Just got a brand new LG V20 and love it. Great phone! But I’m curious, what can I do with the “second screen”?
Glad you like your LG V20 Android smartphone! When I first got my hands on one, I too was impressed and was immediately curious about the second screen. Was there a screen that unfolded from the back of the phone? Was there a special case with second display? Ah, no, it turns out that it’s not quite that, though it is useful. In fact, it’s reminiscent of the TouchBar on the new Apple MacBook Pro: turning dead space into a tiny functional area.
On the LG, of course, the dead space is the screen real estate adjacent to the back facing (aka “selfie”) camera. Look at the vast majority of phones and that space is just sitting, unused. Which is too darn bad because as LG demonstrates with the V20, there are some useful features you can add! Interestingly, though, it does live in a sort of no-man’s land and if you take a screen capture (hold down the volume down and wake up button on the back for a second or two to get a screen shot) that’s omitted.
The second screen is 1040 x 160 pixels, which means it’s a long ribbon. And sure enough, as you can see in this pic, it’s just that along the top of the phone screen:
In the above view, you can see app icons on the second screen for (left to right) Dropbox, settings, gallery, camera and address book. On the very left you can see the camera lens: that’s not an app! 🙂
Notice that the usual Android status bar appears below the second screen: Android really doesn’t know that the second screen exists other than in a few settings. Before we get to those settings, however, remember that you can swipe side to side on the second screen and step between three different displays. If you’re a minimalist, you might like just having your name:
Swipe one more time and you’ll get to a set of utility shortcuts, which are darn useful!
At this point, there’s not much you can do to customize the display, but if you go to Settings on your V20, you will see that there are least a few features that can be modified. To start, make sure you’re looking at “Display” in Settings:
You can see the “Second screen” option. Tap on it.
Basically, you can turn it on or off when you’re using your phone or when the main screen is powered off. One more setting is accessible through “More” too, if you tap on that:
That’s about it. Many reviewers see the second screen on the LG V20 as a gimmick but I have found it has some useful shortcuts that makes my experience with the phone just a bit more efficient. I hope that there will be more customization and more apps using this extra space, but we’ll have to see…