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It’s highly unlikely that your freshly acquired Pixel 3a/3a XL is going to run into any kind of trouble soon. But don’t wage on it. Android phones, even ones with the quality and reputation of the Pixel, go through attrition after a period of time.
Time is probably Android’s biggest enemy. So while manufacturers are working out new hardware materials and software upgrades to address this attrition and slow it down, they’ve offered a working solution that’s right there in the palm of your hands.
This is an ideal solution for when your Pixel starts slowing down or crashing despite clearing up storage in your phone. The Factory Reset will deal with cache and unwanted files once and for all. Consider it a completely clean restart for your phone. Going back to stock.
Be sure to follow these steps to execute a safe and successful reset.
Related → Does a factory reset makes your phone faster
#1: Secure your Google Account username & password
Once you’ve reset your Pixel, the only way to restore it to its previous settings will be to remember your Google Account username and password. Remember these details before you execute the factory reset. In case you can’t remember, follow the following steps:
Go to your phone’s Settings from the app drawer or notification panel.
Tap on Accounts and see the username. If you can’t remember the password, then get help to reset it from here.
Also, if you’ve set a screen lock, don’t forget to remember it. It could be in the form of a PIN, pattern or password.
Also, wait 24 hours before performing a factory reset after you’ve changed your password.
#2: Back up your data
Since a factory reset will restore your phone to its original state, you’ll need to back up whatever you need. Select all the relevant files including photos, videos, and documents and transfer them to your Google Drive account.
Additionally, select the automatic backup option in Google Photos and it will store your pictures. Once all your data is safe in cloud storage, you can restore them after the factory reset is executed.
Related → What to backup before performing a factory reset
#3: Enough battery
A factory reset can take a while, so ensure that your phone has more than 50% battery when your phone goes into Factory Reset.
Perform a Factory reset
There are two ways in which you can do a factory reset on your Google Pixel 3a.
Method #1: Using the Settings app
Now all that’s left is to reset your phone back to its original state.
Open the Settings app on your Pixel 3a (or Pixel 3a XL).
Scroll down and tap on System.
Tap on Advanced.
Tap on Reset options.
Tap on Erase all data (factory reset).
Tap on Reset phone button at the bottom.
Tap on Erase everything. Done!
The device will reset itself and restart when done.
If you can’t perform a factory reset of your Google Pixel 3a using the Settings app, then you can use the recovery mode method below.
Method #2: Recovery mode
To reset the Pixel 3a using the hardware keys and recovery mode, do this:
Boot your Pixel phone into Recovery Mode.
Move the highlight to Wipe data/factory reset option using volume buttons.
Select the option using the power button.
Confirm the factory reset by selecting Yes.
When back to the main menu, select the Reboot system now option to restart the device.
So, that is how you can reset a Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL handset.
Once the device restarts, you can connect the device to the Internet, and follow setup process to enter your Gmail ID and password, and then select the Restore option to get all your old apps and data backup. You can manually restore stuff you manually backed up before the reset.
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The Google Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL can now be rooted using Magisk. If you’re one of those users who like to mod their smartphones, then having root can give you access to several cool and useful features.
To root the new Pixel phone, you will first need to unlock the bootloader. Unlocking the bootloader on the new Pixel 2 is pretty easy and if you know what you’re doing, it’ll take only a few minutes.
Generally, rooting an Android device requires TWRP recovery. But with a modified boot image, you can root your Pixel 2 by flashing the Magisk patched modified boot directly from Fastboot to your device. This way you can root your Pixel 2/2 xL without installing TWRP recovery.
How to root Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL with Magisk
Note: Make sure you take a complete backup of all important files on your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL before attempting to root your device. Unlocking the bootloader will completely wipe all data on your Pixel phone, so a backup will come in handy.
Unlock bootloader on your Pixel 2 / 2 XL:
Setup ADB and Fastboot on your PC.
Enable USB debugging and OEM Unlock on your Pixel device.
Now go ahead and connect your Pixel 2 to the PC using a USB cable.
Open a command prompt window on your PC.
Type in the following command to boot your Pixel 2 into the bootloader mode: adb reboot bootloader
└ You may get a request to authorize USB debugging on the device, accept it.
Once your device is in bootloader mode, type the following command to unlock the bootloader: fastboot flashing unlock
You’ll get a confirmation screen on your Pixel 2. Press Volume Up button to highlight Yes and press Power button to select it. This will begin bootloader unlocking process, which shouldn’t last more than a couple of minutes.
Once bootloader is unlocked, your device will reboot into bootloader mode. You need to boot into system now, either press Power button to reboot OR issue the following command: fastboot reboot
During reboot, your Pixel 2 will go through a factory reset and then finally boot into system.
Get the correct boot image for your :
Download the factory image for your Pixel phone variant from this page.
Extract the factory image zip file on your PC. You’ll get a few files along with another .zip file inside. Extract/unzip the second .zip file and you’ll get a chúng tôi file.
Transfer the chúng tôi file to your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL.
Patch chúng tôi with Magisk Manager app:
Download the Magisk Manager APK, and install it on your Pixel phone.
Open Magisk Manager app on your phone and tap on Install » select “Patch boot image file” » select the chúng tôi file you transferred to your device in Step 1.3 above to patch it with Magisk..
Once Magisk successfully patches the chúng tôi file, it’ll export it to your phone’s internal storage inside the MagiskManager directory as patched_boot.img file.
Flash patched_boot.img to your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL:
Copy the patched_boot.img from your phone to a separate folder on your PC.
└ Make sure USB debugging is enabled on the phone.
Once command window is open, issue the following command to boot into bootloader mode: adb reboot bootloader
When your device boots into bootloader mode, issue the following command to install/flash the patched_boot.img file to your Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL: fastboot flash boot patched_boot.img
Once the file is flashed, issue the following command to reboot your phone: fastboot reboot
Once your Pixel phone boots, download/install any root checker app from the Play Store to verify root access. Cheers!
Would you like to track user activity on your website?
Here is an overview of what we’ll cover in this guide:Setting Up Google Tag Manager
Let’s first put your Google Tag Manager account into preview mode.
If you don’t have a version published yet, it will ask you to publish an empty version first.
This opens Google Tag Assistant on another tab. Here, you will connect the Tag Assistant to your site.
Your site should open on another tab, and the debug information in Tag Assistant will come from this page.
We can confirm that the tab is connected to Tag Assistant if there is a popup at the bottom-right corner of the page.
Since we don’t have any tags or variables yet, nothing will fire, and Tag Assistant will be empty. Going back to our Tag Manager, we are notified that a new container version is available.Creating a PageView Tag
There are different types of Pixels you can deploy on your website. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to set up Meta Pixel for PageView event tracking.
For eCommerce sites, you might want to utilize Meta Pixel’s purchase tracking. To not miss out on important conversion data, check out our guide on Meta Pixel Purchase & Conversion Tracking with GTM.
Go to Tags → New.
Next, we’ll configure our tag. An official Meta Pixel template is absent from the list of templates provided by Google, but there is one from the community gallery.
From here, search for “Facebook” in the search bar and select the Facebook Pixel template.
You can see that the community gallery provides multiple templates that we can use. We have templates for the conversions API, customer support, and the Meta Pixel. These can be helpful to you in the future, but for now, let’s select the Pixel template by Facebook Incubator.
Selecting any template opens a window where you can see details such as a brief description of the template, recent changes, and the specific actions the template wants to perform while executing.
A popup will appear, asking if you want to give the template permission to perform a list of specific actions.
The Facebook Pixel template is now installed on our page, and any time we go back to our tag configurations list, we should find this template under the custom tag templates.
Next, we need to provide our Meta Pixel ID.
Go back to Tag Manager and paste our Pixel ID in the space provided.Creating a Variable for your Pixel ID
Before proceeding to our other tag configurations, I recommend saving the Pixel ID in a variable.
A variable is a placeholder we can reuse so that we don’t have to remember the Pixel ID value or keep going back to our events manager to copy it.
The next step is to name our variable. To make it easier to know what variable we have, I’ll have the variable typed first in the name, followed by what variable this is. Since our Pixel ID has a constant value, we will have a constant variable type.
I’ll also put the value at the end to know which specific Pixel ID this is, in case I choose to create more Pixels. Feel free also to follow this naming convention.
Scroll through the list and select Constant.
The two curly brackets enclosing the variable name indicate that we are using a variable.
Next time you create a new Meta Pixel or tag that requires your Pixel ID, you can simply select this variable.
We can now proceed to the remaining configurations. Since the PageView option is selected by default, we won’t have to change anything in the event name. Let’s learn how to apply a trigger.Applying a Trigger
Since we are making a PageView tag, we need this tag to fire on all pages when they are opened. There are a few pre-configured options, and the trigger for all pages is one of them.
Now, all we have to do is name our tag. Like before, the tag name should start with the tool, in this case, Facebook, then event, and lastly the type of event, which is PageView.
Here, we can see that our PageView event has fired successfully.
Great, our Meta Pixel seems to be deploying properly while in preview mode.
Now, the final step on how to set up Meta Pixel is to test and debug it to ensure it is deployed successfully.Testing
A helpful tool that can aid us in testing our Meta Pixel is the Facebook Pixel Helper extension. Installing this extension on Google Chrome can provide information about your Pixel, what events are sent to it, and if something went wrong or was not deployed correctly.
Here, we’ll see details like the setup method, URL called, load time, and Pixel location. We can also see that it has a green check mark, which indicates that the PageView event has been fired correctly.
You will also see that microdata was automatically detected. Meta Pixel has the functionality to go onto the page, scan it, and find any kind of special information on the page itself. This data is not something we can manipulate, but something that Meta tracks automatically.
So, our Facebook Pixel Helper shows us that we have fired our tag correctly and everything should be working. However, we still need to verify if it sends data to Meta.Testing Browser Events
We should look at our events manager and test our browser events.
This will set a cookie to your website that lets it send data over to Meta. Our site will also open in another tab. However, this tab will not be connected to our Tag Assistant. Since our tag is not yet published, the PageView event will not show in the events manager.
If we open the Facebook Pixel Helper extension in this tab, we can also see that there is no Pixel being deployed and nothing could be tracked.
Since the cookie is now set on our browser, we can close this tab and go back to the tab connected to our Tag Assistant.
After refreshing the page, we can see that the Facebook Pixel Helper extension detects Pixels being deployed, as indicated by our extension being colored and a green box showing the number of events detected.
If we go back to our events manager, we can see that the PageView event is now being sent over to Meta.
Great; everything works properly! Let’s submit a live version to deploy this Pixel on all the browsers and all the users coming live to our website.Publishing
This action opens a new window where we can configure our submission. We can provide a name for this version as well as a description.
Now, our PageView tag should be live on our website. We can now exit ourTag Assistant so that our site will no longer be connected to it.
Reload our website on a tab and open our Facebook Pixel Helper extension to see if the PageView event is sending properly.
Now, for our final check, go back to our events manager where we should see another PageView event.
We have now successfully deployed our PageView event tracking for our Meta Pixel.FAQ How do I publish the Meta Pixel changes made in Google Tag Manager?
To publish the changes made in Google Tag Manager, follow these steps:How can I verify if the Meta Pixel is successfully deployed?
You can verify if the Meta Pixel is successfully deployed by using the Facebook Pixel Helper extension. It will show if the Pixel is firing correctly and sending events. Additionally, you can check the Events Manager to ensure that the events are being tracked and received by Meta.What should I do if the Meta Pixel is not working correctly? Summary
Those are the steps on how to set up Meta Pixel using Google Tag Manager. We went through creating a PageView tag, creating a variable for the Pixel ID, and testing our tag using the Facebook Pixel Helper extension and the events manager.
This guide is part of our Meta Pixel Tracking course over at MeasureMasters. If you want to do more with your Meta Pixel, such as how to set up custom events, attach dynamic data to your events, and more, then check out the membership.
Not ready to invest in the membership yet? Check out our complete training guide for Meta Pixel Tracking with Google Tag Manager. Here, you’ll learn three ways of installing Meta Pixels.
Google Pixel 2 : How Pixel XL’s success could shape the next release
The release of the Google Pixel 2 (and Pixel XL 2) will refine an already-shining example of how good, and simply good, an Android device can be. Google seems to have reached a point at which they’re ready to handle consumers directly, instead of relying on big brands to do all the heavy lifting. As the HTC-manufactured, Google-designed Pixel and Pixel XL had sparkling reviews upon release in 2023, the next generation won’t likely change in any drastic way.
The war of smartphone hardware is all but over – take a peek at the stack of the devices above and you’ll see. We’re no longer seeing massive design differences between smartphones made by major brands. There’s no reason to risk the time and effort necessary to design and ship a smartphone that’s odd just to appeal to a niche market.
Google is taking Apple’s approach to smartphone manufacturing and marketing. Just like the iPhone-selling company, Google designs and ships their own smartphone. Just like Apple, Google designs its own phone, but has an ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) do its hardware manufacturing.
A lot of Google’s methodology can be found in Nate Swanner’s article “Reasons why Google’s Pixel 2 could be the best phone ever.” There, Nate explains how Google and HTC set only a 9-month period to design and manufacture the Pixel. Now imagine how much better a second iteration could be, building on the first instead of starting from scratch, working for 12 months instead of just 9.
Above you’ll see our first Unboxing of the Google Pixel XL. You’ll notice that the combined might of both Google and HTC’s past in packaging makes for a professional presentation already here in the first wave. We look forward to inspecting and judging every aspect of the second-wave release.
With the second Google Pixel we’ll expect that the newest in Qualcomm Snapdragon processor technology will be used. That means – quite likely – a Snapdragon 835 and many of the key features that are made possible by it. This means more battery life through power optimizations, more capacity for power-hungry processing tasks, and the ability to handle a two-camera array at once (at the chip level).
The display sizes of both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel XL 2 won’t likely change. There’s no good reason why Google should change the size of the panels – especially since we’re already at a point where our eyes can’t discern anything sharper. The extra-long battery life of the devices as they stand now will be enhanced with Qualcomm’s first 10nm silicon – keeping the display sizes as they are now will only push that battery life further.
Expect that Google will reveal both the Pixel 2 and the Pixel XL 2 sometime around October of 2023. At this point there’s no good reason why Google would do anything different.
One of the rather surprising additions to the Pixel Watch is the option for you to purchase an LTE-connected version of Google’s first smartwatch. Considering that this is Google’s first attempt at entering the smartwatch market, many didn’t really believe that this would be something that would be available.
However, there are a lot of benefits to having an LTE-enabled Pixel Watch, as it allows you to leave your smartphone behind if you happen to go on a run. This is also helped by the fact that you can pair many of the best Bluetooth earbuds and headphones to the Pixel Watch, so you can still listen to your favorite playlists.Set Up LTE on Pixel Watch
When it comes to those who want to set up LTE on Pixel Watch, you’ll likely be prompted with the option to activate this functionality during the initial setup process. However, in the event that you have to reset your Pixel Watch, or pick one up on the second-hand (or used) market, this option might not appear. Here’s how you can set up LTE on Pixel Watch, even if you skipped past it originally:
From your Pixel Watch, swipe down on the watch face to reveal the Quick Settings panel.
Tap the Settings (cog) icon.
Confirm that the “status” is set to On.
Open the Google Pixel Watch app on the phone paired with your Pixel Watch.
Tap Mobile Network.
Select Set up a new profile.
Tap Set up a new profile via your cellular carrier.
Follow the on-screen instructions to set up LTE on Pixel Watch.
After a few moments, you’ll notice that your Pixel Watch is now connected to LTE, removing the need to be connected to Wi-Fi in order to receive notifications. Depending on your carrier, the process should only take a few minutes.What Carriers Support Pixel Watch LTE?
If you’re interested in picking up Google’s new Pixel Watch LTE for yourself, you might be wondering about carrier compatibility. This is a valid question, as there are some smartwatches that won’t work with all carriers. However, this isn’t the case or a problem with the Pixel Watch, at least here in the United States. Here’s the list of carriers that support the LTE model of the Pixel Watch:
Setting up and using the Pixel Watch LTE should be an easy process, but you will likely find yourself needing to add a line to your account. According to Google, “your watch and your phone must use the same carrier”, meaning that you can’t use the Pixel Watch on Google Fi if your phone is connected to Verizon.What to Do if Pixel Watch Won’t Activate
It should come as little surprise that there are definitely a few bugs to be concerned with when it comes to a first-generation product, such as the Pixel Watch. Ever since its initial release, new Pixel Watch owners are finding themselves unable to activate the LTE on their Pixel Watch. Doing so might result in some error messages such as “eSIM download error” or “something went wrong” when going through the steps.
Thankfully, there is some guidance, at least for Verizon customers, in the event that you can’t activate LTE on Pixel Watch. As a note, these are steps that you can recommend to a customer service representative, and might not work if you try activating the Pixel Watch from the Verizon website or mobile app.
Add a new line of service.
Select customer-provided equipment.
Enter the IMEI number of the Pixel Watch.
When prompted, enable Number Share.
Complete the order by adding a line to the plan.
Open the Pixel Watch app on your paired Android phone.
Scroll down and tap Mobile network.
If the process has been completed properly, then your Pixel Watch should vibrate, showing a “Downloading eSIM” prompt. This should take between one to two minutes, so patience is key here. Provided that the eSIM is downloaded properly, the Pixel Watch should be activated with LTE support.
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Android 12 has been available since October 2023, and we’ve also seen Android 12L roll out. Google isn’t stopping here, though, as it’s now rolled out the stable Android 13 software.
You can find all the details about Android 13 features at the previous link. But what if you want to actually install this on your phone? Well, you can flash a system image to a compatible phone, and we’ve got two ways to do it.
However, most Pixel users should simply receive a notification that allows them to update easily right from their phone. The instructions below only apply to people who wish to manually upgrade for some reason.
Editor’s note: The Android 13 steps below are compatible with Google Pixel smartphones from the Pixel 4 and 4a series forward.
1. The OTA routeHere’s what you need to get started
A compatible Pixel 4/4a or later device and a USB cable to connect it to your computer
Compatible Pixel phones include the Pixel 4, Pixel 4 XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, Pixel 5, Pixel 5a, Pixel 6, and Pixel 6 Pro.
The Android SDK installed on your machine with ADB and Fastboot command successfully working — check the tutorial here
Now for the actual steps.Download the proper files to install Android 13
Before you get things going, you’ll need to download the appropriate OTA image for your smartphone (here) via your computer. Factory images are available too but can require the device to be wiped completely, which isn’t the case for OTA images. Our instructions below also reflect the OTA process.
First, shut off your phone.
Next, hold down Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time.
The bootloader menu will now show up. Use volume buttons to scroll down to Recovery Mode.
You’ll be presented with an Android robot with an exclamation mark on it. Now you’ll press the power button and volume up button for about a second.
Release the volume up button will send you fully into recovery.
Next, use the volume buttons and scroll down to Apply update from ADB. Push the power button to select the option.
Lastly, you’ll see a blank screen telling you how to sideload an OTA.Prepare your PC to install Android 13
Now that your phone is ready, it’s time to make the magic happen.
Connect your handset to your PC via USB cable. Remember, your PC needs to have ADB tools installed.
On Windows, enter Command Prompt. On Linux or Mac, you’ll want to use Terminal. For Windows users, make sure you navigate to wherever you’re storing the folder.
Next, you must enter adb sideload for Windows or ./adb sideload for Mac/Linux.
Now you’ll want to enter the name of the .zip folder from before and hit enter.
Once completed, your phone will return to Recovery Mode, and you can remove the USB cable.
Go to Reboot Now with the volume keys and press the power button.
That’s it. If everything went okay, you were able to install Android 13 successfully.
2. Using Android Flash Tool
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Google also offers a web-based utility for installing Android 13 on your phone using a computer. The web utility handles the downloading and installing of the update, although you will need to occasionally interact with your phone when instructed to do so. This will factory reset your phone as well.Here’s what you need to get started
A compatible Pixel phone (Pixel 4 or higher, Pixel 4a or higher) and a USB cable to connect it to your computer
Android USB Driver for Windows PCs (available here)
10GB of free storage on your computerWhat to do on your phone first
Before you connect your phone to your PC, you’ll need to make sure that developer options, OEM unlocking, and USB debugging are enabled on your phone.
Scroll down to Build Number and tap this field repeatedly (roughly seven times). You’ll notice a message popping up that you’re X steps away from being a developer. Keep doing this until you have to enter your PIN code.
Enter your PIN and you should see an alert saying that you are now a developer. Developer options are now enabled.
What to do on your PC
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Make sure that you’ve installed the Android USB Driver for your Windows PC if you haven’t done so already.
Connect your phone to your PC via USB cable.
Choose the add new device button. Another window should open, showing your connected device. Choose the device.
You’ll see a prompt related to USB debugging appear on your smartphone. Choose Always allow from this computer and tap okay.
The next step on your PC and the website will be to choose your phone again and then select the desired Android software you’d like to install. Choose the latest stable version of Android 13 and then choose install build.
You’ll then be presented with a warning that your phone will be factory reset. Tap confirm and the process will begin. Your phone’s bootloader will also be unlocked if it hasn’t been unlocked before. You’ll need to use the volume and power keys to unlock the bootloader when prompted.
Once this is done, the Android 13 software will be downloaded to your computer and automatically installed on your phone. You don’t need to interact with your phone during this time. Your PC’s USB connected/disconnected chimes will sound several times during this process — that’s normal.
The website will then tell you that your phone’s bootloader will need to be locked to complete the process. Choose start and use the volume and power keys to lock the bootloader when prompted.
When the website notes install complete, you can disconnect your phone from the USB cable. That’s it, you’re now running Android 13.
And that’s it for the second method of installing Android 13 on your Pixel phone.
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