Nexus 4 Tips & Tricks To Get Things Started

By Alexandra Burlacu email: | Feb 17, 2013 10:37 AM EST

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The Nexus 4 has enjoyed wild success, and the lucky ones who managed to get it now have a powerful handset for a great mobile experience.

If the shortages are any indication, demand for the Nexus 4 took both Google and LG by surprise. Those who did manage to get the stock Android powerhouse, however, can now enjoy what the handset has to offer. Here are some helpful tips & tricks to get things started in optimizing the device.

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How To Take A Screenshot

To take a screenshot on the Nexus 4, simply hold the Volume Down and the Power buttons at the same time. The Volume rocker is on the left side, and the Power button on the right.

How To Access Quick Settings

Users can access Quick Settings from the usual Notifications screen that pulls down from the top of the display, but few know about the quick access method. Instead of pulling down the notifications with one finger, using two fingers will get straight into the Quick Settings menu, where users can access Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Brightness, and other settings.

How To Use Swype (Gesture Typing)

Google added gesture typing in Android 4.2, which means that users can drag their finger from letter to letter to compose words, and lift it to create a space. To enable Swype, go to Settings, select Language & Input, then tap the settings icon next to the Android keyboard and tick "Enable gesture typing."

How To Enable Lock Screen Widgets

To add various widgets such as Calendar, Gmail, Messaging, or Digital Clock, just swipe to the right from the lock screen and tap the "+" sign to add a widget. This will help users save time, as they no longer have to unlock their Nexus 4 each time they want to peek at the newest email or text. Users can add up to five lock screen widgets from apps that support the option. Meanwhile, swiping left from the lock screen allows users to quickly access the handset's camera. Entering the password or pattern is still required to read a full email or to reply, but the lock screen widget allows users to see the sender, subject and first line, so they can decide whether to unlock the handset or let it slide. On the other hand, some users may be concerned with security risks.

How To Set Up Security

Speaking of security risks, here's how to protect your handset from prying eyes. Access the Settings > Lock screen > Screen lock and set a password, PIN, or pattern. In terms of malware risks, try antivirus apps. Such security apps not only offer malware protection, but also tools to help users find their Nexus 4 in case the device is lost or stolen. Those who still believe good Samaritans exist can also set up owner information on the lock screen from Settings > Security > Owner info. From there, check the box for Show owner info on lock screen. This way, if someone finds a Nexus 4 they can get in touch with the owner.

How To Manage Apps

First of all, many users may like to disable some of the apps that come preinstalled on the Nexus 4. To remove an app, go to Settings > Apps, then scroll to the All tab and select the app in question. Tapping "disable" will remove the app from the home screen and put it at the bottom of the All tab in case you want to enable it again later. To make some room, users can also organize their apps into folders. To do this, simply press and hold an app icon and drag it on top of another app icon. Tap the folder name to change it.

How To Sync Bookmarks And Search

Android now uses Chrome as the default browser, which means that users can sync their desktop bookmarks and search history across multiple devices. Sync should be automatic provided that users sign into Chrome and use the same Google account on all devices. Specific options are available in Chrome in the Settings menu > Advanced sync settings.

How To Set Mobile Data Limits

Android has a built-in feature that allows users to set data alerts and limits to avoid going overboard and incur coverage charges. To set such limits, go to Settings > Data Usage and check the box for Set mobile data limit. Users can also scroll down and see just how much data each app used.

These are just a few tips & tricks to get things started, but the Nexus 4 is a capable device with far more features and benefits. Know your device well to maximize its potential!

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