Fixing the two main Nexus 4 bugbears


I’m the proud owner of a Google Nexus 4, and I’m very pleased with it, in the main.

But there are two major problems I’ve been wrestling with since I received delivery of the device:

  1. When you’re in the middle of a call, and you press the Power button to refresh the screen so you can look something up or make a note, the call ends.
  2. The back is so ridiculously shiny that, apart from the fact that it feels cold and unfriendly in the hand, it slides off stuff that isn’t exactly level – on any surface, rough or smooth, with an angle of 1 degree or more away from true! This is a pain (it wakes me up in the night as it slides onto the floor with a bump, so on), and is also not really a good thing if you have a valuable phone (ok, I know the N4 is actually pretty inexpensive, but that’s irrelevant), as sooner or later it might land on something hard enough to damage it.

Fix for power button terminates callI was bemoaning my problems to my son, Allan, on the phone the other day and he solved both of them in the space of 10 seconds. The second wasn’t something I’d really thought about or researched, but the power button thing had been reported to Google as a bug by several people, myself included, and they didn’t seem to know that a solution was already available. They just said it was a feature to add accessibility for the blind. Those of us who worked with computers in the 80s will recognize the word “feature” as a euphemism for bug.

But it’s easy to fix. It’s an accessibility option. So if it’s been bugging you, too, go to Settings -> Accessibility, scroll down to Power button ends call and uncheck the box. Doh.

Fix for slidey backThe shiny back may be pretty, but it’s nowhere near as usable as the nice textured back on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. To fix the sliding problem, you have to put up with a marred aesthetic. Stick some rubber feet on the back. I used 3, as mine are quite big. If you have smaller ones, you could probably use one in each corner without the risk of getting in the way of the camera.

Now all I’ve got to do is try and always hold my phone without any part of my fingers and thumb wrapping over the screen. As it goes right to the edge, you end up thinking the screen’s frozen when it’s just confused because your left hand’s registering as well as your right.

To be honest, I think I’d prefer my old Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which had none of these problems. My toilet has a lot to answer for…

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