4 Top Apps for a Rooted Nexus

This is my list of the 4 apps you definitely need on your rooted nexus and probably the first 4 apps I install whenever I root my phone.

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Nova Launcher Easter Egg – Secret Labs Menu

A Wild Labs Menu Appears
Did you know there’s a secret Labs menu in Nova Launcher? I honestly can’t believe I’ve had Nova Launcher on my phone for months and only found out about this feature today by accident. There are tonnes of cool features in the Labs menu. The one I’m most excited about is the option of putting any size widget in the dock. I’ve always envied iOS’s ability to have a Music widget in the dock. After unlocking the secret menu, I can put pretty much any sized widget I want in the dock. Unlocking the menu is stupidly simple:

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Android 4.2 – Unlocking Developer Options

Devloper Options

According to Google, unless you’re a developer, there’s not really much reason you’d mess with the appropriately named Developer Options. Consequently, Google’s hidden it from Settings so that “normal” users will not accidentally mess up their phones, throw a tantrum, break down completely and just sit and cry in the corner of their room, mourning the loss of yet another Android phone.

However, if you enjoy that sort of thing, here’s how to get the Developer Options back. It’s really quite easy; I actually unlocked it by accident since I randomly tap things in the hope of discovering Easter Eggs.

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Android 4.2 – Notification Bar + Quick Settings

Look at the horrible empty space in the bottom row. It is the stuff of nightmares.

The notification bar (AKA The “Notification Shade” ) hasn’t changed much, but the new “Quick Settings” is not as useful as the drop down bars in HTC’s Sense UI or Samsung’s TouchWiz. While it does give you access to your most used settings, they don’t act as toggles. They’re more or less shortcuts to the actual settings page. The only real toggle is Airplane mode. The Brightness one is a wannabe toggle and sends you to another toggle to adjust brightness. The Bluetooth option is even worse since it will just direct you to the Bluetooth Settings page, which is pretty annoying: why can’t I just turn Bluetooth on from the toggle like other phones let me do?

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Android 4.2 – Daydream + JellyBean Easter Egg

Jellybean Easter Egg

 

With Android 4.2 comes “Daydream”, Google’s idea of a screensaver for your phone. There are quite a few different options for you to choose from and there’s also a hidden Easter Egg. A screensaver for your phone is an interesting idea but let’s face it, who’s really going to use it that often?

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Android 4.2 – Keyboard + Tips

Gesture typing really speeds up the whole typing process.

The biggest improvement to the JellyBean keyboard is Gesture Typing. Simply slide from letter to letter  to type a word. I previously used to use Swype but after the 4.2 update, I switched to the stock keyboard. It’s just so much faster, fluid, and generally easier to use.

You can do it one-handed and it even supports two finger gesture typing. It saves time, energy and you don’t even need to bother spelling words  properly since Android auto-corrects words easily. The word prediction software is intuitive too and the voice-to-text is spot on. It even works offline, supports hundreds of languages and hardly ever gets any words wrong. Impressive stuff.

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