Nexus 4: Top 5 Handy Features

By Anu Passary | Dec 17, 2012 01:33 PM EST

The Google Nexus 4 has been not the easiest to procure, thanks to the overwhelming and unprecedented demand. However, if you're amongst the lucky ones who managed to get the elusive Nexus 4 smartphone, we'll share a few handy features that will help you get the most out of your device.

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Here's a rundown of our top five handy features for the Nexus 4.

1. Face Unlock

The Nexus 4 packs in one of Android's distinctive features Face Unlock, which as the name suggests enables users to access their device using face recognition. To enable the Face Unlock feature go to Settings> Security > Screen Lock and finally select Face Unlock from the options.

Next, tap Continue and position yourself in front of the front-facing camera so that your face is visible in the Show Your Face screen. Center your face in the "put your face here" area that has been outlined. A Face Captured notification will pop up if the Face Unlock setup was a success.

Once the Face Unlock feature is set to a user's face, they will be prompted to set up a backup lock.  This backup is in case the phone does not recognize the user and in such a scenario will revert to an alternate security method for unlocking.

2. Trace-to-Type

Android 4.2 has a new trace-to-type keyboard feature. Those who are familiar with Swype will know what to expect. For the uninitiated, basically, instead of tapping each key to write something, users simply need to draw a line over the letters sequentially and lift their finger from the screen to add space and move to the next word.

To enable this feature on your Nexus 4, go to Settings > Language and Input and then select the Android Keyboard option. Ensure that you have ticked the 'Enable Gesture Typing' option and you're good to trace-to-type.

3. Faster Access To Quick Settings

The new Quick Settings menu on Android 4.2 can be accessed from the Notifications pane; however, for faster access without any fuss there's a shortcut. Simply drag down the pane with two fingers and you will jump to the Quick Settings option directly on your Nexus 4.

4. Lock Screen Widgets

Another distinctive feature for Android 4.2 is the lock screen widgets one. Now users can take photographs, browse the Internet, check e-mails and appointments on their Nexus 4 all without having to unlock the phone. This feature saves time and comes in handy especially if you're using a gesture or passcode to secure your Nexus 4. With this feature users will not need to input the codes every time they want to access their e-mails.

5. 360-degree Images Via Photo Sphere

While the Panorama feature is common on quite a few smartphones, Nexus 4 takes things a step further and can take 360-degree shots, courtesy its novel Photo Sphere option.

The Photo Sphere option enables users to take full Street-View style 360-degree images that they can swipe around on their phone. The in-built editing software lets users turn the images into a 'tiny planet' picture, as well as add tweaks and several effects. The only downer is that users need to take multiple shots to compose the image, but the final result is worth the trouble.

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