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 times 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.
Setting Up the Gesture Typing Feature:
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.
Select, Cut, Copy and Paste a Text:
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:
Set Your Photo at Quick Settings Panel:
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 status bar, 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.
Capturing a Screenshot on Nexus 4:
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 for 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.
Access Quick Settings Quickly:
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.
Setting Up the Daydream Mode on Nexus 4:
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:
- Go to the phone’s Settings.
- Once inside the app, scroll down to and tap Display.
- Next scroll down and tap Daydream.
- Here you can turn Daydream mode on or off. You can also select what you want to display, You can choose between images, the clock, as well as a few other things.
- Next, choose your selection and then choose when you want Daydream to start. This can be done by tapping the When to Daydream button below.
Customize the Lockscreen and Set Face Unlock:
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 set up 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 your 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.
Adding Widgets and Apps to the Lockscreen:
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 turns 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 another 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.
Transferring File Through USB Cable:
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.
- For Windows: Connect your phone to the USB port on your computer. Its USB storage is mounted as a drive and appears on your computer screen. Copy files back and forth as you would using any other external device. When you finish, eject the phone from within Windows before unplugging the USB cable.
- For Mac OS: Install Android File Transfer from www.android.com/filetransfer, and follow the instructions there. Connect your phone to your computer with a USB cable. Android File Transfer starts, if it’s not already running, and opens a window that displays the contents of your phone, along with storage space details at the bottom of the window. Work with this window much as you do in the Finder window: open and close folders, create new folders, and drag files to or from it and other Finder windows. Disconnect the USB cable when you finish.
Take Panorama photo Using Photo Sphere:
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:
- Open the Camera app and touch the current mode icon, and then tap the Photo Sphere icon. This will pop-up an alignment box with a round-shaped target appears, with the message “Align to start.”
- Adjust the camera position so that the floating dot is precisely at the center of the target. It takes a few seconds for the camera to calibrate the scene as you hold the camera steady. When you succeed, a blue Shutter button with a white square appears below the image. Do not touch the button yet.
- Move the camera to a direction- left or right, up or down. Make sure that the alignment box and floating dot is always at the center. When it is done, a second image automatically appears next to the first.
- Keep the camera moving until the entire scene is captured. Now tap the Shutter button to capture the Photo Sphere.
Creating a Folder on the Homescreen:
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.
Adding a New Homescreen:
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 home screens on Nexus 4, you will have to install a third party launcher like Nova or Apex which are very close to AOSP stock launcher.
Setting Mobile Data Limit on the Nexus 4:
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.
Quickly Access Google Now:
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:
- By tapping on the Google Search bar at the homescreen.
- By swiping your finger up from the bottom of any screen.
- By long pressing the Menu key.
- By sliding the unlock button on Google icon on the lockscreen.
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 anymore, you can remove it from the screen by swiping it out of the way.
Setting Wallpaper and Live Wallpaper:
Setting an image as wallpaper is one of the easiest things on an Android phone. Normally a person opens the Gallery app and sets a wallpaper from there. But you can do this job more easily even without opening the Gallery. Just touch and hold an empty space on your homescreen to get a set of options. One of these wallpapers lets you choose a wallpaper 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.
Manage and Extend the Battery Life:
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.
Battery Saving Tips for Nexus 4:
- Turn off the features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or GPS, when not in use. The GPS setting is located in Settings > Personal > Location access.
- Don’t leave the Maps or Navigation apps open on the screen when you’re not using them. They use GPS only when they’re running.
- Turn down screen brightness and set a shorter Sleep timeout: Settings > Device > Display.
- Turn off automatic syncing for all apps: Settings > Accounts > Google account name. This means you need to sync manually to collect messages, email, and other recent information, and won’t receive notifications when updates occur.
- Tap the right soft button on your phone to launch the task manager and touch the remove icon to terminate the apps that are running in the background. You can also close an app by swiping your finger left or right.
- When you are not near a mobile or Wi-Fi network for a while, it is a good idea to switch to Airplane mode: press and hold the Power button, or go to Settings > Wireless & Networks > More > Airplane mode.
- Set device display brightness to the lowest possible or Auto Brightness mode.