Android Tips and Tricks: How to Get the Most Out of Your Nexus 5

Rafia Shaikh

Nexus 5 tips - Standalone SMS app:

In Nexus 5, SMS application is integrated with Google Hangouts. This setting comes pre-configured and is very popular. However, if you prefer a standalone SMS application, download some third-party SMS app from Play Store and tweak the settings. Here is how:

  • Go to Settings > More and tap on Default SMS app.
  • Once here you can choose any third-party SMS app downloaded from Play Store.

Relevant read: Android Tips and Tricks: How to Block Phone Calls on Android – No Apps Required!

Quick Camera access from Lock-screen:nexus 5 guide

One of the very useful Nexus 5 tips is the quick camera accessibility. Right on your lockscreen, you can see the tiny camera icon; swipe it to left to open camera without even unlocking your device.

Nexus 5 tips - photography, how to get the best shots:

Nexus 5 camera has been in the limelight (albeit not any good) since the launch of the smartphone. The latest Android 4.4.1 KitKat update was released to fix the camera issue, which upgraded it considerably. Users are still though complaining about image quality in the dim lighting.

To take better photos in low light conditions, set your camera to HDR as this mode combines two images taken at lower and higher exposures making the end photo quite rich in color. You can read about more tips on smartphone photography here.

Quick Settings:

This is just a reminder tip; the Quick Settings in Android give you some easy access to notifications. Swipe down from the top of the screen and you will a notification center. One finger swipe brings down notification center, two fingers swipe will open the Quick Settings and Toggles menu for you. 

Lock-screen playback controls:

You can use the pause button for many other settings while using Google Play Music, Movies or Chromecast. When your Nexus 5 is locked, press and hold the pause button to move forward or rewind the media you are listening to.

Relevant links: Play Store 4.5.10 Features

Google Nexus 5 tips - OK Google settings:nexus 5 tips

Saying OK Google at your home-screen brings up the Google Now. However, for this to work your language should be set to US English.

  • Go to Settings > Language & Input > Voice Speech > Language.
  • Once in Language, tap English and choose English (US).
  • Go back to homescreen and say OK Google and the voice search will be activated.

Android 4.4 ART:nexus 5 tips and tricks

Google has introduced development feature ART (Android Runtime) replacing the elder Dalvik. ART helps the app run faster by compiling them ahead of time giving you ready-to-run apps after you first install them.

  • Go to Settings > About Phone and tap the build number section a few times until it says you are a developer.
  • Go back to Settings > Developer Options > Runtime and select ART

Relevant read: The Best Smartphones to Look Forward to in 2014

Background processes:

  • Go to Setting Developer Options and you will see a Process Stats option. Process Stats show you background applications and processes and is a very helpful tool to check what your Nexus 5 is running.
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