from Mediafire on your phone. When the download has completed, tap the notification and then Install.

Android will then update the existing dialer with the new version. If you’re not using the stock dialer as your default option, open Settings > Apps and tap the gear icon in the top-right corner. In the new screen, select the Phone app from the list, then select the new Phone app (it will be larger in size and not labeled as “default”) as your new dialer. If you have multiple dialers installed, make sure you’re making the right choice here!

With the new dialer set, you can take advantage of the slick new dialer user interface and features. Enjoy!

Google Pixel Features on a Rooted Android Device

While you can use the above on a non-rooted or rooted Android handset, further options are available if you have rooted your phone FREE MANUAL! Take Control: The Android Rooting Guide FREE MANUAL! Take Control: The Android Rooting Guide Here's a guide for Android users that explains in detail everything you need to know about rooting your phone or tablet. Read More .

Get the Pixel Boot Animation

Suppose you just bought a Pixel. Upon unboxing (you might have made a video How to Make YouTube Unboxing Videos People Will Like How to Make YouTube Unboxing Videos People Will Like YouTube unboxing videos are incredibly popular, but – in most cases – incredibly dull. Here are ten ways to make unboxing videos entertaining, fun, engaging, possibly amusing, and absolutely not dull. Read More ) and switching it on, the first thing you’ll notice is the boot screen. Though you can make a lot of visual changes without rooting, there is one massive advantage to rooting.

You can change the boot animation!

Begin by clicking this Mediafire link and downloading bootanimation.zip on your Android device. Using a root file browser Root Explorer Lets You Reach Deep into Android's File System Root Explorer Lets You Reach Deep into Android's File System If you need to access root files to tinker with your Android device, this app can help you out. Read More , navigate your way to /system/media and confirm it is mounted as read/write (the process for this differs between apps).

Find the existing bootanimation.zip file in this directory and rename it to bootanimation.zip.bak. Any problems, and you have the original boot animation to fall back on.

Next, copy the downloaded bootanimation.zip file into /system/media and open its Permissions view. Here, ensure the Owner category is set to Read | Write | Execute, while the Group and Others categories are simply Read. Click OK to confirm, then reboot your phone.

You’re done!

Get Google Assistant

The new virtual assistant tool from Google is a sort of Siri/Cortana/Alexa clone Siri vs Google Now vs Cortana for Home Voice Control Siri vs Google Now vs Cortana for Home Voice Control To find which home voice control is best for you, and which voice assistant fits your specific needs, we've unveiled the pros and cons for Siri, Google Now, and Cortana. Read More . It patrols your personal data and alerts you to appointments, gives you weather information, etc. At present, it is only available on the new Pixel phones — unless you use this method.

Get started by ensuring that the Google App on your phone is up-to-date. Next, using your root-enabled file browser, find /system/ and mount it as read/write. Long-press build.prop and use the Open with text editor or similar option.

Scroll through (or use a search function in the text editor) to find the line that begins:

ro.product.model=[modelname]

Delete everything after the equals symbol (=) and replace with Pixel XL, so the line reads:

ro.product.model=Pixel XL

Then, scroll to the end of the file and add a new line:

ro.opa.eligible_device=true

Remember to save the build.prop before exiting. Next, reboot your phone. You’re done! All you need to do now is long-press the Home button to access Google Assistant. If you see Google Now on Tap What Are Google Now Cards? 3 Tips to Get You Started What Are Google Now Cards? 3 Tips to Get You Started Google Now has this awesome Feed filled with Cards that you might not know about, but you should. Read More instead, open Settings > Apps and find Google App in the list. Tap Storage > Manage Space > Clear All Data and try again.

Google Assistant should now be running on your Android device.

All-in-One Pixel

And as if all of that wasn’t enough, you can also install a whole bunch of Google Pixel improvements on your rooted device in one go with FaserF’s PixelExperience.zip. This is a flashable ZIP file that needs to be installed in your device’s custom recovery. Using this, you’ll get:

  • Pixel Launcher
  • Pixel wallpapers
  • The Pixel Dialer
  • Pixel boot animation
  • Pixel ringtones & UI sounds

Start by downloading the PixelExperience.zip file on Mediafire. On your phone, boot into recovery and make a system backup What Is A Nandroid Backup and How Exactly Does It Work? What Is A Nandroid Backup and How Exactly Does It Work? You need that backup at the ready. Read More as a precaution. Once this is done, use the Install option to browse for the ZIP and install it.

Once done, push the slider to Reboot System and you’re good to go!

Got Some Pixel Features We Missed?

If you’ve used the above tweaks, you just saved an impressive $650. Sure, you don’t get the Pixel hardware, but most of the time you’re using the screen, not the unibody case. Now you’ve got the Pixel launcher, wallpapers, the dialer, the boot animation, ringtones, sounds, icons, and the camera app.

In short, pretty much everything.

But if you think we’ve missed a Pixel feature that is available for other devices, let us know. And if you run into any problems, leave a message below and we’ll see if we can help you out.

  1. spyjoshx
    February 20, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    For people who read the (slightly) misleading title, it does not work on ANY phone. The requirements are:
    -Android 7.0 (except for the icon theme)
    -ANDROID (for everything)
    -A customizable launcher like Nova or Apex etc. (for the icon theme.)

  2. VikingOy
    January 30, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Also, I tried to install the two apk's, and that didn't work either on my Galaxy S7Edge with Android 6.01

    The camera app just says "Parsing error" and doesn't even try to install. The Phone app makes an attempt to install, but ends up after a while with message "App didn't install".

    • Christian Cawley
      January 31, 2017 at 2:02 pm

      Further research indicates that these APKs will only work if devices are upgraded to Android 7.0. Apologies for any confusion, updating that section now.

  3. VikingOy
    January 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Downloaded the Awesome Icons to my Galaxy S7Edge, but there is no commands in it to browse to my download directory where the icons are. It only shows a list of icons already installed. Does it require the Pro version of Awesome Icons?

  4. Peter
    January 24, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Article head is misleading. NOT any phone. Only select ones only. It won't work on Motorola, for example.

  5. Ron
    January 24, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    Any way to add the ability to pull down top menu using rear fingerprint sensor on Nexus 5x just like the pixel does?

  6. Ropo
    January 24, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Or just by the real thing which is far better than any other Android phone I've ever used, including all of the Nexus phones.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 24, 2017 at 2:06 pm

      Not an option for everyone!

  7. DJ Trmp
    January 23, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    "Get new Google features on any phone" as long as it's a recent Google phone. Haha. Alternative fact headlines.

  8. Josh tyamo
    January 23, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    The 3d touch like gesture for apps in the launcher. You can get this feature by downloading Nova launcher.

  9. Tom
    January 23, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    This won't work on my iPhone 7, will it :(

    • Christian Cawley
      January 24, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Sorry, no.

  10. Davin Peterson
    January 23, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I have a 2013 Nexus 7 and I found a new Nexus launcher was installed on it. The launcher looks like the Pixel launcher, but does not have all the functionalities such as the round app icons.
    I do not see this launcher on the Google Play Store

    • joey
      January 27, 2017 at 5:42 am

      very knowledgable article thank you for posting.

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