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25+ Tips and Tricks for the Nexus 5

nexus 5 tips and tricks

I know this seems like it is three months late, but here we are, bringing you our latest in the “25+ tips and tricks” video series, this time for the Nexus 5. These tips and tricks clips became a regular feature here on DL over the last year, thanks to a great reader response both here and on YouTube. Since we had enough requests of, “Where is the Nexus 5 tips and tricks video?” we finally brought one to life.

As you can imagine with a tips and tricks video for the Nexus 5, a lot of what you will see is simple Android tips and tricks. With the Nexus 5 running (mostly) stock Android 4.4, many of the tips we show were already featured in our Kit Kat tips and tricks video that were released shortly after it launched. Still, we try to hammer through them quickly and efficiently, so that even novice users can learn a thing or two about their new device.

We touch on everything from wireless charging and turning off Google Now, to switching between 3rd party launchers using the newly introduced built-in setting and snapping photos with volume keys. 

  • Bessie Arino

    Just left Verizon, today, for T-Mobile and got the Nexus 5. Freaken love it! Thanks for this video :)

  • Shawn John

    Not really a Nexus 5 tip, more like a kitkat tip, but you can use your volume control button to snap a picture instead of trying to focus and press the goofy button Onscreen.

  • lol@mylife

    My first smartphone ever. Just what a teen like me needs!

  • Cory_S

    Android: Because nerds love clocks.

  • WCM3

    Thanks for the tips/tricks, Kellen! I noticed you are running this on AIO. How’s the service? Is the 8 mbps really the max you can get? I was debating switching from verizon.

    • Jim Davis

      I switched to AIO on Tuesday. Ookla’s Speedtest does indicate that it’s capped at 8Mb/s when on LTE. I’ve only had it for a week, but I like it so far.

  • Dana

    This is a great device. So enjoyable. You can make it better by using constant social widget that you can view all the time. When you use your apps you can always reach your preferable sites. You can use this link to get the widget. Developers, get 25$ bonus http://www.appoptim.com/referral/index.php?ref=12354&idcmp=135&idbn=0

  • Truffol

    Hardware wise, a case is essentially to protect the raised camera lens on the back. Wonder why this was the design in the first place, or perhaps the camera is just too thick for the phone.

    • Brian Barcus

      That housing around the camera lens is apparently for mounting magnetic bluetooth cameras. I don’t know if they are popular anywhere but it seems like someone in Google’s design team likes them.

  • lanazastrow

    I should be getting my Nexus 5 in the mail soon, but got nervous after reading bad reviews about it! Comments on here make me feel more secure about my choice of new phone :)

    • n900mixalot

      The bad reviews are from people who want more and who don’t install roms. It’s a fine phone if that’s what you want to do, otherwise it is just … another phone.

  • allawi

    Any one solved the SMS popup issue ?

    • n900mixalot

      Issue?! THERE ARE NO ISSUES WITH ANY NEXUS! /s

      • allawi

        I have been struggling to have the SMS popped up on lock screen just like whatsapp

  • cj

    I think that you could expand on the details of Google Now. Such as how it works… To set a reminder, I can say “OK Google. Remind me to get milk when I get to the Safeway grocery store.”.
    Or “OK Google. Send Johanna a text message. We need milk”
    Or “OK Google. Remind me to buy milk on Tuesday.”

    That is all very cool. What else can Google now do?

    • Jason Bourne

      Okay Google, open Netflix.
      Okay Google, wake me up in 3 hours.
      Okay Google, how tall is Lebron James?

  • Alex S

    He didn’t say “Welcome Back”!

  • DanSan

    had no idea smart dialer was a nexus 5 exclusive. just tried it on my vzw gs4 running cm11 and i got slightly disappointed :(

  • grumpyfuzz

    Hey Kellen, in your unboxing video you said you decided you wanted the black one instead (just watched it). Now that you own both, which one are you liking more?

  • Manny H

    I absolutely love my Nexus 5. Just got it on sat and can’t put it down. Put the GS4 in my sock drawer, lol. Funny cause the T-Mobile rep was looking at me all funny for putting down the GS4 for the N5. Rocking the N5 with Cataclysm, Franco, Action Launcher & Display Control Tweeks. Lightning fast & smooth as silk.

    • Steve

      Same story, Tmobile guy did a double take when I handed him my s4. So far I love it

  • Desolater

    My Nexus 5 glitched and now my screen is upside down and backwards and non responsive to any touch input

    • n900mixalot

      The Nexus is perfect. It has no issues. Pure Aaaannnndroiiiiid! /s

  • jbworldwide1

    This is my first Nexus phone, I do own a N7 but I’m blown away by this device. It’s Nexus or nothing for me now.

    • rals

      i did a side by side with a Moto-X. As much as i love the pure performance of the Nexus, the Moto-X is a little nicer to hold and the active notifications is pretty nice. Above all else, the most of us on this site are on verizon and this is closest we can get to stock.

  • Morbid138

    Wanna make your Nexus 5 better? Root and install Franco Kernel. You can make the display better and get about 4-6 hours screen on time!

    • Philip J. Fry

      Yes! It’s crazy how much the display is washed out compared to all the custom color profiles on XDA.

      • Morbid138

        Yep! I can’t believe Google shipped the devices with that calibration. Franco Kernel saved me from returning my Nexus 5. If you like your Nexus 5 now, you’ll love it with Franco Kernel!

        • Connor Lindsay

          How do I do this?

          • Morbid138

            YouTube it. Its a whole new world!

          • AlpaXray

            such a magical place

      • Morbid138

        Yep! I can’t believe Google shipped the devices with that washed out calibration. Franco Kernel saved me from returning my Nexus 5. If you like your Nexus 5 now, you’ll love it with Franco Kernel!

        • Tom

          What settings are you using in Franco? I just loaded it on my phone and an actually getting worse battery from stock (ever so slightly)

      • Spencer Walker

        True to life color isn’t washed out its true to life lol do you want cartoony touchwiz amoled

        • Philip J. Fry

          It looks nothing like touchwiz. Every color is correct by gamma settings.

          • Spencer Walker

            Where’s bender I could use a drinking buddy

        • mikeym0p

          We dont oversat the screens, we make the greys grey instead of sepia or blue.

          • Spencer Walker

            ? Confused sorry I don’t get your comment

          • mikeym0p

            When we tweak the colors, our ultimate goal is not always increased saturation like AMOLED screens. It’s the balance the greys, which usually are yellow tinted or blue tinted on Android phones. On many Android phones the whites appear too blue or yellow and that is remedied as well.

    • Tom

      I got 4-6h of screen time by using Qualcomm’s battery saver tool. However if I can extend that with Franco Kernel I might.

      • Morbid138

        Go for it. Fixing the display is worth doing it too. I have no yellow tint on my screen. My whites are whiter than an iPhone and my colors pop almost like a GS4.

        • DroiderX

          Did you have to buy the Franco-updater app to adjust the screen color? How did you do it? I already Installed it on my N5, and at first glance I can say that whites look different, warmer I think, but maybe I’m just imaging things..

          • Morbid138

            You can install the updater app or the nexus display control app. Installing franco kernel itself won’t automatically make your display better but it will allow the function to calibrate your screen correctly.

        • mikeym0p

          I second this, I install customer kernels JUST to under-volt and re-balance my Screen colors. For some reason Android OEMS can’t see white. Especially if you’re using an AMOLED screen, those things have such ugly whites.

      • Ian Smith

        this is an official Qualcomm app?

        • Tom

          Yup, the official Qualcomm app. Works pretty well too.

    • Cory_S

      I never get more than 2 on mobile data…maybe 3 on WiFi. I’m on the latest Franco.

      • Morbid138

        My record has been 4 hours on 4g and 5 and half on WiFi.

        • Cory_S

          What do you average?

          • Morbid138

            4 hours.

          • 1TallTXn

            your record and average are the same? What’s that I smell?

          • Cory_S

            Yeah.. Seems there are always people out there that makeup battery numbers for whatever reason.

  • Shane Redman

    Used to be 25+ Tips and Tips for ‘lastest version of android’. Then Google had to go and make exclusive android features.

  • Philip J. Fry

    Don’t know what else to say about this phone but it’s simply amazing. After coming from a GN2, I don’t think I can go back to skinned Android.

    • ready2rise

      I’m having a hard time choosing between this phone and an unlocked note 3 with rooted Kitkat. I had a nexus 5 for a few days but sent it back because I was undecided. To add I had no issues with battery life either I got 58 hrs out of the battery with 5hrs screen on and a good amount of idle time of course out of 4.4.2 I really miss it now and wonder if it’s worth skipping for the camera and battery of the note 3 unlocked

  • nabooska

    Kellen, do you recommend keeping Google Now disabled?

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      No not at all, I always have it enabled. Was just showing that option in the vid in case people don’t want it.

      • nabooska

        Cool thanks

    • Tom

      Google Now is practically psychic for me now. It knows things before I know I want to know them.

      • nabooska

        It’s just creepy that it knows my work, home, school without me even having to input it. I’m more concerned on the battery drain due to the location services Google Now uses

        • sc0rch3d

          I have a Moto X on KitKat and was leary about leaving location enabled (didn’t do that on my 2 previous Nexus devices). It has worked surprisingly well, both in the battery department and fine tuning GNow.