Adam Dej

Nexus 9: Hacking out even more productivity

Nexus 9 is being advertised as a tablet for productivity. We can squeeze out even more using these tips! “We do what we must, because we can…”

Assets: Nexus 9 tablet with a keyboard folio. Goal: Squeeze out even more productivity (ideally without bricking the device).

These tips, tricks and hacks are intented for Nexus 9, but many of them should work on any Android tablet (with any bluetooth keyboard).

Links (more coming soon):

Apps I use and recommend

Quick review

There are many great Nexus 9 reviews already out there, so I’ll conver subjects I haven’t seen covered much elsewhere from my perspective. I’ve been using my Nexus 9 for over a month now, mostly as a device to read lecture notes and write homeworks on. Ocassionally I’ve watched some movie, listened to music and rarely played some game.


Backlight bleeding is quite visible. It’s nothing terrible, the affected area is like 4 milimeters on the top of the screen, but it is there. Battery life is adequate for my needs. On a single charge the battery can handle two regular days at a university, which consist of leaving the tablet turned on while reading and using Google Docs for writing. Camera is not the most exciting one I’ve ever seen, but I rarely use it anyway.

The keyboard folio

Now this is what I love most about this tablet. My notebook is too bulky for carrying at every lecture or for using in train or bus. This on the other hand has perfect size just for that. When you use the keyboard for the first time it will appear small, but this will subside after first 5 minutes of use. After that, there is (at least for me) almost 0 mistypes and the typing rate is comparable to what I’m used to at a normal keyboard (maybe a bit slower, but the difference is largely negligible; this whole post was written on this keyboard without any problems :) )

The search button comes in very handy (it launches the Google now search overlay from anywhere). And the keyboard shortcuts are great (Ctrl+B to lauch a browser, Ctrl+t for IM app, and many more)


I won’t comment on Android L, as my opinion is strongly biased in this matter :)

Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Sheets (android apps, not web apps): Well, I like them. But there is still much to improve. For example there is no apparent way to remove table rows in Docs in time of writing this post. Sheets UI is impractical when the cell contains long texts (e.g. results of Google Forms). So these cannot replace desktop office suites and still have a long way to go. But if you are not trying to replace office suite with them, just edit some docs you have created on your desktop, or draft a presentation they are great just for that, and are a step forward in terms of productivity on tablets.

Google drive app: Adequate. It takes a bit longer to load than it should, during which time the screen blinks several times. Afterwards there is nothing I’d complain about.

To conclude: At this time tablets still cannot replace notebooks and desktops. The main culprit is different philosophy behind the software (and also limited availibility of it). However, the number of meaningful things you can do on your tablet apart from browsing has increased exponentially and most of them you can do now as comfortably as if you’ve been doing them on a notebook.