Here's everything the Pixel 2's Active Edge does

Hint: It's not a lot.

Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
2 min read

The idea of squeezing a phone to trigger some sort of action or feature is a bit odd. HTC did it first with the U11, and now Google has added the feature to the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.

Watch this: The brains behind Google's Pixel 2 camera

Using Active Edge, there are a few things you can do, but right now the lack of added functionality is a bit of a letdown.

The first thing you'll need to do is figure out where the settings page is for Active Edge. I suggest searching for "Active Edge" in Settings instead of tapping your way there. As pointed out in our Pixel 2 tips and tricks post, it's buried under multiple taps (Settings > Apps & notifications > Default apps > Assist & voice input > Active edge).

Jason Cipriani/CNET

Once there, you can adjust the amount of pressure required to activate the feature. I keep having to increase the amount of pressure to avoid accidentally triggering Google Assistant. Give the phone another squeeze as you adjust the sensitivity to test it out. And, yes, you can even disable the feature altogether if you want. 

Jason Cipriani/CNET

During initial device setup, you're asked if you want to use Active Edge to activate Google Assistant with a squeeze. At launch, acting as a shortcut to Google Assistant is as useful as Active Edge gets.The only other thing you can use it for right now is silence an incoming call. When enabled, once your phone starts ringing, just give it a squeeze.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

It would be awesome to have more options with Active Edge, such as taking a quick screenshot, snapping a photo or even initiating actions inside different apps. Oh! An "undo" action from a squeeze when typing an email would be slick, too.

We already have a shortcut to the Google Assistant in the form of a long-press on the home button, so why not free up the Active Edge and make it more useful? Hopefully, that happens soon!