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[Q] What can I do with my Nexus 5 without rooting?

OP streether

23rd February 2014, 12:22 AM   |  #1  
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Hi all -

So I'm just about to get my brand new N5 32gb black from Google Play (can't wait!) but I'm not sure how to use it to its full potential. I already read the beginner's guide on here, but I was wondering what I can do without rooting? I've been using an iPhone 4S for the last 2 years and had an HTC Legend before then that I did nothing with so I have no idea. I'm a bit of a noob so please be patient! I know you can download themes from Google Play but what's the deal with that? What's the difference between those and what you get when rooting? I really like how Google Now is front and centre, but can I install a new theme and still keep it so easily accessible? Like, how much can I customise how everything fits together? And how does that change if I decide to root?

Thanks a lot!

EDIT: Sorry, just realised this should go in the Q&A forum but don't know how to move it?
Last edited by streether; 23rd February 2014 at 12:27 AM.
Hammer_Of_The_Gods
23rd February 2014, 12:35 AM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streether

EDIT: Sorry, just realised this should go in the Q&A forum but don't know how to move it?

Hi and welcome

At the top right of your post you have a report button (small triangle with exclamation mark), click and ask to move your thread.

Done for you

For the rest, at the beginning I would say to get used to your new nexus 5. Mostly if you want to "customize" your phone the root will be necessary at some point. With a custom launcher (Nova, Apex for example) you can change the look of the icones on homescreen/app drawer, change the number of homescreens, change the number of rows/columns but if you want more (full theme) you'll need root (Xposed Framework with Xposed modules for example that allows almost 100% customization for example, custom roms, etc...).

Root allows access at the files system (in short) so you can modify a bunch of things..., without root about theming you'll be limited.

To read:

[HOW-TO] The Nexus 5 All-In-One Beginner's Guide.

[GUIDE] Nexus 5 - How to Unlock Bootloader, Install Custom Recovery and Root.

It depends of what you want exactly...

Last edited by Hammer_Of_The_Gods; 23rd February 2014 at 01:04 AM.
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23rd February 2014, 02:14 AM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by viking37

Hi and welcome

At the top right of your post you have a report button (small triangle with exclamation mark), click and ask to move your thread.

Done for you

For the rest, at the beginning I would say to get used to your new nexus 5. Mostly if you want to "customize" your phone the root will be necessary at some point. With a custom launcher (Nova, Apex for example) you can change the look of the icones on homescreen/app drawer, change the number of homescreens, change the number of rows/columns but if you want more (full theme) you'll need root (Xposed Framework with Xposed modules for example that allows almost 100% customization for example, custom roms, etc...).

Root allows access at the files system (in short) so you can modify a bunch of things..., without root about theming you'll be limited.

To read:

[HOW-TO] The Nexus 5 All-In-One Beginner's Guide.

[GUIDE] Nexus 5 - How to Unlock Bootloader, Install Custom Recovery and Root.

It depends of what you want exactly...

Thanks a lot, that's really useful. So basically all the themes/launchers on the Play Store are Google approved replacements that have various features (some of which being design features) to go on top of what I already have? So, will Google Now still be there when I swipe to the left or does it erase all that? Also, how do I change back to my original/a new launcher?
Then if I root, I can add unapproved launchers that have more customisability than what Google usually approves?
23rd February 2014, 03:17 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streether

Thanks a lot, that's really useful. So basically all the themes/launchers on the Play Store are Google approved replacements that have various features (some of which being design features) to go on top of what I already have? So, will Google Now still be there when I swipe to the left or does it erase all that? Also, how do I change back to my original/a new launcher?
Then if I root, I can add unapproved launchers that have more customisability than what Google usually approves?

You don't need to root to install any launcher.

Swipe to the left Google now will not work if you are not on the stock launcher. The swipe home button up does though.

Once you have a second (or more) launcher installed, an option shows up in your system settings, that let's you select which launcher you want to use by default. You don't lose the stock launcher by installing a different one.

Sent from my Nexus 5
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23rd February 2014, 03:18 AM   |  #5  
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welcome!
Quote:
Originally Posted by streether

Thanks a lot, that's really useful. So basically all the themes/launchers on the Play Store are Google approved replacements that have various features (some of which being design features) to go on top of what I already have? So, will Google Now still be there when I swipe to the left or does it erase all that? Also, how do I change back to my original/a new launcher?
Then if I root, I can add unapproved launchers that have more customisability than what Google usually approves?

Welcome bud! The swipe-left-for-google-now feature is only on the stock nexus 5 launcher or google experience launcher(GEL), as it is sometimes referred to. It won't erase the launcher if you install a new one, it essentially just freezes the launcher you aren't using. In order to go from the stock launcher to others, just go to setting and there is a tab labeled "home." click on it and you will have the option of whichever launcher you want to run at the moment. I'm huge into tinkering with my device for customization and I've tried multiple ROMs and the rootbox option as well as simple play store options for customization...but honestly I'm now back on stock, unrooted. to me, this phone is absolutely perfect as is. There are a ton of options, even third party apps like lux auto brightness that allow you to personalize the aut brightness on your device. Pretty much anything you would "need" can be accomplished without root, though root allows for much better system customization. Again man, welcome. if there is anything I can help you with, just lemme know or PM me if you have any questions.

Brandon
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23rd February 2014, 06:27 AM   |  #6  
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You can start searching for your favorite keyboard like swype or swiftkey. you don't need root to change that.
There are some nice emulators in the play store I think apple store doesn't allow emulators so there something you can do play games lol.
Now I don't know if this needs root but you can try this for some themes.
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23rd February 2014, 06:33 AM   |  #7  
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Don't you mean what can you do with root?

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
23rd February 2014, 09:01 AM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streether

Hi all -

So I'm just about to get my brand new N5 32gb black from Google Play (can't wait!) but I'm not sure how to use it to its full potential. I already read the beginner's guide on here, but I was wondering what I can do without rooting? I've been using an iPhone 4S for the last 2 years and had an HTC Legend before then that I did nothing with so I have no idea. I'm a bit of a noob so please be patient! I know you can download themes from Google Play but what's the deal with that? What's the difference between those and what you get when rooting? I really like how Google Now is front and centre, but can I install a new theme and still keep it so easily accessible? Like, how much can I customise how everything fits together? And how does that change if I decide to root?

Thanks a lot!

EDIT: Sorry, just realised this should go in the Q&A forum but don't know how to move it?

You can install something called a launcher from the Play store, such as Nova or Apex. These are home screen replacements. These will give you more customization, by allowing you to change your home screen grid, and/or apply icon packs. However, by installing another launcher, you will lose the "OK Google" and swipe to the right for Google now features. The choice is up to you.

For themes, you need to be rooted. These are themes that change your phones look, all around. I'll be honest, I wouldn't root for this. The android themes available aren't fantastic. If you want to theme, you can find tutorials on rooting, unlocking the bootloader, and flashing ROMs here at XDA or YouTube even. If you are new to this, I would recommend CyanogenMod11. It is pretty close to stock, stable, and gives you a few extra features as well as a theme chooser which lets you apply themes from the play store.

Without rooting, you can install widgets of your choice, install replacement apps such as browsers or keyboards, and install launchers.

If you decide to modify your device by rooting, flashing a ROM, or unlocking the bootloader, take caution and be sure to follow the guides exactly as written.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
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23rd February 2014, 09:42 AM   |  #9  
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I remember feeling like the op waiting for my device. All my days revolved around the Nexus 5 as if I actually owned one, up until the day I actually got it. #AniticipationKills


"Cataclysm + ElementalX + Dalvik/Bionic Patches + Exposed + Gravity Box & Candy shop Mods + Jishnu's Camera Mod/LG G2 Camera Port + Latest GPU Drivers + -75 UV Across The Board + 4 OC Cores @ 2.226 GHz + TWRP" My Nexus Is The 💩,┌П┐[◣_◢]┌П┐!
23rd February 2014, 12:18 PM   |  #10  
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Thanks so much for all the support, guys. Nice to be part of such a friendly forum. I see what you're saying about the stock Google launcher - is there any way to keep it and change the look of icons etc.? Or is it one or the other? Also, what's the difference between a launcher and a theme?
Someone mentioned Cyanogen Mod 11 if I decided to root - what exactly is that, and what is the difference between choosing that and another one?

Thank you all again, much appreciated!

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