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Nexus S Facebook, LED, microSD, Email, Text, & Camera Workarounds
The Nexus S is a great phone offering developers a "pure" Android experience. That purity brings limitations a typical owner may never notice. Here are resources for Facebook Sync, Notification LED, microSD, RAM, Speed Dial, Smart Dial, Lost Photos, Contact Groups, Email Search, 160 Character Text Limit, Camera Zoom, Browser Zoom, Video Formats, FM Radio, Visual Voicemail, HDMI, and Bluetooth.
Facebook Sync: Android devices sync with Facebook but Google "...purposely removed the feature from the Nexus S..." The Nexus S doesn't sync Facebook Profile photos, status, messages, phones, events, birthdays, or notifications. Incoming calls don't pop-up with new profile photos and status.
If you root, Cyanogen can restore Facebook sync. If not, you can manually update some Facebook info:
• Friendcaster (free, $5: no ads) Get Facebook notifications, events, etc. Manually sync contacts & profile photos.
• Manually import Facebook photos to the Nexus S with SyncMyPix or Easy Sync.
• Google Contact Sync updates photos and birthdays. (Facebook app)
• Friends to Gmail creates a file with name, birthday, etc. to import into Google Contacts (FAQ). LifeHacker article.
Notification LED: The Nexus S does not have a LED for missed calls, email, texts, or events. Try NoLED as a workaround.
• If you are rooted, try the BackLightNotifications Mod to light up the buttons on a notification.
microSD: The Nexus S has 16GB but no microSD for added music, photos, and movies. Cloud storage options can help if needed.
• Dropbox stores up to 2GB (referral link for 2.25GB) for free. Open with the Dropbox app.
• Google Music can store your music to play with the Google Music app. Google Docs can store your doc or xls files for use by the Google Docs app.
RAM: Androids may have 1024MB of RAM for apps and operating system. If the Nexus S 512MB is an issue:
• Remove apps that you don't use and use an app like Apps2SD to move apps out of the internal memory and onto the internal SD card.
Speed Dial: The Nexus S doesn't have Speed Dial to assign contacts to numbers 1 to 9.
Smart Dial: The Nexus lacks smart dial. "T9" smart dial lets you type a name such as: 2 for B, 7 for R to see names beginning "Br".
There are some good phone apps that can be used in place of the stock Android phone:
• Create a homescreen of dialing shortcuts: Long-press an empty spot > Shortcut > Direct Dial
• Go Contacts lets you dial a middle part of a name or number. For 202-456-1414, you can dial "456" or "1414".
• TouchPal Dialer lets you dial their initials for instance dial 2 for B, 6 for O for Barack Obama.
• Go Contacts & TouchPal Dialer can search contacts for "Pen" for contacts on Pennsylvania Ave or "Wash" for Washington.
• Gallery: Nexus S owners have found relief from the lost photos, wrong photos, and slow photo loading with the QuickPic app.
Android Contact Groups: let you group contacts to send a text or email. The Nexus S can't edit contact groups. Workarounds:
• Setup contact groups on your PC at www.gmail.com. Use Clix Group Manager ($1) to setup contact groups from your phone.
• Use a free app like Go Contacts to group contacts (also a smart dialer)
Email: Nexus S Email search is limited and can't move deleted email to inbox, Try K-9 Mail (Free) or Touchdown Exchange ($20, free trial).
Messaging: The Sprint Nexus S 4G Message app stops at 160 character. HandCent or ChompSMS (free) do not.
Camera: The Nexus S Camera lacks digital zoom but there are many great camera apps that do.
• Vignette ($4, free demo), Camera Zoom FX ($4, free attachments)
• Action Snaps (free) shots bursts. Fast Camera ($2) is fast. Photoshop (free) adds more effects.
Browser: The Nexus S browser has pan, zoom, and text reflow limitations. Consider browsers like Dolphin or Opera.
Video Player: The Nexus S does not play video formats other Android phones play such as DivX and XviD. Android Market offers workarounds:
• Convert your videos to a format the Nexus S can use.
• Vital Player (Free, Pro $4), Vplayer (Full: $5), & MoboPlayer add many formats. mVideoPlayer is great but adds no formats.
FM Radio: The Nexus S lacks an FM Radio so consider TuneIn (Pro) for local AM/FM stations. Also try Pandora, Slacker, and iheartradio.
Visual Voicemail: shows the caller photo while playing their message. A slider bar lets you play a certain portion as you would an MP3.
• The Nexus S lacks Visual Voicemail. Youmail is a workaround but costs $10/month for full features.
HDMI: The Nexus S USB port does not serve as an HDMI port but the Nexus S has DLNA for wireless HD.
Bluetooth: The 2009 Bluetooth 3.0 standard is faster and uses less power. The Nexus S is 2.1. Use WiFi when you can.
HD Recording: Some Androids record HD Video. The Nexus S is 480p. There is no workaround but is this something you need?
Keyboard: The Gingerbread keyboard is good but some prefer SwiftKey, Swype, or other Keyboards.
See the Getting Started guide and Phone Comparison for more. This information was drawn from many gurus including igotsanevo4g,
ragnarokx, and especially Baconator 's thread [How-to] Nexus S Answers. Thank you! Also see the Nexus S 4G Limitations.