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Samsung One UI Tips, Tricks and Hidden features

by Kaushal
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Samsung has been rolling out One UI in its flagship devices and will also be available on most of the Samsung smartphones launching in 2019. Samsung has come a long way since the dreadful days of TouchWiz to more recent and almost decent Samsung Experience. I’ve been testing One UI features on my Note 9 for the past few weeks or so and it’s surprisingly good.

For all the Samsung Galaxy users who have just updated to One UI and looking to get the best out of One UI, I have compiled a list of best One UI tips and tricks. Let’s begin.

Some features listed below are not exclusive to One UI but we still included them as it’s something everyone should know. That said, you can still find most of these features on your Galaxy smartphone running One UI.


Samsung One UI – What’s New?

1. App icons and App drawer

If you’ve been using Galaxy phones before the One UI update, you’d remember how awful it was to arrange icons in the app drawer. One UI fixes that. Now, you can simply long press on any icon in the app drawer to move it around the tabs. You also get additional features when you long press an app icon, like add to the home screen, select multiple apps, and app’s quick actions.


2. Taking Screenshot

Just like iOS, One UI now lets you take screenshots with just a press of two(power+volume down) buttons instead of Android’s default press and hold. On a related note, if you have a Samsung Note series, you can also use smart screenshot tools built into the Edge Panel. It gives you advance options such as capture parts of a screen, record GIFs, and Pin-to-Screen, etc.

3. Rotate Button on Navigation Bar

You probably would’ve already known about this feature as it is not a One UI exclusive. Whenever you’re watching a Youtube Video or using an app, turning the screen to landscape requires a lengthy process. With this feature, you can just rotate your device and the button just pops up on the bottom corner of the screen. Simply tap the button to turn the screen to Landscape. After you’re done, simply reorient your phone and the button would appear again and you can tap it to go back to the portrait mode.

4. Navigation Gestures

Samsung has moved away from navigation buttons for good like some of the other flagship smartphones. One UI adds navigation gestures to get rid of permanent buttons from the bottom of the screen. Simply go to the following Settings and turn on gestures.

Go to – Settings > Display > Navigation bar > Full-screen gestures.

Also Read: Gesture Navigation Apps for Android

Note: The gestures option won’t show up if you have enabled any accessibility feature which adds a button to the navigation bar

5. One Hand Usage

One UI makes it easier to use a bigger phone with one hand. You can see these changes in the Settings App and Quick Settings. While it is thoughtful but this layout is only applicable to native apps.


Also Read: 42 Best OnePlus 6T tips and tricks

6. One-Handed Mode

With this mode enabled, you can shrink down the actual screen on your Samsung device to a more reachable size. Simply turn on this feature in the settings and activate it with gesture or button.

Go to – Settings > Advanced features > Motion and gestures > One-handed mode > Gesture/Button.

7. Night Mode

Samsung’s super bright AMOLED screen is amazing and Dark Mode makes it even better. One UI implements the Dark Mode system-wide, well almost. Once activated, quick settings, notifications, dialer, messages, and settings turn dark. This is seamless and pairs well with the design layout. The only caveat is that there is no way to turn third-party apps dark, for now.

Must Read: 20+ Android apps with Dark mode and how to enable it

Go to – Settings > Display > Night Mode > Turn on now.

8. Recycle Bin

Samsung’s native Gallery app is decent and with the system-wide dark mode, I prefer it over Google Photos. The only thing stopping me from making it my default gallery app was a lack of trash folder. One UI has finally included a recycle bin in the default gallery app. Any file you delete is stored temporarily in the recycle bin for the next 15 days. You can recover the images from the trash to the gallery or delete it permanently.

Go to – Gallery > Options() > Gallery Settings > Recycle bin


9. AOD

All the smartphones with AMOLED display accentuate the Always On Display feature. You can turn on AOD from the Settings and choose what to display on the screen. It has three options Home button and clock, Clock, and Home button. Even though AOD is minimal, it still consumes resources. You can schedule the time for AOD or tap to show.

Go to – Settings > Lock screen > Always On Display

Read this: 10 Best Notch Apps to customize the Status bar


10. Home screen layout

Android has always had a separate home screen and apps screen which gives you more freedom to customize your apps. One UI also gives you the option to pin most used apps as a shortcut on the home screen while all the other apps go to the apps screen.

Go to – Settings > Home screen > Home Screen layout

If you’re a fan of Apple’s default apps screen layout, you can do that with One UI as well. Simply, go to settings and select Home screen only. This will remove the app drawer and all the apps would be arranged on the Home screen.

11. App icon badges

Instead of dropping the notification curtain every time to check for pending notifications, you can simply turn on icon badges to get an idea of how many missed calls or unread text messages are on the phone. If you like to keep things minimal, turn it on to show without numbers and you’ll get a little dot on the edge of app icon every time you receive a message. Pretty cool, right?

Go to – Settings > Display > Home screen > App icon badges > Show with number


12. Lock Home screen layout

I like to arrange my apps instead of traditional alphabetical order on my smartphone and every time a new app is installed, it ruins my arrangement. One UI lets you lock the home screen layout which prevents removal or repositioning of apps.

Go to – Settings > Display > Home screen > Lock Home screen layout

13. Quick-Open Notification Panel

Earlier, you could swipe up or down anywhere on the screen to open and close the app drawer. While it is a great feature, it is also redundant. Instead, you can set the swipe down gesture on the home screen to open the notification tray instead. This would allow you to access notifications in just a swipe.

Go to – Settings > Display > Home screen > Quick-open notification panel

14. Lock Screen Notifications

One UI keeps your notifications in order, even on the Lock screen. You can control how the notification would show up on the Lock screen. You can choose to display only the icons, get a brief summary, or receive full notifications. One UI also lets you adjust the transparency so that it can blend the theme well with notifications of third-party apps like YouTube which is generally super bright.

Go to- Settings> Lock screen> Notifications> 

15. Quick Settings

Quick Settings are the easiest way to toggle WiFi, Bluetooth, Data, etc. One UI adds a lot of essential settings to Quick Settings such as Blue light filter, portrait, AOD, Navigation bar, Night mode, NFC, etc. You can rearrange the order and adjust the grid size to keep the most used settings on the first tab.


16. Sleeping Apps

Those days are gone when you had to think twice before installing the app and you still got an error on the Play Store that app doesn’t have enough storage. With large internal memory and better optimization, I have installed a lot of apps and don’t even use half of them but I still refuse to uninstall them as I don’t want to wait a few seconds to install it again. I put these apps to sleep which is like hibernation for apps. Apps in sleeping mode won’t run in the background and suck on the battery juice.

Go to – Settings > Device care > Battery > Options() > Settings > Sleeping apps 


17. Dual Instance of an app

I keep my work and private life separate but unfortunately, I only have one phone. To prevent the clutter on a single WhatsApp, I can use two instances of the same app. After activating the second instance of the app, I can assign a separate contacts list which shows up on the second messenger app. It only works for selected apps right now and you can’t have more than two instances.

Go to – Settings > Advanced features > Dual Messenger

18. Secure Folder

Secure Folder is an exclusive app for Samsung Mobile running Android 7.0 and above. You can encrypt your files and apps with this app. Simply add the files to the app and secure it from any potential malware attacks. You can set a PIN, password, or biometric lock to keep nosy friends away.


19. Apps Edge

Samsung’s curved edge display is great and Edge panels house a few quick settings for power users. You can place apps, tools, clipboard, contacts, and a few other features. Depending on what you like, you can turn it on or off, the edge panel.

Go to – Settings > Display > Edge screen > Edge Panels

20. Lock App in Recents

If you have an app that requires running in the background, you can lock it in Recents, simply tap and hold the app icon in the Recents window and select Lock this app.

21. Quickly Toggle Recents

Speaking of the Recents Screen, Accessing the last used app on One UI is very intuitive. Let’s say you’re browsing Reddit and you wish to switch to WhatsApp, you can do this by toggling the Recents Screen instead of going the traditional way. Simply, Tap and swipe right the home button to open the Recents. You can toggle between all the recent apps. It even works with Full-screen gestures, just make sure Gesture Hints is turned on.

22. Split Screen

With One UI’s minimalist layout, some features have been placed behind drop-down menus. Pop-up view and split screen are now available in a drop-down menu. Go to Recents, tap and hold the app icon on the top and select split screen view or pop-up view.

Must Read: Watch movies together with remote friends using these Rabb.it alternatives

23. Smart Popup view

One UI lets you create small widget style app instances with Smart Popup view. You can open an app as a floating window, it can come in handy if you need to calculate something, simply open the calculator in the popup view and use it simultaneously with other apps. No more shuffling between apps.

Go to – Recents > Tap and hold an app > Open in the smart popup view


24. App pair on Edge

If your Samsung smartphone supports split screen, instead of manually selecting two apps you can create an app pair. These app pair run two apps simultaneously in split screen with a single tap. You can create it in edge panel.

Go to – Swipe Edge panel > tap settings icon > Apps edge > add app pair


25. Blue light filter

Staring at the mobile screen for longer periods of time stress your eyes and most manufacturers have taken it as a moral responsibility. One UI offers a blue light filter which reduces the blue light emitted by the screen. You can turn it manually from the settings or toggle it from quick settings panel or schedule it during the night.

Go to – Settings > Display > Blue light filter


26. Screen Mode

You can customize the display for optimized viewing. It has four modes, Adaptive, AMOLED cinema, AMOLED photo, and Basic. If you’re unsure which to use Adaptive is best.

Go to – Settings > Display > Screen mode > Adaptive display


27. Screen Zoom

Screen Zoom is a feature designed for the elderly where you can increase the size of icons and fonts. It makes it easier for old people to read on their mobile screen.

Go to – Settings > Display > Screen Zoom > Adjust zoom


28. Font Size and Style

Samsung supports a variety of fonts which you can install on your Galaxy smartphone and customize the layout. Setting a font changes the text system wide except for websites. You can choose from the list or download from the Galaxy Apps Store. In the settings page, it shows you a preview of how the text would appear and you can decide the size by adjusting the slider.

Go to – Settings > Display > Font size and style > Font Style


29. Screen Resolution

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 sports an almost 3K resolution which looks crisp but at the same time consumes a significant amount of resources. Most of the apps run just fine on 1080p unless you’re watching 4K content. You can bring the resolution down to 1080p or even 720p.

Go to – Settings > Display > Screen resolution


30. Themes

I enjoy One UI’s minimal layout and icons but it might just be me. The icons are kind of cartoonish and aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. You can install themes from the Galaxy Apps Store and change the way your phone looks. Simply tap and hold an empty space on the home screen and tap themes. It opens the Galaxy Apps Store and you can browse and install a theme fit for your taste.


31. Camera

The Camera on One UI is almost the same except for a few minor changes. The most obvious change was the removal of the record button from next to the shutter button. Now you can swipe to change the mode to record to shoot a video. It has a few shooting methods which I felt are very useful. For example, you can trigger a shutter with a voice command like cheese, smile, capture, etc.

You can also add a floating shutter button, the button can be placed anywhere on the screen and would help you take pictures without adjusting your frame. Simply tap and hold the shutter button and swipe it anywhere on the screen.


Read: 7 Best Raw Camera Apps for Android

One UI Tips, Tricks, and hidden features

These were some of One UI tips and tricks which would make your user experience more pleasant. It is nice to see Samsung has done a good job with the interface, it is not perfect but it is a start and we should see some more updates as go forward with the updates. Do you like these One UI features, which is your favorite? drop a comment below.

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