When you buy a Samsung phone, you get your own version of Google’s mobile operating system with its own unique tools and benefits.
PICK up an Android phone and the details of how to use the software will vary depending on the company that made it. While Google builds the foundations of the Android operating system, everyone else likes to put their own spin on it.
For example, with Google’s own Pixel phones, you get exclusives like Google Assistant call screening and a Now Playing widget that can identify songs playing in the background right on the lock screen.
It’s the same with Samsung phones that use a version of Android called OneUI. If you own a Samsung phone, these are some of the most useful features you’ll get that you won’t find on other manufacturers’ phones.
Hide apps you don’t use
You’ll use some apps a lot more than others, and you don’t want a lot of unused apps taking up screen space – this makes the interface cluttered and takes more time to find the apps you’re currently using. interested in
Uninstalling apps is always an option, but you may not necessarily want to go that far. What’s more, there are certain core pre-installed apps from Samsung and Google that you can’t uninstall, meaning you’re stuck with them.
Samsung OneUI has a workaround that allows you to hide apps. They’re still on your phone, but they don’t appear on your home screens, app drawer, or search. To bring them back again, you have to uncover them.
To hide apps, open the app drawer, tap the three dots (top right), then tap Settings. Select Hide apps and you can hide or show any apps stored on your phone by selecting them from the list. All your hidden apps are grouped at the top.
Optimize your device
If you head into the Settings app and select Battery and device care, you’ll see a phone management screen that isn’t included with other Android devices. It helps your phone run as smoothly and as long as possible.
This device care and optimization also includes battery health, free storage, system memory and various security settings. Right at the top of the screen, you’ll get an overall rating of how well your device is currently optimized.
While the device care tools will always run in the background to catch problems, you can also tap the Optimize Now button to perform a manual optimization – which is very useful if you think there might be a few issues with your smartphone.
The optimization process involves finding duplicate or large files on your device that may be taking up space unnecessarily, such as finding apps that are draining your battery or closing apps running in the background unnecessarily.
Customize the Always-On Display
Samsung phones give you more control than most over what appears on the lock screen and how it appears. In Settings, go to Lock screen and Always on display to configure it – although be aware that some budget Samsung phones don’t offer this feature.
You’ll see that you have all sorts of settings to play with. For example, you can choose how long the always-on display remains visible and choose your preferred clock style from a variety of digital and analog options.
Other available settings allow you to switch between portrait and landscape orientation and choose how bright the text on the lock screen is. It’s also up to you whether the media playback controls appear on the always-on display.
You can even download full themes for always-on display: Tap Themes in Settings, then select AOD to see what’s on offer. Quality can vary, but you should be able to find at least a few options that suit your taste.
Put the items in a secure folder
If you own a mid-range or flagship Samsung smartphone, you have access to a secure folder: a specially protected area of your device where you can store any kind of file that no one else has access to.
Accessing the secure folder on a Samsung phone requires additional authentication – a fingerprint, PIN or pattern – and all data in it is fully encrypted, meaning it’s nearly impossible to hack.
In Settings, select Biometrics & Security, then Secure Folder. Once you set the authentication method and bring up the secure folder, you can add new files and applications to it by clicking the + (plus) button.
You can also add files from several other apps on your phone to the secure folder. For example, in the Gallery app, you can select photos and videos, then tap More and Move to Secure Folder.
Launch Samsung DeX
Samsung DeX is a way to control your smartphone using a keyboard, mouse and computer monitor. For example, if you do a lot of image editing or word processing on your phone, this can be useful.
What you’re basically doing is turning Android and OneUI into a desktop operating system with all the benefits it brings – floating windows, more intuitive app controls, keyboard shortcuts and so on.
You need some hardware: This only works with the Galaxy S series phone, and you need a specific Samsung DeX cable to connect to your monitor and peripherals. You can also plug it into a laptop or desktop computer and use connected peripherals instead.
Samsung has a full DeX guide you can take a look at, but it’s not hard to get up and running and should seriously increase your mobile productivity – both in terms of what you can do on your phone and how quickly you can do it.