Our in-depth guide to the best Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus hidden features reveals how to get the most from your new 2017 Moto phone. From longer battery life and fingerprint sensor gestures to cool camera tools and the nifty one-handed mode, these are the best Moto G5 and G5 Plus features you might not know about.
Although the latest Moto phones sport a pretty vanilla version of Android Nougat, there are still plenty of unique and useful features and tools packed away inside. Both the Moto G5 and the slightly bigger and better-specced Moto G5 Plus offer lots of handy shortcuts and bonus
How to use the Moto G5’s Fingerprint sensor gestures
The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus both sport a fingerprint sensor, housed beneath the screen. This can be used to quickly unlock your Moto phone, but also supports gestures for skipping through Android.
To turn on the fingerprint sensor gestures, head to the Moto app on your G5 or G5 Plus. Inside here you’ll find an Actions section. Tap that and then ‘One-button nav’. This allows you to enable or disable the gesture support of that security scanner.
With this enabled, the virtual on-screen home, back and recent apps buttons are disabled. Instead, you can swipe your thumb left along the fingerprint sensor to go back at any time, while a swipe right opens the recent apps menu. Alternatively you can swap these around inside the One-button nav menu.
Note that with the sensor gestures active, you’ll need to turn on Android’s split screen app mode in a slightly different way. Before, you just had to long-press the recent apps button when in a supported app in order to split the screen and open a second app alongside. But now you’ll have to enter the recent apps menu with a swipe of the sensor and then drag an open app to the top of the screen to enter split screen mode. This is clearly indicated by the G5 or G5 Plus when you call up the recent apps.
When you’re done playing with your Moto, you can now press and hold your thumb on the sensor as if you were trying to unlock the phone. This hibernates the handset, just as if you’d pushed the power button.
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Quick launching the Moto G5 and G5 Plus camera
You can quickly launch the Moto G5 and G5 Plus’ camera app in three ways.
First, there’s a shortcut on the lock screen, which allows you to immediately swipe your way into the app to take a spontaneous shot. Not bad, but you have to tap the power button and then swipe the screen, which isn’t particularly fast or smooth.
Secondly, you can head to the Display section in the settings menu and enable the ‘Press power button twice for camera’ option. We’re not sure why this shortcut is buried away inside this menu, but it’s a handy way of quickly diving into the G5’s camera app.
Even better however is Moto’s double-twist gesture. The double-twist can be activated in Moto’s assistant app (simply called ‘Moto’). Tap this and then head to the Actions section and ensure that ‘Twist for Quick Capture’ is enabled. With this done, all you need to do is twist your wrist twice while holding the phone to instantly open the camera app. This works at any time, even when the Moto G5 or G5 Plus is hibernating.
How to turn on the Moto G5’s battery saver mode
If your battery charge is running low, you can always turn on the G5 or G5 Plus’ battery saver mode to get the most out of your remaining juice.
Do this by heading to the phone’s settings menu and tapping Battery. The battery saver option is right at the top of the screen. In here you can either activate the mode right away, or set for battery saver to automatically activate when your battery level hits either 15 percent or 5 percent.
Battery saver works by limiting background data privileges of your apps, which means you might not receive messages until you manually sync within an app. Location services and vibration effects are also disabled or restricted.
How to use Do Not Disturb on the Moto G5 and G5 Plus
About to head into a meeting, or want to stop your phone from buzzing and bleeping at night while you’re trying to sleep? Not a problem, thanks to Android’s handy Do Not Disturb mode.
Do Not Disturb can be activated on the G5 and G5 Plus by holding down the volume down button on the right edge of the handset. After a second or so, an ‘Alarms only’ message pops up on screen. With this enabled, any calls and messages will register silently in the background, with no alerts or notifications to distract you.
Alternatively, you can simply flip your Moto G5 phone over so the screen is facing down to turn on Do Not Disturb. To activate this gesture, tap the Moto assistant app (simply called Moto) and head to the Actions section. In here, tap the ‘Flip for Do Not Disturb’ option and then tap the slider at the top of the screen so it turns blue.
How to activate one-handed mode on the Moto G5 and G5 Plus
The new Moto G5 and G5 Plus are considerably smaller than last year’s G4 and G4 Plus, but you might still struggle to use these 2017 Motos one-handed. If that’s the case, try the nifty built-in one-handed mode.
Head to the Moto app and tap the Actions section. In here you’ll spy a ‘Swipe to shrink screen’ feature, which you need to tap on. Inside this new menu, tap the slider at the top to turn on one-handed mode.
Now, any time you want to shrink the display towards the bottom of the screen (making everything easier to tap on), just swipe your thumb up from the very bottom of the screen. If you swipe straight up, the shrunken display will be centralised. Swipe right to shrink towards the right edge (handy for right-handed users) or left to shrink towards the left edge (good for left-handed people).
How to use the screen saver mode on the Moto G5 and G5 Plus
The G5’s screen saver feature allows you to choose what is displayed when your phone is charging or docked. Just head to the settings menu and tap ‘Screen saver’ to get it set up.
You don’t get a huge selection of displays to choose from, sadly. The clock mode essentially turns the phone into a bedside alarm clock, complete with a handy ‘night mode’ to dim the display so your bedroom isn’t illuminated all night long. Alternatively you can convert the G5 into a digital photo frame, to show off a slideshow of photos from your Google Photos album, or just make the phone display some funky colours.