10 things I changed about my LG G4 soon after I got it

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.

The LG G4 has been my one and only personal smartphone for several days now. Overall, it has been a smooth ride so far, and I can honestly say that I'm quite happy with having LG's latest flagship in my pocket. I'm satisfied with the look of the phone – that leather back cover is quite a conversation starter, as it turns out. I'm enjoying the responsiveness of its software as the Snapdragon chip and LG's software make for a great tandem. The near-excellent camera is also among the many things to love about the G4 as it is easy to use and snaps great photos.

But on the other hand, when I started using the LG G4, quite a few things about it didn't feel exactly right. And, being the perfectionist that I am, I wasn't willing to settle for a phone that didn't behave as I wanted it to. Sooner than later, I found myself digging through the G4's settings menu, looking for tweaks that I could use to improve my experience. Did I succeed? Yup, I'd say so, and I'd like to tell you all about it.

Please note that this article is about how I configured the LG G4 to fix many of the things I didn't like about it. Your preferences as to how the phone should be configured could be completely different from mine, and that, of course, is perfectly fine. But I hope that in the lines below you'll find helpful tips and tricks on how to make the most of the LG G4. And who knows, perhaps you'll come across a tweak you never knew was possible. 

1. Finding a substitute alarm clock


Just like a billion other people, I use my phone's alarm clock to make sure I get up on time in the morning. Without it, the chances of me rolling out of bed at noon would rise dramatically. The stock Clock application on the LG G4 is reliable, that I can confirm, but the tones it plays when it goes off are horrendous. They're loud to the point of being frightening, but at the same time, turning their volume down isn't an option as then I might sleep through them. 

To get out of this Catch-22 situation, I installed Timely. It now wakes me up with a gentle tune that ascends in volume over time, which makes the whole waking up experience a whole lot less painful. Besides, the app is pretty and bundled with a whole bunch of pleasant tones. Better yet, Timely works with Google Now. This allows me to set timers and new alarms using voice commands, although it took me a while to figure out how to make Google Now treat Timely as the default alarm clock app. 

Timely is available on the Google Play store, and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone not satisfied with their Android phone's Clock application. Here's is a link if you want to give it a try:

Download: Timely (Free)

2. Disabling the camera's Quick shot feature


There's no denying that camera shortcuts on smartphones are extremely useful. So is the one on the LG G4 – when the phone is in stand-by, double-pressing the volume down button takes you to the Camera app straight away. However, when the camera is launched this way, it also snaps a picture – that's what it is configured to do by default. I do realize that the idea is to point the camera and then trigger the shortcut to take the picture, but I don't find this convenient, and I do like to take my time when composing an image.

Thankfully, LG is giving me the freedom to disable this so-called Quick shot feature. That is done from Settings > General > Shortcut Key, and the tick for disabling Quick shot is right there at the bottom. With Quick shot turned off, the shortcut launches the Camera app, but doesn't take the photo until I press the shutter, which suits my photographing habits much better.


3. Switching the positions of toggle buttons


Speaking of shortcuts, the notifications panel on the LG G4 features a ton of toggle buttons for controlling various settings. Better yet, users have the freedom to customize these buttons' order and to remove the ones they don't need. After doing some housekeeping, I was left with just 7 toggle buttons in my notifications panel. The one I put in first spot was the flashlight toggle, which I often find myself using. 


4. Activating Smart Settings


Smart Settings is a feature I came across while exploring the LG G4's Settings menu. In a nutshell, certain settings can be set to change based on the user's location. My LG G4 is now configured to switch its profile to Sound when I'm home and to Vibrate when I'm not. The phone's Buletooth and Wi-Fi radios can be automated as well, which could potentially extent the phone's battery life by a bit. There's also the option for a specific app to launch when you plug in a pair of headphones – Spotify, YouTube, the stock Music app, or whatever application fulfills your music listening needs. 

All in all, Smart Settings is a pretty cool feature – one you wouldn't find available in stock Android or most of the third-party user interfaces. Setting it up, however, is not as straightforward as I wish it was. For starters, you need to make sure that the phone's Location services are up and running. You must also double-check if your Home location is properly configured. Then comes the process of configuring Smart Settings to suit your needs. But I'd say that going through the trouble is worth it.

If Smart Settings sounds like something you want to try, here's my guide on how to automate your LG G4 using Smart Settings

5. Increasing vibration strength


My LG G4 is in Vibrate mode throughout most of the day; I'd hate to distract my colleagues with ringtones and notification sounds. However, the LG G4's vibration motor is not set to full strength by default. It was more than a few times when I missed a call or message because I couldn't feel my G4's vibes. That's why I cranked up its vibration strength setting to the maximum. The option is found in Settings > Sounds and Notifications > Vibration strength. That's also where you'll find the option to have the G4 vibrate when you have an incoming call or text. 


6. Enabling haptic feedback


The LG G4's stock keyboard has its haptic feedback feature turned off by default. That is, the phone doesn't give off a short vibe to confirm that you've pressed a button. This can be easily changed by going to Settings > General > Language & Input. Pressing the cog icon next to "LG Keyboard" will display its settings list. You have to scroll down and tap "More" to get to the "Vibrate on keypress" option. While there, I disabled the "Sound on keypress" option because I find the beeps extremely annoying.


7. Disabling Smart Bulletin 


Smart Bulletin is an LG G4 feature that's kind of like an aggregation of widgets. Accessed by swiping to the left, past your first home screen, it displays upcoming calendar events, controls for your music player, a ticker counting your steps, and more, alongside tips on how to use features on your LG G4 you might not know about. But for the most part, I find Smart Bulletin pretty useless, which is why I chose to disable it – the small cog icon in its upper right corner lets you do that. In its place, I put the step counter widget which comes pre-installed. 


8. Personalizing the lock screen shortcuts


Using lock screen shortcuts is a great way of accessing frequently used apps in an instant. However, the ones set on the LG G4 by default don't count as useful in my book. That's why I replaced them. Instead of the stock Messaging app, I put Facebook Messenger. QuickMemo+ got replaced by Google Keep. The Gallery app shortcut got ditched for Facebook. And a shortcut to Chrome is where the Camera app shortcut used to be. Editing the lock screen shortcuts on the LG G4 is done from Settings > Display > Lock screen > Shortcuts. 


9. Adding on-screen shortcut buttons


With its 5.5-inch screen, the LG G4 is far from the most comfortable phone for single-handed use. Most people would find it difficult, if not impossible, to pull down the notifications panel using one hand only. LG's software, however, has a solution. Next to the on-screen buttons can be added a shortcut button that brings down your notifications when tapped. Tap it again and the notifications panel goes back up. It is a handy feature that I've been taking advantage of ever since I learned about it. 

To enable the said shortcut, go to Settings > Display and choose Home touch buttons. Then tap on "Button combination" and arrange the keys to your liking by dragging and dropping them to a position of your choice. Note that various other shortcuts are available as well, such as one for launching Dual Window and one that activates LG's QSlide feature, which lets you run certain apps in their own hovering windows. There's a couple of limitations, however – you may have no more than five buttons active at a time, and Android's navigation buttons cannot be disabled.


10. Tidying up the app drawer


First of all, kudos to LG for not overloading the G4 with bloatware. Yes, there are a few pre-loaded apps that kind of lean towards that category, but they can be uninstalled. Apps that you can or don't want to uninstall can be either hidden or put in a folder. Personally, I chose to do the latter. 
To make a folder in your LG G4's application drawer, tap on the three little dots in the upper right corner. Tap on "Edit/Uninstall apps" – this will let you drag and move the icons around. If you drop one app icon onto another, this will create a folder, which you can fill up with the apps you don't want in your way.


More LG G4 articles:


Related phones

G4
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 808, Hexa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18.5h talk time)

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23 Comments

1. bradsagi

Posts: 11; Member since: May 19, 2014

pffff, i've done this to all of my phone not only LG G4

4. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

Good for you now stfu.

9. SamsungPhanboy

Posts: 765; Member since: Mar 31, 2015

Damn that was harsh, cuh. I laughed tho lol

20. plck74

Posts: 65; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

that was article say...LG in trouble for sale on LG G4...now this article talk about how good is LG G4?

12. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

Brad = Liar. NON-LG phones don't have all these features. Adding and relocating the on-screen shortcut button at the bottom of the home screen, in addition to the Knock-On/Off feature, make the G3 the phone to own. The lack of a fingerprint scanner and weak processor are KILLING the G4.

14. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

are you even thinking? did he/she say that some of his/her phones are non-LG?

16. QWERTYphone

Posts: 654; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

So, you're ASSuming he has NEVER owned a non-LG phone with all these features? STFU.

18. buccob

Posts: 2968; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The on screen buttons can be edited on HTC flagship... I have configured almost everything shown here on my Sony Xperia Z3C, except the last part but since my phone is confortable I don't need to, however I did find a Small App called "Shortcut" that allows you to launch an app directly from there, so I set it to launch "Status Bar Expander", so I can basically do the same only with 2 taps instead of 1, (and it works with external keyboards, when your phone is not on your hand) Smart Connect from Sony (available on the Play Store) can also do many things mentioned here), specially in combination with Tasker or Llama

21. theBankRobber

Posts: 682; Member since: Sep 22, 2011

Killing it, how so? My G4 has been nothing butbsteller and you can't even really tell the differance from the 808 to the 810 or even the Enix in Samsung. Only benchmarks show the slight differance and its not even noticeable.

22. bradsagi

Posts: 11; Member since: May 19, 2014

Look at my profile, most of my phone are LG's. And you got it wrong, my point about this article is unnecessary, these are basic stuff when you get a new phone (even LG)

2. waddup121 unregistered

Nice recommendations guys!

3. buggerrer

Posts: 306; Member since: Sep 21, 2011

That's an awfully feminine hand for someone named Nick.

15. mafiaprinc3

Posts: 585; Member since: May 07, 2012

if you look at the picstures you'd see the hands belong to a woman

5. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

LG's icons are absolutely atrocious. I can't stand to look at them. The first thing I would've done is install Nova Launcher and moonshine icon pack.

6. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I don't see a selection for "keeping the G4 from overheating."

11. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

It's not an 810. Go back to 9to5 Mac

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

You know it doesn't have to be an 810 to overheat? Go back and look at the G3 so you can actually know what you are talking about.

7. hurrycanger

Posts: 1761; Member since: Dec 01, 2013

One of the first things I do on any phone is to turn off haptic feedback. xD

8. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

If it was me, the first thing I would do is unlock the bootloader, root the device, flash a custom recovery, flash a good feature rich custom ROM, flash a good kernel with undervolting and underclocking and then use the phone

13. TreyTreyTaylor

Posts: 728; Member since: Dec 21, 2010

Definitely. I love the G4, but if I purchased one, their skin and icons would drive me crazy.

10. Jon_Snow

Posts: 6; Member since: Jun 02, 2015

I've read that the G4 comes with microphone noise suppression disabled, and that it can be enabled at the dialer app.

17. avalon2105

Posts: 352; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

2 through 10 are all good and useful but your gripe about the alarm app is unfounded. You can sat ANY audio file in your library as your alarm sound (i use .flac file so I'm sure it can be done). You could even set a video file and it would use it as your alarm sound (audio part only, obviously) if you're willing to jump through some hoops (use alternative file manager). It's been like that on LG for a long time. And volume range is wide enough to find a perfect volume level for pleasant wake up without a risk of oversleeping.

23. Epicness1o1

Posts: 305; Member since: May 30, 2013

"Stuff that I dont use" hahahah nice :D

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