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Moto G4 Tips & Tricks: Best features of the G4 and G4 Plus

Our guide to the best Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus features shows you how to get the most from your Moto phone, including getting better battery life, cool camera features, and explainers for tools like the DayDream mode. Here’s our Moto G4 and G4 Plus tips and tricks guide.

Just bought the Moto G4, or its cleverer cousin the Moto G4 Plus, and want to know about the best features? That’s why we put together this G4 tips and tricks guide, to help you get started with your shiny new phone.

How to turn on adaptive brightness and save battery life

Adaptive brightness is a handy feature which automatically dims or brightens the Moto G4’s screen, depending on how well-lit your environment is. Our Moto G4 handset had adaptive brightness turned off by default, and if yours does too, then we recommend turning it on for a more comfortable viewing experience (and to extend your battery life too).

Head to the Moto G4’s settings menu and then tap Display. Near the top you’ll see the Adaptive Brightness option. Just make sure this is ticked and the feature will be active.

How to turn on the Moto G4’s battery saver mode

If you find yourself running out of power at inconvenient times, you might want to turn on the G4’s battery saver mode. This automatically switches off power-draining features such as GPS and stops apps from churning away in the background (so your email inbox won’t constantly refresh, for instance).

You can turn on the G4’s battery saver mode at any time by heading to the settings menu and tapping Battery. In the top right corner you’ll see an icon that’s basically three dots. Tap this and you’ll notice the battery saver option pop up. In here you can either activate the mode, or set for it to automatically turn on when your battery level hits either 15 percent or 5 percent.

How to quick-load the Moto G4 camera

There are two ways to quickly open the Moto G4’s camera app, to snap a spontaneous photo.

First of all, you can wake the G4 and immediately load the camera app simply by giving the phone a quick double-twist. This camera gesture also works from within other apps and can be deactivated if desired within the Moto assistant app.

Secondly, if you head to the G4’s settings menu and then Display, you’ll see an option to ‘Press power button twice for camera’. Make sure this is turned on and you can do exactly that. Again, this works when the G4 is hibernating and also when you’re playing around in another app.

Check out our full Moto G4 camera review

How to use DayDream mode on the Moto G4

The G4’s DayDream feature allows you to choose what is displayed when your phone is charging. There’s not a massive selection, but the clock mode essentially turns the phone into a bedside alarm clock, complete with an unobtrusive ‘night mode’ to keep the display dim.

Alternatively you can turn the G4 into a digital photo frame, with a slideshow of photos from your camera album as well as your Google Photos account.

Just head to the phone settings and tap Display. In here you’ll find the Daydream option, which lets you setup the feature just how you want it.

How to make sure the Moto G4 doesn’t disturb you, especially at night

At any point you can turn on the Moto G4’s Do Not Disturb mode by holding down the volume down button until an ‘Alarms only’ message pops up. This will ensure that calls and messages don’t bother you, handy when you’re stepping into a meeting.

You can also set up the Moto G4 so it automatically enters Do Not Disturb mode at night. Tap the Moto assistant app (simply called Moto) and head to the Display section. In here you can choose which notifications pop up on your screen when the G4 is hibernating and also you’ll find a ‘Keep screen dark’ option. Tap this and select the start and end times to make sure your phone doesn’t disturb you by lighting up the room when you’re trying to kip.

How to make your Moto G4 secure and keep your data safe

Head to the phone’s settings and tap the Security option and you’ll be able to set up a screen lock, usually a PIN or a memorable pattern that you trace across an on-screen grid. We highly recommend setting up some form of screen lock to ensure no miscreants gain access to your private data if your precious G4 goes missing.

If you hate entering PINs non-stop, you can also set up Google’s Smart Lock feature inside the Security menu. Trusted Devices, for instance, bypasses the PIN screen when the phone is connected to a Bluetooth device that’s always on your person, such as a pair of headphones or a smartwatch. Trusted Places does the same if your phone is currently in one of your favourite locations, such as your home or place of work. And you can even set up facial recognition as a PIN alternative.

Lastly, we recommend tapping ‘Encrypt phone’ and following the instructions to encrypt all of your private data. This process takes a wee while (hence you can only do it if your phone is plugged in) but is well worth it to ensure no one sees your privates (so to speak).