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Google Pixel Watch 2 tips: Take your Pixel Watch experience to the next level

Make the most of your new device.

Published onApril 30, 2024

A Google Pixel Watch 2 displays the watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Google’s Pixel Watch 2 is officially on wrists, offering a unique Wear OS and Fitbit combo meal. The device is packed with sensors, apps, and tools to provide the best Google smartwatch experience yet. To make the most of your new device, we rounded up our top Pixel Watch 2 tips and tricks. Keep an eye out for an incoming Wear OS 5 update, which could drop as early as August.

Google Pixel Watch 2 tips and tricks

Protect your cover glass with a Pixel Watch 2 case

google pixel watch case caseology vault 3
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Google Pixel Watch 2 features upgraded cover glass for increased durability, but it’s still not impervious to damage. With its domed design and lack of protective bezels, it’s an easy wearable to scratch or crack. More significantly, there currently isn’t an affordable way to repair the device if you do damage it. Browse our list of the top Pixel Watch 2 cases to protect your investment.

Customize your watch face

A Google Pixel Watch 2 edits their watch face.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Google Pixel Watch 2 packs a variety of attractive watch faces that lean into the device’s aesthetic while minimizing battery consumption. They also integrate well with data complications to keep your most important stats a glance away. Personalize your device with a watch face featuring bold colors and custom information.

Here’s how to customize your Pixel Watch 2 face

  1. Press and hold your current watch face.
  2. Swipe all the way left and tap Add new.
  3. Use swipes and your digital crown to choose custom settings.

If you prefer to work on a larger screen, you can browse and swap watch faces in the Pixel Watch app on your paired phone.

Extend your battery life 

A Google Pixel Watch 2 displays battery saver mode.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

The Google Pixel Watch 2 offers a full 24 hours of battery life between charges, but as always, these specs depend heavily on device usage. To extend the battery life of your smartwatch, consider the tips below.

Here’s how to extend the battery life on your Pixel Watch 2

  1. Turn off settings that drain battery life, such as Always-on display and Tilt-to-wake.
  2. Turn on settings that conserve battery life, including GPS and Battery saver.
  3. Turn on Bedtime mode to conserve battery overnight.
  4. Download music to your device rather than streaming it.
  5. Reduce the screen timeout period to 15 seconds rather than 30.
  6. Use a native Pixel Watch 2 watch face rather than a third-party face that may drain the battery faster.

Accommodate your charger’s orientation

google pixel watch 2 bay blue charging animation
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The newest Pixel Watch 2 ditches wireless charging in favor of a new Pogo pin magnetic charger offering much faster speeds. Unfortunately, this means the watch also requires a specific orientation when charging to line up its magnets. Specifically, the digital crown needs to align with the charger cable. To save yourself a headache whenever you try to power up, set up your charging station accordingly.

Set up digital payments and tap to pay

To set up your device for digital payment, you must first add a card to your watch.

  • On your watch, open the Google Wallet app and tap Get started.
  • Set up screen lock if you haven’t already.
  • On your paired phone, follow the instructions to add a Suica, credit, or debit card.

Once you have a card set up, you can make payments with just your device at participating retailers.

  • On your watch, open the Google Wallet app.
  • Hold your wrist over the contactless payment reader until you hear a sound or feel a vibration from your watch.
  • If prompted, tap Credit regardless of your type of card.
  • For debit card transactions, you may have to enter a PIN you have set up with your bank.

Grab screenshots from the wrist

A user takes a Google Pixel Watch 2 screenshot by pressing the back button and Digital Crown simultaneously.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Unlike the original model, the Pixel Watch 2 allows users to take screenshots right from the wrist. You still need your paired phone handy to save the image, but at least it’s now easier to grab onscreen data.

Here’s how to grab screenshots from the wrist

  1. Simultaneously press the back button and digital crown.
  2. On your paired phone, tap the Pixel Watch 2 screenshot notification to save the image.

Enable automatic workout detection

The new model also now automatically detects a handful of popular workouts, including walking and running. To make sure your watch catches all your stats, enable automatic detection on each exercise.

  1. Open the Fitbit Exercise app.
  2. Scroll down to All exercises and tap one of the supported exercises.
  3. Tap the settings cog, and enable the settings for Start workout reminders and End workout reminders.

Utilize the Google Assistant tile

A Google Pixel Watch 2 displays the Assistant tile.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Built-in Google Assistant is a massive highlight of the Wear OS experience on the Google Pixel Watch 2, especially in light of the feature’s newest updates. This included the ability to query Google Assistant on-device for health stats. Access your most common Assistant queries more easily by customizing your Assistant tile.

Here’s how to customize your Google Assistant tile

  1. Swipe right from your watch face to get to the Google Assistant tile.
  2. Tap on the tile to add an action.
  3. Type or voice your query or command and tap Confirm.
  4. Repeat to set up the second shortcut.

Manage your smart home with the Google Home app

Users can manage smart home devices controlled through the Google Home app as well as receive camera alerts right on the wrist. To do so, you will need a Google Account and the latest version of the Google Home app on both your phone and watch.

  • On your watch, Open the Google Home app. If you can’t find the app, open the Google Play Store, tap Manage apps, and then Update all.
  • If you’ve added Favorites in the Google Home mobile app, you’ll have your Favorites listed first on the Google Home app on your watch.
  • Tap Devices, choose a room, then tap the device you want to control.
  • You can also receive image preview notifications on your watch, if you enable alerts for supported Google Nest Cameras in the Google Home app.

Install third-party apps

A Google Pixel Watch 2 displays the Google Play Store.
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority

Google’s smartwatches boast many powerful apps, including the best of Google and Fitbit. However, one of the device’s biggest strengths is the Google Play Store, which allows users to round out their experiences with even more third-party Pixel Watch apps. Whether you’re a Spotify member or a Starbucks regular, there are thousands of apps available to add to your device.

Here’s how to find and install third-party apps

  1. Press the digital crown to access your app library.
  2. Scroll down to and tap the Google Play Store.
  3. Pick a category or tap Search to find the app you want to install.
  4. Tap Install.

Utilize pace and heart rate training tools

Thanks to new on-device coaching features, users can now access real-time details related to pace and heart rate mid-workout. On the pace side, choose a specific pace goal or set a desired range. These will appear on your device so you can check in with your performance midrun. On the heart rate side, the watch displays color-coded heart rate zones to help you manage exertion while training. Both tools maximize your workout and, let’s be honest, help distract you from the grind.

Navigate with Google Maps

To get started, allow location tracking on your phone and smartwatch.

  • Open the Maps app then select your home, work, or recent locations, or tap Search.
  • Use the keyboard or voice dictation to input your destination. You can also tap the map to view your location.
  • Select your mode of transportation, then start your walk, bicycle, car, or public transit trip.

Set up mirroring on your phone and watch

  • To mirror your navigation session on your phone and watch, open your phone’s settings menu and turn on mirroring. For watch-based navigation only, disable mirroring.

That’s it for our favorite Google Pixel Watch 2 tips for the best experience out of the box. Have more Google Pixel Watch 2 tips? Drop your top recommendations below in the comments section.

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