Powering on the Nexus 4 Without the Power Button

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Category: Hacks

A few years ago I wrote a small article about how to turn on the Nexus One without pressing the power button. The Nexus One was in my opinion one of the best Android phones ever made. It was incredibly sturdy, something that can't be said about most phones today, it came fully unlocked from Google, and it had a really nice form factor, again something that I personally can't say about most phones today. The one major problem with the Nexus One was that it was notorious for having a finicky power button.

When Google announced the Nexus 4, in late 2012, I quickly got on the waiting list to get one and after placing an order for a back-ordered unit I received my brand new Nexus 4 in January of 2013 (about two months later). The phone was pretty awesome and at $300 it was really hard to argue against it despite some of the minor design shortcomings. I've enjoyed it thoroughly until one day, about six months later when I dropped the phone and the screen cracked.

After unsuccessfully trying to order replacement parts from LG which vehemently declined it stating company policy I was forced to order a replacement screen from China which arrived about a month later. I installed the screen and booted up my newly repaired phone without much trouble.

In the mean time I had purchased another Nexus 4 phone as a temporary replacement for the one that was broken with the intention of selling it later, once the previous one was repaired. The reason I really wanted to get the original replaced was because of all the content I had on the phone which was completely inaccessible while the phone had a broken screen. Unfortunately Google's back-up services are severely lacking on the Android platform. The best you get is your contacts and whatever other data you've stored on your Google account (ie. auto-upload pictures). But all application data is lost and you're out of luck if your phone is lost or damaged.

This got me thinking about the problem of starting the phone with a broken screen, or without a functioning power button. The Nexus one trick worked wonders when the power button stopped working on my phone but so far I could not find a similar trick for the Nexus 4 which doesn't even have a user removable battery.

It's too bad that gadgets are no longer user serviceable or repairable!

is the founder of Donaq, a software development consulting company with a focus on mobility. You can find Mike on Google+ and on LinkedIn.
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