Got Nexus 4. Halp. Wat do?

After all this blog has been through-- Exposing Creationist plagiarism and idiocy, laughing in the faces of anti-vaxers/HIV denialists/GMO alarmists/other anti-science quacks, effectively eradicating a 'retrovirus'-- This might be one of the most controversial posts on ERV, ever.

I got a Nexus 4.

"*rolleyes* Yes, Android vs Apple, how 'controversial'. And by 'controversial' we mean 'a tired cliche'" some of you might be thinking.

No, I dont mean Apple vs Android.  I love my Apple products, a Macbook from 2007, and iMac from 2008. I just gave them both $50 memory upgrades, and they run like brand new.  Other than some cracks in my Macbook Ive toted everywhere, like a 5 year old and his stuffed bear, considering their age, these computers have held up *much* better over time than the PCs I built myself (please note: PCs I build myself have caught on fire, so, yeah...).

What I mean is, my last phone was a Blackberry Pearl.  Yeah.  I got it 2008-ish, I think.  Ive never had a smartphone, because I couldnt afford it.  The Blackberry worked, my cell bill is like $20 added on as a family line to my parents bill.  Compare that to the the cost of the new smartphones, plus somewhere up to $100 a month for a data plan? No thank you.

But my Blackberry is finally dying (NOOOO!), there are lots of alternative options to traditional overpriced phone plans (T-mobile $30, Straight Talk $45), thanks to Obamacare Im not paying for birth control every month now, and the Nexus 4 was coming out.  A high-end phone at a relatively low price ($299 vs its $550 ATT Optimus G counterpart), that gets upgrades straight from Google.

So I got one.

I got one.

Because of Google Play store issues, lots of people couldnt get their orders to go through, ever, and then it sold out.

In addition to that, lots of people who got to place an order got emails saying 'Yeah, you know how your order went through? Yeah, well, we kinda ran out. Youll get your phone in like three weeks. Maybe? Thanks."

Lots and lots and lots of people, dedicated Android users, hardcore phone connoisseurs, and good-ol-fashioned fan boy/girls didnt get a Nexus 4.  And people are pissed off.

But I did. It actually came on Friday morning.

Yeah... This is me playing with my Nexus 4:

Like I said, this is an upgrade from a Blackberry Pearl. I have no idea what Im doing.

I got Netflix to work (it looks great!). I figured out how to get the voice feature to type messages out for me on Facebook.  Ive probably had the most fun with the voice feature-- Im asking it stupid scientific questions, it totally gets it, asking it for directions to wild places, it get it, but it has no clue what my partner, who has a thick Spanish accent, is saying. Weve had a lot of fun with that.

And thats it.

Im sure there are lots of cool features for Jellybean 4.2 (I did figure out how to install the upgrades! by accident!) and must-have apps and amazing stuff... that I dont even know exist.  Im hoping any Android users out there will have some tips for me, and can forgive me for getting a Nexus 4 before you-- I know youre mad, but have pity on me!  I had a Blackberry Pearl!



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First, for the record, I want one. But, since my current smart phone is a Nexus 6, I don't need one yet. I'm fine for a while. Google essentially invented Android, and the Nexus phones were pretty close to being Google phones, but they were not. They were simply very well designed and powerful…

Well I guess it depends on what you want to do with your Nexus 4. One of the things that I would suggest is getting a QR Code reader since so many things have QR Codes to look at.

Are you a member of a frequent flier program? If you are, go forth and download that airline's app. While you're at it, there are some cool flight tracking apps out there that give you more up to date information than the airlines, so you might want to get one of those (although they are usually not free).

Do you like games? I would suggest getting pretty much any game by Kairosoft. They are usually fun, and a great way to burn up 15 minutes at a time (or more if you get addicted).

One other thing I suggest is that you use the play store on the computer. You can actually buy all of your apps on your computer, and then transfer the app to your Nexus 4 automagically. That's how I usually buy my apps and I think it's a better method.

Also, did you know that you can use your Nexus 4 to pay for things via Google Wallet? If you can find places that take such payments, it's very cool to just wave your device in front of a reader and pay that way.

That's about all I can think of, off the top of my head. Do you have any specific questions maybe?

Oh one other thing I would suggest is that when you're away from a wifi location (like your home) that you turn off wifi to conserve battery. You'd be surprised how much longer the phone will last when you turn off wifi while you're out and about. You can do that by bringing down the notifications and just clicking on the wifi icon.

Actually, WiFi is ***much*** more power efficient than 3G/4G. I'd recommend leaving both on all the time, because I hate shutting one off and then forgetting its off. FWIW: I'd suggest just making sure you have 3 chargers: (1) at home, (2) at work, and (3) in your bag whenever your travel.

Good Luck. Hope you enjoy it

-Bob (iPhone fanatic)

By Mork from Ork (not verified) on 19 Nov 2012 #permalink

Look for an app called "Llama". It's a scheduler/tasker app that allows you to define locations which it learns to identify based on which cell towers are nearby. Then you can define audio and other profiles based on the location. So for example you could teach it what location is "work" and what location is "home", and have it automatically, say, silence your phone at work or turn it loud at home, or have it quiet your phone at night, or turn on certain apps at certain times,etc. Also, it's free.

By Scott Mauldin (not verified) on 19 Nov 2012 #permalink

QR codes that actually do something besides take you to a website are cool.

both of them.

as well, I'd leave wifi on. The numbers of places with free wifi are pretty large, and it never impinges on your cell data limits. (never, ever, believe anyone selling you "unlimited data" that shit is a sucker bet, and never lives for long, or has an interesting definition of "unlimited". Really, providing network infrastructure costs money every day. Anyone not charging you for it is up to something.)

By John C. Welch (not verified) on 19 Nov 2012 #permalink

Also, do be careful of what you get even on Google play. Google is trying to deal with a steadily rising malware issue, and I wish them luck on it. It's a bear of a problem

By John C. Welch (not verified) on 19 Nov 2012 #permalink

Two words: Google Skymap

Just do it.

^^ Wot they said:-[, tho I'd go with the turning wifi on only when needed bit to save battery. It's so easy to use the pull-down at top of tje screen. And I'd add to install firefox as the browser, with ad blocker as that cuts down the data usage. There's one or two wee niggly things it can't do tho buf worth it on the whole.

...also maybe get a better on-screen keyboard?

If you're directionally challenged like me, a car locator app is a must for when you go to a game at a stadium, a megamall, or concert. Just search for "car locator" in Google Play. You'll see a few choices, some are free.

As an iPhone owner, I pass gas in your general direction

Apps to get:

Zedge: ringtones, backgrounds, notification sounds

Alarm Clock Xtreme: great alarm clock you can get to play any ring tone, starts soft and gets louder so you don't get jolted awake, etc. Plus, it has a great countdown timer.

TiKL: touch to talk, mobile to mobile... Quick and easy

Zenonia: great series of action RPGs if you need something to waste your time.

By Kemanorel (not verified) on 21 Nov 2012 #permalink

Kindle for Android. I no longer carry my venerable Kindles around-- I use my Asus Android tablet for that. I also use several widgets to customize my desktops to my liking, including switchers (such that I can switch wifi on or off with a button). I'm not a fan of FireFox for Android-- it has a lousy interface. I prefer either Chrome or Opera mini myself.

And naturally, mine is rooted... mainly so I can use Titanium Backup, and actually create an image-backup of the whole thing, tweaked to my personal tastes. But I've been doing Android since the venerable G1, several years ago.

By Bob Powers (not verified) on 21 Nov 2012 #permalink

Many great tips in this comment thread already. Hopefully you'll consider a suggestion from a person dealing with CFS. ;-)

Perhaps you will derive some value from this screenshot oriented guide to 10 cool Jelly Bean 4.2 features.…

Oh.....and there's a must have app that does an instant XMRV test just by waving your Nexus 4 in front of your left elbow!

(totally kidding about the app......and I learned a lot from your evidence based smackdown of the XMRV correlation)

Enjoy your Nexus 4....and have a great Thanksgiving.



My most important apps :

Doggcatcher for podcasts (pay, but SOOOO worth it)

Titanium Backup, for backups (free+pay, worth the $)

Route 66 Maps and Navigation, for driving directions. It gives you what lane you need to get into when there is one of those tricky multiway intersections ($ sub or one time fee for the actual navigation)


My bank's App

By Robert Szasz (not verified) on 21 Nov 2012 #permalink

Welcome to the Android experience. Your future looks brighter, your maps will work better, and everything will now be OK.

But really, there are a lot of things *to* do, but what do you actually *want* to do, and how much effort do you want to expend to do it? For instance, there's an app called "Tasker" that allows you to use any trigger (location, wifi state, caller id, time of day, orientation of your phone etc) to activate any action. So I can make my phone go silent when I walk into a conference room or when my phone is face-down, but always turn the ringer on when my girlfriend or parents include the word "emergency" in a text message etc. The thing is, learning this app takes a lot of work, and there are alternatives that are easier but have a little less functionality.

I've been in the android ecosystem for about 5 years, feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you need help figuring something out :-)

Take a screen shot by pressing power button and decrease volume button simultaneously. Hold for about a sec. Save and send

Don't even ask questions, sooner or later you will have to root it, back it up, and you will probably want to unlock it, and install clockworkmod (custom recovery) and cyanogenmod (modified android with the restrictions that the phone carriers get google to put in removed)

Suggest gingerbreak for rooting.
Suggest ebay for unlocking, the phone codes can be had for about $2 each. Just search the exact model number of your phone and set the price range on the search.

Basically you are removing restrictions on 4 areas of memory : main memory (rooting), the cellular modem(unlocking), the recovery firmware area (a special area of the phone's built in flash), and the main firmware area.


Does tasker work on Nexus 4 for 'face down' functions?