9 Nexus 9 tips you need to know about

nexus 9 helpful tips and tricks google home screen
We’ve been eagerly anticipating a new Nexus tablet for quite some time. Google finally got it together with a resurgent HTC to bring us the Android 5.0 Lollipop-toting Nexus 9. It’s svelte, it’s lightweight, has a gorgeous screen, and that battery goes all day and all night. But are you getting everything out of it that you could be? New hardware and new software means new capabilities and we’ve got the Nexus 9 tips you need to unlock them right here.

How to turn your Nexus 9 on

You can always use the traditional Power button technique, but Google has also included the option to bring your tablet to life by double tapping on the screen.

If that isn’t enough, you can even wake your Nexus 9 by simply saying, “Ok Google.” You’ll find this option in Google Now, then swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open it. Swipe from the left side of the screen in Google Now and choose Settings > Voice > “Ok Google” Detection and you can choose to toggle the options Always on and When locked. You can also access it via the Google Settings app.

How to restore your settings and appsGoogle-Nexus-9-Screenshot-apps

When you set up a new Android device and log in with your Google account, you’ll automatically get access to your saved contacts and purchases through the Play Store. Android also has a great restore and backup system built in, and you’ll find that it pops up as part of your Nexus 9 set up. You’ll be asked if you want to Get your apps & data from a previous Android device. Think carefully.

You’ll see a list of previous backups ordered chronologically with the device name. If you are going to restore one of them, make sure you tap on the apps list first and edit out the ones you don’t want. If you run into Nexus 9 issues down the line, you can often trace them back to app data or old settings that you restored from an old backup. Some apps have not been updated or optimized for the latest Android version, and there will be apps that worked well on your old Android smartphone that won’t work so well on a tablet.

It can be a handy shortcut, but bear it in mind as a possible source of future problems, especially since Android 5.0 is so brand-spanking new.

How to add users and guests

If you pull down the notification shade and tap on your user icon or photo at the top right, you’ll find the option to Add guest and Add user. Adding a guest simply strips out any personal accounts, apps, and data that you’ve added, giving them a fresh tablet with the basic pre-installed app line-up. This is ideal if you let someone borrow your Nexus 9 and you don’t want them getting access to anything private.

If you choose to add a new user, then they’ll be prompted to set the Nexus 9 up as though it were a new tablet. They’ll be able to log into a different Google account, restore their own settings, and install their own apps. It’s an ideal solution for two adults sharing a tablet. If you want to edit these settings later or delete a user, then pull down the notification shade, tap on your icon again, and then choose More settings.

Remember that you’ll need to have a screen lock set up to prevent people from switching to your profile. You can do that in Settings > Security > Screen lock.

How to safely let your child use your Nexus 9

The options for user accounts actually go deeper, and they can be used to set up separate profiles for your children. Go to Settings > Users and tap Add user or profile and then choose Restricted profile. You’ll be prompted to set up lock screen security if you haven’t already.

Choose a name for the profile, select or take a photo, and then you can pick exactly what they have access to. You can handpick all the apps and games they will be able to use and block things like the browser and camera if you’d prefer they didn’t use them.

There are some great apps out there that handle this kind of thing better and offer a deeper level of parental control and curated content. If the basic user profile system built into Android isn’t enough for you, then check out something like Kid Mode.

There’s also an even simpler option known as Screen pinning, which you’ll find at the bottom of Settings > Security. Turn it on, and you can tap the multitasking or Overview button. Then, tap on the pin icon at the bottom right of an app to lock the Nexus 9 to that app. That screen will be locked down until you touch and hold Back and Overview together. You can set it to use a PIN, if you want more security.

How to disable notificationsGoogle-Nexus-9-Screenshot-lock-screen

You will want to do this as a matter of urgency, especially if you have a lot of apps installed. If you don’t, then you’re going to be flooded with messages from your apps and games. There are actually three ways to tackle this one:

  1. Wait until the offending notifications pop up and long press on them, then tap to turn Block – Never show notifications from this app
  2. Go to Settings > Apps and choose each app individually, then uncheck the Show notifications box, and tap OK on the pop up.
  3. Go to Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications and choose Block on any apps you don’t want notifications from. You can also choose to prioritize notifications from specific apps in here, so they’ll appear at the top of the list, or to hide notifications from certain apps so they don’t appear on the lock screen.

How to save your battery

The Nexus 9 has a good battery, but it can also benefit from the all new Battery saver option in Android 5.0 Lollipop. Tap Settings > Battery and then tap the three vertical ellipses at the top right for the menu and you’ll see the Battery saver option. You can toggle it on and off and choose whether it should ever automatically spring to life (at 5 percent battery or 15 percent battery). Bear in mind it will turn off some syncing, vibrations, and reduce performance.

RelatedTips for saving smartphone battery life

How to use Smart Lock

If you have already set a Screen lock PIN, password, or pattern, then you can also use Smart Lock, which you’ll find in Settings > Security. It includes the Trusted face option, which is the old face unlock functionality that you may remember, but there’s also an option to add Trusted devices. Now your smartwatch or your car’s Bluetooth system will keep your Nexus 9 conveniently unlocked when they’re in the vicinity.

How to get a good night’s sleepGoogle-Nexus-9-Screenshot-settings

You don’t want an incoming message or a notification to wake you from your slumber. Good news! You can make sure your Nexus 9 stays quiet between specific hours and set special exceptions to the rule by going to Settings > Sound & notification > Interruptions. Choose the days and times you don’t want to be interrupted and specify any exceptions you want to add by making them priority interruptions. Remember, you can set apps to be Priority in Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications.

How to backup and transfer files

You’ll find the basic option to back up your app data, Wi-Fi passwords, and more to your Google account in Settings > Backup & reset.

You can also use Google+ or Photos to automatically backup your photos and videos. Load up either app and tap the menu icon at the top right to choose Settings > Auto-Backup. Any new photos and videos you make with your Nexus 9 will be uploaded to your Google+ or Photos account.

You can also use Google Drive to share files easily between devices, and it will show you how much of the 15GB of free space you get across your Google accounts you have left. Open the Google Drive app, swipe in from the left, and you’ll see remaining space at the bottom.

You can plug your Nexus 9 into a PC or Mac via USB to drag and drop files. If you’re using a Mac, then make sure to download and install Android File Transfer first.

If you want an app for easy wireless file transfer and file management on your Nexus 9 from a computer on the same network, then check out AirDroid.

There is no default file manager app on your Nexus 9, but you can install ES File Explorer File Manager or something similar for free.

We’ve reached the end of our Nexus 9 tips. Many of these will work for any device rocking Android 5.0 Lollipop. We’ll add an update with more tips just as soon as we uncover them.

Mobile

The Moto G7 Power, with its massive battery, is now available for purchase

After a number of leaks and rumors, the Motorola Moto G7, Moto G7 Play, and Moto G7 Power are finally here. The devices represent quite a spec bump over the previous-generation Moto G6 phones, yet still come at a reasonable price.
Wearables

Tips and tricks to get you started with your new Fitbit Inspire HR

The Inspire HR may be an entry-level fitness tracker in Fitbit's lineup, but the device still has plenty of features to explore. These are our favorite tips and tricks to help you use the Inspire HR to its fullest potential.
Wearables

Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks to get started with your new smartwatch

Got your hands on a Fitbit Versa Lite? The smartwatch may be the pared down version of the more expensive Fitbit Versa, but there's still plenty for you to tweak in the settings. Here are our Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks.
Mobile

Rooting your Android device is risky. Do it right with our handy guide

Wondering whether to root your Android smartphone or stick with stock Android? Perhaps you’ve decided to do it and you just need to know how? Here, you'll find an explanation and a quick guide on how to root Android devices.
Mobile

Get excited for your Sony Xperia 10 or 10 Plus by getting it set up just right

If you've picked up one of the Sony's more affordable smartphones, you may be be wondering what hidden depths lie within. We've got some handy Sony Xperia 10 tips for you here to help you get to grips with your new phone.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best Siri commands

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.