The Samsung Galaxy S7 looks to be one of the hottest smartphones of 2016, along with its Samsung Galaxy S7 edge sibling.
Samsung continues to offer its TouchWiz interface over the top of Android Marshmallow. It takes much of Android’s core and adds features and functionality. While all those features are great, finding your way around can be tricky as there’s a lot that these phones will do.
Samsung Galaxy S7 home screen
Edit your home screen: A long press on the wallpaper on any screen lets you edit the wallpaper, widgets, themes or the grid size. This grid size applies not only to the home screen, but the apps tray too.
Get more on your home screen: You can change the size of the screen grid on which your shortcuts and widgets sit. It fit more on, select 5×5. This makes widgets more compact or lets you have up to 25 shortcuts.
Resize widgets: Many widgets are resizable. A long press selects them. When you lift your finger, you can drag the blue box that appears and resize your widget. You can even resize the Google search box.
Create a folder: Simply drag one app on top of another and a folder is created. To remove an app from a folder, open the folder and long press an app to select it and drag it out. To add apps, either drag them into a folder, or hit the + within the folder .
Change a folder colour or name: Open a folder and enter the name you want at the top. If you don’t want a name, leave it blank. To change the folder background colour, tap the palette in the right-hand corner and select a new colour.
Access upday news reader: Swipe right from your home page to access upday for your news updates. Hit the settings button in the top right-hand corner to customize the content you see. This replaces Flipboard on the SGS6, but offers a similar news digest.
Disable upday: If you don’t want it, you can remove upday. Long press on your wallpaper, swipe right to upday and toggle off the switch. It will then vanish.
Stop adding new app icons to home screen: If you don’t want new apps you install cluttering up your home screen, head into Play Store > settings and uncheck the box.
Access Google Now: A long press on the home button will launch Now on Tap. Tap the G at the bottom of this screen and you’ll be in Google Now.
Access Now on Tap: As the SGS7 is a Marshmallow handset, you get Now on Tap. Press and hold the home button and Now on Tap will scan the page and deliver results.
Change launcher (home screen): You can easily change the experience of your phone with a different launcher, such as the Google Now Launcher for a more native Android experience. Just download the launcher from Play Store and install it. When you press the home button you’ll be given a choice to select a new default launcher.
Edit quick settings: To change the settings you see when you swipe down the notifications, hit the arrow to expand the quick settings pane, then hit EDIT. You’ll be shown the full list of options. Drag the shortcuts you want to see to the top of the page and hit DONE to save. These will then appear first for quicker access.
Enable/Disable Quick connect in notifications pane: As above open the EDIT option in quick settings. At the bottom there’s the option to always have quick connection displayed as an option. If you’re always connecting, turn it on. If you want to get rid of it, turn it off.
Samsung Galaxy S7 apps tray
Reorder apps: Hit the EDIT button in the top right-hand corner. Drag the apps to the position you want them in. Hit DONE to save.
Create an apps tray folder: Hit the EDIT button, drag one app over another and a folder will be created. You can then drag this folder to wherever you want it to be.
Uninstall apps: You can uninstall directly from the apps tray. Hit the EDIT button, then tap the minus icon that appears in the corner. If the app can be uninstalled, it will be. If it can’t be uninstalled, it will be disabled. You can also open up folders to uninstall the contents.
Alphabetize your apps: In the apps tray, hit A-Z at the top. This puts all the apps into logical order. You need to hit DONE when you’re finished. Also note that if you install new apps, they’ll appear at the end of the list, so you’d need to sort into alphabetical order again.
Add apps to your home screen: Press and hold on the app shortcut in the apps tray. This will let you place a shortcut on your home screen.
Remove the apps tray completely: If you’d rather have all your shortcuts on the home screen with no apps tray at all, a bit like the iPhone, there’s the option to do so. Head into settings > advanced features > Galaxy Labs. In here there’s the option to “show all apps on the home screen”.
Samsung Galaxy S7 lock screen and security
Change lock screen shortcuts: You can have two shortcuts on the lock screen for quick access. These are phone and camera by default, but can be anything you like. Head into settings > lock screen and security > info and app shortcuts. Here you can select the left and right shortcuts, or turn them off completely.
Fingerprint security: To use your fingerprint to unlock, head into settings > lock screen and security > screen lock type. Here you can select fingerprints. We recommend registering at least both thumbs, so you can unlock with either hand. You’ll have to set a back-up PIN or passcode at the same time.
Instant lock: When you press the standby button, you want your phone to lock instantly. Head into settings > lock screen and security > secure lock settings. There’s the option to lock the device as soon as the screen goes to sleep or when you press the standby button. If you do want a delay, there’s plenty of time options.
Smart Lock/Bluetooth unlock: Again in settings > lock screen and security > secure lock settings there’s the Smart Lock section. This is a standard Android feature and you have the option to nominate trusted devices, so your Android will unlock when connected to something else. You can nominate Bluetoothdevices (like your smartwatch or car Bluetooth), location, trusted voice and so on.
Automatically wipe your device: If you’re worried about your phone falling into the wrong hands and being cracked, you can have it automatically wipe. Head into settings > lock screen and security > secure lock settings. Here you’ll find the option to auto factory reset if 15 failed unlock attempts are made.
Samsung Galaxy S7 notifications tips and tricks
Disable/enable lock screen notifications: If you don’t want notifications on your lock screen, head to settings > lock screen and security > notifications on lock screen. This lets you show content, hide content or disable notifications completely.
Hide some lock screen notifications: If you never want lock screen notifications from a particular app (like a messaging app, or annoying game), head into notifications on lock screen as above, then you’ll get a list of all your apps. Switch off the apps and you’ll never get lock screen notifications from them.
Instant access to lock screen notifications: Just tap a notification twice and it will open up the app. Want to dismiss it? Just swipe it away.
Hide content in some app notifications: If you want to have notifications on your lock screen, but hide sensitive information in some of those apps (like a messaging app), first enable lock screen notifications to show content as above. Then head into settings > notifications > ADVANCED. Here you can manage the notifications of each individual app. You can opt to hide content from the lock screen here for specific apps.
To turn off notifications on an app: Go to settings > applications > application manager. Tap on the app you want. In notifications you can block all notifications for any app on your device.
Pinch to expand: Got a stack of notifications? You can pinch to expand them, both on the lock screen and in the notifications area.
To turn off pop-up notifications on an app: Go to settings > applications > application manager. Tap on the app you want. In notifications you can turn off pop-up notifications, so you don’t get a notification for that app appearing at the top of your screen when it arrives.
Samsung Galaxy S7 volume controls and Do not Disturb
Quickly switch to vibrate alerts: If you want silence, but are after vibration alerts still, push the volume button and tap the bell on the pop-up. This will switch to vibrate. Or you can hold down the volume button so it slides all the way down to vibrate.
Set you phone to silent: The normal volume controls only go to vibrate. To make your phone silent, swipe down to the quick settings and tap the sound shortcut. This will cycle through sound/vibrate/mute. Remember to turn the sound back on, or you’ll miss all your calls and messages, or use do not disturb instead.
Turn down media volume: Hit the volume up or down button, and the volume slider will appear. Tap the down arrow on the right-hand side, and you can change the ringer, media, alarm and system volumes independently. Perfect for when you want to watch a YouTube video on the bus without disturbing others.
Engage do not disturb: Do not disturb is an Android feature that lets you silence your phone, but set up a range of exceptions. Swipe down quick settings and tap the do not disturb button to turn it on. You can also set it to a schedule, for example at night, or when you’re in the office.
Allow notifications in do not disturb: If you want silence then do not disturb is great. But if you want some notifications, then you have to designate the exceptions that are allowed. Head into settings > do not disturb > allow exceptions. Here you can allow alarms (essential if you want to wake up in the morning), but also allow repeat callers or nominated contacts – such as favourites for messages and calls – as well as allowing priority apps notifications.
To mark an app as a priority app: Head into settings > applications > application manager. Tap on the app you want. In notifications you get app controls, and you can set an app as a priority so you always get notifications from that app, including in do not disturb mode.
Samsung Galaxy S7 app management
Change the default app: Android lets you decide which is the default app if you have more than one that will do the same thing. Under applications > default applications you can see what has been selected as the default browser, calling app, messaging app and home screen. Other defaults are selected by the first app you open for a particular task.
Control app permissions: Marshmallow lets you manage all the permissions for each app on an individual basis. Go to applications > application manager, select the app and hit Permissions. This will let you toggle permissions on and off, so you can disable location access, for example.
Samsung Galaxy S7 display tips
Turn on always on display: To have the lock screen show you “always on” information, head into display > always on display > and switch it on. This displays when the phone display is in standby.
Add a background to always-on display: You can customise what you see in always-on display by heading to the section above and selecting “background image”. There are a few patterns to choose from, as well as options for what you’re shown.
Change the display colours: Head into settings > screen mode and you’ll get the option to change the way the display looks. If you want something more vibrant, it’s here you can set it.
Turn on night clock: On the Galaxy S7 edge there’s the option to have a clock on the edge at night. Head into settings > display > night clock to set the times you want to to come on.
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge screen tips
Manage edge screen content: If you have the S7 edge, head into settings > edge screen > edge panels to manage what you see when you swipe in. You can add or remove content, as well as download other content here.
Enable edge lighting for incoming calls: If your phone is face down, you can have the edges light up when there’s an incoming call. Head into settings > edge screen > edge lighting. This is ideal for meetings. Your phone will reveal there’s an incoming call without you needing vibration or showing everyone who is calling.
Set a quick reply message for incoming calls: If you don’t want to answer the call, you can reject it and send a customisable reply message by placing your finger on the rear heart rate scanner. Head into settings > edge screen > edge lighting and toggle on the quick reply option. Here you can also change that message.
Samsung Galaxy S7 multi-tasking
Multi app view: To view two apps at the same time, long press the recent apps button and the current app (if compatible) will occupy the top half of the screen. You can then select the second app from the apps shown on the bottom of the display. You can change the size of each app by pressing the dot in the centre and dragging it up or down.
Pop-up view: To view your app as a pop-up, drag the app in from the top left-hand corner. The app will shrink down and can then be moved around and placed where you want. To close it, tap the dot at the top – when it expands you have the option to return to fullscreen, close and so on.
Samsung Galaxy S7 camera and photo tricks
Quick launch: Double tap on the home button to launch the camera. You can do this from the lock screen or any other location in the phone. If it’s not turned on, head to the camera app > settings and toggle on “quick launch”.
Enable raw capture: If you want the dng files saved as well as regular jpeg, hit MODE and select PRO. Then go into the settings and you can enable raw capture.
Control HDR: In the camera app, hit the HDR toggle button on the left-hand side. This cycles through on-off-auto HDR options.
Enable video stabilisation: To stabilise your video on the rear camera, you’ll have to make sure the quality it set to QHD 2560 x 1440 or lower. It doesn’t work on the UHD setting.
Wide selfie: To get more into your selfie shot, select the front camera, then select MODE. Tap wide selfie and you can take a wider shot.
To take a selfie using a gesture or the heart rate sensor: In the camera flip over to selfie mode and hit settings > shooting methods (front). Here you’ll find the options for voice capture, gestures, or using the heart rate sensor to take a picture.
To take a long exposure photo: In the camera app, hit MODE and select PRO. On the right-hand side you’ll see the option to change the length of the exposure. Use the arrows to select the length of time you want. The exposure meter at the bottom will indicate whether you’re going to over or under expose.
To save photos to the microSD card: There’s now a microSD card slot, so you might as well use it. Head into the camera app > settings > storage location and select SD card.
Change gallery view: If you’re looking at your photos and you want more or less on display, you can pinch zoom, to change the thumbnail view.
Samsung Galaxy S7 screenshot
Take a screen shot: Press the home and standby buttons at the same time. A screenshot will be captured.
Palm swipe for a screenshot: If you don’t want to press the buttons to take a screenshot, head into settings > advanced features > and turn on palm swipe to capture. This saves you having to press two buttons at once.
Samsung Galaxy S7 managing calling, data and networks
Smart network switching: If you want to let your phone switch to mobile data when a Wi-Fi network is poor, enter settings > Wi-Fi > MORE > Smart network switch to enable or disable.
Set a data limit: If you don’t want to exceed your contract data, head into settings > data usage and you have the option to set the data limit and the date your contract renews.
Disable background data for apps: In settings > data usage > background data you can select which apps are allowed to access data in the background. This is designed to save your contract data, but gives per-app control, so is really useful. It also has the advantage of saving battery life.
View your Wi-Fi data usage: In settings > data usage hit the MORE button and select to show Wi-Fi usage. This creates a new tab so you can see how much data you’re using both over the cellular network and through Wi-Fi.
Restrict Wi-Fi hotspots: Phone always jumping on Wi-Fi networks you don’t want it to? Head into settings > data usage > MORE > restrict networks and you’ll get a full list of recognised Wi-Fi networks. Here you can limit those annoying hotspots when you’re walking down the street.
Enable download booster: If you’re looking for download booster (to use Wi-Fi and mobile networks simultaneously for big downloads, head into settings > more connection settings and you’ll find the option.
Identify incoming calls: If you want the phone to identify who is calling you, head into phone > MORE > settings and turn on identify unsaved numbers. You’ll then be shown any information that can be found on incoming callers.
Samsung Galaxy S7 storage tips
Explore what’s on your device storage: Head to settings > storage and view the internal storage. This will give you a breakdown of what’s taking up your storage. Scroll to the bottom of the list and tap Explore and you can view folders, open files, delete, manage and share all your files.
Move an app to SD card: If you want to move apps to the microSD card to make more space on your internal storage, head into settings > applications > application manager and tap on an app. Within the app details you’ll find a storage section. Tap this, then CHANGE and you’ll be able to select the SD card. The phone will then move the app to external storage.
Auto restart to keep things fast: If you’re a power user and want to restart your device to flush out the caches, you can do it automatically. Head into settings > backup and reset > auto restart. Here you can set the day of the week and the time you want your phone to restart itself.
Clean your storage up: To clean up your storage, head into settings > smart manager and tap the storage section. Here you’ll be able to scan and find content to delete.
Samsung Galaxy S7 battery tips
View what’s eating battery: Head into settings > battery and tap battery usage. This will show you the predicted battery usage based on your 7-day averages, as well as what’s using up that battery.
Engage power saving mode: Either hit the shortcut in quick settings, or head into settings > battery > power saving mode. Here you can opt to turn it on immediately, or at a particular level of battery drain, for example 50 per cent.
Enable fast charging: Head into settings > battery > fast cable charging. If this is not turned on, the phone won’t use fast charging.
Manage app power saving: In settings > battery > app power saving > DETAILS you can see which apps are optimised for power saving. This is based on how regularly you use them. You can opt to always save power on apps you rarely use. They may not update or give you notifications until you open them again.
Use Android Doze: Android Doze is a low power state that lets apps sleep when your device isn’t being used. It saves a lot of battery in quiet times, for example over night when you don’t have a charger. It’s part of Android Marshmallow and is automatic – so you don’t have to do anything – it just works.
Time till fully charged: Charge time is displayed when connected to a charger. Look at the bottom of the lockscreen and in the battery status screen. If you’re fast charging, it will say so, and the estimated time left.
Android 6.0 general tips and tricks
Enable developer settings: To turn on the developer settings, head into settings > about device > software info. Tap on the Build number. After a number of taps, you’ll unlock the developer options.
Play Flappy Android: Marshmallow’s Easter Egg is an Android take on Flappy Bird, as it was in Lollipop. Head into settings > about device > software info. Then tap the Android version repeatedly until it changes to the Marshmallow screen. Once you have the full Marshmallow wording visible, press and hold. You’ll flip into the Flappy Android game. Enjoy!
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