The Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL convey numerous cool new options to Android customers, together with an superior Now Taking part in utility that actively listens for music in your surroundings and shows the present observe on the ambient show.
Whereas there’s a chance to allow this characteristic throughout the setup course of, there’s an opportunity you might have missed it. Or, on the different facet of that coin, you might have enabled it and now you hate it. Both manner, right here’s how one can toggle the characteristic—together with another cool methods to make the most of it.
So, How Does Now Taking part in Work?
Right here’s the factor: Now Taking part in does its factor with out ever sending any information again to Google. In truth, it’ll work offline and even in airplane mode. However how?
The reply to that’s really fairly easy: it shops observe information domestically on the cellphone. Not like providers like Shazam, SoundHound, or even Google Now’s “What’s this tune” characteristic, it doesn’t have to ping the web with a sound snippet to see what’s taking part in—it simply is aware of. It’s so cool.
After all, since observe information is saved domestically on the cellphone, that additionally means it’s restricted. Whereas maybe each tune in existence could be recognized on-line, it might merely take up an excessive amount of storage to hold that form of information saved on your cellphone. So as a substitute, Google shops the digital fingerprints of roughly 20,000 of the hottest songs, in accordance to Google Play Music, on your cellphone. It’s a consistently revolving checklist, too, so it’s not one thing that can rapidly get outdated. Good. In case you’re , right here’s a present checklist of (perhaps) all the songs which are at the moment supported by Now Taking part in—17,300 at the time of writing. Not dangerous!
However how a lot area does this file take up? Lower than 500MB, in accordance to Google. That’s a reasonably insane quantity for that complete of an inventory, and it’s effectively value the storage when you ask me.
The opposite massive query you might have is how this characteristic impacts battery life. Briefly, it actually shouldn’t. It solely prompts and listens for music each 60 seconds, at which level it identifies the tune. If it doesn’t establish any music for greater than 60 seconds, it goes right into a type of “passive” mode the place it waits for music to as soon as once more be detected. So I suppose in concept, when you pay attention to music consistently, if might have a slight influence on battery life, although I haven’t seen this myself (and I’m a type of individuals who consistently has one thing taking part in).
After all, there’s the query of whether or not or not different Android units will get this kickass characteristic. The brief reply, not less than for the time being, is no. Google says it requires a selected mixture of and software program options, so the possibilities of it coming to any present Android machine is principally null. Sorry guys.
How to Enable or Disable Now Taking part in
To allow or disable Now Taking part in, go forward and pull down the notification shade and faucet the gear icon.
From there, faucet on Sound, then Superior.
Scroll to the very backside of the checklist and faucet on Now Taking part in.
There are a few choices on this menu: “Present on Lock Display” and “Additionally Present Notifications”. If the service isn’t enabled but, solely the first of the pair will present up—go forward and slide the toggle to the on place. Except, in fact, it’s already on and also you need to disable it.
As soon as enabled, you’ll be able to decide to even have tune identification present up in the notification tray—it gained’t generate an icon, however moderately only a passive notification. It’s fairly candy.
How to Get the Most Out of Now Taking part in
Whereas we’re speaking about the notification, I’ll clue you in on somewhat tweak some customers are making to additionally get an audible notification when a tune is recognized. That is helpful when you all the time need to know when it detects one thing, however don’t need to consistently take a look at your cellphone.
In the Now Taking part in menu (Settings > Sound > Superior > Now Taking part in), faucet on the “Additionally Present Notification” choice. This may open the Pixel Ambient Providers settings menu, the place you may get a bit extra granular management over the notification.
Through the use of Android Oreo’s notification channels characteristic, you’ll be able to take extra management over how Now Taking part in works by way of notifications. To make it extra highly effective (but additionally extra intrusive), faucet the “Acknowledged Music Notifications” choice.
From there, faucet the “Significance” choice. By default it’s set to Low, which can forestall it from making a sound or producing any type of visible interruption. In order for you it to present an icon in the notification bar, change this setting to Medium. In order for you it to make a sound and show an icon in the notification bar, change the setting to Excessive.
There in all probability isn’t a lot motive to change it to Pressing, but when that’s your factor, you are able to do that too.
Previous that, there’s additionally a cool app in the Play Retailer referred to as Now Taking part in Historical past that can, unsurprisingly, hold a working checklist of Now Taking part in’s historical past on your cellphone. The app will set you again a dolla dolla invoice, however I believe it’s value it…despite the fact that I actually really feel like this needs to be a local operate. Alas, it’s not, so somebody discovered a manner to capitalize on that. I’m okay with that.
It helps that it’s a very good trying app that makes numerous sense. As a substitute of simply an arbitrary checklist with no actual information outdoors of the tune, it’s damaged down by timestamp, which is an exceptionally good contact. That manner, when you’re making an attempt to keep in mind a tune that you simply heard final evening, you’ll be able to thumb by the checklist till you get to round the time you heard it.
It would additionally open the tune straight in the service of your alternative while you faucet on it, so you’ll be able to pay attention to it proper then and there. It’s a good checklist of supported apps, too—it ought to embody just about all the standard music providers on Android.
Now Taking part in might look like such a small characteristic, however it’s really one among my favourite issues about the Pixel 2. I discover that, when mixed with the always-on ambient show, I passively use this characteristic all the time. Very cool stuff.