The LG G4 is one of the more popular devices thanks to a blend of high end specification and a superb camera. Like every Android flagship device running with a manufacturer’s overlay on top of Android, the G4 has its own aim special features. Some of these are obvious, some of these are demonstrated and explained with a pop up dialogue box the first time you try to use it and others are less well documented. Let’s run through some of the LG G4’s great features and how you can use these on the device. If you’ve used the LG G3, some of these features may already be familiar for you but if you are new to the LG flagship Android devices, these could all be new.
The first feature is borrowed from older LG devices and one that has been introduced across the Android family, and that’s knock on. The knock on function duplicates the effect of pushing the unlock hardware button with a quick double tap of the screen. It’s an especially useful feature for the larger devices where the lock button is something of a stretch away, or in the case of the LG G3, on the back. And the second feature is very closely related: the knock off. This is a great way to lock the device once you’re done with it: a quick double tap in the status bar at the top of the screen locks the handset. Tip three is the knock unlock code, which is a way of giving your device a series of taps across various parts of the screen, which you can use to unlock. This is a surprisingly effective way to unlock the handset, backed up by a PIN code; you don’t need to tap the unlock button before using the unlock knocking. And better yet, the knock unlock code may be combined with my fourth entry, which is part of Google Android’s features: Smart Unlock, whereby you can specify a trusted Bluetooth device, place, face or voice, and the device will stay unlocked under these circumstances.
My fifth usability tip also concerns the lock screen of the device, which is how to check notifications on the device without unlocking the device. From the lock screen, swipe a finger down to bring up the notification panel with a preview of waiting messages and actions. You can disable this to prevent nosey people reading previews of your messages whilst your device is unlocked in the Security Settings menu. You can also expand on lock screen notifications by a two finger swipe down, a featured taken from stock Android. Related to unlocking is how to use the two volume keys for quick access to the camera and QuickMemo+. A double click of the volume up key launches QuickMemo+ and a double click of the volume down key launches the camera; you can also tell the device to take a photograph when you activate the camera, too. Tip number nine also concerns the lock screen shortcuts, where it’s possible to set up to five application shortcuts on your lockscreen from the Settings, Lock Screen menu. This gives you fast access to five applications from the lock screen.
Tip ten concerns the device settings available from the drop down notification area, where it’s possible to edit the toggles and commands showing up here. From the drop down menu, slide the notification toggles all of the way across left and you’ll come across an “Edit” command. From here, you can add or remove as many toggles as you see fit. And writing of settings, if you are not a fan of having four separate screens with various settings it’s easy to change the layout: tap on the three dot menu command at the top right of the screen and select “List view.” You can toggle back using the same command but instead tapping “Tab view.” Tip eleven is how to restrict access to the stock LG Gallery and QuickMemo+ applications, which you can find in Settings, Security, Content lock. Here you can specify a PIN code to be entered before allowing either of these applications to be opened. This is a great feature but if you install another gallery application or a file manager, other users may still have access to your picture library.
The LG G4 has another entry in the Settings menu called Smart settings, designed to simplify how you might use your device based on geofencing your location data. In Settings, Smart settings, you can control the device’s sound profile, Bluetooth and WiFi settings either when at home, when away or when using an accessory (currently, when using earphones or connected to a Bluetooth device). The next tip concerns how the three software buttons work at the bottom of the screen and how it’s possible to add a couple, bringing the total to five. LG only provide the option to add their own custom icons and functions to the device such as the dual screen option. Writing of LG’s own application and featured, the G4 comes with LG’s Smart Bulletin, an additional home screen designed to provide the customer with additional information taken from the calendar and other functions on the device. If you would rather not use the Smart Bulletin homescreen, you can disable this from the Settings, Home screen (or you can customize what is showing in the Smart Bulletin screen). Tip fifteen is how the LG comes with two launchers, the default Home and the EasyHome, designed to make the device easier to use with enlarged fonts and a simplified, cut down user interface that lacks certain features such as widgets.
Did you know that the LG G4 has a custom icon editor built into the software? It’s possible to edit any icon on the device and replace it with another of your choosing. This is a slow way of customizing the device but it is very easy to give the handset a very different look and feel. However, tip seventeen is to inform customers that their G4 has a built-in theme engine that makes it possible to change the look and feel of the device very quickly and easily. More themes are available from the LG SmartWorld, where some are free and others are premium.
Tips eighteen and nineteen concern using the LG G4 for calls and the first feature is setting up custom notifications in order to reject calls with a text message. You’ll find this option in the Settings menu, then Call, then Decline With Message – you can either create your own message or use an existing message to let your contacts know that you will get back to them later. There’s an eighty character limit for automatic responses. The next tip concerns improving the voice quality of the G4 on a call, again in the Calling Application, Call Settings and in the Ongoing Call area. You’ll see Connection vibration (this vibrates when the other party answers a call), Noise suppression (designed to remove background noise on your end during a call) and Voice clarity (this attempts to boost the clarity of a callers’ voice, again at your end). These latter two features are especially useful when making or receiving a call somewhere noisy. My next tip is how to better organize your applications, either into folders or even uninstalling them. Go into the standard launcher application tray, tap the menu button and from here, pick “Edit/Uninstall apps.” This pulls up a screen that allows you to remove applications quickly and relatively painlessly by tapping on the white X in a red circle, or drag one application onto another in order to create a folder.
Finally, I have another photography tip for you, which is that the LG G4 (like the G3) recognizes a hand gesture in order to take a selfie when using the front facing camera. When using the 8MP front facing camera, raise a closed fist and wait for the device to recognize this by a blue box around it. Now open your palm up – once for a single selfie picture and twice for four shots with a second or so between them.
As you can see from these twenty one tips, the LG G4 has an amazing number of features and functions. The G4 is a very capable flagship Android device and this article has brushed upon some of the top features or hidden tricks of the handset.
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