tips and tricks for Nexus 5

33 Unexplored Tips and Tricks for Nexus 5: Unleash the Beast

When was the past time you pushed your Nexus 5 to the max? When I bought my Nexus 5 it looked like a simple phone, but it wasn’t until I learned how to print from the cloud and unlock offensive words that I knew it was perfect for me.

I, myself, have had problems previously getting used to the Android OS and I’ve  made this tips and tricks for Nexus 5 list so that new users can instantly use all the coolest features on the device. You might even be interested in getting the new Android L on your Nexus 5 to start off.

1. Lockscreen Widgets

In order to enable widgets on your lockscreen, go to the Settings app, select Security and make sure that the Enable widgets option is checked. Go to your lockscreen and tap on the Plus icon to add your favorite widgets.

Lockscreen widget

2. Quick Settings Menu

This is one of my favorite of the tips and tricks for Nexus 5 since it can make things a lot easier. When you pull down the status bar, you get a notifications menu with all your latest notifications. In order to use this tray as a quick settings panel, pull down the status bar using two fingers. You’ll now see a grid of quick settings toggles, such as WiFi and Bluetooth.

3. Backup your Nexus 5

Backing up the phone is quite simple and it takes only a couple of seconds. Go to the Settings app, tap on Backup & reset and select the Backup my data option. Your phone’s data should now be backed up on cloud and you’ll be able to restore it whenever you reset your phone.

4. Cloud Printing

Google’s Cloud Printing feature was one of the most anticipated features for Android and you can easily print wirelessly from your Nexus 5. Go to the Settings app, select Printing and enable the Cloud Print feature. You’ll now be able to add your wireless printer to your Nexus 5.

cloud print

5. Install APK files

While the feature has been around for years, most new Android users are unaware and they are unable to install APK files due to a security warning. In order to enable this, go to the Settings app, tap on security and enable the Unknown sources option. You’ll now be able to install your favorite APK apps and games.

unknown sources

6. Face Unlock

This is one of the more unique options from our tips and tricks for Nexus 5. To enable Face Unlock, open the Settings app, go to Security, select Screen lock and tap on Face Unlock. You’ll now be able to unlock your phone after the camera scans your face.

7. Capture Screenshot

Almost all Android devices can take screenshots and the Nexus 5 is no different. In order to capture your screen, go to the screen that you want to capture and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously. The screenshot will be available from your notifications bar.

8. Enable Developer Mode

By default the developer mode is hidden and there’s a trick to unlock it. Go to the Settings app, select About phone and keep tapping on Build number until you see a You are now a developer popup message. The Developer options menu should now be unlocked in your Settings app.

developer options

9. Unlock Offensive Words

I’m sure we all swear from time to time while sending text messages and if you’ve had your offensive words blocked previously, then this is the trick that you’re looking for. Go to the Settings app, select Language & input and tap on the Settings icon next to the keyboard you’re using. Make sure that the Block offensive words option is disabled. You can now swear as much as you want!

google keyboard

10. Change Hangouts As Default SMS App

The Google Hangouts app is the default SMS app on the Nexus 5 and while I like the interface and features, some of you might not be comfortable with your online instant messages and SMS messages combined in a single app. There are tons of third-party SMS apps available on the Google Play Store, To change Hangouts as your default SMS app, go to Settings, select wireless and networks, tap on Default SMS app and select your desired app.

hangout sms

11. WiFi Hotspot

WiFi hotspot is one of the most useful features of the Nexus 5 and enabling it is really easy. Tap on More below the Wireless and networks tab in the Settings app, go to Tethering and portable hotspot and make sure that Portable WiFi hotspot is enabled. This, along with a quality case to protect the phone while on the move is perfect for travels.

12. Disable Google Now

While Google Now is one of the most used features of the Android OS, I find it annoying, which is why I’ve disabled it on my phone. If you want to disable it as well, open Google Now, tap on the Menu button and select Settings. Turn the toggle from On to Off next to Google Now.

google now

13. Google Now On Lockscreen

Now, you can launch Google Now from your Nexus 5’s lockscreen. Simply slide up the small arrow at the bottom of the lockscreen and you’ll be taken to Google Now.

14. Camera HDR

If you’re disappointed with your Nexus 5’s camera, I have the solution. With HDR+, you should definitely see the difference and your photos should come out crisper. While in the Settings menu of the Camera app, switch the HDR+ option to On.

15. Owner Info

In order to display owner information on the lockscreen, open the Settings app, go to Security, select Owner info and tap on Type in info.

16. Battery Info

For finding out what’s taking up most of your battery juice, simply tap on the Battery tile in the Quick settings menu. You’ll now be able to see all your battery information.


17. Convert Your eBook Into An Audio Book

For enabling this nifty item from our tips and tricks for Nexus 5, go to the Settings app, select Accessibility and make sure that the Talk Back option is enabled. In the Google Play Books app, enable Automatically read aloud. Your Nexus 5 now reads your eBooks aloud.

18. Setting Mood In Hangouts

In order to tell your contacts what you’re feeling, tap on Settings in the Hangouts app and select Set mood. You can now select your mood from the various options available.

19. Data Usage Info

If you’re worried that you might have used too much data, you can monitor your data consumption by going to the Settings app and tapping on Data usage.

20. Home Screen Folders

If you have lots of app shortcuts on your homescreen, you might want to create a folder. In order to do so, simply hold and drag any app shortcut on another app shortcut. This will automatically give you an option to create a folder.

21. Video Captions

If you want to enable closed captions while watching videos, go to the Settings app, select Accessibility and tap on Captions. Make sure that the toggle is turned on.


22. Magnification Gestures

To enable deeper zoom by triple tapping a photo on your Nexus 5, go to the Settings app, tap on Accessibility and enable the Magnification Gestures option.

magnification gestures

23. Daydream Mode

Daydream mode lets you keep your phone’s screen on, displaying a screen saver type view. To enable it, go to Settings, select Display and tap on Daydream.

24. Launch Camera From Lockscreen

In order to directly launch your camera from the lockscreen, swipe from left to right and the camera app will launch automatically.

25. Capture Photo While Recording

To take pictures while recording a video using your camera, simply tap on the screen while the video is being recorded.

26. Hidden KitKat Easter Egg Animation

Like other Android firmware versions, KitKat has its own secret animation. To view the hidden Easter egg animation, go to About phone in the Settings app and keep tapping on Android version until you see the animation.

27. Locate Phone Numbers

While in the Dialer app, start typing the name of the place that you want to call. Google will automatically display the nearest places with their phone numbers and you’ll be able to call them directly.

smart dialer

28. Enable ART

While ART is still not 100% stable, you can try it out and improve the performance of your phone. Open the Settings app, go to Developer options, tap on Select runtime and select Use ART. This is used for developer feedback.

enable art

29. Battery Saving

GPS is one of the things that consumes a lot of battery, but you can now enable a hidden battery saving mode to improve your battery life. Go to Location in the Settings app and enable the Battery saving option.

battery saving

30. Multitasking

This is another one of my favorite tips and tricks for Nexus 5 since it lets you navigate between various apps. In order to use it, simply press the Multitasking on-screen button on the bottom right. This will bring up all the apps that you have opened.


31. Compare Gaming Performance

Now, you can compare your game performance with your contacts.  Launch the Google Play Games app, go to the Players tab and view the gaming activities of your contacts.

32. Snooze Notifications

The Hangouts app now lets you snooze notifications for a particular time frame. In order to use this, open the Hangouts app, go to Settings, tap on Snooze Notifications and select your desired time frame.

33. Add Widgets

Adding widgets on the homescreen couldn’t be more easier, and you don’t have to go all the way to the App drawer to set up widgets. Just long press on a blank area on your homescreen and tap on Widgets.


I remember switching to the Android OS a couple of years back and even though it all looked confusing at first, I was able to get a grip on the OS quite quickly. If you haven’t used the Android OS before, the Nexus 5 is one of the best phones to discover Android’s awesomeness. You can even root the Nexus 5 to get more awesomeness.

The tips and tricks for Nexus 5 mentioned above should help you with various things and they offer great ways to find out about all the secret features on the Nexus 5. If you would like to share any tips and tricks for Nexus 5 drop us a line in the comments below.

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    1. Hey Pascal, that would be annoying. I’m not sure where it is showing as megabit. Can you attach a screenshot? In my nexus 5, both in data calculation and downloads app it shows only in mega byte.

  1. Hi — I have Battery Doctor installed to help save power etc. Every time I check it (sometimes 5 mins after closing apps) there are *so* many apps open. They must be opening automatically every time I use my phone? How do I control which apps open on startup in order to save battery power? Thank you…

    1. Hi Cynth, I think you are talking about system processes. These cannot be killed as they need to be running in the background to make sure your phone works fine. Funcationlity like cell tower reception, data reception are all governed by processes which cannot be killed.

  2. Is there any method to record calls on nexus 5
    I tried various call recorders, but could not record calls on nexus 5 !

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