So you decided to purchase an LG G4, did you? If you’ve had it any length of time at all, you already know that this isn’t your grandma’s rotary phone. With its IPS Quantum Display, Quad HD, 16 MP rear camera with an f1/8 aperture, removable battery, and we could go on, but you probably don’t have all day—this is a marvelous phone. And like any stand-out phone these days, it comes with options for you to customize and make it your own.
You made a great choice in this smartphone, but let’s see what it can do for you in particular. Want your unique method of security? Do you want to declutter your phone of the things you don’t need? Maybe you want to specify and make it easier to access the things you do need? We can do all of this and more, including making it feel like someone designed it specifically with you in mind.
1. Change Themes
You don’t necessarily have to go anywhere outside your phone to get access to more custom theme options because LG has some on hand. Swipe down your Status bar, and tap on the gear icon that represents Settings. Then go to Home screen and Theme, where you will see the various options.
There have been reports of this feature being disabled by Verizon, but you can still download a different theme from Google Play like the one below.
Download: Beautiful Theme
2. Disable Smart Bulletin
Name any feature, and you’ll find that someone (and maybe it’s you) doesn’t like it, and there’s nothing wrong with having your personal preferences. And if you don’t use a lot of LG’s apps, you may have little to no use for the Smart Bulletin panel. Smart Bulletin is located to the far-left of the Home screen panels and is where LG places widgets like LG Health or your calendar appointments within easy access. LG does tend to be a bit biased towards its widgets, however.
To disable Smart Bulletin, go to Settings > Home screen, and turn Smart Bulletin off. Or you can swipe directly to Smart Bulletin’s panel and tap the gear icon (Settings) in the upper-right corner and toggle the switch to an OFF position. It’s within these settings that you can also rearrange or get rid of certain sections, rather than get rid of Smart Bulletin altogether. But if doing away with the feature is what you are after, another way is to pinch and drag Smart Bulletin to the Remove section and confirm.
3. Disable or Uninstall Apps
Between your carrier and LG, itself, you may have a lot of apps you have no use for. Stop feeling helpless, because disabling or uninstalling these apps is one of the 11 ways you can customize LG G4. Go to Apps from any home screen. Tap Settings > Application Manager.
Tap the app, and you will see options to either Disable or Uninstall. You may have to go through a few confirmation screens to complete the process. Some carrier/manufacturer-installed bloatware does not give you the option to uninstall; only to disable. If you are willing to root your phone, it can still be removed, or you can try the Debloater Tool from XDA below. Neither option is without risk.
Download: Debloater Tool
4. Customize Notifications
If you are used to the Notifications panel on stock Android, the G4’s version will probably seem quite different. Google’s Quick Settings is replaced with LG’s Quick Toggles instead. Whether you love or hate this setup, you at least have the freedom to make some changes. To edit the layout, swipe the toggles to the left until an Edit button appears on the right.
The Edit menu allows you to choose the tiles you want in your Notification bar. You can also rearrange the order of these toggles by using the drag and drop function. In doing so, it’s helpful to note that the upper toggles will appear to the left and are the most easily accessed. Finally, you can enable or disable the Volume and Brightness Sliders, and then press the Back button to save and exit.
5. Make Smart Notice Smarter
Everybody knows that person who is soo smart but has limited social skills. Similar to that person, Smart Notice will cheerfully greet you on your Home screen with what it assumes you want to know, but you might find other types of information to be more useful.
To give Smart Notice some feedback about what you are truly interested in, tap the Settings (gear) icon to the top right of the widget and select those items you wish to be notified about.
You can set it up to receive notifications about new Contacts, Battery Saver, birthdays, callback reminders, weather, cache cleaning, memo reminders, and traffic, but keep in mind that it can become annoyingly and overwhelmingly fast—like that know-it-all smart kid.
6. Knock Gesture & Lock Screen Options
Knock Code is the rare combination of being both convenient and secure. It’s a lock screen method that permits access to your G4 only after tapping a personalized pattern of your design anywhere on the phone’s display. To set this up, go to Settings > Lock screen > Select screen lock > Knock Code, and tap within the square 3-8 times using a pattern you won’t have a hard time remembering. You can also use the Knock On feature to turn your Home screen or apps on or off.
Additionally, you can change the phone’s lock screen animation (only for use with the Swipe lock screen) by going to Settings > Lock screen > Screen swipe effect. Choose amongst Circle mosaic, Hula hoop, Light particle, Soda, or Vector circle.
7. Select Smart Settings
Smart Settings cause the G4 to alter its settings automatically, based on circumstances such as a change in location. For instance, you could set the G4 to connect to Wi-Fi when you are home. You can also arrange for the G4 to open a specific app every time you connect your headphones. Other potential setup options include changing the sound profile or turning Bluetooth on or off when you reach the gym or office.
For the Settings to work, it is mandatory that you go to Location Settings and toggle on My Place. If you need to enter your location manually, you will be provided the opportunity, or you can choose an address based on the information in your Google account.
If you find that the My Place option has been grayed out, try turning Wi-Fi off and Mobile Data on. To set up each function, go to Settings > Smart Functions > Smart Settings and toggle your choices. This method of customizing the LG G4 makes your phone work for you without having to be asked twice.
8. Switch Up Soft Keys
You can change the order of the G4’s on-screen keys and add another option as well. For example, you could relocate the Home button to where the Back button currently is, and vice versa. To see what you are working with, head to Settings > Display. It’s in the Basic Settings option that you’ll be able to customize the sequence in which the touch buttons appear.
Extra buttons that you can add include but are not limited to QSlide, QMemo+, and Dual Window. This is also the place to be if you want to pick out a different shade for your Navigation bar. You don’t get a whole lot of options, though—it’s limited to just black and white variations. This is also where you can hide the Home button in some apps.
9. Save Time with Smart Lock
Like Smart Settings, Smart Lock unlocks your G4 automatically in the presence of other devices (such as an NFC tag or Bluetooth headset) or when you are in a trusted location. Smart Lock is only available if you have set up a secure lock (password, PIN, pattern, Knock Code). To set up Smart Lock go to Settings > Lock screen > Smart Lock. Enter your unlock method and tap Next.
Depending on your device, you should have most, if not all of the following options: Trusted places, Trusted devices, Trusted face, On-body detection, and Trusted voice. Trusted face relies on facial recognition. On-body detection prevents the phone from locking while it’s on your person. Trusted voice utilizes voice recognition to keep your phone unlocked.
10. Make the Most of Manual Mode
For the photographer, Manual Mode is a way to personalize and perfect your images, and it’s not difficult to implement. It certainly does help that the camera’s hardware makes great pictures possible. But access to manual control over settings is built right into the LG’s camera app, and you don’t have to be a professional to try it out.
There will be a bunch of options listed on the bottom row. From left to right, White Balance, Manual Focus, ISO, Shutter Speed, and Autoexposure Lock, but don’t worry if you don’t know what these are because toggling each option will show you what the image will look like.
The mode even allows you to edit photos on a PC like the professionals do, by using the RAW format option. You will learn both the art and science of photography as you experiment with each setting in various ways. However, if you are dealing with a changing or moving object that you want to capture a good image of the first time, it might be safer to stick with Automatic Mode for the sake of time.
11. Collude with Cloud Accounts
Is your media scattered, well, everywhere? If you want to open up the lines of communication between your cloud services like Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, and LG Cloud and apps like Music, Gallery, and file managers, you can do so by visiting Settings > General > Cloud.
Once you sign in with those accounts, you will be able to access your online media within those built-in apps. If you are concerned about your privacy and only want certain apps to have access to certain accounts, it is possible to give permission on an individual basis.
We’ve gone through 11 ways to customize LG G4. Did you a find a customization on the list that was your favorite? Or perhaps you could share a customization that’s even better? Now you have a fantastic phone that’s yours, all yours.