Samsung’s brand new flagship smartphones – the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus – are enjoying a lot of attention, with pre-orders and sales skyrocketing, and almost everyone giving them highly positive reviews. The smartphones bring a ton of great features, and while a lot of them are fairly obvious, there are some hidden features and tricks that aren’t that obvious. So, if you have bought (or are planning to buy) the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus and want to know about the great but hidden features they offer, here are 15 Galaxy S8 tricks and hidden features you should know about:
1. Remap Bixby Button
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus come with Samsung’s very own take at AI assistants designed to make your life easy. However, in its current state, Bixby isn’t very useful, which makes the dedicated hardware button kinda pointless. Fortunately, with the help of an app called BixBye (free) the Bixby button can be easily remapped to launch anything you want it to. You can read more about BixBye, and learn how to use it from our article on remapping the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus.
2. Use Separate App Sounds
If you like listening to music on your Bluetooth speakers at full blast, chances are you’d not want an incoming call, or text message to blast its sound through your Bluetooth speakers. But that’s how it has always been… until now. With the S8 and S8 Plus, Samsung offers what’s called “Separate App Sounds”. The feature allows you to make your smartphone play sounds for specific apps through a specific output only, and all the other sounds are played through the device.
- You can find and enable this feature by going to “Settings -> Sounds and Vibration“, and then “Separate App Sounds“.
- Here, you can simply enable the toggle, and then choose what apps should play their sounds through which audio output.
3. Pin Anything to the Always On Display
The Always on Display on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus is really great, and while I would’ve preferred that notifications didn’t turn into small circular icons, there are things about the Always on Display that are really great. One such feature allows users to pin almost anything they want to the Always on Display. This could be an image, or a note taken in Google Keep, etc. You can even pin YouTube videos to the Always on Display, but they only show up as the URL. To pin, for example, a note to the Always on Display, you can just follow the steps given below:
- Launch Google Keep, and select the note you want to pin. Then, tap on the three dot menu button on the top-right, and tap on “Send“.
- From the screen that slides up, select “Always on Display“, and then tap on “Pin to Always on Display“.
The note will be pinned to your S8 or S8 Plus’ Always on Display and you’ll be able to access it with a quick double tap. This can prove extremely useful for reminders, and shopping lists, as you’ll be able to access them without having to unlock your phone.
4. Enable Download Booster for Faster Download Speeds
If you’ve ever used Speedify (it’s awesome), chances are you know how useful it can be to combine bandwidths from multiple networks in order to improve download speeds. Samsung includes a Download Booster feature in the S8 and S8 Plus that effectively does the same thing, except that it uses your WiFi and LTE connections at the same time to increase downloading speed. To enable Download Booster, just follow the steps below:
Note: Using LTE for downloads can quickly rack up your data charges, so make sure you’re on an unlimited plan if you decide to use this feature too often.
- Go to “Settings -> Connections -> More Connection Settings“.
- Here, simply switch the toggle next to “Download Booster” from its “off” position to “on”.
You will now be able to see clear improvements in the download speeds you’re getting on your phone with Download Booster enabled, as compared to when it was disabled.
5. Enable Dual Audio for Bluetooth Devices
The S8 and S8 Plus are the first smartphones in the market with support for Bluetooth 5.0, and among it’s various cool features, one that really stands out is the fact that with Bluetooth 5.0, the S8 and S8 Plus can stream music to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. This is just awesome! There may be a slight lag between the two devices, but what matters is that two people can simultaneously enjoy wireless music over Bluetooth now.
- To enable Dual Audio for Bluetooth devices in the S8 and S8 Plus, simply head over to “Settings -> Connections -> Bluetooth“.
- Make sure that Bluetooth is on, and then tap on the three dot menu button. Here tap on “Dual Audio“. You can then enable Dual Audio, and enjoy your music on two Bluetooth devices at the same time.
6. Hide Apps
Hiding apps is not something that everyone uses, but it’s nice to have the feature in case you need to use it. Fortunately, with the S8 and S8 Plus, you will not have to rely on third party app lockers that seem a little shady, or are unreliable. To hide apps on your S8 or S8 Plus smartphone, just follow the steps given below:
- Swipe up from the home screen to open the App Drawer, and then tap on the three dot menu button on the top right. Here, tap on “Settings”
- Here, tap on “Hide Apps“. You can then simply select the apps you wish to hide, and tap on “Apply”.
7. Capture Snippets or GIFs
Another great feature that the S8 and S8 Plus come with is the smart select tools in the edge panels. With these tools you can capture a rectangular or elliptical portion of the screen. All that is cool, but what’s really amazing, is the Animation tool. If you’re watching a video on your S8, and there’s a scene you want to make a GIF out of, you can simply swipe to the Smart Select Edge Panel, and tap on the “Animation” tool.
Then, you can place it over the playing video and record it. The S8 will convert the recording into a GIF that you can then share with your friends, or send out as a tweet.
8. Remove Icon Frames
The S8 and S8 Plus both use squircle icons all over the user interface. This means that apps that do not have squircle icons, get their icons resized and fit into white squircles to match the theme of the rest of the phone. While this does look uniform, it tends to make the icons look bad. So, if you want your phone to ignore squircle icons, and use all the normal icons instead.
- To do this, you can simply head on over to Settings -> Display -> Icon Frames.
- Here, select “icons only“, and tap on “Done”. The S8 will switch over from using squircle icons with whiteframes to normal app icons instead.
9. Secure Folder
Secure Folder is a new feature that Samsung added to the S8 and S8 Plus. With Secure Folder, you can keep your personal data for compatible apps, safe inside a secure folder that can only be accessed by entering the PIN, scanning your fingerprint, or through the iris scanner. This is awesome because for the same app, you can basically create two separate spaces, one that anyone with access to your phone can see, and another inside the Secure Folder. So, if you take pictures with the camera app inside the secure folder, they will be saved to the Gallery, but won’t be visible outside the secure folder.
Also, if you have pictures in your gallery that you want to secure, you can move them from the regular gallery to the one inside the Secure Folder, effectively protecting them from unauthorised access.
10. Edit Edge Panels and Add More
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus come with curved screens, and there is no flat screen option left anymore. So, even if you didn’t like the curved screen design, and you haven’t been a user of edge panels, it’s high time that you begin to embrace it. Edge panels are actually quite useful, provided you set them up right. To edit Edge Panels, and to add more panels, you can follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings -> Display -> Edge Screen. Here, tap on “Edge panels“.
- In the screen that opens, you can easily enable or disable the pre-loaded Edge panels that come with the S8 and S8 Plus. Also, if you want to find out some more cool Edge panels, you can do so by simply tapping on the “Download” button on the top right.
Once you have set up Edge panels on your S8 or S8 Plus, you’ll figure out that they actually are quite useful, and really do make it easier to perform a whole lot of operations on your smartphone.
11. Make Apps and Videos Fit The 18.5:9 Aspect Ratio Screen
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus come with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, this makes the screen taller than it is wide, making the phone a lot more compact, and easier to hold in one hand. However, this also poses the problem that most apps and videos are meant to be viewed on smartphones with 16:9 aspect ratio, which is why when you launch third party apps, or view YouTube videos on the S8 and S8 Plus, they have black bars on the sides.
Fortunately, Samsung offers an easy fix for these issues. When you’re using an app that has black bars on the top and bottom, just press the recents button, and you’ll see an icon on the app’s card to scale the app to use the entire 18.5:9 screen on the S8 or S8 Plus. You can simply tap on this icon and the app will automatically be resized to perfectly fit the S8’s display.
Similarly, for videos, you’ll see a button on the video player that you can tap to quickly crop the video to fit the screen of the device, making the experience a whole lot better on the gorgeous S8 display.
12. Use Blue Light Filter
Recent studies have shown that the blue light that emanates from smartphone and laptop displays can disrupt the human sleep cycle, and actually prevent users from sleeping properly. To fix this problem, Samsung includes a blue light filter in the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. When you enable this, the S8 removes the blue light from the screen, making it easier on the eyes at night, and therefore preventing any disruption to your sleep cycle.
You can enable the Blue Light Filter on your S8 and S8 Plus by going to Settings -> Display, and switching the toggle next to “Blue Light Filter” to “on“. You can then also tap on “Blue Light Filter” and adjust the settings so that they suit you best. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus also support scheduled Blue Light Filter, so the device automatically turns it on/off depending on the sunrise and sunset in your location.
13. Create Custom Battery Saving Profiles
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have an average battery life. Fortunately, Samsung includes a pretty decent battery management tool in the S8 and S8 Plus. Simply head over to Settings -> Device Maintenance and tap on Battery.
Here, you’ll be able to see the preset battery saver modes that Samsung bundles with the S8. These modes simply tweak some settings and turn off a few additional things to extend the battery life of your smartphone. However, you can even create custom Battery Saving profiles on your smartphone. Simply follow the steps below:
- Just tap on any of the preset battery saving profiles, and then tap on “Customise”.
Here, you’ll be able to adjust all the settings that the profile was adjusting itself. You can adjust how the profile tweaks the settings on your Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, to suit your needs while still getting the maximum battery life out of your device.
14. Set Up Game Launcher
While there is no doubt that the S8 and S8 Plus are perfectly capable of handling even the most demanding of games, it’s always a good thing if the frame rate of a game increases even further, right? Plus, won’t you like to prevent getting annoying notifications while you’re just about to perform a sick move that’ll leave your opponents crying in the aftermath of the battle? Well, with Game Launcher you can do all that and more. To enable Game Launcher, just follow the steps below:
- Go to Settings -> Advanced features -> Games
- Here, switch the toggle next to “Game Launcher” to ON.
What this does, is that it consolidates all of your games in one place, adding a “Game Launcher” shortcut to your home screen; while also giving you other options to make your gaming experience on the S8 or S8 Plus a whole lot better.
15. Colour Code Folders
Another piece of customisation that you can do on your Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus, is colour coding folders. This kind of customisation can be helpful to quickly identify folders as well, once you get the habit of which colour corresponds to which folder. To colour code folders, you can just tap on any folder to open it, and then tap on the “palette” icon on the top right. Here, you can select the colour you want for the folder, and easily colour code folders according to your personal preference.
Ready to Try These Galaxy S8 Tricks and Hidden Features?
You can use these tricks and hidden features to enhance the way you use your brand new smartphone, and do a lot of cool things with it. You can play games in a more immersive environment with better frame rates, you can set different sounds to play out of different outputs, and you can listen to music over two Bluetooth devices at the same time. There is a lot that the S8 and S8 Plus are capable of, and these 15 tricks and hidden features are just the ones that I felt were worth sharing. However, if you know of any Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus tricks that you think we should include in this article, do let us know about them in the comments section below.