The LG G3 is a great device, so much so that it’s probably better than you even realize. Like most phones, it’s intuitive and easy to use, but if you dig a little deeper there are some great ways to personalize your experience, or even make it easier to use.
Tap on, tap off
LG has a great and very simple feature built in to its phones. In order to bring it out of standby mode, all you have to do is double-tap the blank screen. This will take you to the Lock screen, from where you can go anywhere you like.
You can also lock your phone by double-tapping. This is a little harder, as it requires an area on the home screen devoid of icons or widgets. An easy tip here is to always leave one space free. That way you can turn your phone on, check notifications and then lock it again without ever picking it up off of your desk.
Customize your lock screen
If you have security codes disabled, the lock screen offers some great flexibility. Tapping on and swiping off of the icons at the bottom of the screen takes you straight to the app in question.
These buttons are totally customizable. If you, like a lot of users, make phone calls less often than you listen to music then you can ditch the phone app and throw on Spotify, or Pocketcasts, or any other app at all. Put Flashlight there if it takes your fancy. Just about any app in your applications menu is good to go.
To do this, go in to the Display tab in Settings > Lock screen and find Shortcuts. Tap on any icon you wish to swap. You can have fewer than the default 4 if you wish, and a maximum of 5.
Use and edit Quick Settings
Quick Settings will be familiar to Android vets, but if you’re new here then it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself. On the G3, Quick Settings are found at the top of the pull-down notification tray. Swiping right and left takes you through the default QS. Go all the way to the right will get you to Edit, from where you can disable certain ones that you don’t think you’ll need, and enable others.
This is an easy way to have greater control over your phone. You can adjust brightness to suit your context, or disable mobile data if you’re running dangerously low on juice. You can also engage quiet mode at the tap of a button for when you’re at work, then switch back to normal notification sounds when you leave.
Control your TV
The G3 has a built-in IR blaster, which means you can use it as a TV remote, among other things. Open up the app and follow the instructions to set up a remote.
You can make different remotes for different TVs, which are saved as being different “rooms”.
Best of all, you can access the remote app via Quick Settings. The option is called Quick Remote, just like the app. Turning it on means that you always have a small remote within your notification tray. This is super useful, as it means you don’t have to exit an app or even unlock your phone to access the TV remote. Just pull down the tray, do your thing and swipe it back up again.
You can run two apps on the same screen at once. Hold down the Back button, then select and hold an app before dragging it up. Do the same with the next app, but drag it downwards.
This is a good way of copying between apps, such as with links or pictures. You can adjust how much of the screen each app gets by grabbing and moving the center bar up and down. To exit, just tap Back until only the top app remains.
Switch up your default buttons
Android has three default buttons: Home, Back and the Multitasker. Their arrangement varies, but all three are almost always present. These days they tend to be virtual on-screen keys, which is a feature that is both useful and annoying.
Most manufacturers fail to make use of the potential for customization when your default buttons exist as software, but not LG. You can move the buttons around to suit yourself, change their default color, make the bar transparent or not, and even add new keys, and remove any of the defaults completely.
Go in to Display Settings > Home touch buttons > Button combination . The only three options for new buttons are Notifications, QSlide and Dual Window. Unfortunately there is no possibility of adding the old Android Menu button, which we think would have been a very worthwhile inclusion.
Knock Code is LG’s own take on security passwords. Instead of a number, or a pattern, you can also tap out a beat. The code can be anything up to 8 taps, and spread out across four distinct areas on your screen.
Like with other forms of Android security, this means you won’t be able to use the Lock Screen shortcuts.
Knock Code does have one inherent problem that other forms of security don’t suffer from. If you’re anything like us, every time you tap in your password you’ll get whatever song it’s from stuck in your head. It’s impossible not to, but it’s a small price to pay for wowing onlookers with your space-age security settings.
Guest Mode is not specific to LG,
but it’s still a useful feature. It lets you loan your phone to someone in a
locked-down state. They will not be able to access any features or apps that
you have not specifically granted access to in Guest Mode.
You can even set a separate Knock Code to launch the phone in Guest Mode if you want, so you can give someone your code without fearing what may appear on your Facebook account in thirty seconds’ time.
To set it up, head on in to General Settings and find Guest mode. Then just follow the prompts. You can pick and choose up to 30 apps that are allowed guest mode access.
Switch up your font style and size
This one’s pretty straight forward: you can change your font and font size. Go in to the Display part of Settings and hit either Font type or Font size. Don’t be afraid to try out a few. You can always go back if you don’t like the new one.
The G3 may be a great phone, but it’s big and at times unwieldy. If you have difficulty reaching some of the keys, you can always off-center them to the right or left, to make one-handed use a little easier.
You can set the dial pad, LG Keyboard or the number pack on the lock screen individually. Once activated, you can switch between right and left using the arrow that appears beside each feature.
Access this in the General tab of Settings > One-handed operation.
Launch camera and QMemo+ with volume +-
Holding down volume while locked will immediately launch the camera app. Holding up launches QMemo+. Unfortunately, you can’t change the apps that are tied to these commands, but you can fully disable the feature if you wish.
Change folder colors
This is a nice feature that you don’t often find. You’d be surprised how much of a difference picking your own colors for app folders can make a difference to the look of your home screens. It’s a great way of adding that little extra personal touch.
Your eyes only
You can set certain pictures and videos to only appear if you have put in the password. They will be housed in a locked section that you can only get to through the gallery’s menu with a password pattern or PIN.
To activate this, go in to the General tab of Settings > Security > Content lock . Once enabled, go to the gallery and find the individual photos you want to hide. Hit the menu button and select Lock.
To view your now-hidden content. Hit the menu button, Show locked content, and put in the code.