Even though phone refreshes are getting more iterative these days, getting a new phone is still an exciting experience. Make sure to soak it all in because your phone will never look as clean and fingerprint free again. Google’s Pixel phones are great due to their numerous software tricks, and the Pixel 6a, one of the best budget Android phones, is no different. Here are five settings to change once you’ve unboxed and set up your new Pixel 6a to take your experience to the next level.

Enable notification history on your Google Pixel 6a

Notifications are such a common way we interact with our phones that it’s hard to keep track of them all. To make matters worse, some are time sensitive and may disappear after a certain period of time. To make sure you don’t miss those important notifications, Google created a notification history feature that shows a chronological log of your notifications.

  1. Pull down your
    notification shade
  2. Tap
    in the lower-left corner of the notification shade (you may have to scroll down to see it if you have a lot of notifications). You can alternatively launch the
    app and go to the
  3. Select
    Notification history

  4. Toggle the
    Use notification history
    option to

The feature doesn’t work retroactively, so you can’t use it to find a notification that you’ve already missed. It also only stores 24 hours of notification history, so enable it as soon as you get your phone to avoid missing a notification.

Set up car crash detection and other personal safety features

Google’s phones include several features to help you get where you’re going safely. When enabled, car crash detection can detect if you’re in a car crash using your location data, motion sensors, and ambient audio. If your Pixel 6a thinks you’ve been in a crash, it tries to get your attention and asks if you need help. If you don’t respond, your phone calls emergency services. The feature works well and has saved lives, so consider turning it on.

You may be prompted to turn on this feature during the setup process, but if not, you can set it up manually.

  1. Open the
    Personal Safety
    app (labeled as
    in the app drawer). You can also open the
    app, scroll down and tap
    Safety & emergency
    , and tap
    Open Personal Safety
  2. Select the
    Google account
    you’d like to tie this feature to and then tap
    . You have the option not to have the feature associated with an account if desired.
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to add
    emergency contacts
    medical information

  4. Once you’ve set up the app, tap the
    icon in the upper-right corner.
  5. Tap
    Car crash detection

  6. Toggle the
    update permissions
    to enable this feature.
  7. Grant the Personal Safety app
    location and
    Allow all the time
    location permissions. This directs emergency services to your exact location and lets the feature operate in the background.

While in the Personal Safety app, review the other features to see if any are useful to you.

If you enjoy hiking or walking around town at night, set up the Safety Check feature. This prompts your Pixel 6a to check in with you at a pre-set time to see if you made it back all right. If you don’t, your phone alerts emergency contacts with options to notify them or not once you’ve scheduled a check. This feature requires granting the Maps app access to your location. The app walks you through the process when you tap Safety check.

Emergency sharing, a related feature, grants one of your contacts access to your status and location for a pre-set period of time. And the Emergency SOS feature calls emergency services after a countdown timer when you press the power button five times quickly.

Enable Automatic call screening and other phone features

Spam calls are annoying, and Google’s Call Screening feature filters out most of them. This feature is one of the main reasons to buy a Pixel phone and reduces the number of distractions you receive.

  1. Open the
  2. Click the
    three-dot menu
    in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap

  4. Select
    Spam and Call Screen
  5. Tap
    Call Screen

  6. In the
    Unknown call settings
    section, choose the types of calls you want to filter.
    Possibly faked numbers
    are recommended. You can also turn it on for private and hidden calls or
    First-time callers

  7. For each type of call, you can set it to
    ring as normal
    screen and automatically decline
    , or
    silently decline

Other options include saving Call Screen audio for later and configuring either a masculine or feminine voice to answer. You can also enable Hold for Me and Direct My Call in the Phone app’s settings pane.

Instead of listening to hold music, Hold for Me waits on the line for you and alerts you when someone answers. Direct My Call turns spoken telephone option menus into buttons with descriptions you can tap.

Opt out of binding arbitration

This isn’t a setting, but you should consider doing it after setting up your Pixel 6a. There are no drawbacks and several potential benefits when it comes to your ability to exercise your rights.

By default, when you set up a Google device, you agree to a set of terms for its use. One of those terms is giving up your right to settle legal claims regarding your device through a lawsuit. Instead, you accept Google’s preference to settle these claims through arbitration.

Much of this is a gray area subject to the interpretation of a judge or attorney, but you’re effectively allowing Google to resolve your dispute the way Google prefers. You don’t have to permanently agree to this as long as you notify Google that you want to opt out of its binding arbitration agreement within 30 days of activating the device.

We have an in-depth walkthrough of how to opt out of Google’s binding arbitration agreement, but in short:

  1. Navigate to
    Google’s device arbitration opt-out form
    on any device.
  2. In the
    Select your device type
    drop-down list, select the
    Google device
    you’d like the change to apply to.

  3. Find the serial number for your Pixel 6a in
    About phone
    Model & hardware
    Serial number
  4. Paste or type the serial number for your Pixel 6a into the form and select
    . Tap and hold the serial number to copy it to your clipboard if you’re filling out the form on your phone.

This option only applies if you’re in the U.S. (and the terms of the original binding arbitration agreement only apply if you’re in the U.S.), but there’s no harm in doing it. If you have an issue with your Google Pixel 6a down the line, you’ve retained rights that could be valuable to resolving your issue favorably.

Enable themed icons

As part of Google’s Material You update, you can make the app icons on your homescreen match the theming on the rest of your device. This feature isn’t enabled by default since it can make your phone look inconsistent until more apps adopt it, but it’s a great feature if you can accept that an icon here or there may not match.

  1. Long press an empty spot on your homescreen.
  2. Tap
    Wallpaper & style
    . You can also navigate to this menu by opening the
    app and tapping
    Wallpaper & style
  3. Scroll down to
    Themed icons
    and tap the toggle switch to the right of the option to enable it.

You can’t go wrong with the Google Pixel 6a

The Pixel 6a is one of the best budget phones mainly because of Google’s many software tricks and features. Even though many are enabled by default, you can enable several settings to make your Pixel 6a experience even better. One of the other best features of the Pixel 6a is its camera, and we share a number of tips and tricks to make the most of the Google camera app.

Conclusion on 5 Google Pixel 6a settings you’ll want to change immediately

If you have any query let me know in comment section.