New Nexus 4 - need advice

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by jrswizzle, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #1
    My new Nexus 4 arrived today and being a diehard iOS user, I'm not sure where to begin. If anyone has their top 5 android apps they'd recommend I'd love to check them out!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #2
    Just use the phone. Through using the phone, you will know what apps you feel you need.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #3
    Thanks for the tip....
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2008
    Location:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    #4
    What the other poster said was really good. You could also look at the apps that you use the most on iOS, and see if there are equivalents on Android, most mainstream apps will be there.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #5
    I didn't mean that to sound any sort of way beyond helpful. Apps you might use on iOS, you may not find necessary on Android. The best way to know what you need, is to use the device. Through using the device you will quickly know what apps you need for day to day use.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Tig Bitties

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    #6
    Add widgets to the home screen. Open app drawer, click widgets tab at top left.

    A classic widget is News and Weather. Can configure your local weather, plus any type of news you prefer.

    The calendar widget is useful too.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #7
    Amazon AppStore (through the Amazon site) - One free app a day. Usually nothing spectacular, but once in a while, there's a gem.

    Chrome Beta

    Astro File Manager - if you want to manage your files. I find it useful from time to time.

    Cerberus - Think "Find my iPhone" but with way more features.

    DropBox

    Gnotes - the best note taking app IMO. People will say Evernote is better, so that's another option.

    No Lock - allows you to turn off your lock screen when you feel you don't need it (when you're at home, for example). I love this.

    Power Toggles - BIG ONE. Definitely download, tinker, and have fun. Once you set it the way you like it, accessing settings is super fast. I'll post a pic of my set up to give you an idea.

    QuickOffice - great Word/Excel/PDF reader.

    Swiftkey 3 - Buy it. It's worth every penny. Best keyboard ever. 'Nuff said.

    Whatsapp - Free texting. Also consider Google Voice.

    Beautiful Widgets - Probably the most popular clock/weather widget. It's highly customizable, and a joy to have.

    Simple Calendar - Amazing calendar widget. Scrollable too, which I love.

    Don't forget about little things like Direct Dial (in the widgets menu) that allows you to put your favorite contacts onto the home screen. I keep my most frequently called contacts in a folder. Very convenient.

    Many many things to discover... Almost anything you want to do, there's an app for it. Have fun.




    You can see both my Power Widget and Beautiful Weather widget here:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. jrswizzle, Feb 1, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 603

    jrswizzle

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    #8
    Thanks! How much different is swift key than the new 4.2.1 keyboard? And which theme are you using for weather?
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Location:
    Southern California
    #9
    Swift Key is awesome. But go to the swiftkey flow website and download the beta and it will change your life! It's a combination of an awesome keyboard with swype.

    other apps I recommend:

    • Nova Launcher - Best Launcher Ever
    • Astrid - More powerful than iOS reminder and works across multiple platforms
    • Mighty Text - Send SMS through any computer with a browser, works best with Chrome
    • Air Droid - Basically control your phone from anything with a web browswer
    • PicasaTool - I disable picasa web on the gallery and use this instead. More memory efficient and saves space. Great if you want to have something similar to PhotoStream
    • Pixlr Express - photo editing on the go, simple and powerful
    • Play Music - billion times better than iTunes Music Match and syncs with iTunes as well.
    • Dogg Catcher - great to grab all your favorite podcasts
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #10
    You might find this helpful. It was written by someone moving from an iPhone to a Nexus 4. There is a list of apps if you scroll down a little in the article.

    http://gizmodo.com/5973073/an-iphone-lovers-confession-i-switched-to-the-nexus-4-completely

    Enjoy your new Nexus 4. I'll have mine on Monday. :)
     
  11. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, England
    #11
    Tasker, Astrid, Chrome (if not already on there), Nova/Apex launcher (I prefer Apex but they're pretty comparable), SwiftKey.

    ----------

    I have never ever used a better software keyboard than SwiftKey on any device. The autocorrect is so accurate and it really does seem to learn how you type and what words you use. It has the option of scanning your messages/emails/etc to get a feel for the language you use and it seems to work really well.
     
  12. macrumors G3

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #12
    That is an awesome weather widget!
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    mrskullfreak

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    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    michigan north detroit
  14. macrumors 68000

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #14
    Definitely checking out the tips and advice in this thread. I just received my new N4 yesterday, still getting everything setup.
     
  15. daveathall, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    daveathall

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    Location:
    North Yorkshire
  16. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #16

    Thank you. I believe it's called "DarkLudi" for those who have Beautiful Widgets.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #17
    2 recommendations from me.

    Firstly Airdroid, this app is fantastic, once you've opened it on your Phone you're presented with a passcode, go to web.airdroid.com and enter that code. You can access your entire phone from inside the browser, look at your system files, music/videos/pictures. Add pictures to your phone from your computer. (Transfers are quick too)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You can even send messages from inside the browser and they'll send from the phone.

    And second is File Explorer, it allows you access to the file system of your phone (Minus system files, you'll require root for that). I use it for moving files about my phone, e.g a song I've downloaded from Youtube from my Downloads to my Music folder or my Ringtones folder.

    [​IMG]

    Other than that I'd go with apps you had on iOS, these are 2 things that I love having on my Phone and couldn't go back to iOS without.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Sylon

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Location:
    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #18

    That Airdroid app looks awesome. How do you download YouTube videos using the N4?
     
  19. sentinelsx, Feb 2, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013

    macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #19
    You are going to have a hard time finding a working youtube downloader on the nexus. It is an android phone, one that is also a showcase for it, and google doesn't like people downloading youtube videos off the net. Hence the reason my chrome plugins for youtube download break every 2 months.

    However, you can try using the clunkier method that worked for me 99% of the time, copy the link of the video from the "copy link" option, open up whatever video downloading site you like to use, and get it downloaded from there. Done. It is not that hard at all, just a bit tedious but in the end you do get the video downloaded so the job is done.

    As for apps:

    Kingsoft Office.
    Weather Eye
    Astrid to-do tasks or Any.DO
    ezPDF (make sure you get the paid version if you are doing more than just reading pdfs and also hate ads).
    Evernote.
    Netflix.
    FalconPro (if you use twitter).
    Flipboard
    Mint financial app.
    Tunein Radio, or Rdio.
    Pandora or spotify.
    Dropbox.
    Carbon.
    Hookt.

    Examples of some good apps you could use to be productive. Also try supporting those devs by buying the paid versions if applicable, as that brings in more quality apps.

    Many of the above have decent tablet versions too, as i found during my quest to find such apps in my potential quest for a nexus 10.


    No offence to anyone but i am always amazed by the number of launchers, file managers, phone tweakers, battery tweakers, toggles and widgets comprising 60-70% of app suggestions in every similar thread. Do people even use these smartphones beyond tinkering with the onboard OS or facebooking?
     
  20. macrumors 604

    onthecouchagain

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    #20

    No offense taken. What else do you do with your phone?

    I primarily text, email, web browse, play music, and read Flipboard. Most of these are covered very well. I suggested Swiftkey 3 for heavy typists.

    Oh I also use Google Maps and Navigation occasionally. Again, nothing there that needs recommending; I guess other than update your Maps and starred locations.

    BTW, OP, you can star a location on Google Maps in a browser, and it'll appear starred on your phone, too (and vice veras). Very handy.
     
  21. macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #21
    I don't download the full videos, I download the MP3s of them for use in stuff like ringtones or if theres a mix I like that wouldnt be available on any stores.

    To download the MP3 I copy the URL in the YouTube App on the menu, paste it into www.listentoyoutube.com and download the file. From there I move it into the relevant folder. For downloading entire videos? There seem to be apps for that.
     
  22. macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #22
    Oh yeah i didn't mention the onboard google apps because they are there already and i am sure OP can find a use for all of them. I do not use an android phone now but when i did i used almost all of them (and even use them now on my iPhone ), use google maps, gmail, google talk, sometimes g+, but i prefer dropbox over gdrive though. Hence my recommendation because android phones have a much easier time working with dropbox than an iPhone. The music player included in almost all android phones i have used has been good so i didn't buy a third part music app for onboard songs.

    Also swiftkey3 wasn't included in my criticism because it is a tool, and a very good one at that, is the jumpiness in chrome fixed though?

    As for what i use my phone for, talking ofcourse (yes i still do it guys :)), texting, tons of IMs with distant family and friends, weather checking when i get up and am going out for work (i use degrees which is a canadian weather app because it sends push alerts for inclement weather, i was delighted to see it appear in google play recently too).

    Music, managing finances on the go using mint, using internet banking (barely use my laptop for internet banking now), listening to radio, reading, annotating PDFs and keeping them as references, reading books if i am too bored and not at home to use my computer (still don't have my own tablet), occassional netflix although my data cap prohibits that, again something a tablet on wifi would be more appropriate for.

    Reviewing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, i use flipboard for a lot of my article reading and it is great to keep me in the know, some twitter, once a week some facebook maybe, taking notes (evernote is great at random note taking and syncing on the go, even picture notes and works cross platform).

    Reminders, calendar, a little use of cloud storage (dropbox), youtube.

    And gaming while commute. Cannot get out of replaying kingdom rush, quite addicting. Shame it is not on android, would look great on some of those bigger screen devices for sure :(. Also play puzzlers like trainyard etc. Battleheart still gets played quite often even though it is been a while when the last update was made. I absolutely hate playing the big name games from gameloft or EA because they seem to be just rip-offs of console titles, and bad ones at that lacking all the depth (hard to do on mobile i know, for a hardcore game) Also touch screen D-pads aren't so amazing to use so i avoid those, only big name titles i have are NFS most wanted and FIFA 13, because they tend to be much less annoying.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Stuntman06

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2011
    Location:
    Metro Vancouver, B.C, Canada
    #23
    I'm going to plug two other Keyboards that I have used and I personally do not like SwiftKey. I have used Thumb Keyboard for a few months now. I like the various different keyboard layouts it has compared to SwiftKey. I also do not like SwiftKey's auto-spacing feature that I cannot turn off.

    If you are willing to try a beta product, you may want to look at Kii Keyboard. I switched to this because I find Kii a little better and allows more control over the size of the keyboard. Also, I like the keyboard layouts a bit better. All of the features are enabled while this is still in beta. For a beta product, I find it is more stable than Thumb.

    On a different note, I am also recommending Nova Prime Launcher. It is already mentioned by another member. With this launcher, you can change the number of rows and columns on your home screen. It also has more app dock features. I use it to get rid of the app dock on the bottom and have a home screen with 6 rows of icons.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2012
    #24
    I'll second thumb keyboard it's simply the best. Forward delete and you can create one touch shortcut keys. And the predictive is good as well.
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    #25
    Browse the apps via the Google play website and send the apps you want too your phone, far easier then browsing loads of apps via the phone.
     

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