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Make the most of the excellent LG G4 with these 10 tips

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Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends

We love the LG G4, thanks to its stunning Quad HD, IPS Quantum display, fast Snapdragon 808 processor, and astonishingly capable camera. If you own one, or are picking one up soon, you’ll want to get to grips with all the secret features that sometimes get hidden deep in the menus. We’re here to help, so delve into our range of cool LG G4 tips for owners below, and get the most from the leather-covered beauty.

Related: 10 best LG G4 cases and covers

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How to use Glance View

A feature first seen on the LG G Flex 2, Glance View is a quick way to see the time, date, and any alerts that hide in the notification bar, without waking up the phone. It’s easy to use: just swipe down from the very top of the lock screen until the clock and task bar come into view. Not only is it convenient, but it’s a great way to not reveal any notifications on the screen if you only want to check the time.

How to disable Smart Bulletin

Not everyone will like LG’s informational side panel that works like an extension to the G4’s home screen, and contains various shortcuts and quick access tools; so here’s how to disable it.

Swipe across to Smart Bulletin, then go to Settings, and look for the on/off toggle in the top right.

How to customize the notifications panel

This is one of the more controversial parts of LG’s Android UI, as it’s completely different from the stock Android version. If you’d like to simplify it, or just re-order the buttons, follow these instructions:

Bring down the notification panel, then scroll to the end of the shortcut list, where you’ll find an Edit button. Tap this, and select which apps you’d like a shortcut to, and where they should come in the list. You can also remove the volume and brightness slider if you prefer. Tap Save, and you’re done.

How to change the theme

LG provides a selection of custom themes you can apply to the G4, if the standard theme gets a little stale. Here’s how to find new ones and apply them.

First, go to Settings > Display > Home Screen > Theme. From here you can select any already downloaded theme, but to find new ones, swipe to the left and tap the blank window with the plus sign in it.

When you’ve chosen your new theme, tap the preview and then tap Apply.

How to use Gesture Shot and Gesture View for selfies

The LG G4 has a wide-angle selfie camera lens above the screen, plus an effective beauty mode, and these two cool features help you make the most of it. Gesture Shot eliminates camera shake that often results from having to press a shutter release button, or from holding the phone awkwardly for those group selfies.

Raise an open palm hand, so the front camera detects it, then slowly clench it into a fist. If you get it right, a three-second countdown will begin, and a picture will be taken when it reaches zero. Alternatively, do the gesture the other way around for the same effect. Here’s a bonus tip: it works best when your hand is in plain view of the camera, without faces behind it.

Gesture View works in tandem with Gesture Shot. Just bring the phone towards you after taking the selfie, and a preview will appear on the screen, without the need to leave the app and check the gallery.

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How to set up Knock Code

An extra security option available on many LG phones, some may prefer to use Knock Code over the Android pattern unlock system, or a regular PIN. Knock Code uses a combination of screen taps to unlock the G4, making it very difficult for anyone but you to access the phone.

To set it up, open Settings > Display > Lock Screen > Select Screen Lock, and finally choose Knock Code.

Here, you create you own Knock Code pattern in a similar way to setting up an Android pattern unlock, but with a series of between three and eight taps in particular sections of the screen.

If you use Knock Code, but forget the correct sequence, you’ll need to use your Google account login details, or a previously set PIN to unlock the device.

How to add a shortcut to the Android soft key menu

The back, home, and menu buttons are standard on the LG G4, just like most Android smartphones, but there’s also the chance to add another shortcut to the list. The choice is limited to a few stock LG apps, but the notification panel dropdown button is handy for one-handed use.

Go to Settings > Display > Home Touch Buttons > Button Combination. Then slide your chosen extra shortcut into place. You can also change the color of the bar from black to white.

How to use Smart Lock

If you use an Android Wear smartwatch, Google Glass, or any other Bluetooth connected accessory, then Smart Lock is an essential time saving feature to know. Provided the Bluetooth device remains connected to your G4, it bypasses the need to use a PIN or any other security method to open the phone. You just swipe the screen.

Before this happens, you’ll need to add your Bluetooth accessory as a trusted device. Go to Settings > Display > Lock Screen > Smart Lock, and then choose your Bluetooth device from the list provided. You’ll also have to set up an alternative security method, if one isn’t active already.

How to activate Manual Mode in the camera

This one is easy, but will open up an entire new world of possibilities for the keen mobile photography fan. Manual mode lets you adjust the focus, play with the ISO settings, adjust the shutter speed, and select modes for white balance and an auto exposure lock.

With the camera app open, hit the button that looks like three small squares stacked vertically, then the Settings button, that looks like two slider controls in a box. From here, press Manual.

How to quickly access the Camera app

Here’s a fast way to activate the camera app, and even make it take a photo instantly. Go to Settings > General > Personal > Shortcut Key, and make sure the setting is turned on. If it is, then a double tap of the volume down key on the back of the phone will instantly open the camera app, even if the screen is locked.

If you want to take a photo quickly, check the Quick Shot box on this screen to force the camera to take a picture as soon as it opens this way.

That completes our list of tips for getting the most from your LG G4, but feel free to share your favourites in the comments below.