There are many hidden hacks, tips, and tricks in Galaxy devices that you may already be aware of, regardless of whether you’re fortunate enough to own a brand-new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, a stylish flip phone like the Z Flip 4, or just one of the other greatest Samsung phones available.
You’ll be astounded at how many hidden capabilities your Galaxy phone or tablet has, from removing objects from photos to personalizing your side buttons and even capturing screenshots with a palm swipe.
1. TAKE SELFIES USING VOICE OR HAND GESTURES
Like them or not, selfies are a part of everyday life now. And whether you take 50 of them a day or, like me, one per year at Christmas, Samsung phones have a cool way to make snapping selfies a lot more versatile.
To activate selfie gestures on your Galaxy, open the Camera app then tap the settings cog in the top-left corner. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Shooting methods.” Next, tap the toggles next to “Voice commands” and “Show palm.”
Now, you can activate the shutter by saying “smile,” “cheese,” capture,” or “shoot” — this works with both the front and rear-facing cameras. To take a selfie or record a video using gestures, simply hold up your palm to the front-facing camera, or say “record video.”
2. CUSTOMIZE GESTURES EXACTLY AS YOU WANT THEM
Samsung already allows you to swap the traditional three-button navigation option at the bottom of the display in favor of the more modern swipe-gesture system. But if you find those gestures too limiting, the One Hand Operation + app from Samsung lets you completely customize how gestures work on your phone.
I personally use this to put my gestures on the each side of the display — you can swipe inward to go back, down and diagonal to go to the Home screen, and up and diagonal to see recent apps. I find it so much easier to simply swipe from the sides of the gigantic display on my Z Fold 3, instead of having to contort my hand toward the bottom of it.
However, this app is so versatile, that it lets you trigger practically any action with a gesture. For example, a diagonal swipe from the top of the screen could launch the torch, skip to the next music track, or even open a virtual touchpad.
3. CREATE A SECURE FOLDER TO KEEP STUFF PRIVATE
Did you know that Samsung phones have their own secret vault, known as the Secure Folder? It’s a sort of second space where you can either move files or apps from your “main” phone space, or just use as its own private area.
To set up the Secure Folder, go to Settings and scroll down to Biometrics and security, then scroll down again to find Secure Folder. Simply tap Agree, sign in with your Google or Samsung account and then set up how you want your Secure Folder to be secured. The Secure Folder app will then appear in your app drawer. Once it’s set up, you can download apps exclusively to the Secure Folder, since it is treated as a separate space.
It may be a good idea to shift all of your banking apps to the Secure Folder, as this would add an extra layer of security in case your phone were left unattended. You could also use it to store those secret things you’d be embarrassed for others to see — such as a copy of Candy Crush, in my case.
4. SPEED THINGS UP BY REMOVING ANIMATIONS
Though there’s another way to speed up your Android phone or tablet by tweaking the options in Android’s developer menu, Samsung has something similar built right into the OS. You can turn off the animations on your device, such as when you open or close apps, which make it seem more snappy in daily use.
It’s worth checking out this option if you’re looking for a speed boost, as it does make a huge difference. However, it may affect how some apps operate, so luckily it’s easy to revert back if you notice any issues.
To activate this feature, open Settings and scroll down to Accessibility, then tap Visibility enhancements. Next, tap the toggle by Remove animations to turn the feature on. If you notice this causes issues, you can easily turn it off again in the same way.
5. LIFT SUBJECTS OUT OF PHOTOS
If you’re using One UI 5.1, you can lift a subject straight out of a photo. This is a super handy feature for quickly copying image elements onto your clipboard, or even saving them as a new image. This trick works in a similar way to the iPhone’s Visual Lookup, which was one of out favorite iOS 16 features, so it’s great to see it now on Samsung too.
To lift a subject out of an image, open an image, then tap and hold on an element to cut out. A short animation will show you that the subject has been cut out. Release your finger and you’ll be given options of what you want to do with the cut out, such as copy it to clipboard or save it as a new image.
6. FIT MORE APPS ONTO YOUR HOME SCREEN OR APP DRAWER
You may simply add more apps to your app drawer or Home screen if you discover that you need a little more room for them. Simply pinch in with two fingers on the Home screen, then press Settings to bring up the Home screen settings menu. Then, select the Apps or Home screens grids and adjust their sizes as necessary.
7.USE A LOCKABLE HOME SCREEN PLAN
If you’re forever accidentally shifting the carefully arranged icons on your Home screen around, there’s an easy way to put a stop to this. You can lock the Home screen, meaning you can’t remove or move any of the apps until you unlock it again.
To do this, open the Home screen settings menu by pinching in with two fingers on the Home screen and then tapping Settings. Now, tap the toggle by Lock Home screen layout to activate this feature. If you want to unlock it again, simply tag the toggle.
8.SWIPE TO PHONE OR TEXT LINKS
Despite the fact that this functionality has been a part of One UI for a while, a surprising number of individuals I encounter are unaware of it. Furthermore, I found out when using a Pixel 6 Pro that sometimes you just don’t know how valuable something is until you don’t have it.
To message or call a contact in your address book or recent list, swipe left on the contact, and swipe right on the contact. This is something that ought to be on every smartphone since it is so basic but so straightforward.
9. GET THE CAMERA OR DISPLAY TO FLASH FOR NOTIFICATIONS
You may configure your camera to turn on its flash or display whenever you get a notification or your alarm goes off, hidden away in the Settings menu. This function is ideal if, for any reason, you can’t hear your phone or don’t want it to vibrate.
Navigate to options, Accessibility, then Advanced options to turn it on. After that, select Flash notification. Toggle each option on and off. You can also select which applications it applies to and what color you want the screen to flash. Just hit the toggle next to each setting.
10. CUSTOMIZE YOUR SIDE KEY SETTINGS TO MAKE SHORTCUTS
Did you think your phone’s side button was just for locking? Think again. By customizing your Samsung device’s side button, you can set up new functions and shortcuts besides just the standard controls.
This is a great way to make your phone easier and quicker to use, as you can assign a commonly used function to the button for rapid access. You can set the button to quick launch the camera on a double press, for example. It’s also possible to have this feature open an app of your choice, meaning you can get to your most used app with just a couple of presses.
To enable this feature, open Settings and select Advanced features, then tap Side key and toggle on Double press before choosing the key assignment.