Phandroid » Tips & Tricks Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sat, 18 Apr 2015 16:00:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Quick Tip: You can now type “Find my phone” into Google Search to locate it Thu, 16 Apr 2015 12:39:44 +0000 google find my phone

Google’s Android device manager is a great way to locate your phone after it’s been lost, and we consider it a primary option to turn to whenever you suffer the unfortunate fate. The only issue is that it’s never been a great experience finding the Android Device Manager on the web — some folks don’t even know that the Android Device Manager is.

To make things easier, Google has created an interface that will show up whenever you type “find my phone” into their search engine (typing “how to find a lost phone” works just as well). You’ll see a map as the service begins automatically locating your device.

You’ll have to be signed in, of course, and you should have Android Device Manager enabled at all times, but once you’ve taken care of all that you can remember this handy search query the next time you’re frantically searching for your phone instead of having to remember a long URL or rely on a bookmark.

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50+ Samsung Galaxy S6 Tips & Tricks Sun, 12 Apr 2015 15:00:19 +0000 galaxy-s6-time-date

Got your Samsung Galaxy S6 today or planning to receive it in the very near future? We know you’ll want nothing more than to rip all the plastic off of it and go to town, and once you dive in you’ll find that there’s so much to see, do and customize that you’ll probably want to put it down for a couple of minutes.

But there’s no need to spend hours digging for the coolest features and options if you’re in a rush — we’ve already done that for you, and we’ve laid out more than 50 of the best tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy S6 right here.

These tips and tricks will mostly be applicable from the moment you boot your phone up, but you may need to setup your Samsung account for a few of them. You’ll have taken care of most of that if you’ve followed our first 13 things to do for the Samsung Galaxy S6 (as well as 10 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge tips and tricks for those of you with the cool Edge variant), so be sure to give that a gander if you haven’t already. Without further ado, let’s go!

Getting Started

Take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S6

One of the most common questions people ask when they get a new phone is “how do I take a screenshot?” There are two ways to do it with the Galaxy S6.

  1. Press and hold the Home and Power buttons simultaneously
  2. Swipe your palm across the entire display to take a screenshot

Once a screenshot is taken you will see it in your notification bar. From there you can share or edit it to your hearts content.

Buy a wireless charger for your Samsung Galaxy S6

Samsung GalaxY S6 wireless charging DSC08674

The Galaxy S6 is one of a growing number of devices that support wireless charging. You don’t have to worry about plugging in your device or accidentally ripping the cord out of the wall. All you have to do is set it on a charging pad. The Galaxy S6 supports both wireless charging standards, so any wireless charging pad will work with it. Here are a few of our favorites:

…or use a wall charger for its awesome Fast Charge feature


There is a benefit to using the old fashioned charging cable. The Galaxy S6 supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0. This technology allows you to get hours of use from just 10-15 minutes of charging. You don’t have to do anything special for this to work. Just use the the wall charger that came with the phone. You’ll see a notification when Fast Charge is working.

You should also know that any wall charger with Quick Charge 2.0 will work with the Galaxy S6. Amazon is selling a bunch of different versions if you want to grab some extras.

Claim your free 100GB of OneDrive Storage

One of the perks of owning the Galaxy S6 is 100GB of free storage for Microsoft OneDrive. If you’ve never used OneDrive it’s actually a really nice service. When you set up your phone for the first time you will be asked to sign in or create a OneDrive account. If you already did that you should have the free 100GB of storage.

Samsung Galaxy S6 OneDrive promo

If you skipped that step you can open the OneDrive app and take advantage of the deal. All you need to do is sign in or create an account. You can take it a step further and have OneDrive automatically backup your photos and videos. Find out how to do that in our guide for first things to do with the Galaxy S6.

Setup “Do Not Disturb” to silence your phones at certain times

Samsung has renamed the Lollipop priority notification system to “Do Not Disturb.” With these settings you can control when you get notifications. To get started go to Settings > Sounds and notifications.

If you turn on Do not disturb mode there is an option to allow exceptions. If you don’t allow any exceptions the phone will be completely silent (not even alarms will break through). Your best bet is to add exceptions for alarms, certain numbers, and important apps. You can also set up a schedule to automatically enable Do not disturb at a specific time every day.

Reboot your phone without removing the battery

Samsung decided to go with a non-removable battery in the Galaxy S6. Not only does this mean you can’t swap out batteries for extra juice, but you also can’t remove the battery if your phone freezes. You can still reset your phone without having to remove the battery.

A soft reset will restart your phone without erasing any data. Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons for 10 seconds until the device powers off.

Use the new Smart Manager app to run maintenance on your phone

Samsung Galaxy S6 Smart Manager app

The Galaxy S6 comes with a new Samsung app called Smart Manager. With this app you can manage the performance, security, and battery. All of the features in Smart Manager were present on earlier devices, but now they are all in one place. When you open the app there are four sections: Battery, Storage, RAM, and Device security. Let’s look at each one.


In the Battery section you will see estimated time left for remaining power and the option to turn on one of the power saving modes. There’s also a section that shows which apps are using the most battery so you can disable them.


In this section you will find information about what things are taking up the most storage. You also have the option to clean the device and get rid of unnecessary data.


Here you will find out which apps are consuming the most RAM. You can “End All” apps at once free up memory, or kill them individually. We don’t recommend killing all the apps often.

Device security

The last section is all about security. You can see if there are any unauthorized system changes and enable the KNOX app if you want to use your phone for work. There are also some anti-malware features powered by McAfee.

Enable Ultra Power-Saving mode to squeeze even more juice out of your battery

Samsung Galaxy S6 Ultra Power saving mode

Ultra Power Saving Mode can help you get every last drop of battery life. When this mode is enabled it switches the phone to a black and white interface and disables most background activities. You’ll still be able to take calls, send messages, and use a few important apps. Configure it in Settings > Battery > Ultra power saving mode.

There is also the less extreme Power Saver Mode. When this mode is enabled the screen brightness will turn down and the processor will scale back. You can set Battery Saver to automatically turn on at any level between 50-15%. Configure it in Settings > Battery > Power saving mode.

Enter “Easy Mode” if the default experience is too advanced for you

If he default experience is too advanced for you, or if you want to lend your phone to someone not very good with technology, Easy Mode can be a big help. In Easy Mode you’ll see just a couple of big app icons, and an area to add favorite contacts.

  1. Open Settings and go to Personalization
  2. Select Easy mode
  3. You can choose between Standard mode and Easy mode
  4. You can also choose which apps you’d like to show up in Easy Mode



Enable Smart Stay to keep your display on while you’re looking at it

Smart Stay is one of the more ingenious features Samsung has ever created. With this feature enabled your Galaxy S6 will stay on as long as you are looking at the display. No more annoying screen turn-offs while reading a web page, or Netflix continuing to play after you fall asleep. Smart Stay is turned off by default; here’s how to turn it on.

  1. Go to Settings > Display
  2. Select Smart Stay and make sure it’s enabled

Note: Smart Stay does not work in the dark.

Use Smart Alert to know if you missed a call or message when picking your phone up

If you have missed calls or new messages the Galaxy S6 can vibrate when you pick it up. This feature is called “Smart Alert,” and it’s enabled by default. If you would like to toggle this feature go to Settings > Motions and gestures.

Move the phone to your ear while messaging someone to call them

Another nifty gesture is “Direct Call.” This feature allows you to directly call someone by bringing the phone up to your ear if you’re on their contact page or a messaging conversation. For example, if you’re texting someone and you want to call them just put the phone to your ear. This can also be toggled at Settings > Motions and gestures.

Set your phone face down while it’s ringing to mute it

To quickly mute the Galaxy S6 when you’re getting a call you can do two gestures. Simply place your hand flat on the display, or turn it over on it’s face. This also works as a way to dismiss alarms. This can also be toggled at Settings > Motions and gestures.


How to remove Flipboard Briefing from your homescreen

Samsung Galaxy S6 removing Flipboard screen

On the Galaxy S5 there was a special section of the home screen called “My Magazine.” This section is still present on the Galaxy S6, but it has been renamed to “Briefing.” It basically just aggregates news stories from a number of different sources. The idea sounds cool, but the interface is a little laggy. You should remove it.

  1. Long press on the home screen
  2. Scroll over to the Briefing panel on the far left
  3. Uncheck the checkbox at the top

If you really do like the Briefing feature we recommend downloading the Flipboard app. The Briefing panel is actually powered by Flipboard, so you get a similar interface, but it runs much smoother in its own app.

Add more home screen panels of your own

Samsung Galaxy S6 customize home screen folders

You can have up to 7 different pages (or panels) to hold your apps and widgets on the home screen. Here’s how to customize the order and amount.

  1. Tap and hold a blank space on the home screen to add, move, or remove a panel
  2. To add a panel, swipe to the left, and then tap [+] icon
  3. To move a panel, tap and hold a panel, and then drag it
  4. To remove a panel, tap and hold a panel, and then drag it to Remove at the top of the screen
  5. To set a panel as the main home screen, tap the Home icon in the screen indicators

Get more icons on your home screen

To make more room for apps and widgets on your home screen you can edit the grid size. By default it’s 4×4, but you can change it up to 5×5.

  1. Tap and hold a blank space on the home screen
  2. Tap on Screen grid and choose 4×4, 4×5, or 5×5

Use the “edit” button in the notifications pane to customize your Quick Toggles

Samsung Galaxy S6 Quick Settings 1

Samsung includes a ton of Quick Setting toggles in the notification shade by default. You can access these by swiping down from the top of the display. You can edit the order of these toggles, or remove some completely. If you use these toggles a lot (which you should), a quick edit now will make your life easier.

  1. Pull down the Quick Settings and tap EDIT in the top right corner
  2. From here you can drag the toggles around as you like
  3. There must be at least 5 toggles in the Quick Settings

Download and switch between Samsung Galaxy S6 Themes

Samsung Galaxy S6 Themes

The Galaxy S6 comes with the ability to choose themes that can change your wallpaper, icons, and even system apps and UI. They’ve included a bunch of themes that you can try out and use on your device. It’s easy to give your phone a completely new look.

  1. Open the Themes Store app
  2. Browse the themes and select one you like
  3. Tap on Download
  4. Now you can select Apply and it will take you to your new home screen

Disable or remove unwanted apps

Samsung used to be notorious for including a lot of bloatware on their devices. There are still a few apps on the Galaxy S6 that can be considered bloat, but it’s a little better.

Samsung Galaxy S6 uninstall delete apps

It was first rumored that it would be possible to uninstall all pre-loaded apps. That wasn’t entirely true. Some system apps can be uninstalled, but others can only be disabled. A disabled app won’t appear in your app drawer and won’t be able to run in the background, but it will still be present on the device.

  1. Open the app drawer and tap the edit button
  2. Minus icons will appear on any app that can be uninstalled or disable
  3. Tap the minus icon on the apps you wish to remove

Some of the apps you might want to uninstall/disable include Hancom Office 2014, Microsoft OneNote, Lookout, Milk Video, Milk Music, and carrier specific apps.

Change your screen mode for a better viewing experience

Samsung has included a few different screen modes to allow you to easily adjust colors and brightness. You can switch the screen mode by going to Settings > Display > Screen mode.

  1. Adaptive display: tires to adjust based on what you’re doing with the phone.
  2. AMOLED cinema & AMOLED photo: vivid and highly saturated colors.
  3. Basic: not overly saturated or bright. Just basic.

Basic is the best setting for most people. It will look dull at first as you transition from the other more vivid settings, but it’s actually the most true-to-life.

Enable swipe input on the Samsung keyboard

By default Samsung does not enable swipe input on the keyboard. Swipe input allows you to drag your finger over letters to type a word. It can be very useful, especially for one-handed use. You should enable it.

  1. Go to Settings > Language and input
  2. Select Samsung keyboard
  3. Tap Keyboard swipe
  4. Select Continuous input
  5. Now to type a word just drag your fingers across the letters in order.


Use two apps at the same time using the Recent Apps menu

Samsung Galaxy S6 Multi-view

Multi-window mode allows you to run two different apps simultaneously on the same screen. Samsung has made multi-window mode much easier in the Galaxy S6. It’s now built right in to the recent apps menu.

  1. Tap the physical “Recents” button to the left of the Home button
  2. All your recent apps will show up on the screen like a Rolodex
  3. Apps that can be used in multi-window will show a twin rectangle icon next to the (X) in the right corner
  4. Tap that icon to open the app in the top half of the screen
  5. The lower half of the screen will now show only recent apps that can used in multi-window mode
  6. Tap one to open it in the lower half
  7. You can re-size the apps by dragging the middle line

Get your files faster using Download Booster

Samsung Galaxy S6 Download booster

Are you tired of waiting for large files to download? Samsung has just the thing! A new feature called Download Booster will help you download large files in record time. It works by using a combination of WiFi and LTE to download files.

  1. Go to Settings > More connection settings
  2. Select Download booster and toggle it on

Use S Finder as a one-stop search for every app, file or contact on your device

Samsung Galaxy S6 S Finder

S Finder is an app that helps you find things on your Samsung phone. It can search for apps, files, photos, music, contacts, and more. Some versions of the Galaxy S6 include a button for S Finder under the brightness slider in the notification shade. If that’s not there on your version you can still launch it from the Quick Settings toggles. Just open it and start typing to see results.

Never forget about another notification with Notification Reminder

If you get a lot of notifications you may forget to respond to some of them. Notification Reminders can remind you to take action on past notifications. Your phone will make a noise after a certain amount of time if there is a notification that really needs your attention.

  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Notification reminders
  2. Here you can set up the reminder intervals for 15 sec, 30 sec, 1 minute, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.
  3. By default every app is included, but you can turn of the ones you don’t want to be reminded about

Save time typing by adding keyboard shortcuts

If you find yourself typing out long words or phrases a lot, such as email addresses, you might want to create a text shortcut. This will allow you to quickly insert a long word or phrase by just typing a few letters. For example, you could make “ilu” automatically correct to “I love you.” Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Language and input
  2. Select Samsung keyboard
  3. Tap on Text shortcuts
  4. Tap ADD to create your own shortcut

Send files to other Galaxy users easily with Quick Connect

Samsung Galaxy S6 Quick Connect

There are a plethora of ways to send files to other people, but Samsung devices have a special one called Quick Connect. This feature allows you to quickly find nearby devices and send stuff to them. When the feature is enabled Bluetooth will automatically turn on.

  1. Swipe down the notification shade and find Quick Connect
  2. When you tap Quick Connect a list of nearby devices will show up. Tap one
  3. Now select the type of file you’d like to send
  4. After you select a file you will have to wait for the other device to accept
  5. The file will begin to transfer

Camera Tips and Tricks

Quick launch the camera right from anywhere by double tapping the Home button

Self explanatory in the title, there: double tap that home button no matter what you’re doing on your Samsung Galaxy S6, and the camera is ready for you to snap photos or video in 7/10ths of a second. You can enable this by going into the Camera app’s Settings menu and finding the Quick Launch setting.

Use Tracking AF to keep the focus on your subject

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge camera DSC08457

Samsung added a new autofocus mode called Tracking AF. It’ll allow you to pre-focus on a subject before snapping photo or video, and will attempt to keep that subject in focus if they happen to move. This feature works with not only faces, but ANY object you want to focus on ahead of taking the shot.

To enable it, head into the Camera app’s Settings menu and switch the Tracking AF option to “On.”

Immediately review your photos as soon as you take them

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera settings

It can be annoying to snap a photo and have to click around the interface to see how it came out. Instead of doing all that you can have the phone automatically bring a preview up for you to check out and either keep or delete it before moving on to your next shot. Just go into the Camera app’s Settings menu and enable the “Review Pictures” option.

Capture photos or videos using voice commands

Instead of using awkwardly-placed on-screen buttons to snap a photo, you can use your voice. Not only does it help you keep the camera steady for the perfect shot, but it can be fun to get your subject (or subjects) to join in.

Head into the Camera’s Settings menu and find the option to toggle voice commands on or off. Here are the various voice commands you can use to snap a shot:

  • Smile
  • Cheese
  • Capture
  • Shoot
  • Record Video

Use the volume key to zoom, snap a photo or shoot video

If you do prefer a hands-on approach to shuttering, you can have the camera recognize your volume rocker as a physical shutter button. You can change its behavior in the Camera app’s Settings menu under Volume Key Function, and set the rocker to either zoom in or out, snap a photo or begin recording video. You can also turn it off if you want the volume button to retain normal functionality.

Take selfies the easy way using the heart-rate sensor, or by waving your hand

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera selfie mode

All of that is useful for the rear camera, but what about making it easier to take selfies? You have a couple of cool options at your disposal. The first allows you to take a selfie by holding your finger on the heart rate sensor for 2 seconds.

You can also wave your hands in front of the camera to initiate a countdown timer to snap your selfie. This eliminates the need to use your second hand to take a photo, which is often the number one cause for subpar selfies. Yes, there’s a science to this stuff, folks.

Use Pro Mode Presets to adjust ISO, exposure and focus

Samsung prides themselves on great cameras with their smartphones, so including a Pro Mode with the Samsung Galaxy S6 was a must. This mode lets you fine tune your camera’s settings with the ability to change white balance, exposure correction, metering, ISO, and focus modes, all of which can be had by pressing the “Modes” button that you’ll find in the camera user interface.

To go a step further, you can even set presets for a certain configuration that you like, so the next time you need that collection of settings you can simply switch to it with one press of a button. Play around with it to see what works best for you!

Download cool new camera features from the Samsung Apps Store

Samsung Galaxy S6 camera apps

You thought we were done? Samsung’s made their camera app extensible, and you’ll be able to take advantage of that fine software engineering by downloading a number of great camera add-ons from the Samsung Apps Store. Here are some of the add-ons they have available early on:

  • Surround Shot: a Photosphere-like mode that lets you take 360-degree photos
  • Sound & Shot: record the audio of your surroundings at the time the photo was taken for more immersive photos
  • Rear-Cam Selfie: use the rear camera to take a selfie with visual cues to let you know when it’s about to snap the shot
  • Dual Camera: snap a photo or shoot video with both the front and rear cameras simultaneously
  • Animated GIF: create a moving image of a series of photos or videos and save it as an animated GIF
  • Beauty Face: image tweaks to enhance the look of human faces
  • Sports Shot: automatically selects focus and exposure settings for fast moving scenes
  • Food Shot: a macro-focus mode for bringing out the best details in a close-up shot of food (or anything else, really)

Privacy and Security

How to factory reset your Samsung Galaxy S6

There are many different reasons why one would want or need to perform a factory reset on their Samsung Galaxy S6. This action is typically performed when you are getting ready to sell or return a phone, or when you feel like things have gotten so slow to the point where only a full restore will make it feel new again.

It’s always best to explore other alternatives before going this route, but should you ever need to factory reset your Samsung Galaxy S6 here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the Settings app
  2. Scroll until you see Backup & Reset, and select it
  3. You will be asked to confirm whether you want to go through with the reset. After thinking it over, select your choice.
  4. Your phone will do a little dance and make a little noise, and you’re done.

Note that a factory reset will only restore device settings, user accounts, system and app data and downloaded apps to their original state. Personal files such as photo and video will persist through a factory reset, so rest easy knowing those are safe.

Setup Android Device Manager in case you lose it


Losing your phone or having it stolen is one of the worst feelings in the world, but many tools are available to help you track it down should the unfortunate scenario occur. One of the best tools is the Android Device Manager.

It’s an app that will not only locate your device using its last known GPS location, but also allow you to remotely sound an alarm, lock the device or perform a full factory reset in case you fear it’s fallen into the wrong hands. The feature is included with almost every Android phone, and here’s how you enable it:

  1. From your device’s apps menu, open Google Settings .
  2. Touch Security.
  3. Under “Android Device Manager,” move the switches next to “Remotely locate this device” and “Allow remote lock and factory reset” to the on or off position.

With everything enabled, the next time you need to track your phone down you can simply head to Google’s online Device Manager portal here, or use the Device Manager app from another Android device to find out exactly where your phone is.

Register your fingerprint to unlock your phone with the press of your thumb

Samsung Galaxy S6 fingerprint setup

The Samsung Galaxy S6 now has an awesome fingerprint scanner, and you’re going to want to register your thumbs to use it right away. Here’s how you can get going on that:

  1. Navigate to Lock screen and security in the Settings app
  2. Next tap on Fingerprint and then +Add fingerprint
  3. Follow the instructions until 100% of your fingerprint has been scanned
  4. Create a backup password
  5. Tap Ok to Enable Fingerprint Lock
  6. Now to unlock your phone simply hold your finger on the home button
  7. Repeat these steps to add additional fingers

Note that the fingerprint scanner can also be used to gain access to select supported apps, such as Paypal. It will also soon be possible to use it for logging into websites on the phone’s web browser, and paying for purchases with Samsung Pay once those features become available.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Fingerprint sign in DSC08979

Congrats: you’ve set yourself up with a convenient, yet secure way to access your phone and get into apps without having to deal with clunky passwords every time.

Use Private Mode to keep your content from prying eyes

As much as we’d all like to believe we lead 100% appropriate lives, more than a few of you probably store pictures and files that you don’t want others to see should they need to use your phone. Samsung’s Private Mode is a great feature that helps keep your skeletons locked into the closet where they belong.

The first thing you need to do before taking advantage of this feature is select which types of files you want to protect. This can be done for Photos, Video, Music, Voice Recorder, My Files and the Web browser:

  1. Simply use the app’s multi-select tool to select all the content you want to protect
  2. In the upper right corner, tap MORE and select Move to Private

And now your files are designated to be hidden while Private Mode is enabled. So how do you enable Private Mode? Thought you’d never ask. Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Navigate to Settings, then Privacy and safety and locate Private mode
  2. Setting Private Mode to “Off” will make it so that the files you specified to be private are hidden from normal viewing, while “On” makes all those files available for normal viewing.
  3. Select whether you want Private Mode to turn off whenever the screen turns toggle Private Mode settings.

And now you can rest easy knowing all those private photos, video and files won’t be seen by anyone who happens to be snooping around.

Setup the SOS function to send quick messages to emergency contacts

Samsung Galaxy S6 Send SOS messages

We hope you’ll never have to use the Samsung Galaxy S6’s great SOS feature, but it’s here if you need it. What this will do is send a preset message to any contacts you want whenever you quickly press the power button 3 consecutive times.

Think of a scenario where you might be getting robbed and you don’t have time to take your phone out, unlock it, find an appropriate contact, type the message and press send — that all takes less than a minute, but every millisecond is precious in an emergency scenario. You’ll want to set this up, and here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to Settings and look for Privacy and Safety
  2. Select the Send SOS Messages option at the bottom
  3. Turn the switch to “On” to enable the feature.
  4. At the bottom, specify recipients you want to receive the message, as well as any text, photos and audio recordings you want to attach to the message.

Now, the next time you’re in a pinch where you absolutely can’t call or text someone for help, this feature will at least alert your closest family members and friends that you’re in dire need of help. This should be used as a last resort so as to avoid the “boy who cried wolf” scenario, and because sending a more detailed message will help people find more appropriate help.

Place your phone into emergency mode to save battery

Samsung Galaxy S6 Emergency mode

Power-saving mode not doing it for you? ULTRA power-saving mode still not enough? For those extreme cases where you absolutely can’t shut your phone off and need to squeeze as much juice out of the battery as possible, consider using Samsung’s Emergency Mode.

This feature is an extension of ULTRA Power-Saving mode where Samsung will use a greyscale user interface, scale back processing power and restrict access to a few select apps. The difference here is that background data will be shut off while the screen is turned off, which is key since background data is often the biggest cause of battery drain outside of the display. It will also restrict access to WiFi and Bluetooth.

Here’s how to access Emergency Mode:

  1. Long-press the power button
  2. Select Emergency Mode at the bottom of the list
  3. Press “Turn on” to enable Emergency Mode, or cancel to go back.
  4. Perform the same steps to turn Emergency Mode off when you don’t need it.

Other fun stuff

Download Samsung’s All Together app to stay connected to other Galaxy users

One of Samsung’s coolest apps in the Samsung App Store is AllTogether. It allows you to connect to other Samsung Galaxy users over a private WiFi network to chat, share files and more without having to use mobile data. This is great for something like a camping trip where data might be limited but you still want to be connected to those nearby.

You can download AllTogether by heading to the Samsung App Store and searching for it after you’ve setup your Samsung account.

Download the Kids Mode app to keep your young ones protected when using your phone

Long gone are the days where kids want to play with action figures and plush toys: they want your phone. To keep them innocent, you can download Samsung’s Kids Mode app from the Samsung App Store.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Kids Mode

This will lock the phone into a state where kids can only use apps and play games appropriate for them, such as a drawing app, a writing app, and even a kid-centric selfie camera with fun stickers to use.

Your kid won’t be able to exit this mode unless they have the lock code which you setup upon first launch so they won’t be able to find their way into too much trouble. Preventing them from physically damaging the phone is another issue altogether.

Alternatively, use the Pin Window feature to lock your phone to any one app you choose

Similar to Kids Mode, the Samsung Galaxy S6 has a Pin Window feature that’ll allow you to keep the phone locked into one app. Someone say they need to use your web browser? Well, make it so they can only use the web browser and nothing more.

We could also see this being useful for store owners who want to show a specific app on a display unit. Whatever you may need it for, here’s how to pin an app:

  1. Open Settings, go into Lock Screen and Security, then tap Other Security Settings
  2. Look for the “Pin Windows” option and tap it
  3. Make sure the switch is set to “On.”
  4. Specify whether you want your secure lock screen to come up if someone tries to press the home button.

Now that you have it setup, all you’ll need to do when you want to pin an app is open your Recent Apps menu by tapping the Recent Apps key next to the home button, and pressing the push pin icon located in the lower right corner of whichever app it is you want to pin.

Enhance your phone’s sound using Sound Adapt and SoundAlive+

No two humans are the same, so no two set of ears are the same. You can customize the Samsung Galaxy S6’s sound with two great tools Samsung’s included.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Adapt Sound setup

First up, Adapt Sound will help you tune your Samsung Galaxy S6’s sound to make sure you’re hearing everything it has to offer. It does this by playing a series of audible beeps at different frequencies and asking you to note each time you hear a beep. It then uses this data to determine a sound profile appropriate for your ears. You can access this by going to Settings > Sound and Notifications > Adapt Sound.

SoundAlive+ is another great tool to enhance your audio experience. It serves as a device-wide equalizer that you can use to recreate the effect of surround sound (though it obviously won’t be as good as actual surround sound). There’s also an effect that helps you simulate the effect of a tube amplifier. You can find this features under Settings > Sound and Notifications > SoundAlive+ and Settings > Sound and Notifications > Tube Amp.

Visit for more help!

Looking for more help? has a great section where Samsung Galaxy S6 owners are sharing tips and tricks, helping each other and discussing their awesome new phone with each other. Feel free to jump in by making a new account (it only takes a minute) and jump into some great threads. Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll find over there:

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10 Tips every Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge owner should know Fri, 10 Apr 2015 18:44:10 +0000 We’ve already shown you the first 13 things you should do when getting your Samsung Galaxy S6, and all of that is equally applicable to the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. If you picked up the Edge and were wondering about its unique features, though, look no further. Here’s a full rundown of everything you should know about the Edge display and all the options, features and settings at your disposal.

1. Set the device to light up the Edge screen when calls or messages are received

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge display DSC08581

One of the main features of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge’s Edge display is to have it illuminate a certain color based on who’s calling or messaging you. You’ll probably want to get this setup as soon as you receive your phone. Simply head to Settings > Edge screen > Edge lighting and make sure the option is set to “On,” and you’re good to go!

2. Pick 5 of your most important people to light up your Edge display

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08584

Of course, setting up the Edge display isn’t worth much without actually specifying which contacts you want lighting up your desk. Going to Settings > Edge screen > People edge will allow you to do just that.

Alternatively, on the home-screen you can slide out the People edge user interface by swiping the transparent tab to the middle of the display, and use the “+” icon to add any contact you want.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge People edge

Now you can set up to 5 contacts that will illuminate your Edge display whenever they call (as well as other Edge features which we’ll get to in a moment). You can pick from one of 5 colors for those contacts:

  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Purple

Setting up your people isn’t enough, though — you’ll need to make sure your phone knows which phone numbers and email addresses to look for whenever they reach out.

3. Set default contact information for People edge

Heading to Settings > Edge Screen > People edge will allow you to specify default contact options for each of your five contacts.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen notifications

You won’t be able to get notifications from them until you set these up, so make sure you don’t skip this step! Setting an email address will naturally enable Edge notifications for when they send you email, while setting the default phone number enables them for both phone calls and messages. Note that this information will need to be entered into each contact’s listing in your Contacts app before it shows up as a default option in People edge, so be sure to double check that if you aren’t seeing the options you’re looking for.

Once you’ve gotten it all ready to go you’ll notice your Edge display glow in the color corresponding to each contact whenever they call or message you. Be sure to set your phone face down on the surface to get the most out of this cool effect!

4. Send Quick Replies to your Edge contacts using the heart rate sensor

You only get the most out of the Edge display notifications when your phone is face down, so how do you act on incoming calls and messages without having to pick the phone up? Simple: the Heart Rate sensor on the rear does more than just read your pulse — it can be used to send quick replies!

To enable the feature and set your message, go to Settings > Edge Settings > Quick Reply and make sure the option is set to “On.” After that, use the text box at the bottom to set a custom message you want to send to a contact whenever you can’t accept their call.

When you have an incoming call from an Edge contact and can’t be bothered to pick the phone up, simply touch the heart rate sensor with your finger for 2 seconds and it’ll dismiss the call and send your preset text message to let them know you aren’t able to come to the phone.

5. Pull on your contacts’ colors to see and respond to missed calls and messages

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08583

Once you’ve gotten your People Edge contacts setup, you’ll see little tabs with their colors when you miss a call or message from them on your home-screen. Pulling on these tabs will not only show you information about the event — such as the contents of the message or the time the missed call was placed — but also allow you to respond to them. Envelope icon is for email, phone icon is to call, and the chat bubble icon is to send a text message. Easy peasy.

6. Get news, weather and Twitter updates on the Edge display

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Information stream 1

The Edge screen is informative in more ways than one, including being your very own news ticker. The Information Stream can be customized by going to Settings > Edge Settings > Information Stream, and it’s here where you can sync your Twitter account to get updates when new Tweets come in, sports scores and news, weather information and stock quotes.

You can also use the “Manage Feeds” option to download more types of feeds. They’ll automatically display when new information comes in, though you can also force the feed to come up by swiping your finger to the left or right across the Edge display.

Here are the different types of streams you can setup by default:

  • Briefing feed (standard device and app notifications)
  • Yahoo! News
  • Twitter trends
  • Yahoo! Finance
  • Yahoo! Sports

There are also a number of additional types of feeds you can download:

  • RSS Feeds for Edge
  • Whoscall – Caller ID & Block
  • BILD Newsticker

Be sure to explore each one and set them up to your own taste and liking!

7. Show a night clock on the Edge screen at night

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen night clock

One cool thing you might not know about the Edge display is that it’s possible to use it as a night clock! The time will display in low illumination at night, and thanks to the AMOLED display’s ability to turn on only the pixels it needs it sips next to nothing from the battery.

The only problem is you’ll need to enable this feature as it’s not enabled by default, though that’s no big task. Venture to Settings > Edge screen > Night clock and make sure the setting is set to “On.” From there, you can use the controls to specify a block of time when the night clock is enabled, up to a maximum of 12 hours.

8. Set a primary side for all your Edge display features to show on

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08594

We’re all different from head to toe, and that includes which hand we’re most comfortable using our phones with. If you don’t fancy your Edge features showing up on the righter-most edge, you can set it up on the left one. To do this, just go to Settings > Edge Screen > Edge Screen Position and select either Right Side or Left Side depending on what you fancy.

9. Have your Edge screen automatically shut off after a certain amount of time

As cool as the Edge display is, it can’t be on 24 hours per day and 7 days per week, lest you want your battery to run as dry as an overused well. While you can’t disable Edge screen timeout all together, you’ll be happy to know that you have some control over how long it takes for your display to shut off. Head to Settings > Edge Screen > Edge Screen Timeout and select from these preset options:

  • 15 seconds
  • 30 seconds
  • 1 minute
  • 2 minutes
  • 5 minutes
  • 15 minutes

We’d recommend only using the latter half of that list of options in the most extreme cases, but it’s yours to customize, so go nuts!

10. Get more help at the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge forums

So where to from here? Our Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge section at is a great destination for help, tips and trick and other helpful discussion, such as where to find the best cases, screen protectors, wireless chargers and other accessories. Here are just a few of the threads filled to the brim with conversation right now:

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45 Tips for the HTC One M9 Fri, 03 Apr 2015 19:00:03 +0000 htc-one-m9-hero

You read our review and bit the bullet, bought yourself a brand new HTC One M9. You’ve read up on the 11 things every new One M9 owner must do and you’re ready to take the next step. Now it’s time to go from newb to master with over 40 tips and tricks for the HTC One M9.

HTC One M9 gestures

Your HTC One M9 features gesture support to help you jump directly from your lock screen to the services you use most. To enable any of these gestures, navigate to Settings > Display & gestures > Motion gestures.

To use a gesture, start with the screen off. Power on to the lockscreen and then swipe or use the associated button to launch everything from BlinkFeed and widgets to the camera and dialer.

Here are the available lockscreen gestures:

  • Double tap to wake up & sleep – Double tap the display to wake from sleep; double tap again to put the phone to sleep
  • Swipe down to turn on voice dialing – With the phone in portrait orientation and the screen off, swipe down from the top of the display to launch the voice dialer
  • Swipe up to unlock – With the phone in portrait orientation and the screen off, swipe up from the bottom of the display to unlock your One M9
  • Swipe left to launch widget panel – With the phone in portrait orientation and the screen off, swipe left on the display to launch the widget panel
  • Swipe right to launch BlinkFeed – With the phone in portrait orientation and the screen off, swipe right on the display to launch BlinkFeed
  • Volume button to launch camera – With the phone in landscape orientation and the screen off, press the volume button to launch the camera app

Auto answer calls

Another useful gesture allows you to automatically answer incoming calls simply by picking up the phone and placing it to your ear. To enable, go to Settings > Call and check the box next to Auto answer calls.

How to take a screenshot

Taking a screenshot is one of the most basic functions of the HTC One M9. It’s also one of the most asked questions when a new device like the One M9 launches. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Visit the screen you want to capture
  2. Hold down the power button and volume down button
  3. You’ll hear a shutter sound and the screenshot will be added to your notification bar

You can also add a “Screenshot” to the quick settings:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to show the quick settings
  2. Tap the paper and pencil icon in the top right to edit the quick settings options
  3. Scroll down until you see the “Screenshot” option
  4. Long press and drag the “Screenshot” option to the top panel of icons
  5. You’ll now see a “Screenshot” button inside the quick settings

New Dot View 2 cases

One of the coolest things HTC has done with the One M8 and now the M9 is the Dot View cases. These cases are so unique and practical that you’ll actually want to use one. A Dot View case allows you to show information in a retro 8-style through your case while still protecting the screen. Simply tap on the case to reveal the information. It’s really cool, here’s how to do it.

You’ll need the HTC Dot View app, which comes pre-installed on the One M9. This is where you can configure how Dot View looks, and even play a cool game. New in Dot View 2 is live backgrounds, the ability to convert images to 8-bit backgrounds, and draw your own. They also added a really cool block-breaker game that you can play with the case closed. Many phones have ways to check notifications without unlocking the device, but Dot View is by far the most elegant.

How to use Easy Mode on the One M9

For folks new to the whole smartphone thing, or if you are picking up the One M9 for an older user who is hard of sight, HTC has included and Easy Mode launcher in addition to the One M9’s standard Sense 7 interface.

one-m9-easy-mode_2015-04-01-10-28-24 one-m9-easy-mode_2015-04-01-10-28-31 one-m9-easy-mode_2015-04-01-10-28-36

To access Easy Mode:

  1. From the Settings menu navigate to Personalize
  2. Tap Change Home screen launcher
  3. Select Easy Mode

Easy Mode features a simplified home screen interface with big icons and text for easy navigation and access to frequently used services. If at any time you wish to return to the Sense 7 launcher, follow the above process and choose Sense 7 in step 3.

How to create custom themes

The HTC One M9 comes with a bunch of pre-installed themes out of the box, but if you’re not a fan of those you can create your own. In fact, Sense 7 can create a personalized theme for you. All you have to do is take a photo. Sense will then identify colors from that photo and change accent colors, icons, and even system sounds.

When you take a photo and view it in the gallery there is a new option to create a theme with that photo. It will ask you to crop the photo, and then it will scan the photo and identify different colors. After that it will present you with several different themes to choose from, all of which are based on the photo you took. It’s a really easy and quick way to get a unique look.

How to set up custom nav bar buttons

Here’s one feature you won’t be able to live without after you’ve had the One M9: custom nav bar buttons. The nav bar is the bar across the bottom of the screen that displays the Back, Home, and Recents buttons. In Sense 7 HTC has added the ability to put an extra user-defined button in the nav bar.

Go into Settings > Personalize > Change navigation buttons to configure from a list of options. You can only add one extra button to the nav bar. Some of the things you can do include turn off screen, toggle auto rotate, open notifications, hide the nav bar (swipe up from bottom of the screen to un-hide), and quick settings. This feature is especially useful for people with small hands because it puts more buttons in an easy to reach location.

Further personalize your One M9

While custom navigation buttons and a slick theme go a long way to make your HTC One M9 truly unique, you can further customize the look and feel of your device’s interface through the Personalize menu found under Settings.

Add or delete home screen panels

You can add or delete home screen panels from your One M9 by navigating to Settings > Personalize > Manage Home screen panels. Here you can add a new panel by swiping all the way to the right and tapping + PANEL. Remove a home screen by highlighting it and tapping Remove. You can also set any panel as your Home landing.

Change wallpapers, system sounds, fonts, and colors

The Personalize menu has further items for a variety of customizations. You may have already changed some of these through HTC’s Themes app, but you can further tweak individual options here. These include:

  • Change wallpaper Change your main homescreen wallpaper
  • Change accent colors – Change the color scheme of your theme
  • Change wallpaper (lockscreen) – Change the lockscreen wallpaper to display a different image than your homescreens
  • Ringtone – Change your ringtone
  • Notification sound Change the sound played for incoming notifications and alerts
  • Alarm Change the alarm clock sound
  • Font style - Change the system font
  • Font size – Change the size of the system font
  • Keyboard color – Change the keyboard background color
  • Dialer color – Change the dialer background color

How to set a screen lock on the One M9

By default, the One M9 features a basic lockscreen without password protection. You can add an extra layer of security by navigating to Settings > Security > Screen lock. From the following menu you have several choices:

  • Lock screen – The default setting. Screen locks but is not password protected
  • No lock screen – Most insecure. Waking the device opens directly to an unprotected homescreen
  • Pattern – Draw a pattern on a grid of dots to unlock your device
  • PIN – A numeric PIN unlocks your phone
  • Password - A text-based password provides access to your homescreen

Protect yourself should your device be lost or stolen

Should your phone be misplaced or even stolen, you will want to log into Google’s Android Device Manager, where you can track it, ring it, lock it (and change to a new password) or erase its contents from afar. Visit the Android Device Manager web portal to make sure your current device is set up. You can also download the Android Device Manager app.

Hide contact names and photos on lockscreen

You can choose to hide the names, photos, and other info of certain contacts from appearing on your lockscreen when they call. First navigate to Settings > Security and check the box next to Incoming phone calls.

Next, you will need to go into the People app and set chosen contacts to private. From your contacts list, select the contact, scroll down, and tap Add to private contacts. Their info will not appear on your lockscreen, but remember, this means you will not see incoming caller info for this contact either.

How to use the HTC Help app

Chances are if you’re the type of person to read an Android blog you’re also the type of person who is always asked about phones. Your grandma can’t figure out how to log into the Facebook app, or your sister can’t figure out how to use emoji. There are a million questions you or someone you know can have about a new phone like the One M9, and sometimes things simply don’t work. What do you do?

HTC has included a new app called “Help” that will help users troubleshoot problems and get help remotely. The app is designed to be very easy to use. There are different sections for different parts of the phone so you can narrow down your problems. The really cool feature of the app is when you can’t find a solution on your own, and this is where you can get out of helping someone else.

In the app you can contact HTC for remote assistance. It uses LogMeIn to allow a HTC representative to remotely control your phone for you. All you have to do is sit back and watch the person perform the action. For example, if you couldn’t figure out how to turn off Bluetooth the rep could remote access your phone and toggle it off for you.

Use the HTC adaptive home screen widget

one-m9-sense-home_2015-04-01-11-59-58 one-m9-sense-home_2015-04-01-12-00-06

HTC is all about adding features to the Android home screen. Last year they introduced us to BlinkFeed, a stream of information that lives just a swipe away. Now, with the latest version of Sense, HTC has added “Sense Home Widget.” The widget tries to predict which apps you’ll want to use at a particular time or place.

If Sense determines that you are at work the widget might display productivity apps. When you come home from work the widget might show entertainment apps. The idea of changing the home screen for different situations is not new. In the past manufacturers have made it possible to set up different profiles for different places, but Sense Home Widget does all of that for you. If you don’t want to use it you can simply remove the widget.

Remove the Suggestions folder

HTC has also added “Smart Folders” to Sense 7. By default the One M9 comes with a “Downloads” and “Suggestions” folder. The Downloads folder automatically fills up with newly downloaded apps, which can be handy. The Suggestions folder, on the other hand, should be removed as soon as possible.

The Suggestions folder is basically HTC using space on your home screen for advertisement. In the folder you will find suggested apps such as Clash of Clans and Candy Crush. HTC says that the suggestions change, but we’re not sure how it decides which apps to suggest. At the end of the day it’s just apps that have paid HTC to be promoted. Remove it.

Add content to BlinkFeed (or remove it completely)

one-m9-blinkfeed_2015-04-01-11-59-26 one-m9-blinkfeed_2015-04-01-11-59-32

BlinkFeed is HTC’s all-in-one landing for your news feeds, social updates, and new location-based suggestions, all easily accessed with a simple swipe to the left from your homescreen. Configuring BlinkFeed to work the way you want is easy.

To add or remove items from BlinkFeed:

  1. From your homescreen, swipe all the way to the left to access BlinkFeed
  2. Tap the menu icon in the upper lefthand corner
  3. Tap the three vertical dots to access the expanded menu
  4. From the menu tap Add content or Remove content

You will now be able to choose the content you wish to view in your BlinkFeed by choosing from a selection of news sites and blogs (or alternatively unselecting the sources you no longer wish to receive updates from).

To link a social network like Twitter or Facebook:

  1. From your homescreen, swipe all the way to the left to access BlinkFeed
  2. Tap the menu icon in the upper lefthand corner
  3. Tap the three vertical dots to access the expanded menu
  4. Tap Services & Apps
  5. Select the desired service from the menu and follow the prompts to log in

To enable to disable location-based suggestions

  1. From your homescreen, swipe all the way to the left to access BlinkFeed
  2. Tap the menu icon in the upper lefthand corner
  3. Tap the three vertical dots to access the expanded menu
  4. Tap Settings
  5. Select Notification on lockscreen
  6. Check or uncheck Meal time bundle

Remove BlinkFeed from your homescreens

If you wish to remove BlinkFeed from your homescreen rotation altogether, you can do that as well. Simply navigate to the BlinkFeed settings menu as described above, select Manage home screen panels, select your BlinkFeed panel, and tap Remove. You can restore BlinkFeed at any time by navigating to Settings > Personalize > Manage Home screen panels.

Enable HTC Connect to stream media to other devices


With HTC Connect, you can easily stream media files to supported devices. First, enable HTC Connect for your devices by navigating the Settings > HTC Connect. From this menu, select the default device for HTC Connect. If no devices appear, tap the three dots in the upper righthand corner, accessing the expanded menu, and tap Scan.

Pro tip: From the expanded menu, tap Scan options to choose which types of devices to include in your scan. HTC Connect supports AllPlay, Blackfire, Bluetooth, DLNA, and Miracast.

Once you have enabled a default HTC Connect device, a three-finger upward swipe on your One M9’s display will send audio and video to your connected equipment. Make sure this gesture is enabled by navigating to Settings > Display & gesture and checking the box next to Media gesture.

Connect your One M9 to the HTC Mini+


The One M9 can effortlessly pair with HTC’s Mini+, a quirky little device that acts as an extension of your smartphone for making and receiving calls. It might be thought of as a phone for your phone.

To connect the Mini+, navigate to Settings > More > HTC Mini+, then choose whether to pair via Bluetooth or NFC. Follow the onscreen instructions to pair the two devices.

Change the default messaging app

If you prefer to use Google’s Hangouts over the default messaging app provided by HTC, you can change your preferences by navigating to Settings > More > Default messaging app. Choose your preferred app from the list. Now, any apps or system options that launch your messaging application will default to your chosen service.

Lock device access to a single app with screen pinning

Lollipop screen pinning

If you let a friend borrow your One M9 to read an article, or if you are the type that has small children around who enjoy watching videos or playing games on any smartphone within reach, Android Lollipop has the feature for you. Screen pinning locks you phone to one app, and that app can only be exited with a special button combination combined with your security code (if you so choose).

To pin an app:

  1. Enable screen pinning by navigating to Settings > Security > Screen pinning
  2. Tap the overview (formerly multitasking) button to open your recent apps
  3. Tap the pin icon on the app you wish to pin (note: you will only be able to pin your most recently opened app, so you might need to open the app again and then return to the overview view to pin)
  4. Choose if a lock code will be required to exit the app

To exit a pinned app, simply press the overview and back buttons simultaneously and hold for a second or two.

Enable NFC for use with mobile payments

To enable NFC, head to Settings > More and tap NFC. With NFC enabled, your phone is capable of a number of useful functions, not the least of which is tap-to-pay mobile payments. HTC does not include any built-in mobile payment functionality, however, so you will need to download a service like Google Wallet (where compatible).

With NFC enabled, you can also take advantage of tap-to-pair functionality with accessories like Bluetooth speakers (provided they support NFC) and also apps and services that rely on NFC to transfer data between smartphones.

Use the HTC One M9 even if you are wearing gloves

For when the chilly winds of winter blow, you won’t have to worry about removing your warm gloves in order to use your One M9. HTC has included a handy glove mode that increases touchscreen sensitivity to read input even through a layer of fabric.

To enable glove mode, navigate to Settings > Display & gestures and tap the check box next to  Glove mode.

How to improve One M9 battery life


The HTC One M9 has a big enough battery to get you through the typical day, but should you find yourself in that precarious situation where no outlet is nearby and your power is dwindling, you have some options.

As with all Android Lollipop devices, the One M9 comes with a built-in battery saver mode. It will trigger automatically when your phone drops down to 15%, but it can be manually enabled by navigating to Settings > Power and flipping Power saver to the On position. An Ultra power saving mode can be enabled using the same process.

Show battery level percentage in the notification bar

If you wish to see your battery level percentage always displayed in your notification bar, go to Settings > Power and check the box next to Show battery level.

Enable the Daydream screensaver and use Sleep Mode to conserve power

To save your phone’s display from burn-in (or to simply offer a pretty backdrop while docked or charging) enable Daydream, found under Settings > Display & gestures. You can choose to display Colors, your Google Photos, or News & Weather. Tap the three dots in the upper righthand corner to choose when to Daydream (while docked, while charging, or both). You can also launch Daydream directly from this menu.

To conserve power while not using your device, enable Sleep mode under Settings > Power. Sleep mode will disable your phone’s data connection during long periods of inactivity.

Choose which apps use the notification LED and when

The notification LED is a dying breed on Android devices. Luckily for One M9 owners, not only do we get a flashing light to inform us of things like missed calls and messages waiting to be read, but we can also choose which apps take advantage of the light and when.

To setup the notification LED, navigate to Settings > Sound & notification. From here tap  Flash notifications to choose whether to always flash the LED light or only when the display is turned off.

To set flash notifications for individual services, tap App light notifications. From here you can choose to use the LED notification light for missed calls, voice mail, messages, calendar events, mail, and alarms.

Set application notification priority levels

As with all devices running Android Lollipop 5.0, you can set notification priority levels on an application-by-application basis. To do so, navigate to Settings > Sound & notification > App notifications.

From the list, choose the app you wish to modify the notification settings for. You can choose to Block all notifications or set a Priority notification level, which will surface notifications from the app in question above others of a normal priority level.

You can alternatively change an application’s notification priority by long pressing a recent item in your notifications pane and tapping the (i) icon to access the app’s settings directly.

Quiet the ringer when you pick up your One M9 (or make it louder when its in your pocket)

The HTC One M9 can be set to automatically alter ringer volume level based on gesture input. To alter these settings, go to Settings > Sound & notification.

Check the box next to Quiet in on pickup to automatically lower ringer volume when you move the phone before answering an incoming call.

Check the box next to Pocket mode to increase ringer volume when the One M9 detects it is inside a pocket or bag.

Get perfect audio from your BoomSound speakers


HTC’s BoomSound speakers in the One M9 provide some of the loudest, full-stereo audio you will find on a smartphone. The phone also features two Dolby audio profiles to get you perfect sound no matter what your listening environment. To change BoomSound audio profiles, go to Settings > HTC BoomSound with Dolby Audio.

For a cinematic experience to go along with video playback, select Theater mode. If you are listening to music, opt for Music mode instead.

HTC One M9 camera tips & tricks

HTC’s camera software is clean and straightforward on the One M9, but it’s hiding a lot of power under the surface. Here are a few helpful hints for making the most of the One M9’s 20.7MP camera.

Change and add camera modes

To switch between camera modes, simply swipe up or down on the display from within the camera app. Default modes include SelfiePanorama, and Camera. Alternatively, tap the four dots at lower righthand corner of the display to choose your camera mode. From this screen you can also add camera modes including Bokeh, Photo Booth, and Split Capture. 

Dial in shooting parameters and save custom camera modes

Tap the three dots in the lower lefthand corner to dial in camera settings including ISOExposure, and White Balance. Tap the gear icon to adjust settings like aspect ratio and image resolution as well as access further settings like Contrast, Saturation, and Sharpness, all found under Image adjustments.

Once you have dialed in the perfect camera settings, you can save as a new camera mode for quick recall. After tapping the gear icon, tap Save custom camera. Access your camera preset by swiping up and down on the display or tapping the four dots in the lower righthand corner.

Enable touch capture and auto shutter

Tap the three dots in the lower lefthand corner then the gear icon and navigate to Camera options. From here you can enable Touch to capture (photo is snapped when you touch to focus on a specific area of the display) Voice capture (say “Cheese” or “Capture” to take a photo, “action” or “rolling” for video), or Auto smile capture (focus on a smiling face and photo is taken automatically).

Use volume buttons as shutter or zoom

By default, the One M9’s volume buttons have no special functionality, but you can assign them to control zoom or shutter when in the camera app. Tap the three dots in the lower lefthand corner, the gear icon, and scroll to General Settings. Tap Volume button options to assign a new function.

Visit Android Forums for more!

Did you know Android Forums, the premier destination for Android discussion on the internet, has a dedicated HTC One M9 forum? Of course you did, so why not use it to your advantage? It’s the perfect place for newbs and seasoned vets alike to come together to share their experiences with the One M9, unearth even more tips and tricks, and ask and answer any lingering questions about HTC’s latest.

Before signing off, check out just a few of the threads you will find:

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PSA: Here’s what happens when you delete Google+ photos from Drive after new integration Tue, 31 Mar 2015 00:41:04 +0000 Google Photos to Drive

Earlier today Google announced that they were taking a huge step toward finally emancipating their users from Google+’s shackles. They were doing this by finally integrating Google+ photos into Google Drive. It’s a slow move, one that will take a few weeks before you see all your current photos and albums appear in Drive (but is instant should you upload anything new from here on out).

Android users were excited because this meant that soon, all of their photos backed up from their Android device to Google+ (Google’s officially supported photo backup method) would be easily accessible — and more importantly, manageable — from Google Drive folder on the web. That, or your desktop if you have the application installed on your computer.

While this may sound pretty cut and dry, it’s important that everyone understand how photo deletion will work from here on out. Since the Drive folder is essentially mirroring all the photos and videos stored on your Google+ account, deleting photos/videos from Drive will delete them from Google+. The same goes for when you delete a photo from your Google+ Photos, it’ll no longer be found in your Drive’s Google Photos folder. Make sense?

With all your Google+ photos making their way to Google Drive in the coming weeks (where they should be), we wanted to shed a little light on this in case anyone was thinking it was time to clear out everything stored on Google+ (or vice versa). Cheers.

[Google Drive Help]

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How to take a screenshot with the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge Tue, 17 Mar 2015 15:31:29 +0000 Taking a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge should be familiar to anyone that has used a previous Galaxy device such as an older S series phone or Note device. If that doesn’t jog the memory here’s the lowdown:

So, one more time: to take a screenshot with the Galaxy S6, simply press and hold the power on/off and the home button simultaneously. The process is identical on Galaxy S6 Edge.

The screen will flash to indicate the screenshot is being captured. A shortcut to the newly saved image will appear in the notification tray, or you can access your screenshots at any time through the Galaxy S6’s gallery app.

For more Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge tips and tricks, be sure to visit Android Forums. For even more on both of Samsung’s latest smartphones, check out our article where we detail everything you need to know about the new Galaxy S6.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 features new clock and calendar app icons that accurately reflect time/date Tue, 10 Mar 2015 20:27:23 +0000 galaxy-s6-time-date

Mobile World Congress has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t have some interesting tidbits from the show to give you. It’s not the most groundbreaking new “feature” mind you, but we think it was one many might have missed during their short time with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

We all know Samsung made some interesting changes to TouchWiz for the Galaxy S6, optimizing performance and introducing a more user friendly UI that uses less icons and more text. While I’m still bitter the Galaxy S5 didn’t receive the treatment in its update to Android 5.0 Lollipop, another interesting, albeit, smaller changes being introduced in TouchWiz are new system icons for the calendar (S Planner) and clock applications.

Unlike previous versions of TouchWiz, these icons now appropriately reflect the actual time and date, right there on the home screen. Sure we’ve seen something similar in iOS, but it’s the little changes to Android like this that get us excited about new OEM skins like TouchWiz. FYI, the clock app icon only updates upon every screen unlock, so you won’t see it changing before your eyes.

While I’m still bitter the Galaxy S5 didn’t receive the treatment in its update to Android 5.0 Lollipop, it’s a neat little touch and yet another reason I can’t wait to get my hands on these new Sammy devices come April 10th.

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From the Galaxy S5 to Galaxy S6: how to get top dollar for your smartphone trade-in Mon, 09 Mar 2015 16:33:08 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S6 vs S5 DSC08959

With carriers ordering more than 20 million units of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to sell this April we’re sure there are many looking into their upgrade options. One of the most popular options for upgrading is to subsidize the payment by trading in your old phone to go toward the latest and greatest.

So how do you get the most out of your trade-in? NextWorth’s suggestion is to try and trade your old device in ahead of the arrival of the new one. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S5, the company suggests the trade-in prices drop by as much as 15% as soon as the newest smartphone in a series is available for purchase.


The obvious answer is to trade your device in before the new one launches, but that’s not the most convenient option for most folks — what the heck are you going to use as a phone until you actually get the new one in your hands?

In the event that you don’t have a backup, NextWorth’s 30-day PriceLock guarantee is actually pretty handy. It allows you to get a quote for your current device right now, and with a comfortable 30-day window to ship your device at the price you originally received you don’t have to worry about cutting it close.

There aren’t many other trade-in services doing this right now. USell has a similar 30-day guarantee, though USell is more like Craigslist than it is a trade-in company — that is, it’s more like a network of sellers and buyers instead of one company setting a standard trade-in price. Gazelle once ran a promotion like this, but it was only for the iPhone 5’s launch (and in case they’re confused, this is our half-hearted plea to consider making it a standard feature of their service).

Some fine alternatives

But the absolute best way to get the most for your trade-in — whether you can trade-in now or have to wait until the device you want is available — is to simply look around and find the best deal.

Most places will give you a quote before asking for your device so it’s worth taking a few extra minutes to see who offers the best prices. Here’s a quick list of good places to trade your devices in if you need to fund a Samsung Galaxy S6 purchase:

  • Your carrierSprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and US Cellular all offer convenient trade-in programs. Most carriers even accept devices meant for use on other networks. Note that some carriers will only issue funds as store credit, so don’t go this route unless you plan to spend all of the money with them.
  • – they accept a metric crap-ton of stuff, including — you guessed it — smartphones. They get bonus points for allowing their trusted users to receive trade-in credit before shipping the devices off. Like the carriers, Amazon only dishes out store credit.
  • Gazelle – without a doubt, one of the best third-party trade-in companies. They specialize in mobile phones so they have a pretty good feel for a device’s worth.
  • USell – you’re connected to sellers more than you’re trading devices in through a company, but they’re a very solid middleman for finding people to buy from or sell to. They also have a 30-day guarantee similar to NextWorth.
  • Best Buy – because they’re the biggest electronics retailer in the United States and there’s no reason to question their legitimacy. Might as well see if they can get you the best price on your next trade-in.

Of course, the only way you can get the most value out of your current device is to sell it yourself. The eBays and Craigslists in the world make it quite easy to do that unless making a sale listing, having to handle shipping and dealing with potential headaches like missed payments and returns is too much of a hassle for you. Feel free to choose any route that best suits your needs and let us know which one you’ll be taking once April 10th arrives.

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The HTC One M9’s custom nav bar lets you add extra buttons, or hide it altogether [VIDEO] Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:45:43 +0000 HTC One M9 Custom Nav Bar DSC08929 copy

We’ve got to spend a lot of time with the HTC One M9 these past few days. During this time, we’ve been exploring all the ins and outs of its new software, HTC’s new and improved Sense 7. One of the more noteworthy new features (we already showed you guys every single new theme) we found was the new custom navigation bar.

Now, on most Android devices you have the typical Android software buttons — back, home, and recents — that rest along the bottom of the screen. For Sense 7 update, HTC is finally putting those software buttons to good use by giving users the ability to customize, not only their placement, but squeeze an extra button in the nav bar as well.

The function of this extra button can be changed to a few options: turn off screen, auto rotate, notifications, or (our personal favorite) hide the navigation bar completely. We know what you’re thinking, if the navigation bar is hidden, how will you navigate around the UI? Easy. Simply swipe up from the bottom HTC black bezel bar (see, it does have a function) and it reappears again.

Also worth pointing out is how great the “turn off screen” and “notifications” button could be for those with smaller hands who have difficulty reaching the notification drawer or power button on their device. The best part, once Sense 7 begins rolling out to older devices — like the HTC One M8 where the physical power button was tough to reach even for us — you should have no problem at all using the phone 1-handed.

Apparently this feature can also be found on the LG G3, even if HTC believes hiding the nav bar is a never-before-seen feature exclusive to the One M9. You can take a look at the new custom nav bar in our video down below.

Update: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated this feature was exclusive to the One M9. We’ve since updated the post to include the LG G3 as well.

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How to toggle hardware controls with Google Now voice commands [VIDEO] Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:36:30 +0000 bluetooth

One of the best features of the Google app for Android is the awesome power of voice commands. With a simple “Ok Google” your phone can do a plethora of tasks, just check out this huge list of commands. A newly discovered set of commands allows you to control even more with your voice.

A few months ago Google added the ability to open certain settings with your voice. You could say “Ok Google, turn off WiFi” and a quick shortcut to the WiFi settings would pop up. It wouldn’t automatically turn off WiFi for you. Someone must have recently flipped the switch on this feature, because now it’s working just like you would expect (at least in Android 5.0).

Currently you can use your voice to turn on/off WiFi, Bluetooth, and the flashlight. Here’s how to do it.

Enable “Ok Google” Detection

First, you’ll want to make sure you have “Ok Google” detection set to “Always on,” which is a trick every Android user should know.

  1. Open the Google app
  2. Open the slide-out menu by swiping from the left
  3. Go to Settings > Voice > “Ok Google” Detection
  4. Toggle on the Always on switch
  5. On that same page tap Retrain voice model and follow the instructions

Now you can say “Ok Google” from any screen and when your display is turned off. This is especially useful for these hardware toggle commands. If you have to unlock your phone to turn off WiFi it’s only another couple of taps to do it manually, so a voice command would be pretty useless.

Use the Voice Commands

Performing one of these voice commands is very simple, but it seems to only work in Android 5.0 right now. Simply say “Ok Google, turn off WiFi.” Your WiFi will be turned off and you’ll see a card pop up with a manual toggle and a shortcut to the full WiFi settings page. Here are the commands that currently can toggle hardware controls.

“Ok Google…”

  • Turn off WiFi / turn on WiFi
  • Turn off Bluetooth / turn on Bluetooth
  • Turn on flashlight / turn off flashlight

There are also a couple of commands that don’t work as nicely as these, but can take you to the appropriate settings page.

“Ok Google…”

  • adjust display brightness / turn up brightness / turn down brightness
  • adjust volume / turn up volume / turn down volume

That’s all there is to it! Now you can turn on Bluetooth while you’re driving without taking your eyes off the road, turn on WiFi when your phone is in your pocket, or turn off the lights and find your phone by turning on the flashlight. Do you think you will use these voice commands?

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iFixit launches Android-only repair page with hundreds of guides, replacement tools, and parts Sat, 21 Feb 2015 02:20:08 +0000 iFixit graphic custom

DIY repair site iFixit has long been a great source of helpful walkthroughs on dismantling and repairing broken Apple devices. And while we often times see them taking apart the latest Android devices, they never actually had a dedicated site dealing with Android-only — until now.

iFixit’s all new Android repair hub is now live at and should your Android device or any of your components fail you, it’s there you’ll find iFixit’s famous teardowns, replacement guides, and the tools needed to get your phone or tablet back in working order. There are literally hundreds of Android devices (so far 252) ranging from smartphones, to tablets, smartwatches — even the Chromecast — with more being added every day.

The best part is you’ll find all the replacement parts for these devices too, with their catalog expanding further in the very near future. iFixit mentions they’re working with technical writing students at 40 universities around the US to help bring even more guides onto the site, and should you repair a device where a guide is absent, you can help your Android brethren by submitting your own. That, or you can donate your old device to help out here.

[iFixit Project: Android]

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DIY: Transform your LG G Watch R into a Watch Urbane using a little sandpaper Tue, 17 Feb 2015 23:16:37 +0000 LG G Watch R Urbane conversion 2

After scoping out the recently announced LG Watch Urbane, some LG G Watch R owners may have been left with feelings of buyers remorse. With a smooth metallic finish, our own Quentyn Kennemer felt the watch was the best looking smartwatch to date. But did you know that underneath the LG G Watch R’s matte black exterior was an Urbane just waiting to be revealed?

LG G Watch R Urbane conversion 1

After seeing images of the Urbane, one resourceful G Watch owner took matters into his own hands. A sheet of fine grit sandpaper and a little elbow grease later, this brilliant do-it-yourselfer managed to successfully convert his G Watch into the Urbane — well, for the most part.

The Urbane does have a less prominent ring without the dial around the watch’s glass, as well as a slightly less chiseled exterior. But hey, this is damn close and we think it looks great.

What do you guys think? Anyone else thinking about doing something similar with their LG G Watch R?


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12 Galaxy Note 4 S Pen Tips & Tricks Thu, 05 Feb 2015 17:30:22 +0000 note-4-s-pen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 picks up where previous Note models left off with its included S Pen. The Note 4 carries all of the functionality we have come to expect from Note devices plus a few new tricks. The following settings and tips will help you get the most out of using the S Pen with your Galaxy Note 4.

For more Galaxy Note 4 tips & tricks, click here!

Using the S Pen

At its most basic, the S Pen can do everything your finger can when it comes to navigating around the Note 4, using apps, and firing off messages and emails. The S Pen, however, is not limited by the shortcomings of our frail human forms. When you slide it out of its dock within the Note 4 you will notice not only its responsive rubber tip but also a clickable button. Bet you’ve never seen that on a finger.

The advanced tip and button are central to many of the S Pens more advanced functions, but you can also thank induction technology. A weak magnetic field generated by the Note 4 provides power to the S Pen, which in turn allows for a more accurate, advanced stylus as opposed to the typical passive capacitive stylus.

S Pen Settings


The first step to getting the most out of your S Pen is doing a quick run through the stylus’ settings. These are found easily enough by navigating to the Note 4’s Settings menu and locating the S Pen submenu. While we will discuss some of the major settings a bit later in this article, here is a quick rundown of how the different options affect the use of the S Pen.

  • Pointer - choose whether or not a visible pointer will show on the screen when using the S Pen
  • Direct pen input - enable to allow S Pen handwriting input in text fields
  • Disable pen detection - turns off S Pen detection when storing and removing the stylus to save battery
  • S Pen sound - enable or disable an audible tone when the S Pen is docked and undocked
  • S Pen vibration feedback - enable or disable haptic (vibration) feedback when using the S Pen
  • Detachment options - choose whether Action Memo, Air Command, or neither will launch when the S Pen is removed (when none is selected this is basically the same as disabling S Pen detection)
  • Attach/detach sound - choose the sound that will play when the S Pen is attached/detached (S Pen sound must be enabled)
  • Attach/detach vibration - toggle haptic feedback when removing or replacing the S Pen in its holster

Again, you will notice the above settings do not cover every option in the S Pen settings submenu. We will now take a look at a few of the more key features of Samsung’s advanced stylus.

Never lose your S Pen

The S Pen can be conveniently stored directly in the Galaxy Note 4’s body, but on its own it is small and easy to misplace. Avoid losing your S Pen by checking the box next to “S Pen alerts” in the S Pen settings submenu (access the same was as described above).

With S Pen alerts enabled, your phone will alert you should you happen to set down your S Pen and begin to walk away without it. This is a must-have feature that will help you avoid the headache of having to replace a lost S Pen down the road.

Air View

Air View is a core function of Samsung’s S Pen. With Air View disabled, you will miss out on much of what makes the Note 4 and its stylus unique. You can enable Air View from the S Pen settings submenu.

Air View takes advantage of the magnetic induction technology that powers the S Pen to allow the Note 4 to track a cursor and receive other inputs without touching the stylus tip to the display. If you have Air View and the S Pen pointer enabled, you can quickly demonstrate these capabilities by hovering your S Pen a few millimeters over your home screen and moving it around. The pointer will move to follow the stylus tip even if you do not touch pen to surface.

One use for Air View is in Samsung’s messaging app, where hovering over an opened message will preview its text. Other functions will be covered later in this article.

Air Command


Air Command provides quick access to common functions you can perform with your S Pen. Again, enable it in the S Pen settings submenu. Access Air Command from any screen by hovering the S Pen over the display and clicking its button.

Four options are presented as part of Air Command:

Action Memo

Opens a memo pad for jotting down notes and info such as phone numbers, email, and web addresses. Tapping the action button (dotted circle with an arrow) allows the written text to trigger actions like placing a phone call or navigating to a website. You can also easily pin a virtual post-it note to your homescreen by tapping the pin icon.

Smart Select 

Quickly select an area of the screen and save as an image to the clipboard for sharing or saving to a digital scrapbook. Use the S Pen to draw a box around the area of the screen you wish to select. You can collect multiple images by tapping the “Collect” button and again using Smart Select to grab another image.

Image Clip

Similar to Smart Select, Image Clip lets you select a more detailed portion of the screen using your S Pen stylus. You can also choose a predefined shape such as a circle or square when making your selection. Clips can be stored in your scrapbook where they can be annotated with pertinent information.

Screen Write

Takes a screenshot of whatever is currently displayed and allows immediate annotation. You are given several options for altering the style and color of your pen input, allowing you to doodle on images taken from the web and more.

Use the S Pen to navigate the web


The S Pen also sees some functionality specific to certain Samsung apps, including the browser. Using the S Pen while navigating the web makes it easy to scroll through a webpage or copy and paste text for sharing.

Scroll on website

To use the S Pen for scrolling a webpage, hover it over the display and move it toward the top or bottom edge to scroll up and down, respectively. A small arrow icon will appear pointing in the direction of the scroll. You may need to hold the S Pen’s tip at the edge of the display for a second or two before it detects the request to scroll.

Select text on webpage

Quickly select text and copy it to your clipboard by pressing and holding the S Pen button and dragging the tip across the text you wish to select. After making a basic selection you can further adjust by dragging the handles surrounding the highlighted text. When your text is selected, a popup menu is displayed that will allow you to copy to the clipboard, easily share via email or messaging, search the web, or even define a term.

Manage your saved photos


The S Pen also brings a few features for easily managing your image gallery on the Note 4. You can easily preview photos, select, and share.

Hover for shortcuts

You can quickly preview images in your gallery by hovering your S Pen over them. Once the preview appears, you will also have access to quick shortcuts for sharing and editing. You can even click screenwriter to open the photo and quickly jot a note or doodle down on top.

Multiple selection in gallery

To select multiple images in the gallery simultaneously, press and hold the S Pen button and then drag the tip across your display to draw a box around the images you wish to select. You can add more images to your selection by repeating the process. You can then quickly share, delete, or perform other functions to a batch of photos.

S Note

The S Pen can really show off its stuff in Samsung’s S Note app. S Note provides a plethora of options when it comes to customizing the look of your S Pen’s input and takes full advantage of the stylus’ pressure sensitivity to allow for artistic flourishes in your doodles. If you create a pen setting you particularly like, you can save it as a preset for easy recall.

Edit text from photo

S Note has the ability to snap a photo of a page of text and then convert it to be editable using the S Pen and other input. Its text detection works well, but it can be a bit of a chore if you need to make major edits. More useful, perhaps, is the ability to use pen settings like the highlighter to mark up important info and take notes.

Writing keyboard

In many text fields throughout the Note 4’s interface you will be able to use the S Pen to handwrite your input. After enabling direct input in the settings menu, look for an icon with a ’T’ and pen when hovering over a text field. Click it to launch the writing keyboard, which will convert handwritten input to digital text for use in email, messaging, and even navigating the web.

Copy text to memo

Vice-versa, look for the same icon after you have typed a bit of text into a form field. Tapping it will convert the typed text to faux handwriting and save it as an editable memo.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Tips & Tricks Wed, 28 Jan 2015 18:24:34 +0000 galaxy-note-4-screen-phandroid

Whether your new to the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or a seasoned veteran, there are so many features packed into Samsung’s latest flagship that there are bound to be a few you haven’t heard of. We’ve compiled some of our favorites in the following list, including everything from shortcuts and gestures to voice commands and controlling your TV.

Check out our full Galaxy Note 4 review!

First things every new owner should do


If you are brand new to your Galaxy, we suggest you check out our list of the first 13 things every Note 4 owner should do before moving on to the rest of this list. In the article, we cover everything from setting up your device to customizing it to fir your needs. Then come back here for a few of the finer points in more detail.

Galaxy Note 4 shortcuts & gestures

The Galaxy Note 4 contains a number of shortcuts and settings to make use easy. The following lists compile some of our favorites.


  • Take a screenshot — Simultaneously press and hold the power and home buttons
  • Access recently opened apps — Tap the recents/multitasking soft key located to the left of the home button
  • Launch Multi Window mode — Long-press the back soft key located to the right of the home button
  • Quick launch app menus — Long-press the recent/multitasking soft key while in an app to quickly launch its menu
  • Change sound settings — Press volume up or down then tap gear icon on display
  • Change to airplane mode — Hold power button then choose airplane mode from the list of options


To enable and disable specific gestures, navigate to Settings > Motions and gestures.

  • Take a screenshot — With the side of your palm, swipe from one edge of the screen to the other
  • Direct Call — Lift the phone to your face to call the currently selected contact
  • Mute/Pause — Place your palm over the screen/flip the phone over to mute incoming notifications or pause music
  • Smart Alert — With missed notifications, phone will vibrate when you pick it up

S Pen tips & shortcuts


The Note 4’s included S Pen is what sets it apart from most other Android devices. The stylus can be used to perform a number of shortcuts, gestures, and other functions that add greatly to the Note 4’s usability. For even more tips and tricks for using the Note 4’s S Pen, click here.

Air View

Air View allows you to hover your S Pen over images or text to preview, scroll, and more. To enable Air View, navigate to Settings > Motions and Controls > S Pen > Air View.

S Pen Air Command

Press the button on the S Pen while hovering over the homescreen to launch the Air Command popup, which provides access to several features unique to the Note 4 (Air Command can be enabled similarly to Air View by navigating to Settings > Motions and Controls > S Pen > Air Command):

  • Action Memo — Provides a list of common actions after jotting down a note, including quick access to finding a location, saving a contact, placing a call, and more
  • Image Clip — Draw a circle around the area of an image you wish to select and copy it to the clipboard
  • Smart Select — Select multiple items with the S Pen to share or copy to a scrapbook
  • Screen Write — Takes a screenshot and allows easy annotation

Use the writing keyboard

With the default Samsung keyboard enabled, you can switch to a handwriting recognition mode to respond to texts and emails with the S Pen. Long-press the microphone icon and a small popup will launch. Tap the icon that looks like a T with a pen next to it to open the writing keyboard. Then write as you would normally and the Note 4 will convert it to type text.

Pro Tip: Look for the writing input icon in other text fields such as those in a web browser and tap it to enable S Pen writing input.

Control your TV

The Note 4 has a built-in IR blaster on the top of the device, a feature you don’t see in all too many Android smartphones. What does this mean? You can use the Note 4 as the most powerful remote control you have ever owned.

All you need to do is launch Samsung’s Watch On app and go through some onscreen prompts to setup the Note 4 to control TV and sync to your local channel guide. After that, all you need to do is point your Note 4 at your television and start the channel surfing.

Keep your screen on while reading


Enabling Smart Stay on the Note 4 will utilize the phone’s sensors to determine when you are actively engaged in reading the display, keeping it from going dark in the middle of a riveting book or fascinating article.

To enable Smart Stay, navigate to Settings > Sound and Display > Display and check the box next to “Smart Stay.”

Use the Note 4 with one hand…

If the think Note 4 is a bit much to handle with one hand, you’re not alone. Samsung even thought ahead and included several options for making the super-sized smartphone more functional during one-handed operation.

Navigate to Settings > System > One-handed operation to access options that will allow you to shrink the overall screen size by swiping from the edge of the Note 4’s display (Reduce screen size), access a keyboard tailored for thumb typing (One-handed input), and side-oriented navigation keys ( Side key panel).

…or with gloves on

Enable Touch Sensitivity (found in the Quick Settings menu in the notifications pane) to increase the sensitivity of your Note 4’s touchscreen. While this is a solution if you feel your device is not responsive enough, it’s true usefulness comes when using gloves with the Note 4.

Be warned that without gloves sensitivity remains heightened, increasing the possibility for accidental inputs and pocket dials.

Turn on blocking mode to cut out distractions (or catch some Zs)

Though not labeled as such, the Galaxy Note 4 offers a Do Not Disturb mode dubbed Blocking mode. To enable Blocking mode, navigate to Settings > Personal > Blocking mode. You can choose to turn on Blocking manually or set a schedule to block calls and other incoming notifications during work or while you are sleeping.


You can setup exceptions to allow certain contacts to still ring your device even with Blocking mode enabled. If you would like to do the opposite and allow all calls while blocking only specific numbers, the Note 4 allows this as well. You can access these settings by navigating to Settings > Applications > Call > Call rejection.

Get the most out of your Note 4 battery life…


The Galaxy Note 4 contains not one, but two special battery saving modes to help squeeze the most life out of a nearly repleted power cell. Power Saving mode and Ultra Power Saving mode both operate in slightly different ways, but the end result could mean as much as two additional day of use on only 10% of a charge.


When in Power Saving mode, screen brightness will be dimmed and other non-esential but often battery intensive functions will be disabled (this includes some wireless connectivity). Ultra Power Saving mode goes to the extreme, replacing the standard TouchWiz launcher with a simplified greyscale interface that offers only the bare necessities for using your phone. Yes, functionality will be limited in either mode, but if you are nowhere near an outlet for charging you will be glad you have the option.

To access either power saving mode, navigate to “Power saving” under the “System” header in the Settings menu.

…And fast charge when you run out of juice


When you do find an outlet for charging, you will be happy to know you won’t be tethered to your power source for too long. Thanks to adaptive fast charging technology built into the Note 4, you can gain about 50% battery capacity in as little as 30 minutes. How do you do it? It’s simple: use the wall charger included in the box with the Note 4.

The wall charger itself contains a special chip that pairs with a similar bit of hardware inside the Note 4 to provide turbo charging capabilities. You’ll know the wall charger is compatible because it is stamped with Samsung’s “Adaptive Fast Charging” logo.

[Note: You might need to turn on adaptive fast charging from the Settings menu (Settings > System > Battery > Fast charging). It should be enabled by default, however.]

Protect your personal info with Private mode

If you often lend your device to friends or family to make calls, play games, or access the internet, it might be smart to set up Private Mode on your Galaxy Note 4. Private Mode allows full access to your phone while password (or fingerprint) protecting the sensitive files you choose to keep off limits.

To set up Private Mode, navigate to Settings > Private Mode and toggle to on. If this is your first time using Private Mode, you will be prompted to choose a password method. If you have the Note 4’s fingerprint scanner enabled, you may choose this as your password.

With Private Mode enabled, you can select the files you wish to hide and, tapping the three dots in the upper right-hand corner, select ‘Move to Private.’

Get help in an emergency

Hopefully you will never need it, but the Note 4 offers an emergency mode that will quickly send a message to chosen contacts to alert them to your status. This mode will even snap photos and share your location to further aid emergency responders in getting you to safety.

Navigate to Settings > Safety assistance > Send help messages, and turn the feature on. You can now choose whether to send pictures and location.Backing up a screen to the “Safety assistance” you can manage your emergency contacts.

When you are in need, quickly press the power key three times to transmit your emergency alert to those listed as emergency contacts.

Expand your storage with a MicroSD card


You can up your storage by installing a MicroSD card. First you will need to access the SD card slot by removing the back cover of the device. The SD slot is located above and to the right of the battery. Insert an SD card (the Note 4 will accept cards with storage ratings of up to 128GB) and you are good to go.

Depending on how much info is already installed on the SD card, the Note 4 might take some time to read the card. You will see a notification while this process is occurring. To access info and data on the SD card, use the preinstalled My Files app and navigate to “SD card.”

Use your SD card to store photos, videos, and other files and easily transfer them between devices. You can even move bulky apps to your MicroSD storage to free up precious internal storage space.

Use the camera flash as a notification LED

The Note 4 contains a number of features intended for users with vision or hearing impairments that can also be useful for the average user. These features are found under the accessibility menu, and include the ability to enable the Note 4’s LED camera flash as a notification indicator. It’s a bit less subtle than the notification LEDs that some Android phones feature as a standard option, but there is virtually no way you will miss a call or other alert again.

To enable, navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Hearing, and check the box next to “Flash notification.”

Get alerts for a ringing doorbell or crying baby

Another accessibility option that some might find a use for is the Note 4’s ability to listen for the sound of a doorbell or crying baby and proceed to send a notification via the handset. Pair it with the notification flash you will never miss a delivery or ignore a hungry baby again.

Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Hearing > Sound detectors, and check the boxes next to the options you wish to enable.

Disable Flipboard Briefing

The Galaxy Note 4’s Flipboard briefing is by no means a bad news aggregator, but it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. It also affects the way you interact with your home screens. If you want to get rid of the daily briefing and bring the ability to swipe through home screens in a never-ending carousel, you can do that.


Simply long-press on an empty area of your homescreen, tap “Home screen settings,” and uncheck the box next to Flipboard Briefing.

Use S Voice to control your Note 4 with vocal commands

Samsung has included a proprietary voice assistant in the same style as Apple’ Siri and Google Now. Dubbed S Voice, the service is accessed by double-pressing the Note 4’s home button. When first using S Voice, you can even choose to have your Galaxy constantly listen for voice input, responding when you speak the words “Hi, Galaxy.”

S Voice can perform system functions such as music playback or be used to compose a text message or perform a search. For a list of voice commands, ask S Voice for “help.”

Access the Note 4’s emoji keyboard

Emojis: you either love them or hate them. Regardless, you can access the emoji keyboard on the Note 4 by long-pressing the microphone icon found on the standard Samsung keyboard and tap the smiley face icon. The emoji keyboard will now open.

You can scroll through available emojis and switch categories by tapping the icons at the bottom of the keyboard. To return to typing input, tap the ‘ABC’ icon.

Get Google everywhere with Google Now


While S Voice is Samsung’s preferred personal assistant for the Note 4, Google Now is in many respects superior. It not only will respond to voice commands, but it intelligently incorporates information learned about you into its predictive results.

To access Google Now, long-press the home button. The first time using Google Now will require a short setup process. Once done, you can simply ask Google a question and receive an answer almost instantly. For a full rundown of Google Now voice commands, tips, and tricks, click here.

Visit Android Forums for more!

If you are itching to learn even more about your Galaxy Note 4, head on over to our dedicated forum at A cohort of Note users resides there ready to answer any questions and offer advice on everything from accessories to apps. You might even have a tip or trick of your own to add to the discussion!

Some helpful threads to start:

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How to sign out of Gmail and all Google accounts with one click Thu, 01 Jan 2015 13:00:03 +0000 inbox by gmail

It’s 2015, and you’ve probably lost your phone. Easy to do that with lots of alcohol or a hectic swarm of people trying to party. But if you haven’t actually lost your phone (those who need to find a lost or stolen Android phone can park it right here) and simply misplaced it at a location where it can be recovered, you probably want to make sure prying eyes won’t be your social downfall.

Thankfully we’ve got the perfect antidote with 3 simple steps to sign out of all your Google accounts from a remote location. You’ll need to be able to access the desktop version of Google so find a PC and follow these instructions:

  1. Head to and sign in.
  2. Scroll all the way to the bottom and look for the “Recent Activity” Label on the bottom right. Beneath that should be a “Details” link. Click it.
  3. A popup window opens showing you where and when your account is being used. At the top of the page is a button that says “Sign out all other sessions.” Click it.

And you’re done. What we just did was force all browsers, devices and apps that use your Google account to sign out. This makes it so that someone who might have your phone will have to put your password in the next time they try and gain access, effectively ensuring nosy eyes won’t be glancing over your personal data.

We strongly note that this should only be used in a case where you know, without a shadow of doubt, exactly where your device is and who has it so you can recover it at your earliest convenience. The reasoning is because Google’s device location tools won’t work if you aren’t signed in on that device, and since you just signed out of everything, well, that wouldn’t be possible.

So to recap: make sure you know where exactly your device is before proceeding, use the instructions above to secure your account, and speed over to the place you left your phone and recover it at your earliest convenience. Everyone else? Head here and here if you’re still not sure of your device’s whereabouts and level of security. Here’s to a more responsible 2015!

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