A few days ago, I walked out of a Rogers store with a new LG G5 smartphone, built with Android Marshmallow 6.0.1, in hand. Dude, is there ever a rush when you have a new smartphone to play with! It’s my new buddy, my assistant, an extension of my free will, all within reach 24/7. And, now that I have had a few days to play with its slightly unfamiliar setup, here are the best tips and tricks I’ve found for you so that you’re not letting your LG G5 waste on its potential.
There are a lot of reasons to love the LG G5 smartphone right off the bat. The battery that only takes an hour and a half to charge and lasts all day; the quad-core processor; the ability to expand its memory up to 2TBs (now if only a 2 terabyte SD card was actually on the market,); the fingerprint lock; the amazing camera including 1:1 Square capture, and a wide-angle lens; Jason Statham…
LG G5 Commercial with Jason Statham
Okay, I had no clue there was such an awesome commercial when I bought this phone. #MyBad Let’s take a few minutes to appreciate the Statham.
Say Goodbye to the App Drawer
It’s gone. The android app drawer is no more. In an attempt to be more like an iPhone perhaps, there is no longer a “backend” list of all your apps in alphabetical order. All of your apps are left to sit on your home screen(s), with only uninstall as an option. I’ll admit to panicking for about 5 minutes, because I love a tidy home screen.
I don’t even like having multiple home screens to scroll around. I like a type of order that means I’ll have instant access to only the apps I utilize on a daily basis and the rest can sit somewhere unseen until I absolutely need them. I also don’t need to see all the uninstallable bloatware that Rogers, Google and LG add to a phone. Yes, the mere thought of having to look at a random app folder on my main screen was enough to leave me in a bit of a sweat. But, you know what?
It turns out I love not having an app drawer.
The LG G5 comes with a genius tool that I wish was an option on earlier phones. There is something better than an app drawer! I’m not sure if this is a Marshmallow thing, or an LG G5 thing, but there’s now a way to hide all those unnecessary apps that you don’t want, or hardly use.
I’m currently hiding 24 out of 74 apps that are active on my smartphone. It’s fair to note that hiding an app does not fully disable that app from running. For instance, I’m hiding the McAfee Security & Power Booster app that I recently installed. I want this app to run and keep my phone secure, but I don’t need its icon on the home screen, so it’s hidden from view while still keeping active in the background.
Tip: To keep your phone’s home screen organized, and only have access to the apps you truly need, go to Settings > Display > Home Screen > and scroll down until you see “Hide apps” and then check all the apps that you don’t need to look at every day.
Trick: Be sure to check the app icon for Settings (looks like widget,) to set to hide, since you already have access to this from the drop down menu in the top bar of your smart phone.
I promise, by hiding the apps you don’t need, you won’t miss the android app drawer, but if you REALLY want your app drawer back, the LG G5 comes with a setup to make it available again for you. Go to Settings > Display > Home Screen > Select Home to get started.
Once you have all the icons that you won’t ever need hidden, you can organize the rest of your icons into similar folders. Creating folders is simple by holding down and dragging one app icon on top of another one. You can also change the name and colour of the new app folders you create.
If you need any inspiration, here are four folders that are on my phone:
- The App Box is the holder of all the apps that don’t quite fit anywhere else, but I’ll know I’ll need them more than once. I tend to use the calendar and calculator frequently.
- Foodie & Shops is where all my food membership and purchase apps go (like Starbucks, Second Cup, and Ritual,) along with any shopping apps like ebay, Amazon and PayPal, and coupon/sales apps like Flipp or Caddle.
- Entertain Me is where I hide all the apps I use when I need a break. Gaming apps like Risk, or TV/Movie apps like shomi are here.
- Being Social is where all my “work” apps are, like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. I practically live online, and these are all the different places you’ll find me.
Capture Your Thoughts And Share
If you were ever in need of sharing what you saw on your phone with others, like trying to discuss exactly where to meet up with help of a map. The LG G5 has a number of screen capturing tools to use quick and easily.
Tip: The easiest method is the same one that can be used on most android powered devices: holding down the power key and the down-volume key at the same time. This is how I’ve captured most of the pics for this Tips & Tricks post.
A similarly easy method, that allows for writing at the same time, is using the Capture+ function, found in the drop-down menu.
Trick: If you find you’re needing to explain your picture a little bit more, Capture+ plus has tools to do that.
Pick Up a Second LG G5 Battery
Not gonna lie, this tip & trick will cost a little extra, but it’s well worth it. One of the major features of the LG G5, beautifully demonstrated by the Statham right at the beginning of his commercial is the fact that this smartphone encourages keeping a second battery on hand.
The LG G5 uses a Type-C USB for charging, which is a bit different than the typical Type-B USB we’ve all become accustomed to with 90% of our current tech. But, this is all going to change very soon. Type-C USB can charge at a much quicker rate over it’s predecessors, with a much higher energy output. It’s high enough to safely charge laptops and notebooks that have a required input lower than 20V/100W (average 15 in. laptop is roughly around 60W, according to CNET.)
What does this have to do with your LG G5 though?
Your LG G5 battery could potentially also be used as a power source for your other tech now, and more importantly, in the future when the majority of our tech will be using Type-C USB. Imagine your extra battery being used to charge your laptop while you’re working someplace that doesn’t have a readily accessible outlet.
Tip: The LG G5 Battery Charging Kit comes with an extra battery, ensuring your phone will be powered up all day no matter how much you use it (and if you’re like me, taking a copious amount of photos a day, you’re going to want an extra battery!) The Kit also comes with a Hybrid Battery Charger, which is also the dock to charge the extra battery, that is capable of being a backup battery charger for any tech requiring a USB charge (as long as you have your Type-B or C cable with you.)
Trick: The other benefit of having an extra battery on hand is not having to be “tied” to your pocket charger while out. As a blogger, I’ve been to countless events at the end of the day where my phone has been stuck connected to a battery charger since I’ve been on the go all day. It’s not cool having this long white anchor wire sticking out of my purse and attached to the phone I’m trying to take a picture with. A second battery means I’m wire-free and have a phone fully charged for whatever busy day I run into.
Wanna draw, Cowboy? Check out LG G5’s Quick Shot
How much do you love this camera?? I’ll admit to shedding a few tears of joy when I learned about the wide-angle lens, and the Cam Plus accessory! The LG G5 is best suited for photography and video lovers and this is well represented with one of the best quick shot features I’ve ever seen. Have you ever been to an event, a birthday party, or bird watching, when the most amazing scene is happening right in front of you. Your first thought is “QUICK, I need to take a picture of this,” and your second thought is, “I hope this is still happening while my camera app finally loads, oh mah gerd.”
LG G5 to the rescue my friends, with instant photo capturing. You don’t even need to waste precious seconds waiting for your phone to unlock.
Tip: This is a setting that needs to be turned on, so go into Settings > General > click on the Shortcut Key and ensure the toggle is set to “On” (the toggle is green when on.) At the bottom of this screen, also make sure that Quick Shot is also toggled on.
Trick: When Quick Shot is toggled to on, your phone can take photos even when in standby mode. To check out this awesome feature, set the phone into standby (double tap the home screen, or press the power button quickly.) Then, double click the Volume-Down button. The double click opens the camera and simultaneously takes your first shot! The camera is left open so that you can take many more of that amazingness while its still happening. Be aware that the camera will take the photo in whatever you last format settings were, so if you had 1:1 Square with a wide lense active, that’s how the camera will take your instant shot.
Level Up on Photography
The LG G5’s smartphone camera is hands down the best camera on the market to date. It might not have the highest megapixels, but it’s well rounded in all capabilities to make this smartphone camera elite.
Some Tech Specs: Main camera is 16MP, wide-angle camera is 8MP, selfie-camera (with facial recognition) is 8MP.
That is just the beginning though. This camera has a whole bunch of modes and settings that sometimes make me weep. It has manual options that almost make my Canon DSLR obsolete.
Share With Your Friends and Family Instantly
Having your smartphone share your images to your social networks is nothing new, but the LG G5 takes sharing to a slightly higher level by having the share buttons right on the camera’s screen. The moment you’ve taken that special photo, you can immediately share it to your network(s) of choice with several steps removed for easy upload. As much as I love Instagram, I rather dislike the app’s camera. Being able to take a photo and launch the Instagram crop page right away is a huge plus for me.
The LG G5 has a variety of great modes for both camera and video. One of the fun options is the Popout mode, where you’re utilizing both the standard camera and the wide-angle lens camera at the same time. The foreground “Popout” image is captured with the standard camera, where as the background image is captured with the wide-angle lens, and has a variety of options all on it’s own (for instance, you can blur the background, or set it to B/W.)
Popout Your Pictures
When you click on the Popout option from the Mode Settings, you’ll be given a number of options right on the camera screen. Here are a few samples of what you can do quickly with the Popout options. I took about 20 different photos for these samples, all within a few minutes. The background can be affected by four filter options, where you can use all four, one, some or none: Vignette, Fisheye, B/W, Lens Blur. The foreground image can only be zoomed in or out for effect.
Circular, with Vignette and Fisheye
Rectangular Flag, with Fisheye and Black & White
Square Flag, with Fisheye
There are a ton of settings you can play with. The speech setting lets you say a variety of words, “Cheese”, “Smile”, “Whisky”, “Kimchi”, or “LG” to take a photo. This can be helpful if you rather use it over the timer for a group photo. All you have to do is get everyone ready without thinking about the seconds counting down and then one or all of you yell out cheese for the camera to capture the moment.
It does have the standard timer if you want people to rush and fret quietly though.
I love the camera capture sizes, especially the 1:1 mode. This means I can view and take an image with the exact dimensions for Instagram without worrying that some important aspect of the image will be cropped out.
I LOVE the fact that this camera comes with manual options. I’m very much an amateur photographer, but being amateur doesn’t mean that I like using automatic. I hate auto, and only use this setting if I don’t have time to play with manual options (such as when Kit or Henry are playing, ’cause they never stop just so that I could take a photo.)
I highly encourage you to play around with the manual settings, as they’re not hard to understand once you’re familiar with the choices.
- WB – White Balance, the dial shifts around to give you an idea of what the optimal white lighting should be, and also shows you options to make a photo more cool with blue tints added or more warm with pink tints.
- MF – Micro Focus, this is another dial that helps you determine what the focus of your image is. If you have a tiny aspect of an image you’d like to focus on, such as the one of the birds on this mouse, you can run through the dial until you find the right focal setting (that can blur the surrounding area.)
- ISO – (I’m entirely not sure what it stands for, but at a guess I would say Image Sensor Optics,) this determines the quality of your photo. If you have perfect lighting, you’ll want a low ISO (such as 200,) for there to be less noise in the photo. The higher the ISO the more noise an image has, which looks like grainy particles whenever an image is zoomed in on.
- S – Shutter Speed, this setting can be the deciding factor between a frozen image (such as a child playing is frozen in action,) or blurred motion (like water from a tap looking blurred, as if its moving.) A setting of 30 (which means it takes 30 secs for shutter to snap requires virtually little light in a room, but is a fairly useless and extreme.) or the other side of the shutter speed spectrum 1/3200 (so 1/3200 of a second for the shutter to click,) you need a ton of sun light, but it’ll take a truly beautiful and very still photo, but again that’s on the extreme side. You can potentially capture a bird in flight with a shutter speed of 1/250. The Shutter Speed is affected by light, so the higher the speed, the more light you’ll require from your surroundings to get the beautiful picture you want.
- AE-L, Auto-Exposure Lock – essentially, while this button is highlighted with green, your settings are in place. To revert back to default settings, click this button and it’ll remove all of your manual changes.
Here’s what the difference between manual and auto settings can look like. The setup for this photo is a table, no tripod, with minimal afternoon sunlight from one window.
The recipe I used for the manual image was: S 1/25, ISO 400, WB 4600K, F1.8 (which is the regular lens.)
The Accessibility options are incomparable from other smartphones I’ve seen, but this isn’t something I’m qualified to test. These options can be found in Settings > General > Accessibility.
The Fingerprint Lock is a great concept, and makes for quick entry to your smartphone’s home screen. It honestly wasn’t a feature that I was looking for, and I hadn’t planned on using it at all. But, for the sake of this post, I decided to try it out and was thoroughly surprised with how inconspicuous it is, as well as fast acting. And there is already an app that I can connect to utilize my fingerprint as the password. I’m not sure if I’m ready to pay bills by fingerprint through PayPal yet, but it’s an option, and one I think I can get behind.
Both of my nephews are huge fans of tech, and always want to see and figure out how to use all the different phones and tablets we have in the house. I always fear that one of them is going to accidentally delete one of my accounts, post some random picture on Twitter through my profile, or send all of my cash to one of their offshore Swiss bank accounts if I don’t password protect as much as possible.
To get the fingerprint locking setup, go to Settings > General > Fingerprints & Security. Note that you can have multiple prints on file, so if you have a boo-boo on the finger you usually use for access, with a Band-aid now in the way, you can have backup prints in place. You’ll also have a backup pattern and pin available should you have decided to go all Men in Black and burn your fingerprints off later.
Smart Lock is another interesting option. You can purchase a set of NFC tags for roughly $10 (here are NFC Stickers available in Canada), and have your phone automatically unlock when it’s near the NFC tag. Go to Settings > Display > Lock Screen > Smart Lock to check out all the auto-unlock features you have access to.
LG G5 Friends
The LG G5 doesn’t stop with just the phone, it has some incredible accessories that you won’t want to miss out on and have fun with.
Most, if not all, other virtual reality glasses for smartphones require “installing” your phone into the VR box. Which is mostly fine, but there is always a fear that the phone will fall out of the box. It’s also not always comfortable to keep holding the box up to view the 360 awesomeness. And that’s a key thing, VR on the smartphone is an incredible platform that is gaining popularity. Imagine a social network completely based in a virtual setting, like Second Life (except easier for the general public to handle.) We’re not far from that reality, and you’ll want a pair of comfortable VR glasses when you find yourself spending hours in a new network.
I have this little buddy, and I don’t think I’ll ever take it off my phone. It has a fantastic grip, and all the awesome settings turn my phone into more of a camera. For one thing, I don’t need a camera app icon on my home screen with the Cam PLUS attached. There is a on/off toggle on the left side of this picture, that turns the camera on and off as I please. Makes for quick access instead of having to search out the icon on the home screen. The scroll wheel creates an easy zoom and toggle between the regular and widescreen lenses. There is the capture button, that includes a quick focus feature, similar to a regular point and click camera. And finally a video toggle button for quick video capturing. It starts recording video the moment the button is clicked.
This little beauty is actually coveted by many, with hope that the bluetooth connection will work with other phones, including iPhone (according to users on Amazon, it can.) This 360 Camera takes beautiful 360 stills, as there are two wide-angle cameras on this bit of tech. It also takes beautiful 360 2K video.
LG G5 Friends TONE Plus Bluetooth Earphones
If you’re looking for stylish, noise-cancelling, bluetooth earphones with 24 bit Hi-Fi sound! Comes in a multitude of a different colours to choose from.
And that’s it until I find something else to share about this fabulous smartphone. Even while creating this post, I found a bunch of cool new options that I need to play with.
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* Please note, I’m not aware of Deadpool endorsing LG G5, nor LG G5 endorsing Deadpool. I just happen to have my spirit animal as my smartphone’s background.