Get the most out of your LG G2

If you’ve read my thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S5 (tl;dr: I don’t like it), then you’ll know that I’m now using LG’s current (but soon to be superseded by the G3) Android flagship, the G2.

As any self-respecting Android user would do, I immediately set out to make the phone better. Or rather, better for me anyway. Which – again – I would say is the best part of Android: the ability to tweak it as much or little as you want.

So, here’s the best tweaks for your LG G2 running stock Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Just keep in mind that these all require root access. Which fortunately is not difficult to achieve thanks to the excellent IORoot25 tool and guide.

Just a side note here: I’ve tested all of these tweaks on a Canadian LG G2, model number D803. In theory they should work with any variant.

G2 Xposed (Xposed module)

G2 Xposed status bar dropdown settings

Remove the volume and brightness sliders from the status bar dropdown

G2 Xposed nav bar settings

Customize the navigation bar buttons and long-press actions

This module for the Xposed framework gives you a ton of options for customizing your phone. Almost anything you dislike about the stock UI you can change. Want to get rid of the animation when you plug in a headset or the USB cable? Done. Want to hide buttons or icons in the notification drawer? Done.

But my favorite feature of G2 Xposed is the ability to completely customize the navigation bar. I prefer setting up my soft keys to match the stock Android layout: Back – Home – Multitasking. With G2 Xposed you can also set the long-press action on the buttons. This is extremely helpful on the G2 which by default has a menu button and a lot of stock apps that rely on accessing the menu with said button. So I map long-press back to menu, and long press recents to switch to the last used app.

Another nice feature is the ability to remove both the volume and brightness sliders from the notification area and free up some precious real estate for your notifications.

G2_Xposed_icon Download from Google Play store

G2 TweaksBox (Xposed module)

G2 TweaksBox camera sounds

Disable the annoying camera sounds. And remove the pointless low battery camera block.

G2 TweaksBox misc tweaks

Use the camera flashlight without having to turn the screen on. I use this all the time. Also, add the ability to “knock off” the screen from the nav bar.

Yet another Xposed module designed specifically for the G2. It actually provides quite a few more options than G2 Xposed, the UI is just a little more confusing…

Probably my favorite tweak is to use the camera flash as a flashlight. When the screen is off, just hold down the volume-up button to turn it on. Do the same to turn it off. So simple, yet so helpful.

You can also disable all the camera sounds and allow using the camera when the battery gets below 5%. Why exactly LG (and Samsung, maybe others) have this limitation by default is beyond me!

G2_TweaksBox_icon Download from Google Play store

Install Xdabbeb’s camera mod

G2 camera mod 4k video

Now you can shoot in 4k UHD video! Not that you should, mind you…

G2 camera mod ISO bump

The camera mod increases max ISO to 1600

Alright, this one is not for the faint of heart because it requires either a custom recovery or else a sketchy APK install process, but the payoff could be huge depending on how much the camera matters to you.

One common complaint about the G2 camera is that it’s a bit slow to focus. XDA forum user Xdabbeb has managed to fix that and improve the overall camera quality with this mod that completely replaces the stock camera and related libraries. As long as you can get past the tricky install (ok, it’s actually not that difficult – just make sure you read the first post in the thread carefully), then you’ll enjoy better pictures and faster shots especially in Intelligent Auto mode.

Oh, and as an added benefit you’ll also get 120fps (slow motion) video recording in 720p and the ability to shoot 4k video. Although unlike the image quality improvements on the still camera, the bitrate of the 4k video is a little impractical because it leads to some pretty huge video files (as you might expect).

I personally have used the APK install method which works perfectly fine with the stock 4.4.2 firmware and recovery. The only thing you can’t do without a custom recovery is take a good backup – so if you do install the mod using the APK, just don’t expect to revert to the stock camera very easily.

Source: XDA developers forum thread

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