If you own, or plan to own, the LG G4 you have made a decision to go against the grain. While everyone else gushes over the Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 you’ve went with the lesser-known LG G4. We think you’ve made a really good choice. The LG G4 is a great device with a lot of unique features. In this guide we’ll show you some of those features and other things you need to do right now.
1. Set up KnockCode
Security is important when it comes to smartphones. This device holds a lot of personal information, and it’s with you all the time. Android phones come with a bunch of different ways to lock your device, but the G4 has one you’ve never seen. KnockCode allows you to set up a pattern of taps to unlock your phonefle. Here’s how to do it:
- Go to Settings > Lock screen > Select screen lock
- Tap on Knock Code
- Tap the square 3-8 times in a pattern you can remember
- Tap Continue and then confirm the pattern again
- Next you will create a backup PIN number in case you forget the KnockCode
- That’s it!
When you wake up your phone you will see a square area on the lock screen for you to enter your KnockCode, but there is an even better way to do it. When the display is off you can perform your KnockCode and the display will wake up and unlock automatically, bypassing the lock screen altogether.
2. Set up Smart Settings
One of the new software features on the LG G4 is called Smart Settings. With this feature you can have the G4 automatically adjust settings based on your location or connected accessories. For example, when you’re at work you can have the notification sound turned off, or when you get home WiFi can automatically be enabled. It’s an incredibly handy feature you’ll want to use.
- Go to Settings > Smart Functions > Smart Settings
- You’ll see a list of toggles for “Home, Away,” and “Accessory.”
- Simply toggle the settings you’d like to have enabled in each section
Note: In order to use the “Home” settings you’ll have to turn on “My Places” in Settings > General > Location.
3. Download the best apps and games
Before we go any further you’re going to want some apps. Downloading apps from the Play Store is one of the first things you’re going to do, but with so many to choose from it can be daunting. How do you know which apps are the best, and how do you discover the hidden gems that most people don’t know about? The easiest way is to read from our extensive library of app guides. Here are a few you might want to check our right now.
- 40+ Apps for new Android users
- Best Android apps for college students
- 10 Most Addictive Android Games for Killing Time
- Top 10 Android dating apps
- Best Android Apps for learning languages
4. Use Event Pocket
Another new software feature called “Event Pocket” can be found inside LG’s calendar app. When opened, Event Pocket will present a variety of items culled from your Facebook events or nearby points of interest, allowing you to drag and drop them directly to your calendar. For those managing an endlessly busy schedule, Event Pocket could become a useful tool.
To use Event Pocket simply tap the icon in the top right of the calendar app. You will be asked to sign into Facebook. The Event Pocket is a slide-out menu from the right side. You can drag and drop items, such as Facebook events and photos, from the slide-out menu right onto the calendar. Event Pocket will also make suggestions about local events.
5. Customize the navigation buttons
The G4 has software navigation buttons across the bottom of the display. The benefit of software navigation buttons is the flexibility they provide. Unlike physical buttons they can disappear to make room for full screen apps, or in this case be customized to show more buttons. You can rearrange the existing buttons, or add up to two extra buttons.
- Go to Settings > Display > Home touch buttons
- Select Button combination
- You can drag and drop the buttons in any order you like, but there can’t be more than 5 in the bar
- Changes will show up in the navigation bar immediately
- You can also choose the color of the buttons on the previous page
6. Create folders in the app drawer
Creating folders on your home screen is a good way to organize apps, but LG takes that idea one step further. With the default LG launcher you can create custom folders inside the app drawer. The app drawer is the area that shows all of your installed apps. Folders can really make it easier to find apps if you have a lot installed.
- On the home screen tap the app drawer icon (looks like a circle with 6 dots inside it)
- Tap the three-dot menu icon in the upper right corner
- Select View apps by and choose Custom
- Still in the app drawer, tap the three-dot menu icon again
- Select Edit/Uninstall apps
- Now you can drag apps on top of each other to create folders
- Tap the check mark in the upper right corner when you’re done
- Tap on the folder and tap “Folder” to rename and choose the color
7. Set up Smart Notice
When you first boot up the G4 you’ll notice a big widget on the home screen with weather, date, and time. Under all that, on the same widget, is a area that shows text with a down arrow on the right side. This is LG’s “Smart Notice” widget. Smart Notice is LG’s attempt at a Google Now-like notification service that notifies you of things before you need it.
To use Smart Notice you just need to have the widget on your home screen. Tap on the settings icon in the top right corner of the widget to customize it. You’ll be able to choose if you want new card notifications, and a bunch of different options for people, time, places, and phone info. Some examples include birthdays, weather alerts, and more. It’s a nifty feature, but most people probably already have apps that do most of what it does.
8. Multi-task with floating app windows
QSlide is a place where you can quickly launch apps in windows that float above whatever you’re currently doing. The QSlide apps can be re-sized, made transparent, and dragged around the screen. When you’re trying to perform multiple tasks at once the QSlide apps can be incredibly useful. There are a couple of ways to access these apps.
- Pull down on the notification shade and scroll through the toggles
- Tap on the QSlide toggle and the available apps will appear below
- To edit which apps appear here you can scroll to the right and tap Edit
- Select the app you wish to open and tap it
- Now you can drag it, resize by pulling the corner, and adjust transparency with the slider.
If you find yourself using these apps a lot you may want to use the second method.
- Go to Settings > Display > Home touch buttons
- Select Button combination
- Drag and drop the QSlide button into the navigation bar
9. Use Dual Window mode
If you want to take multi-tasking to the next level you can use Dual Window mode. You can run two apps at the same time on each half of the display. Dual Window mode doesn’t work with all apps, but new for the G4 is Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Other apps include YouTube, Chrome, Hangouts, Gmail, Messaging, and more. Here’s how to use it.
- Long-press the Back button
- Select the app to display on top
- Select the app to display on the bottom
Another way to do this is to press the Recents button and select Dual window. When Dual Window mode is active you can drag the divider between the apps to resize the windows. To close one of the apps you can simply drag the other app to full screen.
10. Open apps quickly with the volume buttons
One of the most iconic features of LG phones has become the infamous buttons on the back of the phone. No one else is putting buttons on the back of phones, and it really does make a lot of sense. LG takes advantage of these buttons to perform a few tasks besides just adjusting the volume. You can use them to quickly launch the camera or take notes when the display is off.
- Go to Settings > Shortcut key
- Switch the toggle to On
Double tapping Volume Up will launch the QMemo app for taking notes. Double tapping Volume Down will quickly launch the camera. On that same page in the settings you can choose to have the camera automatically take a photo as soon as it’s launched from the shortcut.
Now that you’ve got the basics nailed, check out 35+ more LG G4 Tips & Tricks
Bonus: Explore the LG G4 forums
If you’re already an owner of a LG G4, or you plan to buy one when they release, you can join the LG G4 forum over at Android Forums. You’ll find conversations about customization, troubleshooting problems, accessories, and much more. It’s the best place to go to ask questions and learn more about your new phone. Here are a few threads you may be interested in:
- LG G4 Professional Reviews/Previews
- LG G4 Cases
- “A Photographer’s Take on the LG G4”
- Notifications – Deal Breaker?