Are you waiting for a Nexus 4? You might wait a great deal longer if you don’t get one immediately after the Play Store restocks in mid-February. Fortunately, we don’t have just one method – this article presents six absolutely rock-solid strategies of becoming one of the first in line when the Nexus 4 arrives.
Using Alerts requires a Google account, which you can sign up for here. Alerts uses Google’s search technology to provide the latest news on a particular keyword. For example, if you specify “Nexus 4”, all news pertaining to the LG Nexus 4 will periodically show up in your mailbox.
Configuring the Alert is dead simple: Go to Google Alerts and input Nexus 4 into the “search query” box.If you want to streamline the alerts, type in “Nexus 4 Stock” or “Nexus 4 Available“. While you will receive a certain amount of false positives, using the right keyword combination helps prevent too many errant messages from bombarding your inbox.
Regarding frequency of delivery, you will want Alerts to send messages “as-it-happens“. The rest of the settings don’t matter all that much. When you’re done, click on “create alert“. After it’s no longer needed, remove your alerts here.
If This Then That (IFTTT) provides the best web app automation around. Unsurprisingly, IFTTT also can deliver the swiftest notification of N4 availability. IFTTT does this by scanning your Gmail inbox for receipt of an email from NexusNotify.com. After receiving this notice, IFTTT fires off an SMS to your mobile.
To get started, sign up for an account with IFTTT and submit your email to NexusNotify. After that, head to IFTTT’s recipe for SMS delivery. You will also need to activate the SMS and Gmail channel from within IFTTT. It might sound like a lot of work, but really it’s just a scroll and click affair.
After activating both channels, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Use Recipe“. You can optionally choose to input a message to yourself by clicking on “Subject“.
This method depends heavily on whether or not NexusNotify.com comes through with a timely notification. For the adventurous and less patient, IFTTT can combine with other services mentioned in this article, particularly Versionista.
You only need to alter the recipe shown above by replacing NexusNotify’s email with Versionista’s. Then sign up for its service. Read the Versionista section below for details.
Alternative method: Use this custom-made recipe, which scans a Yahoo Pipe for any mention of the Nexus 4. This particular method scans over a dozen sources, such as the FatWallet and SlickDeals forums.
Pipes is an RSS data aggregation webservice. It can provide RSS feeds that combine huge amounts of data from multiple sites. The particular Pipe that I’m using aggregates feeds from eleven different sources as diverse as Technorati and Google Search. In case this sounds appealing, I get into some alternative uses for Yahoo Pipes here.
While the results probably won’t offer greater speed than the competition, it will provide the most comprehensive coverage of news pertaining to the Nexus 4. To get started, just cut and paste from the Pipe’s RSS directly into your Google Reader‘s subscribe box.
For those who check Reader often, this offers a great way of keeping up to date on the latest news for the N4. However, given that RSS has largely stagnated into a cult technology, most users might prefer a more popular method.
There’s also an Android app, available. However, as the developer warns, it uses 150MB of data and requires permissions to keep the phone awake and receive full Internet access.
On the positive side, you can set the app to check as frequently as desired. Unfortunately, more frequent checks requires huge sums of data and will cause significant battery drain.
Out of the many website change-tracking services available, I prefer Versionista for its simplistic sign-up process and ease of use. Versionista only requires that you provide them with your email address and the websites’ URLs that you’d like to track. First, sign up for notifications at the bottom of the page.
Check your email, verify your account and then get started by going to the site.Versionista allows multi-address input. Just enter one address per line.
Here’s what the multi-URL input looks like:
After that, hit submit and you’re done.Versionista performs hourly checks on monitored sites. So you will receive an email within an hour or less when the N4 Play page updates, provided that you check your email frequently. As mentioned earlier, this method combines quite effectively with IFTTT.
There’s also a Chrome plugin that provides updates, provided you’re online and using the browser. The plug-ins require a URL and you’re good to go, just install the extension. Then, using Chrome, navigate to the Play Store URLs for either the 8GB or 16GB N4 pages. Once loaded, click on the extension’s icon in the upper right-hand side of the screen.
Finally, click on the “monitor this page“.
For Firefox users, Martin Brinkmann elaborated on several alternative website change-tracking methods, with plug-ins. Unfortunately, the downside of using a browser extension is two-fold – first, you must have your computer turned on. Second, you must have your browser open.
If you desperately want to be one of the first people in line for the Nexus 4, use all six of these methods. Doing so will add redundancy in case one of these services fail and, additionally, using multiple methods will provide the best results, since ultimately only a single service needs to beat the competition for you to get your Nexus 4.
Personally, I prefer using the IFTTT method, for its simplicity. Unfortunately, this option requires that you place a great deal of trust in a third party website, which may or may not provide the service it claims.In case you find web alerts to be as exciting as I do, check out Saikat’s outstanding roundup here.
Update: It worked! At 9:49am, using the alternative method outlined above, IFTTT fired off an email after a FatWallet forums member mentioned a restock. At 9:52am, after purchasing the Nexus 4, Google emailed me verification of the purchase. Unfortunately, the other methods either failed or provided notice an hour after the restock. Strangely enough, Yahoo Pipes + Google Reader provided a link to blog entries that predicted a restock at 9am January 29th.
More articles about: