One of the Pixel 2's most interesting features is Active Edge, which lets you launch Google Assistant by simply squeezing your smartphone. Unfortunately, Google made the annoying decision to lock this function to its AI assistant, but one developer has already found a way to get around the company's restrictions.
You can remap Active Edge on the Pixel 2 to do almost anything using an app called Button Mapper, which was highlighted on Friday by XDA-Developers. Here's what you need to know.
Squeezing the Pixel 2/Gizmodo
How to Remap Active Edge on the Pixel 2
Actually, Button Mapper doesn't exactly remap the Active Edge feature. Instead, it uses a clever workaround by intercepting the command to launch Google Assistant and rerouting it to another function. Of course, Google could decide to patch up that loophole and it's possible this might cause some lag on your device.
You'll also be giving a third-party app access to some private information on your phone, but if none of that bothers you, it's time to dive in.
The first thing you'll want to do is download Button Mapper, which you can grab in the Google Play Store or straight from XDA if you prefer. Even if you already have the app installed (it's useful for remapping other hardware buttons too), you'll still want to make sure you're running the latest update, version 0.53.
There's a lot to love about the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, from a powerful new camera to a squeezable frame that launches Google Assistant, but one feature that hasn't received much attention is the phone's calendar widget. Google's new Pixel launcher (the extra software that comes on top of Android 8.0 Oreo) puts reminders for upcoming events right on your homescreen, which is pretty great if you're the type of person who constantly forgets about scheduled plans and meetings.
Beyond the Pixel 2, you'll also need a computer running Windows, macOS or Linux to install some extra code. So make sure you have one on hand.
At this point, things start to get complicated. XDA's outlined the many steps involved, so you're better off following along with them.
Once you're all setup, you can reconfigure Active Edge to launch a specific app, turn on Do Not Disturb Mode or switch on the flashlight. You can also use it to navigate Android so when you squeeze your phone it goes back, shows recent apps, closes the app you're currently looking at or turns the screen off. The possibilities are endless.