Change this Pixel Tablet setting to make it even more useful – while saving you money


Google Pixel Tablet with time displayed

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Google’s Pixel Tablet has a lot going for it. It has a long list of tablet-optimized Android apps, a display that looks great, and speakers to match. Multitasking is fun and easy to use, and even apps that haven’t been updated for larger screens look good on it. 

You can read the finer details about all of those features and more in our full review

Also: The best Android tablets

By far, the feature that’s getting the most attention, and rightfully so, is the Pixel Tablet’s Hub Mode that’s triggered when the Tablet is connected to the included Charging Speaker Dock. 

The dock does exactly what its name says, it charges the Pixel Tablet, while also adding an extra speaker with more volume and bass to the Tablet. It effectively transforms the Pixel Tablet into a Nest Hub when it’s docked. 

Google is selling extra docks at $129 a pop, which adds up fast if you want to take advantage of Hub Mode in more than one room. 

Also: How to manage apps connected to Google Drive 

But, there’s good news. If you don’t really care about the added speaker that the dock provides or casting content from another device to the Tablet, you can enable Hub Mode on the Pixel Tablet whenever it’s plugged in and charging, forgoing the need for the dock to use Hub Mode.

How to use the Pixel Tablet’s screen saver whenever it’s charging

What you’ll need: You’ll, of course, need a Pixel Tablet and a USB-C charger and cable. You only need a few minutes to toggle a setting to use the Tablet’s screen saver whenever it’s connected to a charger, not just the dock.

To use the screen saver whenever the Pixel Tablet is plugged in and charging, you’ll need to change one setting. 

Also: How to add reading mode to your Android devices (and why you should)

Do that by opening the Settings app on the Pixel Tablet, then selecting Hub Mode from the list of options (it should be the second option). Next, select Screen saver followed by When to start.

Enabling screen saver on Pixel Tablet

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Change the selection from While docked and charging to While charging.


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

Going forward, any time you plug a USB-C cable into the Pixel Tablet to charge it, the screen saver will be on full display after the display times out, and you’ll be able to interact with Google Assistant using your voice like you would when it’s docked.

A feature like this is exactly what the official Pixel Tablet case was made for. 


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