The Google Nexus 4 (or LG Nexus 4) is one of the newest handsets to run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out-the-box and slots in as the successor to last year’s stock Android Google phone; the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The new, powerful hardware, plus the latest additions to Jelly Bean make for a compelling smartphone recipe and we’ve collated some handy tips to get you started.

 

Tip 1: Notifications and quick settings

The first build of Android Jelly Bean let users pull down the notifications bar and access the full Settings menu by pressing an on-screen button, with the Nexus 4, swiping down with one finger reveals the notifications menu, whilst swiping down with two fingers grants quick access to control over brightness, WiFi, Bluetooth and more. Users can still access the full-fat Settings menu by hitting the Settings button in amidst the other options.

Tip 2: Gesture typing

The Nexus 4 allows gesture typing, which lets the user spell words simply by dragging their finger across the keyboard to the next appropriate letter, it makes for faster, more streamlined text entry throughout the UI. Those who’ve used Swype, or SwiftKey’s new Flow text entry will recognise this feature. Should you want to switch gesture typing off or on manually, head to the Settings menu, scroll down to ‘Language and Input’, tap the settings icon next to ‘Android Keyboard’ and tick or untick ’enable gesture typing’.

Tip 3: Daydream

One feature that adds a little playful functionality to the Nexus 4 is Daydream. Daydream acts similarly to a screensaver on your computer and can be set to automatically start up when the phone is docked or charging. Daydream can be set to display a clock, soothing colours, photos and even a fun minigame called BeanFlinger, all accessible under the Daydream menu in the Display settings, which is again accessible from the Settings menu.

Tip 4: Lockscreen Widgets

The lockscreen on the Nexus 4 displays a clock by default, however swiping to the left gives the user fast access to the camera to snap a quick shot, or the ability to add lockscreen widgets by swiping to the right. Out-of-the-box, lockscreen widgets include a calendar, email and messaging viewer, which can each be added, simply by tapping the desired widget and in some cases, configuring a few settings. The widget will then be accessible by swiping from the main lockscreen anytime you wake up the phone.

Tip 5: Screenshot

A simple, useful tool is the ability to be able to screenshot your device at any point. On the Nexus 4 it’s a matter of pressing the power/lock key and volume down key simultaneously. The moment the screenshot is captured it’ll appear in the notifications bar or be accessible from the Screenshots folder automatically created in the Gallery app.