Increase Touch Sensitivity on the Nexus 4

May 14, 20130 Comments

The Google Nexus 4, manufactured by LG, is perhaps one of the most sought after devices since its release in mid-November last year. And that is due to, in part, erratic availability with the device getting sold out within hours of hitting the Play Store, and in part, due to the mass frenzy that inevitably surrounds a new Nexus phone upon release. And not without good reason, as Google’s latest Nexus smartphone essentially offers high-end specs and performance, at the cost of a mid-range handset. Not to mention the extreme customizability that is associated with Nexus devices, along with a highly active developer community which contributes towards tweaks, custom ROMs and the ilk for these devices.

nexus 4That said, no device is perfect, and that is always something people discover after they have bought it. And it is no different with the Nexus 4. Soon after its release, there were reports trickling in about issues with call connectivity, a purple haze that plagued the camera under certain lighting circumstances, and a touchscreen responsiveness issue that seemed to crop up now and then.

Coming to the touchscreen sensitivity issue, it was reported that the screen would just start lagging randomly in the middle of an operation. And given a phone of this calibre, this certainly sounds like a pesky problem to have. Especially if it crops up when you are right in the middle of showing off how zippy that Snapdragon S4 Pro processor is to your friends! Fortunately, there is now a fix for this irritating problem, thanks to XDA Senior Member trter10who figured that this issue was the result of a bad touchscreen driver.

trter10 has released a downgraded driver flashable through recovery, which fixes this issue for good, and gets the touchscreen sensitivity to normal. The mod loads a temporary touch driver into the system partition upon every boot, and works only when the device is booted into the Android OS. It does not affect touch sensitivity in other boot modes such as custom recovery. Secondly, since the temp driver is loaded each time you device boots up, it will cause your Nexus 4 to be unresponsive to touch for about 30 seconds or so, just after it boots up each time, after which you are golden.

Keep in mind though, that you do need to be rooted and have a custom recovery installed to be able to flash this fix. If you haven’t done so already, you can use this excellent toolkit to unlock, root and install a custom recovery like CWM on your Nexus 4. And once you are ready, here’s how you can apply the fix and increase touch sensitivity on  your Nexus 4.

Applying the Fix

  1. Make sure you have BusyBox installed on your rooted device. You can get it HERE
  2. Downloaded the temp touch driver from the source thread.   Filename -
  3. Transfer the downloaded zip file to the internal SD card on your Nexus 4.
  4. Power off your device and reboot to recovery by holding down the Vol Up + Down + Power button combo to get to bootloader mode. Then press Vol Up twice to highlight Recovery and then the Power button to select it and boot into CWM
  5. In Recovery, scroll down to Install zip from SD card > Choose zip from SD card. This will bring up the contents of your SD card
  6. Scroll down to the file you transferred to your phone in Step 2 and select it with the Power button.
  7. Confirm the flash on the next screen to start flashing the fix to your device.
  8. Once the flash is complete, select Go Back > Reboot System Now to reboot your device
  9. Upon first boot, your Nexus 4 will be unresponsive to touch for about 30 seconds. Do not panic. This is expected, and after the initial 30 seconds, you should find that your device is a lot more responsive than it was earlier.
  10. In case you want to undo this fix and revert back to your original driver, simply download this zip file and flash it in recovery (Steps 3-8 above)

You can visit the source thread linked above in Step 2, to participate in the discussion about this fix, or to drop in a line of thanks to the dev. As always, make sure you go through all instructions carefully, before you attempt to apply any mods. And if you need any help with this, give us a shout in comments below.

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