Sep 26th, 2021

Samsung has really outdone itself with the release of the Galaxy Z Fold 3. Not so much from a “spec” perspective, but because of the improvements to the durability and design. This largely looks like more of an iterative update, and the Z Fold 3 is not without its own problems. However, it’s still an incredible feeling to have a tablet that folds into a phone, all while being able to throw it in your pocket. We’ve been spending plenty of time with the Z Fold 3, and are back to share some of the best Galaxy Z Fold 3 Tips and tricks.

Multi-task like a pro

The obvious benefit for picking up the Galaxy Z Fold 3 comes down to getting work done and multi-tasking. Android itself doesn’t offer too much assistance on this front, forcing Samsung to integrate software tweaks to turn the Z Fold 3 into a multi-tasking machine.

Three windows at once

You probably already know that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 can be used with two split-screen apps at once. However, you can turn things up a notch by adding a third app to the mix.

  1. Open any app on your Galaxy Z Fold 3.
  2. From the right edge, swipe to reveal the Edge Panel.
  3. Tap on the app that you want to also have open.
  4. Swipe to reveal the Edge Panel and select another app.

Adjust app layouts

Whenever you have two or three apps open in multi-window view, you’ll see lined borders between all of them. Within those borders, there will be either two dots or three dots, which act as the “grabbing point”. This means you can drag the windows around to resize them. But if you tap the three dots, this allows you to rotate the apps, or swap them around.

Multi-window for every app

Not all developers have optimized their apps to be used in different modes, let alone in a multi-window mode. Samsung again has done the heavy-lifting here, making it possible to “force” every app to support multi-window mode.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced Features.
  3. Tap Labs on the right side.
  4. Tap the toggle next to Multi window for all apps.

There is a catch though, as you may still come across some apps that simply won’t work properly, even when this toggle is enabled. Your mileage may vary, so you might find yourself needing to change up the multi-window setup.

Create App Pairs

App Pairs are not a new feature to Samsung Galaxy devices, but with the ability to use multi-window mode, it’s the easiest way to quickly launch the apps all at once.

  1. Open the first app that you want included in the App Pair.
  2. Swipe left to open the Edge Panel.
  3. Tap All Apps.
  4. Open the 2nd app that you want included.
  5. Tap the divider between the two apps.
  6. Tap the App Pair icon (has + icon)

Screen layout

With the larger screen real estate, this means that there’s more room for your apps to spread their wings. And with the size of the main display, this opens the door for tablet-like layouts that show more information or use a split-panel interface.

Multi view screen layout

If you like the idea of using a tablet layout in supported apps with the 7.6-inch display, you’ll first need to enable this in the settings.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Tap Screen layout and zoom.
  4. Select Multi view.
  5. Tap Apply.

Change the Font size and style

Every phone has an option to change up the size of the font, but not every phone makes it easy to use different fonts. This is one of those features that is available on most Samsung Galaxy phones, but it’s still fun to use a different font instead of what’s applied by default.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Scroll down and tap Font size and style.

At the bottom of the screen, you can grab the nub and slide it left or right to adjust the size of the font. Tapping Font style lets you change up the font used across the system, and you can even head over to the Galaxy Store and download different fonts. Finally, there’s a toggle for Bold font, if that’s your kind of thing.

Force Apps into Flex Mode

The hinge has yet again been improved with the Z Fold 3, allowing for you to place your phone in different angles. When partially folded with an app open, Flex Mode will take over and provide access to controls or just show a black screen on the bottom half. Flex Mode is available by default on many of Samsung’s apps, but you can also force apps into supporting this new mode if it’s not already available.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced features.
  3. Tap Labs.
  4. Tap Flex mode panel.
  5. Tap the toggle next to any app that you want to use Flex Mode with.

Make apps fill the screen

There are a lot of growing pains to deal with when it comes to using a futuristic phone like the Galaxy Z Fold 3. One of which is the somewhat lacking support from various developers. You might find yourself coming across apps that won’t take advantage of the entire display, leaving space on either side of the app. But there is a way to force those apps to use all of the screen real estate.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced Features.
  3. Tap Labs on the right side.
  4. Tap Customize app aspect ratios.
  5. Scroll through (or search) and find the app that you want to force into full-screen mode.
  6. Select the app.
  7. Tap Full screen from the drop-down menu.

Transform Edge Panels into a Taskbar

With a device that is so focused on productivity and multi-tasking, Samsung now makes it possible to turn your Edge Panel into a Task Bar.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced Features.
  3. Tap Labs.
  4. At the bottom, tap the toggle next to Pin your favorite apps.

Now that it’s been enabled, here’s how you can actually activate and use this taskbar.

  1. Swipe from the left or right to reveal your Edge Panels.
  2. Tap the three lines at the bottom of the panel.
  3. Tap Pin.

Your screen will automatically adjust to make room for the new taskbar. By default, you’ll have quick access to recently-used applications, along with some of your favorites. But if you want to customize the row taskbar full of apps, here’s what you’ll need to do:

  1. Tap the Pin icon at the bottom of the taskbar.
  2. Swipe in on the edge of the display to reveal the Edge Panel.
  3. Tap the three lines at the bottom of the panel.
  4. Tap Edit.
  5. Drag and drop apps from the list onto the panel.
  6. Once completed, press the back button in the navigation bar, or swipe to go back.
  7. Tap the three lines again.
  8. Tap Pin.

The display will again adjust to make room for the taskbar, just like it did when you enabled it for the first time.

Customize the Side Button

Gone are the days where we just have a good ole’ power button. Instead, Samsung has dubbed this the “Side Button”, as there are actually more gestures available. But as you might expect, you are able to change things around.

Bring back the Power Menu

One annoyance with the Z Fold 3 out of the box is the inability to just use the Side Button to reveal the Power Menu. Instead, you have to swipe down from the Quick Panel, but there is a way to bring back the old power menu.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced Features.
  3. Tap Side Key in the left panel.
  4. Under Press and hold, tap Power off menu.

Quickly activate Google (or other apps)

Another option available with the Side Button is to open a custom app just by double-pressing the Side Button.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced Features.
  3. Tap Side Key in the left panel.
  4. Enable the toggle next to Double Press.
  5. Select Open app.
  6. Tap the Gear icon.
  7. Select Google from the list.

Unlock even faster

The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is already pretty amazing, as Samsung has not brought its under-display scanner to its foldable phones just yet. And while the speed at which you can unlock your phone is fast, you can make it even faster.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Biometrics and Security.
  3. Tap Fingerprints.
  4. Select Fingerprints Always On.

Tips for Battery Life

Although Samsung only slightly reduced the built-in battery size with the Galaxy Z Fold 3, it has led to a lot of frustrated users. For one reason or another, battery life has just been subpar with the Z Fold 3. But there are a few different steps you can take to try and make it at least serviceable.

Protect the battery

Introduced alongside both the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3, Samsung has added a new “Protect Battery” feature. This will limit the battery to only being able to be charged up to 85%. By doing so, Samsung aims to help your battery last longer before you start experiencing “wear and tear”.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Battery and device care.
  3. Tap Battery on the right side.
  4. Tap More battery settings.
  5. Next to Protect battery, tap the toggle to the Onposition.

Dark Mode Enabled

The easiest way to help save battery life on just about every phone is to take advantage of Dark Mode. It’s finally a feature that is found on pretty much every smartphone, including the Galaxy Z Fold 3. But you’ll first need to enable it before you can take advantage of the improved battery life.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. From the right panel, tap Dark mode settings.
  4. Tap Turn on as scheduled.
  5. Select one of the following:
    1. Sunset to sunrise
    2. Custom schedule

Turn off 5G

5G connectivity may seem like one of those gimmicky features. But if you have access to the faster network speeds, you’ll quickly learn that there’s nothing gimmicky about it. Unfortunately, 5G connectivity isn’t available everywhere as carriers continue to make upgrades to their networks. If you fall in that category, or just you don’t really care about 5G, you can bump down to LTE speeds on your Z Fold 3.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Connections.
  3. Tap Mobile networks.
  4. Select Network mode.
  5. From the list, tap LTE/3G/2G (auto connect).

Customize your screens

Good ole’ customization. We were bound to talk about it at some point in time, as the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a powerhouse in just about every manner. We’re still waiting for the ability to use two different launchers at the same time (without crazy workarounds), but you can still customize the Z Fold 3 to your heart’s content.

Adjust the stock launcher

Chances are, you’ll find yourself wanting to make the most out of the screen real estate, so you’ll want to change up the Home Screen layout and grid.

  1. Long press on an empty space on your Home Screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Go through each of the following options:
    • Home screen layout
    • Home screen grid
    • Apps screen grid
    • Folder grid

Samsung’s One UI launcher is the only currently-available launcher that you can customize on a per-screen basis. This means that you can change the settings on the Cover Display and the main display, without having to worry about them matching up.

Cover Screen Mirroring

For the sake of continuity, you might want to have your Cover Screen and Main Screen match up. This is possible with the Z Fold 3, and here’s how you can activate Cover Screen Mirroring.

  1. Long press on an empty space on your Home Screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Tap Cover screen mirroring.
  4. Select On and tap the Apply button.

Use Good Lock for everything else

Good Lock is one of the best tools that we’ve ever seen available on an Android phone. You can customize everything from the Lock Screen widgets to super-charging Bixby Routines, and so much more. Here are the different modules and apps that are available.

  • Unit
    • LockStar
    • QuickStar
    • Clockface
    • MultiStar
    • NavStar
    • Home Up
    • NotiStar
    • Routines+
  • Family
    • Keys Cafe
    • Pentastic
    • Wonderland
    • Theme Park
    • Nice Catch
    • One Hand Operation+
    • Sound Assistant

Use Theme Park to use icon packs from the Play Store

With Theme Park, you are able to customize your overall theme, keyboard, quick panel, volume panel, and now icons. It uses whatever wallpaper you already have on your phone as the base, and then you go through and customize each aspect to your liking.

Download Theme Park

For years, Samsung has left its users to rely on the questionable selection of third-party icon packs when using the One UI launcher. That has all changed in One UI 3.1, as you can now use Theme Park to apply icon packs from the Google Play Store.

  1. Open Theme Park.
  2. Tap Icon in the bottom toolbar.
  3. Tap the Create new button.
  4. At the top of the preview, tap Iconpack.
  5. Select the icon pack under Third party icon packs.
  6. Tap the Download icon in the top right corner.
  7. Set the name for your theme.
  8. Tap the theme that you just created.
  9. Tap Apply in the pop-up box.

Z Fold 3 Camera Tips

It was a bit disappointing to see that Samsung stuck with the same triple-camera setup from the Galaxy Z Fold 2. However, these cameras still perform quite well, but you’ll just need to know it won’t match up with the Galaxy S21 Ultra or iPhone 13. And just as you would expect from Samsung, there are a few Z Fold 3-only tricks that you can take advantage.

Flex Mode

When you are using the camera and fold the screen, the camera will switch into Flex Mode, providing a preview on the top, and your camera controls on the bottom. This makes it so you can turn your phone into a tripod of sorts, so you can jump in the frame of the group picture. Using Flex Mode also allows for you to capture shots that you wouldn’t be able to normally get.

Take Selfies with the main cameras

Although the under-display camera is something new and different, the 4MP sensor just doesn’t provide the quality you might expect. Just as was the case with the Z Fold 2, you can take selfies using the main cameras instead.

  1. Open the Camera app from the Cover Screen.
  2. Tap Selfie in the top right corner.
  3. Unfold your phone.

When activated, all of your camera controls will still be accessible from the Cover Screen, but your Fold 3 will use the triple-camera setup.

Cover Screen Preview

For one reason or another, you might find yourself wanting to have a preview of the photo showing on the Cover Screen instead of the main display. This is great for those who want to see how they look before the photo is taken, to make sure that everything is lined up. In order to activate it, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open the Camera app with the phone unfolded.
  2. Tap the icon in the top right corner.

The icon in the top right corner will change from white to yellow, and a prompt appears letting you know that Cover screen preview is enabled.

Preview Mode

Since the Galaxy Z Fold 3 essentially has two vertical displays sandwiched together, this is what makes Split Screen mode so useful. The Camera can also take advantage of this, thanks to Preview Mode. When enabled, you’ll have the app interface on the right, along with a preview of your photos on the left.

  1. Open the Camera app with the phone unfolded.
  2. Tap the icon in the top left corner.

This does not show you pictures that have been taken before this instance. However, anything that you capture during this instance will appear on the left-side of the screen.

Charge your earbuds or Galaxy Watch

Wireless PowerShare on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 - 1

If you find yourself needing to (or wanting to) charge your earbuds on the go, you can just use your Galaxy Z Fold 3. Wireless PowerShare is an extremely helpful feature that essentially turns your phone into a portable wireless charger.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Battery and device care.
  3. Select Battery from the right side of the window.
  4. Tap Wireless power sharing.
  5. Tap the toggle at the top to the On position.

Now that Wireless PowerShare has been enabled, you’ll want to make sure you can quickly activate it whenever you need it. With the following steps, you can add a toggle in the Quick Settings menu, giving you the ability to turn it on with just a couple of swipes and a tap.

  1. Swipe down twice to reveal the notification shade.
  2. Swipe to the left to reveal the second page of Quick Settings toggles.
  3. Tap the + icon.
  4. Find Wireless power sharing at the top under Available buttons.
    • The icon is a battery with an arrow pointing to the right.
  5. Drag and drop the button to the Quick Settings menu below.
  6. Tap Done.

Super-charged audio

Wireless PowerShare on Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 - 2

It’s no secret that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is one of the ultimate media playback devices. Thanks to the stereo speaker system, you can enjoy all of your favorite movies and TV shows and won’t have to worry about middling speaker quality. But Samsung took things a step further with the Z Fold 3, as there’s actually support for Dolby Atmos.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Sounds and vibration.
  3. Scroll down on the right side and tap Sound quality and effects.
  4. Tap the toggle next to the following:
    • Dolby Atmos
    • Dolby Atmos for gaming

After you’ve toggled Dolby Atmos on, there are a few options to choose from:

  • Auto: Optimize sound automatically for whatever you’re listening to.
  • Movie: Deliver the best possible audio for films, shows, and videos.
  • Music: Make all your music sound richer, fuller, and more balanced.
  • Voice: Make voices loud and clear.

Make your Fold 3 feel faster

The Galaxy Z Fold 3, and pretty much every flagship phone in 2021 are extremely fast. But animations have a tendency of making things feel a bit slower than they should. Speeding up animations is one of those “cornerstone” tweaks that we make on every phone that comes across our desk, including the Z Fold 3.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap About phone.
  3. Tap Software information.
  4. Tap Build number seven (7) times.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted.

After your passcode has been entered, it’s time to dive into the Developer Options and tweak the animation speeds.

  1. Tap Developer options.
  2. Scroll down until you find the following:
    • Window animation scale
    • Transition animation scale
    • Animator duration scale
  3. Change each of these to 0.5x.

There are more options available here, but we don’t recommend removing animations altogether.

Control the Smart Home

With Android 11, Google had a great thing going by making it easy to access your Smart Home controls by long-pressing on the power button. Samsung didn’t get the memo, and instead opted to use the whole “Bixby as default” option. But there is another way for you to control your smart home products even without using the side button.

  1. Unlock your Galaxy Z Fold 3.
  2. Swipe down twice to reveal the notification shade.
  3. Tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
  4. Select Quick panel layout from the drop-down menu.
  5. Tap the toggle next to the following options:
    1. Show Devices and Media buttons
    2. Show Devices and Media buttons above notifications.

Now when you swipe down to view your notifications, the Devices and Media buttons are now accessible. But there are just a couple of more steps to take before you have access to your smart home controls.

  1. Swipe down to reveal the notification shade.
  2. Tap the Devices button.
  3. Tap SmartThings.
  4. From the drop-down menu, tap Home.

How to take a screenshot

Everyone needs to take a screenshot at some point in time. And that includes the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but thankfully, you don’t really need to jump through any hoops just to capture what’s on your screen.

Hardware keys

If you want to quickly take a screenshot without fiddling with the software, you can rely on the tried-and-true method using the hardware keys. To capture a screenshot, press and quickly release the Side and Volume Down buttons.

Gesture

As you might expect, there’s a dedicated gesture that can be activated to take a screenshot without fumbling around to press the hardware keys.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced features.
  3. Select Motions and Gestures.
  4. Tap the toggle next to Palm swipe to capture.

After it’s been enabled, you just swipe your palm across the screen and the screenshot will be captured. Your phone will vibrate to let you know when the screenshot has been taken.

Continue using apps after the Fold 3 is closed

Sometimes you’ll be doom-scrolling Twitter or looking for something on Amazon with the main display, and want to continue on the Cover Screen. It’s a feature that can come in handy, but the biggest benefit is that you get to pick and choose which apps can be continued when the Fold is closed.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Scroll down and tap Continue apps on cover screen.
  4. Go through the list and tap the toggle for the apps you want to continue using.

One-handed mode

Having the Cover Screen to use your phone without needing to actually unfold it is extremely useful and helpful. But the inner display is just too incredible to not actually want to use it. The problem with this is that you can’t (or don’t want to) play finger gymnastics to reach all four corners. With one-handed mode, you don’t need to do that anymore, and here’s how to activate it.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Advanced Features.
  3. Tap One-handed mode.
  4. Tap the toggle to the On position in the top right corner.
  5. Select one of the following:
    1. Gesture: Swipe down in the center of the bottom edge of the screen.
    2. Button: Double tap the Home button.

Ditch the split keyboard

By many accounts, Gboard remains the best keyboard app for Android. But when it comes to foldable phones, or even tablets, it’s not the greatest experience. That’s because Google removed the split-screen layout, which has left us Galaxy Z Fold 3 owners with limited options. But if you find yourself wanting to go back to the standard layout with Samsung’s keyboard, that’s also possible.

  1. Open any app that allows for text entry.
  2. With the Samsung keyboard pulled up, tap the Gear icon in the toolbar above the keys.
  3. Tap Mode.
  4. Under Main screen, select Standard keyboard.

Best Galaxy Z Fold 3 Accessories

Although the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is both slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, while also sporting an official IPX8 water-resistance rating, you’ll still want to accessorize your new device. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite options for you to choose from.

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