One of the Pixel 2’s key features is its always-on display. Thanks to the phone’s OLED panel, it can keep the screen black but active at all times so you can quickly access information (such as the time, date and notifications) without draining the battery.
Google doesn’t offer the same capability for its older OLED phones such as the Pixel, Pixel XL and Nexus 6P – but thankfully there’s a solution. rooting required. Here’s how to do it.
How to Bring the Always-On Display to Your Older Google Phone
Before you start, you’ll need to do a few things to prepare. First, you’ll need a Pixel, Pixel XL or Nexus 6P. You’ll also need your device to be running the Android 8.1 developer preview. XDA-Developers has a separate guide for that.
Next, you’ll need to install Substratum, an Android theme manager, and its Andromeda plugin (which costs $2.69). You can follow XDA’s Substratum guide here, just stop once you finish step one. Finally, install either the alwaysOn-enabler APK from AndroidFileHost or the Pixel Enabler app.
Ready? Great. Now boot up Substratum on your device and select “Always On Enabler” from the theme list. Hit “Select to toggle on overlays”, and then tap on the button that looks like a floating paint roller. Next, tap on “Build & Enable”. Then reboot the device.
When you phone turns back on, go into Settings and select Display. Tap on Advanced and then Ambient Display. If it worked you should see a new option titled Always On. Toggle it off and then toggle it back on.
Congrats! You’re done, but if you need a visual aid you can follow along with this video guide.