The Nexus 4, a joint production by LG and Google, is undoubtedly one of the hottest smartphones now. It is one of the most hyped smartphones that has been reported to sell out several time since its launch and currently it is as hard to get as a Holy Grail. Google has been blaming LG for not meeting the demand of this phone. Though there is no official stats to reveal the sales figure of the phone, a fresh study conducted by some Android enthusiasts reveals a surprising figure – there are only around 400,000 of the devices at the moment.
The Google Nexus 4 is a feature-stuffed phone that brings some of the best features along-with the latest Android version 4.2. It sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro CPU, 2 GB RAM, 4.7″ 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (320 ppi) display, an 8 MP rear camera.
If you have managed to win this most sought about phone somehow and wish to customize it cool ways and get acquainted to some handy tips and tricks about the Nexus 4, here is the right spot.
One of the cool features of the Nexus 4 is the fluent way of typing text which Google calls the “Gesture Typing” that makes typing easier. If you have ever used Swype, the gesture typing feature will not appear new to you but it works smoother and intuitively. Just tap at the box where you have to type text and glide your finger over the letters on the keyboard to compose emails or texts in a snap. The keyboard can also anticipate and predict the next word you’re looking for. Type with one hand and you can finish entire sentences in a flash just by selecting suggested words. To enable this feature on your Nexus 4, go to Settings> Language and Input> Android Keyboard, and tick the “Gesture Typing” and “Next-word suggestions” option.
Well this is not a typical Nexus 4 feature but I thought to include it for those who are new to Android. Touch and hold or double-tap within the text. The nearest word highlights, with a tab at each end of the selection. Drag the tabs to change the selection. The tab disappears after a few moments. To make it reappear, touch the text again. Select the text you want to manipulate. Then touch Cut or Copy icon. Doing this will copy the selected text portion to clipboard. You can later paste it into any text-field by pressing and holding the text box and taping the “Paste” button that appears:
Your Nexus 4 with Android 4.2 has the ability to toggle between users on the phone, much in the way we can do with our computers. A mobile being a personal device, I do not understand why two users will use the same phone. But the Nexus 4 does have the multi-user feature which lets you set more that one user’s profile on the phone.
The Nexus 4 includes a neat two-way notification bar. There is one that appears as you drop down the notification bar, and the other mode that is called the Quick Settings panel and appears when you tap on the QC icon at the top right corner. which includes a tile for your user profile. Usually this is just a blank icon, but you can set your photo to stamp your ownership. Open the notification center by swiping down your finger from the statusbar, touch the blank contact tile with your name underneath it, then tap the options icon with three dots in the top right and select ‘edit’. This will enable you to set a photo for your user”s profile.
Nowadays the screenshot feature has become a commonplace with all Android phones. The only thing that differs is the way how you capture your phone’s screen. Now you need not download a third-party app fro the purpose. To take a screenshot on your Nexus 4, press the Volume Down and Power buttons at the same time and the screen will be captured. All screenshot images are stored on the Pictures> Screenshot folder on your SC Card by default. However, you can access the captured image quickly by opening the notifications drawer and tapping on the image preview there.
As we already saw how to access the Quick Settings feature on the Nexus 4 by tapping the QC icon at the top right corner on the notification panel. Another way you can launch the Quick Settings pane is by swiping the statusbar with your two fingers. So, its quite easy: swipe with one finger to open notifications pane and swipe down with two fingers from the top of any screen to launch the Quick Settings. Long pressing an icon at the Quick Settings takes you to the settings interface related to that toggle.
Another new feature introduced with the Android 4.2 update to the Nexus 4 is Daydream which allows you to display content on your Nexus 4′s screen either when it’s docked or in the charging mode. When Daydream is on, your phone displays photos, colors, clock, snippets from Google Currents app and more while it is charging or docked.
This is how you can set up the Daydream mode on your Nexus 4:
The Face Unlock feature was introduced with Android ICS with a view to secure an Android device from unauthorized use. Most people prefer to go with the slide to unlock method as it lets you get to the Home screen quickly, or open Camera and start taking pictures immediately. But those who are concerned about the security of their phone can set up the Face Unlock, PIN, Pattern or Password method.
To setup the lockscreen unlock method on your Nexus 4, GO TO Settings > Personal > Security > Screen lock, select a style and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have to set the Face Unlock, for instance, tap on the corresponding option, and let the device analyze you face and save it. When the front camera is on adjust the camera position so that your face comes into the green dotted shape. After you set it up, look under Settings > Personal > Security for two additional settings: Improve face matching and Liveness check. Use these to make Face Unlock more reliable and secure.
The Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update to the Nexus 4 brought another feature to the lockscreen of the phone which lets the user to set apps and widgets on the lockscreen and swipe between them. With this feature, now you can access a number of apps without unlocking your phone. You can add widgets to your lockscreen, which can display real-time information, giving you rapid access to commonly used settings and functions. This cool feature turn your lockscreen very much like your phone’s homescreen with a number of pages and different widgets on it. You can easily manage the placement of a widget by pressing and holding and then dragging it to a desired place.
To setup widgets on the lockscreen of your Nexus 4, swipe your finger to left or right when the lockscreen is visible (when the lockscreen is lighted). You will a “+” sign, tap on it and select a desired widget. You can add up to five widgets to your lockscreen. Repeat the same procedure to add more widgets.
Clock is the default widget on the lockscreen. To hide the PIN, pattern, or password lock, swipe down from the clock or other widget at the top of the lock screen. Touch the lock icon at the bottom of the screen to show the lock again. You can launch Google Now by swipe up from the bottom of the lock screen. Enter your PIN, pattern, or password if prompted.
To access the Camera app without unlocking the screen, swipe left from the right edge of the screen. To close the Camera app, touch the bottom of your screen to bring up the navigation buttons, then touch one of the buttons.
You can use a USB cable to transfer music, pictures, and other files from your phone to a computer and vice versa.: Settings > Device > Storage > Menu > USB computer connection.
Photo Sphere is one of the most touted features of Android 4.2. With your Nexus 4 on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, you can capture a 360-degree panorama directly from your Camera app. With the Photo Sphere feature, you can create fully immersive 360-degree shots, wide-angle scenic shots, and even what’s above and below you. After capturing a scene, It takes a minute or two to compose the image as you have to take multiple shots, but the end result is unique.
To use the Photo Sphere feature on your Nexus 4, follow the following steps:
If you are an experienced Android user, you must be knowing how to create an app folder on the phone’s homescreen. Actually it is very easy. Just press and hold an app icon on your homescreen and drag it over another app. Doing this will create a folder with your selected apps and games. To remove an app from a folder, tap on the folder and press and hold the app icon you want to remove. In case you want to delete a folder, either remove all app from it, or drag the whole folder to the delete icon on the screen.
While most stock launchers from different manufacturers support new page adding on the homescreen, the Nexus 4 falls short here. The launcher on this device does not let you add a new homescreen page. If you want to add more homescreens on Nexus 4, you will have to install a third party launcher like Nova or Apex which are very close to AOSP stock launcher.
If you have a limited data plan on your Nexus 4 which is bound by a contract which stipulates a fair usage policy on your data allowance, you can easily manage and set your mobile data so that it does not cross the allowed limit. This is how you can do it: tap on Settings> Data Usage> Move the slider to set a mobile data usage warning and a limit. Your device know well the difference between mobile data and WiFi data and show you separate figures of the data usage.
Though all Android phones on Jelly Bean have the Google Now feature, Nexus 4 claims to give you the “best of Google in the palm of your hand.” Google Now is about getting you just the right information, at just the right time. All of this happens automatically. Google Now intelligently brings you the information you want to see, when you want to see it. No digging required.
You can access this feature on your Nexus 4 in a number of ways. Here are a few of them:
When you want to see more cards, touch “Show more cards” at the bottom of the screen. In case you do not need a card any more, you can remove it from the screen by swiping it out of the way.
Setting an image as a wallpaper is one of the easiest things on an Android phone. Normally a person opens the Gallery app and sets a wallpapers from there. But you can do this job more easily even without opening the Gallery. Just touch and hold and empty space on your homescreen to get a set of options. One of these wallpapers lets you choose a wallpapers or live wallpaper for the home and lockscreen. It is from here only that you can see the live wallpapers saved on your Nexus 4 and set it for home and lock screens.
Being an owner of a large display smartphone like the Nexus 4 that is full of features and remains always connected to network, the battery life must be a major concern for you. It is, therefore, necessary that you manage the juice drain of your phone by monitoring the battery usage and closing unnecessary apps and operations that keep running even when they are not in use.
By going to Settings> Battery, you can see how long it has been since your Nexus 4 was last charged. Thus you can know what apps and processes are consuming the major part of your battery. This will help you to take steps to conserve the juice within the phone’s 2,100 mAh battery.
I studied the battery drain of my Nexus 4 for about 11 hours (see the screenshot) and found that the three most battery-devouring things on my phone were the Android System, Google Services and the phone’s display. I, therefore, set the screen brightness to Auto mode, disabled or prolonged the syncing feature in some of the Google apps, kept checking for open apps and killing them in Task Manager, switched off non-essential services and the result was awesome.
You can extend your battery’s life between charges by turning off features that you don’t need. You can also monitor how apps and system resources consume battery power.