The new Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones from Google are now available. One of the new features is called Motion Sense. It is a gesture-based system that uses the new Soli Radar chip. Here’s how to get the most out of Motion Sense.
How to Use Motion Sense on your Google Pixel 4
You don’t need to do anything special to activate Motion Sense on your Google Pixel 4, but the functionality is quite limited at the moment. We expect Google to add some more in the months and years to come with software updates. For now, here are the coolest things you can do with Motion Sense today.
How to control music playback
Motion Sense can be used to control playback in music and video applications. The functionality is pretty straightforward at the moment, but it’s really useful if your hands are dirty – like when you’re cooking, for example – and you just want to skip a song quickly without getting your screen dirty.
Simply run your hand over the top of your Pixel to skip to another song on the playlist or album you’re listening to. A movement from right to left takes you to the next song, while a movement from left to right takes you back to a song. There is currently no way to listen to or pause music with Motion Sense at this time.
Motion Sense works with most streaming apps on the market, including Spotify, Deezer and of course YouTube Music.
How to turn off or repeat alarms
One of the coolest implementations of the new Soli Radar chip is used to disable alarms. You don’t have to do anything special to see it in action, it should be done naturally – at least that’s how it was designed to work.
When your Pixel 4 or Pixel 4 XL rings with the sound of an alarm, when you approach your smartphone, the radar chip recognizes your hand and lowers the sound of the alarm. You can then use a sweeping motion similar to the one you used to edit the songs to sound the alarm.
As things stand, a simple swipe to the left and right will be enough to sound the alarm, rather than silencing it completely. This seems like a missed opportunity for Google, but we hope that new features will be added soon via a software update.
How to reject phone calls
Just like alarms, you can use Motion Sense to reject phone calls coming into your Pixel 4. The process is extremely simple. Simply slide your finger on the screen one way or the other after the call appears on the screen to reject it.
Basically all you do here is mute, the call will stay on your screen and you can still answer it if you want. At the moment, there is no way to answer a call with Motion Sense, but who knows what the future holds.
How to interact with wallpapers
Finally, one of the most innovative ways to use Motion Sense on your new Google Pixel is to interact with the new wallpapers. You’ve probably seen Pixel’s Pikachu wallpaper before, but did you know you can actually interact with it?
By swiping on the smartphone (or waving) with the Pikachu wallpaper active, you can actually force the cute yellow Pokemon to wave to you. It’s completely unnecessary, of course, but adorable.
Have you tried out Motion Sense on your Pixel 4? Let us know if you find other tips and tricks for the new Soli Radar chip!