Right now, one of our favourite Android smartphones out there is the Nexus 4. Made by LG in partnership with LG, it combines powerful hardware with the very latest Android software and a unique and stylish design.
Being a Nexus device, it has the latest and greatest version of Android – 4.2 ‘Jelly Bean’. It’s packed to the brim with functionality, ranging from simple widgets, to hidden features that will please even the most advanced Android user. Here are our top tips and tricks for Nexus 4 owners.
Get to know Google Now
Android Jelly Bean ushered in a new era of search with Google Now. It’s incredibly fast, can be accessed really easily, and you can even search by voice. To access Google Now, tap and hold your finger on the home icon at the bottom of the homecreen and slide up to the Google logo that appears above.
Google Now can be accessed even when the phone is locked or in any menu, and it’s really useful. Users can quickly type in a search or tap the microphone and speak to the Nexus 4, and the best thing is that it remembers what is searched for – if you’re logged into your Goole account and look up a cinema using Google on your PC, Google Now on your Nexus 4 will give you directions and travel advice relating to that search.
Personalise your phone
The Nexus 4 has a new notification bar that allows you to create a profile, just like you would do on a PC or Mac. Your profile can be customised by adding a picture, which is displayed as a thumbnail in the notification bar.
To add your own picture, drag the notification bar down from the top of the screen and then tap the box above your name. Tap the grey Contact box that appears, then the three grey dots in the top right corner, followed by Edit. Tap the grey face icon on the right and then you can choose to take a picture using the front facing camera, or simply choose a photo that already exists on your phone.
Take a screenshot
Taking a screenshot with the Nexus 4 is easy, once you know how. It’s a case of pressing the power and volume down buttons together and holding for a second before releasing. If you get it right, the phone will emit a shutter sound and you’ll see the screenshot appear.
You can quickly share your screenshot via email, Facebook, Twitter and more by then dragging the notification bar down and tapping Share.
Set a screensaver
Another new feature in Android 4.2 is called Daydream, which allows you to have a screensaver on your Nexus 4. It needn’t be just a boring moving wallpaper either – the Nexus 4 can show you the news, your favourite photos, or your alarms.
To set up a screensaver on your phone, open Settings and then head into Display. Open Daydream and slide the switch across to turn the feature on. Then, choose what you want to be displayed when the phone enters Daydream mode. You can also set when the phone ‘Daydreams’.
Add apps to your lockscreen
The lockscreen isn’t just for security purposes, it can be useful too. It’s nice to be able to glance quickly at your phone and get the information you need without the fuss of entering a pin code or pattern to unlock it. With the Nexus 4, you can add your emails, calendar and other information to multiple lockscreens, which can be scrolled through when your phone is locked.
When in the lockscreen you can swipe left or right to open up a new ‘page’. Tap the + icon on the page and you’ll get a choice of features that can be added. This can be repeated on as many pages as you like, meaning that you can have plenty of apps ready for quick access
Bonus: Play the hidden ‘Beanflinger’ game
Google likes to hide an ‘Easter Egg’ in every new version of Android, and in Jelly Bean 4.2 there’s an interactive game hidden away. To find it, follow the steps below:
Open Settings > Scroll down and tap ‘About hone’ > Tap repeatedly on ‘Android version’ > Hold your finger on the giant red jelly bean.
You’ll now have a screen full of floating jelly beans which can be flung around with a flick of your finger. It might not keep you occupied for long, but it’s still a nice touch from Google.
This guestpost was written by Dave West of GadgetHelpline.com, who specialise in offering the best UK based technical support and keeping people updated on the latest news, help hints and tips in the gadget world.