Get more from your Google Nexus 7
Think you’ve seen everything the Google Nexus 7 has to offer? It’s time to discover more with our top 7 tips for the Nexus 7.
The latest must-have tablet and one of 2012’s biggest gadget launches, the Google Nexus 7 has been selling like hot cakes thanks to its irresistible combo of high-end features and low-cost price.
If you’re planning on buying one or are lucky enough to own one already, here are our top tips for an even better Nexus 7 experience.
1. Save power, put wifi to sleep
The Nexus 7 has good battery life, we’ve enjoyed eight hours of streaming video and days of standby time, but it could be even better. If you turn the wifi network connection off when the tablet goes to sleep it will save power ready for when you need the Nexus 7 back in action.
To do this select App Drawer > Settings > WiFi > tap the top-right, three-dot menu button and select Advanced. Clear the Keep WiFi on during sleep entry and you’ll enjoy longer batter life.
2. Improve Google Now
Google Now is the new intelligent search system that predicts what you want to see before you look for it. To use Google Now on the Nexus 7, press and hold the Home Screen button and swipe up to the Google Now icon.
To get the most out of Google Now you simply need to keep it busy. At first it can seem rather empty but once you start searching for things like travel routes, the weather in a certain location or football results, Google Now will learn what you’re into and start showing the info without being asked.
Favourites will be displayed as information cards while common searches will just pop up. You can even use voice search to save your fingertips.
3. Flash? Yes please!
Oddly Flash isn’t available on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but you can install it yourself for the full internet experience. Before following the download link below make sure Unknown sources is selected in the Settings > Security > Device administration section.
Otherwise, download the Adobe Flash APK file. This is best done on the Nexus 7 tablet itself. Once downloaded spot the download icon in the Notification Drawer, top-left. Tap the download message for Adobe Flash, Android will ask you for confirmation but once you’ve allowed this you’ll have Adobe Flash installed and raring to go on all your favourite websites.
4. Take photos
There’s no standard camera function on the Nexus 7, even though it does have a front-facing camera you can’t use it just to take pictures. Now you can. Head to the Google Play Store and install Camera Launcher; it’s not the greatest system in the world but it’s better than nothing.
5. Offline Google Maps
When you’re using the Nexus 7 on the go, there’s no guarantee that an internet connection will always be available. However, you can guarantee that you’ll always have your Google Maps thanks to the Offline Maps mode, enabling you to store as many areas as you like on the Nexus 7’s internal memory.
To do this, enter Maps, tap the three-dot menu button and select ‘Make available offline’. A square appears representing the area to be cached. At this point you can still move and resize the map to the area you want. Once it’s set, tap Done and Google Maps will download the area to your device.
6. Library widgets
Google has introduced Google Play Books and Google Play Movies to the Nexus 7 – in fact, you get Transformers: The Movie and a couple of books free once you register your device. If you’re going to be using Google Play a lot there are a couple of widgets that make it even easier to find your favourite books and films.
Select App Drawer > Widget tab and browse the widgets. The first is called Book and this enables you to place a shortcut to Google Play Books on your Home Screen. The next is Google Play Books and this puts a scrollable list of all your books on the Home Screen. Finally, Play – My Library is a large widget that can display a selection of books, movies or both on your Home Screen.
7. Get a landscape home screen
Google have locked the Nexus 7 Home Screen to portrait orientation, but there is a way around this. Jump to Google Play Store and install Nova Launcher. This is a launcher replacement that looks very similar to the standard Google Nexus one but with the advantage that it will rotate and do a whole lot more.
You might also like to read:
- Win! 16GB Google Nexus tablet
- Top 10 Google Nexus 7 features
- T3′s ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity review
- ASUS Google Nexus 7 16GB review
- Google debuts browser-integrated weather
- Official Google Nexus 7 dock and case