Updated on 4-07-2014 by Simon Hill: Updated to add tips on how to use dual camera, take a screenshot, use the gallery, take full screen photos, use smart screen, and automatic apps for earphones.
The Android flagship smartphone war is growing more intense by the day and LG’s latest broadside is the G2. We like the LG G2 … a lot. For those of you who have picked it up, or plan to soon, we’ve pulled together a batch of tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of what could be your first LG Android phone.
How to use dual camera
With the LG G2 you can record video or take photos using both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras at once. If you’re wondering why, it allows you to include a snap of yourself in the bottom right corner of the main shot, but it’s probably more useful for video recording where you want to commentate on the action. When you’re in the camera, simply tap the Mode button and select Dual camera, you can drag the small viewfinder around and you can tap and hold on it to resize it.
How to take a screenshot
Press and hold the power button and the volume down button until you hear the shutter sound and see the animation on screen. You can also use Quick Memo to grab a screenshot and then annotate it.
How to use the Gallery
All your photos are to be found in the Gallery app. Double tap to zoom in on an image or pinch zoom. You’ll then get an option to swipe up to delete an image or swipe down to share it; it’s a real time saver when you want to sort through your photos and decide what to keep, what to share, and what can be cleared away.
How to take full screen photos
By default the 13-megapixel shooter on the LG G2 is going to take photos in 4:3 aspect ratio, but you can change that. A lot of devices have a 16:9 aspect ratio, like the LG G2. If you want your shots to be full screen then open up the camera app and tap Settings > W10M and then choose 4160×2340 (16:9) resolution.
How to use Smart Screen
If you get frustrated at your screen timing out sometimes when you’re still looking at it then you’ll be glad to know that there is something you can do to prevent it from happening. This feature is borrowed from Samsung and it allows the LG G2 to use the camera to check whether you’re still looking at the screen before it decides to turn it off. Go to Settings > Display > Smart On > Smart Screen to turn it on. Now your phone shouldn’t turn off when you’re using it, but remember it won’t work perfectly in the dark because it has to be able to detect your face.
How to launch apps when you plug headphones in
This is a handy trick that saves you from having to manually select your app for listening to music when you plug your headphones in. Set it up in Settings > General > Accessory > Earphone under App panel. You can also Edit app panel so that every time you plug in earphones your preferred apps pop up and you can start listening faster.
How to move app icons (and home screens)
You can press and hold on an app icon to move it around, but you can also cycle through your additional home screens by tilting the LG G2.
How to change app icons
This is a “unique to LG” feature: You can change the icons that represent different apps and resize them. Tap and hold on an app icon and then let go and you’ll see an option at the top right of the icon which will open your icon choices. You can choose a different icon or change the dimensions. If there’s space around it after you tap and hold then let go, you’ll also see blue corners that can be dragged out to expand the app icon and turn it into a widget.
How to use Knock On so you can tap the screen to wake it up
The ability to tap twice on the screen to get the LG G2 to spring to life, and knock twice on any empty space on the home screen or on the status bar to put it back to sleep, is very handy, especially since the physical buttons are on the back of the phone. You’ll find this feature in Settings > General > Gestures > Knockon. You may have to practice a bit to get it to work every time.
How to change your Menu, Home, and Back buttons
LG’s interface is full of customization options. You can even change your system buttons at the bottom of the screen. Go to Settings > System settings > Front touch buttons and pick the line-up and lay out you want.
How to theme your messaging
Open up your messaging app and try Menu > Settings > Conversation Theme to get a choice of different wallpapers and preset themes for your text messages. You can even set up different themes for different contacts. You’ll find additional themes available for download in the Play Store.
How to quick launch the camera
Press and hold the Volume down button on the back of the LG G2 for a couple of seconds to launch the camera. You can also use the Volume down button to capture a photo, though it’s a little awkward. If the screen is on you can also swipe left from the home screen to quickly launch the camera.
How to use QSlide
Drag down the notification shade and you’ll see a line of QSlide apps under the usual toggles. These apps can be launched in small windows that sit on top of whatever else you are doing. You can tap on the top of the window and drag it around, or tap and drag on the bottom corner to resize it. There’s also a transparency slider at the top.
How to customize toggles and QSlide apps
Pull down the notification shade and swipe all the way to the right to find an Edit option. You can tap and drag entries to re-order the list, and you can uncheck them to de-clutter and remove things you don’t use. The QSlide apps work in exactly the same way, scroll right to get the Edit option.
How to use Quick Memo
This handy feature captures a screenshot and lets you draw over the top of it (there’s a plain note pad option, too). Hold down the Volume up button for a few seconds and it will launch. You can also launch it from the toggles in the notification shade, or you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen and slide to the right to activate the Quick Memo shortcut. This is also the easiest way to grab a screenshot on the LG G2.
How to share files wirelessly
You can access files on your LG G2 using your PC or Mac wirelessly through your Wi-Fi network. It’s a feature called Wireless storage and you can find a toggle for it at the far right of your notifications shade toggle menu. You can also turn it on via Settings > Share & connect > Wireless storage. When you turn it on you’ll get a pop up that gives you the IP address, username, and password.
Stick the IP address into Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac and you can drag files directly from the phone to your computer. On Windows if you add \G2 to the end of the address then you can map the network drive. On OSX in Finder hit Command K and then enter smb:// followed by your IP.
Alternatively you could use a free app like AirDroid, which allows you to transfer files and also send and receive SMS, among other things.
How to use Slide Aside
Go to Settings > General and turn Slide Aside on. This nifty feature allows you to store up to three apps off to the side while you multitask. Use three fingers to swipe them off to the left and then three fingers to swipe right will bring them back. This feature works with any app and you can bring them back whenever you want, whatever you happen to be doing. It’s especially handy for messenger apps.
Editor’s Note: Slide Aside differs from Android’s standard “Recent Apps” menu because apps that are slid aside will stay frozen forever. The Recent Apps menu only holds a certain number of apps in memory at a time and shuffles them out as you open new apps.
How to use Clip Tray
You can copy text and pictures by tapping and holding on them then copying to the Clip Tray. When you long press on any space in a text box you’ll get the usual Paste option, but you should also see Clip Tray which gives you a pop up window at the bottom containing everything you’ve copied in there.
How to use Guest mode
If you’ve got sensitive emails, files, or maybe photos and videos on your LG G2 that you would really rather not share with your friends and family, you are not alone. LG has spotted this issue and offered up a clever solution called Guest mode. You have to use pattern lock to unlock your phone for this to work. Go to Settings > Display > Lock screen and pick your usual unlock pattern. Now head to Settings > General > Guest mode and you can set a different pattern to unlock a Guest mode on your phone which will only allow access to the apps and functionality you specify in the Guest mode menu.
How to use your LG G2 as a remote control
You’ll find a toggle for Quick Remote in the notifications shade and you’ll find it listed in your apps as well. This allows you to use your IR blaster equipped LG G2 as a remote control for your TV, DVR, cable box, and other compatible electronics. You can set different profiles for different rooms by choosing them at the top left, so it can work as a universal remote throughout your home. It’s easy to set up, but it just functions as a remote control; it doesn’t offer a TV guide, so you might want to install something like zeebox.
The remote controls will appear in your notification shade when you drag it down. You can also set them to come on automatically on your lock screen when you get home by tapping Menu > Settings in the Quick Remote app and choosing Auto display at home then specifying your home Wi-Fi network.
That’s all of our LG G2 tips and tricks for now, but if you want to suggest something new, then please post a comment.
Article originally published 12-3-2013.