If you’re the proud owner of a shiny new LG G4 you’ve come to the right place. First of all, you picked a great phone (it made our list of Best Android Phones). We were very impressed with the G4 in our full review, and it keeps getting better the more we use it. LG has packed a lot of great features in the G4, but many of them are hidden away. If you’ve already done the “10 things every LG G4 owner should do” we’ve compiled a list of many more tips and tricks you need to know. Let’s go!
Unlock your phone with just a tap
One of the first things you should know about the LG G4 is you can wake or sleep the phone without pressing the power button. To wake the phone you can simply double-tap anywhere on the screen. Putting the phone to sleep works the same way. If you’re using the stock LG launcher you can double-tap on any blank space, but if you’re using a 3rd-party launcher you have to double-tap the status bar.
Unlock your phone with a unique knock pattern
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 phone. 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
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.
Settings that learn your habits
The G4 comes with a new feature called Smart Settings. This feature allows your phone to automatically adjust settings based on your location or connected devices. When you’re at home you can have WiFi and Bluetooth automatically turn on, or switch to vibrate when you leave the house, or have your favorite music app open when you plug in headphones. It’s very handy.
- Go to Settings > General tab > Smart Settings
- (you may need to turn on My Places in Settings > General > Location first)
- Adjust the toggles and options to your liking
Use Smart Lock to disable the lock screen when it’s not needed
It’s a good idea to have a layer of security on your device. The only problem with using a password or pattern lock is that it ends up slowing you down more than anyone else. A new feature called “Smart Lock” lets you tell your phone when it’s safe to disable lock screen security.
- Go to Settings > Lock screen > Select screen lock
- Choose one of the ways to protect your phone
- Once you have a screen lock selected you can go back to the Lock screen settings and you’ll see Smart Lock
Currently, there are 5 types of Smart Lock you can use, and you can use more than one at a time. Each one will explain how it works when you tap on it. We recommend Trusted devices and Trusted places.
Change how the Settings page is displayed
By default the G4 Settings page is organized into four tabs: Networks, Sound & notification, Display, and General. We find that these tabs actually make it more difficult to find stuff. To go back to the more familiar list view simply tap the three-dot menu icon in the top right of the Settings and select List view. We’ll be using this view for the remainder of this guide.
Find a lost or stolen LG G4
Losing your brand new phone would be a terrible thing, but it can happen. Luckily Android has great built-in tools for that exact situation. The G4 comes with something called “Android Device Manager” pre-installed. If your phone is lost or stolen you can simply go to this website, log in with your Google account, and locate your phone. You can also remotely ring, lock, and erase the device.
Check out our full, detailed guide on finding a lost or stolen Android phone.
Take a screenshot
Taking a screenshot is one of the most basic functions of a smartphone. The LG G4 has a couple of different ways to perform this task.
- Press and hold the power and volume down buttons simultaneously
– or –
- Swipe down to show the Quick Settings toggles
- Find the QMemo icon and tap it
- This will take a screenshot and allow you to draw on top of it
Quickly jump into apps from the lock screen
Adding shortcuts to the lock screen can make it easy to quickly open your favorite apps. LG allows you to add five shortcuts to the lock screen. The shortcuts will only appear on the lock screen if you use the None or Swipe screen lock methods, or if Smart Lock is currently active. In order to set up the shortcuts you will need to disable any form of screen lock.
- Go to Settings > Lock screen
- Scroll down to Shortcuts
- Simply tap on a shortcut and choose the desired app from the list
- Just swipe up on the shortcuts from the lock screen to quickly launch
Change the lock screen animation
LG allows you to customize how it looks when you swipe to unlock your phone. There are five different animations to choose from. These animations only work with the Swipe screen lock method, or if Smart Lock is currently active.
- Go to Settings > Lock screen
- Select Screen swipe effect
- You can choose from Hula hoop, Circle mosaic, Light particle, Vector circle, or Soda.
Personalize your phone with a wallpaper
Changing the wallpaper is one of the easiest ways to instantly personalize your LG G4. It’s super easy to do. Simply press and hold on any empty space on the home screen. Select the Wallpapers tab in the bottom left of the screen. You’ll be able to choose from installed apps and pre-loaded wallpapers. Go crazy!
Get real-time info without opening apps
Widgets are one of the last things that truly make Android unique. No other mobile operating system has such an abundant selection of awesome widgets. With a screen full of widgets you can get quick information without opening apps. They’re very handy, and you should use them.
Once again, simply press and hold on any empty space on the home screen. Select the Widgets tab in the bottom center and scroll horizontally through the widgets. To put a widget on the home screen press and hold then drag and drop it on the desired spot.
Pinch to add and reorder home screen panels
To further customize your home screen you can add and reorder the panels. Pinch your fingers on the home screen to zoom out and see all the panels. Here you can choose which panel is the main panel by tapping the house icon and add panels by tapping the empty panel with a + icon. You can also press and hold a panel to drag it into the trash.
Turn off Smart Bulletin
While zoomed out on the home screen panels you probably noticed the left-most “Smart Bulletin” panel. LG uses this area to place widgets and other things that they think you’ll want to use. Smart Bulletin is mostly useless unless you’re the rare person that loves LG’s own apps. Luckily it’s easy to turn off.
- Go to Settings > Home screen
- Toggle off the switch next to Smart Bulletin
Customize the app icons without an icon pack
There are many ways to change how icons look in Android. Most people download a 3rd-party launcher and an icon pack from the Play Store, but LG made it even easier with their stock launcher.
- Press and hold on an icon on the home screen until you feel a vibration
- Release your finger and you should see a purple paint brush badge on the app icon
- Press the badge and you’ll be brought to the Icon change screen
- You can choose from LG’s pre-loaded icons, or add your own
Organize the app drawer with folders
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
Customize the Quick Settings toggles
When you swipe down to see your notifications you’ll notice a bunch of toggles across the top. These toggles are called “Quick Settings,” and you can scroll left-to-right to see more. All of these toggles can be customized to your liking.
- Swipe down to show the Quick Settings and scroll all the way to the right
- Select the Edit toggle
- On this page you can enable or disable any toggle, and drag to re-organize the placement
Adjust the keyboard to fit your style
The default LG keyboard is one of the manufacturer keyboards we’ve used. One of the best things about it is how much can be customized. Everything from the size, themes, and suggestions can be adjusted to your liking.
- Go to Settings > Language & input
- Scroll down and tap the gear icon to the right of LG Keyboard
Keyboard height and layout – You can put a number row on top of the keyboard, adjust how it looks in landscape, split the keyboard, and enable one-hand mode.
Keyboard theme – Choose white or black
Smart input – Enable the swipe input, toggle word suggestions, and adjust the auto-correction aggresivness.
Customize the navigation buttons and color
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 fullscreen 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
Double tap the volume buttons to launch apps
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.
Get a quick peek at the clock and notifications
Here’s a simple tip for getting a peek at the time and notifications. When the display is off you can slide your finger from the very top of the screen to about halfway down to show the clock and status bar.
Simplify the camera, or turn on advanced controls
The LG camera app can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Simple mode removes all buttons from the screen so you can just tap to focus and take a photo. Auto mode adds a few quick settings for flash, HDR, timer, and more. Manual mode is only for advanced users. It has settings and sliders for things like focus, ISO, shutter speed, and more.
- Open the camera and tap the three-dot menu icon
- Choose the desired mode from the drop-down
Get the perfect shot every time with guidelines
Auto mode is the best mode for most people. When you’re in auto mode you can turn on a few handy features, such as guidelines. The guidelines will show a very light grid over the top of the camera. You can use the grid lines to center your shot perfectly every time.
- In Auto mode tap the gear icon
- Tap the grid icon from the drop-down menu
Use your hand to take selfies from far away
One of the coolest camera features on the G4 is called Gesture shot. You can take a selfie by holding your open hand up to the camera and then closing it into a fist. The feature actually works really well, and it can come in handy quite often. Gesture shot is enabled by default, so all you have to do is use it.
- Hold up your open hand to the camera until brackets appear around it
- Make a fist once to take one photo (a 3 second timer will count down to the shot)
- Make two consecutive fists to take 4 burst shots
Say “cheese” to take a photo
Another thing you can do in Auto mode is enable the voice shutter. With this feature enabled you can say “cheese, smile, LG,” and more to snap a photo with your voice.
- In Auto mode tap the gear icon
- Tap the face icon from the drop-down menu
Security & Performance
Use Smart Cleaning to clear out space
Over time the free space on your G4 will start filling up with stuff you might not even know about. Stuff like temporary files and junk in your download folder. By cleaning up this stuff you can reclaim storage to use for more important things. LG has included a way to clean all of this up right in the settings.
- Go to Settings > Smart cleaning
- You’ll see how much storage is in use and how much is free
- Tap on the files you wish to clean and press CLEAN
Expand your memory
The LG G4 is a member of a dying breed: phones with microSD card slots. Samsung and HTC have dropped physical storage from their flagship devices (to the dismay of many Android fans), but LG is sticking with what the people want. You can easily upgrade your storage capacity without buying any cloud storage subscriptions and relying on a data connection.
- SanDisk Ultra 8GB microSD with adapter
- Kingston 16GB microSD with adapter
- Samsung 32GB microSD with adapter
- SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSD with adapter
- SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSD with adapter
Get better battery life in a bind
Everyone has their own tricks for squeezing out extra time when your battery is low. Some people use airplane mode or manually turn off everything that’s not important. The LG G4 has a built-in setting for getting every last drop of juice when your battery is low. Battery Saver mode turns off all non-essential features when your phone reaches a certain low battery percentage. It works great and only requires a short set up.
- Go to Settings > Battery & power saving
- Tap on Battery saver
- Toggle the switch on and select Turn Battery saver on
- Select when you want Battery saver to automatically turn on
Protect your photos and videos from prying eyes
If you’ve got some sensitive photos or notes on your phone you can use Content Lock to keep them safe. This feature will allow you to put photos and notes behind a wall of security, and hidden from prying eyes.
First, you have to enable it in the settings.
- Go to Settings > Security
- Tap on Content lock
- You’ll be asked to set up a security measure. Follow the steps.
Once you’re done with that you can lock photos or QMemo notes.
- In the Gallery or QMemo app select an item
- Tap the three-dot menu and select Lock
- Top show locked items tap the three-dot menu on the main page and select Show locked files/memos
Give guests limited access to apps
A smartphone is full of personal information and sensitive content. This can make it difficult to let people use your phone without your supervision. Screen pin is a new feature that lets you lock your phone to one app. You can “pin” a specific app so the user can’t do anything else.
- Go to Settings > Security > Screen pin
- Toggle the switch on
To use Screen pin open the app you would like to pin, press the Recents button in the nav bar, scroll up and tap the blue thumb tack icon in the bottom right corner of the most recent app. To unpin an app simply long-press the back and Recents buttons simultaneously.
Add another user account
Android tablets have had user accounts for a while, but now phones are finally getting them too. By adding more user accounts you can allow multiple people to use your phone with their own apps and settings. They won’t be able to mess up anything in your own personal account.
- Swipe down on the status bar to show the notifications and Quick Settings
- Tap the little profile icon in the top right corner
- Tap Add user
- It will automatically switch to the newly created “Friend” account
- To switch accounts simply perform step 1 and tap the account
More Cool Stuff
Use the G4 as a TV remote
More and more phones are coming with IR blasters built in, and the G4 is one of them. An IR blaster is what remotes use to communicate with a television to turn it on, adjust volume, change channels, etc. Why fumble for a remote when you already have your phone on you at all times?
- Open the QRemote app
- Tap the + icon
- Choose the type of device you’d like to control
- Find your device from the list
Some devices work better than others. If you find that some buttons on the remote don’t work correctly you can tap the three-dot menu icon and select Learn remote. This will allow you to program the button by using the real remote.
Turn off the LED notification
The LG G4 has an LED indicator light that is used to show when you have notifications. Some people love this, other people hate it. There’s nothing more annoying than a blinking light from your phone in the middle of the night. Thankfully, LG allows you to turn of the light altogether.
- Go to Settings > Sound & notification
- Toggle off Notification LED
Set up Downtime
Are there certain times of day when you don’t want to be bothered with notifications? Downtime is a feature that allows you to set certain times and days for your phone to automatically go into silent mode. It can be incredibly useful, and you should definitely use it.
- Go to Settings > Sound & notification > Interuptions
- Select Downtime
- Choose the days of the week you’d like it to be enabled
- Choose the start and end time
- Choose if you’d like No interruptions or Priority interruptions during this time
Use floating apps with QSlide
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
Use two apps at once with Dual Window
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.
Simplify the user expirience with Easy Mode
If you’re giving the LG G4 to someone who’s not very tech suave, or you are not tech suave yourself, Easy Mode is a nice feature. In Easy Mode the icons on the home screen are simplified, the text is bigger, and it’s easy to create speed dial shortcuts. This mode isn’t for everyone, but we all know someone who could use it.
- Go to Settings > Home screen
- Tap Select Home
- Choose EasyHome
Get help and join the G4 community on AndroidForums.com
Now that you know everything about this awesome phone 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:
- “A Photographer’s Take on the LG G4”
- LG G4 or Galaxy S6?
- This case is dead sexy!
- Verizon at it Again: They Limit Software on the G4
- ATT LG G4 Question