How to Get the Pixel 2 Always on Display on an Old Google Phone

One of the key features of the Pixel 2 is its always-on display. Thanks to the phone’s OLED panel , the screen can remain black but always active, so you can quickly access information (such as time, date, and notifications) without draining your battery.

Google doesn’t offer this capability for its older OLED phones like the Pixel, Pixel XL, and Nexus 6P, but luckily there is a solution. The XDA devs recently found a way to provide an always-on display on these devices without the need for rooting . Here’s how to do it.

How to make an always-on display on your old Google phone

Before you start, there are a few things you need to do to get ready. First, you’ll need a Pixel, Pixel XL, or Nexus 6P. You will also need to have Android 8.1 Developer Preview running on your device. XDA-Developers has a separate guide for this .

Next, you need to install Substratum , the Android theme manager and its Andromeda plugin (which costs $ 1.99). You can follow the XDA Substrate Guide here , just stop as soon as you finish the first step. Finally, install the alwaysOn-enabler APK from AndroidFileHost or the Pixel Enabler app .

Ready? Great. Now download Substratum on your device and select “Always On Enabler” from the list of themes. Click Select To Turn On Overlays, and then click the button that looks like a floating roller. Then click “Build and Enable”. Then restart your device.

When the phone turns on again, go to Settings and select Display. Click on Advanced and then on Ambient Display. If that worked, you should see a new option called Always On. Turn it off and then back on again.

Congratulations! Done, but if you need a visual aid, use this video tutorial.


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