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Nexus 5 tips: 5 essential tricks to make the most of your Google smartphone

Sterling Keys

The Nexus 5 might be destined to be replaced shortly by Google, but that it doesn’t mean that it isn’t still a great smartphone choice for users. Sure, there are a phones being released that have better displays and processors, but the Nexus 5 can still hold itself up to the competition. Here are a few more Nexus 5 tips and tricks to get a little more oomph out of your Nexus 5, and other Nexus devices, for the next little while. 

phase beam nexus 5 live wallpaper

Print Via the Cloud

Android 4.4 offers easy printing of your documents, images, and photos from any printer, provided that is connected to the same WiFi network you’re on and you’ve got Cloud Print Service enabled.  If you’ve got Android 4.4 (which you should on your Nexus 5), all you need to do is activate it by going to Settings > Printing and click on the Google Cloud Print option. From there, you can just simply use this service to print via the Cloud.


If you don’t see the Google Cloud Print option when you look in your settings, you can manually install it via the Google Play Store.

Quicker way to Quick Settings

Normally, you’ve got to first swipe down to get into your Notification Bar and then click on the top right corner to access your Quick Settings. Thankfully, you can cut the notification bar right out of the picture with new quick access: simply swipe down with two fingers instead of one from the top of the display and it’ll bring you straight to your Quick Settings.

Organize your screen with folders

It’s a pretty simple trick but I’ve seen my fair share of completely unorganized home screens. By adding similar themed apps together, you can have a ton of apps at the touch of your fingertips without having to deal with pages and pages off apps. Simply do a long press on an app and then drag it onto another app icon and it’ll automatically create a folder. From there, you can rename the folder to whatever you like. In our example, we’ve placed Plex and Netflix into a folder and named it Media.


Root, root, root.

If you want to take total control of your Nexus 5, install a custom ROM, remove native applications, or want to try out some of those applications on the Google Play Store that require root access, then maybe it is time to check out rooting your Nexus 5. Follow our step by step tutorial on how to root the Google Nexus 5.

root nexus 5 teaser

As with anything having to do with rooting and unlocking a bootloader on a device, make sure to backup any relevant data before you make the attempt.

Save your batteries

Having a little bit of an issue with your Nexus 5 not being able to last the entire day? It may entirely have to do with some of the settings that are enabled by default. If you’re looking to gain a little bit more life, you can first stop the device from constantly searching for Wi-Fi and limiting the amount of GPS requests that your device makes.  In order to stop constant searching of Wi-Fi, simply go to Settings > Wi-Fi > Advanced Options . From there, you can decide whether you can to keep Wi-Fi on when the device is asleep, disable having it always be scanning, and also enable Wi-Fi optimization.


From there, you can head over to Settings > Location > Location Mode and determine how specific you want your device to be when using location settings. A battery saving mode is available that will use only your Wi-Fi and mobile networks, as opposed to GPS, in order to determine your location. While this might reduce the accuracy of localization services, it will help save some of your battery over the course of the day.

Quick Access to the Camera

One of the best parts of having a mobile device with a camera is to be able to take photos quickly and on the fly. Rather than having to unlock your device, fire open the camera app, and then take a picture, you can easily access your camera straight from your lock screen. All you have to do is click the icon in the lower right corner of your lock screen and drag it to the left. Voila! Your camera will fire up.

androidpit nexus 5 lockscreen
The camera icon on your lock screen works as a shortcut to your camera, but can be switched out for something else. © ANDROIDPIT

What other tips do you know for the Nexus 5? Have any of these been helpful for you?