Despite Android's flexibility in regards to customization, the options available in stock Android are pretty barebones. It is only with the help of third-party apps that we can entirely transform sections of the UI to our liking. And thanks to a new app, we can modify another part of the OS, the status bar.
QR codes are like smart little cubes of data. To unlock this data, you will need a QR reader. These are annoying because you typically have to download a third-party app, and some of these apps are shady. Luckily your Samsung Galaxy running One UI has a hidden QR scanner built right in.
In the past, if you upgraded to a new Galaxy or if you had to factory reset your existing one to fix an issue, you had to restore your home screen layout manually. Your wallpaper, widgets, icon placement, and launcher settings were all dependent on you to be put back in their place. Thankfully, this isn't an issue anymore.
Let me paint a picture for you. You're on a long flight home, and while listening to music on your Samsung Galaxy S10, a great song comes on. You want your friend to hear it too, who's also listening to music using a pair of Bluetooth headphones. Thanks to Dual Audio, you can easily share your experience.
To give you a truly immersive experience on Infinity Display phones like the Galaxy Note 9, S9, and S8, Samsung added the option to hide the navigation bar when not in use, then easily reveal it with a swipe up gesture for quick access. If you've always found this process a little too cumbersome, Samsung has introduced a nifty feature in One UI that'll make it a lot more intuitive.
Smartphone photos look a lot better when you keep the camera steady, but selfies by nature make you do finger gymnastics to hold the phone while keeping your thumb free to hit the shutter button. If you have a Galaxy phone like the S10, however, there's an ingenious feature you can use to help ensure perfect selfies on the first try.
Samsung's stock Galaxy Themes system leaves much to be desired with its restrictive and expensive theme packs. Back in the day, the gold standard for Android theming was CyanogenMod Theme Engine. And while it no longer exists, a successor has emerged to fill the void.
Though more well known for their OLED displays and advanced cameras, Galaxy phones like the S8, Note 10 & 10+ and S10 series are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to audio. In fact, flagships from the S9 on up feature AKG-tuned stereo speakers, along with a slew of software enhancements that make listening to music a truly pleasurable experience.
Before all the fancy night mode settings in phone cameras, we used the LED flash to take low-light photos. While it's not used for pictures as much anymore, the LED on the back of your Galaxy is still pretty handy as a flashlight. But did you know there's an easy way to adjust the brightness of this flashlight?
In previous Android versions, you lost about an inch of screen real estate to the status bar and navigation bar. But if you enable Android 10's new navigation gestures on your Samsung Galaxy, you can regain the bottom part — and with the help of ADB, you can reclaim the top portion as well.
Samsung's One UI has slowly become the model for Android skins. The old iOS-like TouchWiz already feels like a relic, thanks in part to the newer user interface's exceptional design and fast but meaningful updates. One UI is so good, other OEM skins have copied elements of it. The latest release is One UI 2.5, which has over 20 new features that make the skin even better.
Samsung put some of the industry's most advanced camera tech in the Galaxy S20 series. However, their image processing still lags behind the Google Camera app found on Pixel phones, so the end result is good but not great. Luckily, you can install a mod to pair that beastly hardware with arguably the best camera software.
If you're using Samsung's default keyboard on a Galaxy or Gboard on any Android phone, here's a cool trick you should know about.
If you're using a VPN app to block ads or secure your Galaxy's internet connection, Samsung has decided you need yet another non-dismissible notification from One UI to tell you about it. Not just a status bar indicator like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but a full-size alert that can't be dismissed. The entire time your always-on VPN is running.
Samsung launched One UI in 2018 to replace the now infamous TouchWiz. Since then, things have been looking pretty bright for Galaxy users. Now, the much-anticipated arrival of Android 10 is ushering in the One UI 2.0 era, including a new set of gesture-based controls.
By default, the One UI launcher on Galaxy phones makes you scroll all the way back to the left when you hit the end of your app list. Luckily, Samsung has its own solution to help fix this problem if it annoys you. Save yourself a bunch of extra swipes and read on to learn more.
It's no secret that Google is all about AI. In their eyes, machine learning is the future of software development, and you can see evidence of this all over the last couple Android updates. They've used it to power all sorts of features in their Pixel phones, and they've even donated some of their AI smarts to AOSP for all Android manufacturers to share. But it looks like Samsung isn't exactly on board.
The Android 9 Pie update brought a lot of visual changes, some of which are a little too reminiscent of iOS. There's the new gesture controls, which are okay, but then there are things like a left-justified clock and the fact that the recent apps menu now scrolls horizontally instead of vertically. Luckily, Samsung has given us a way to bring back the classic Android style.
Android 9.0 Pie moved the status bar clock from the right corner to the left to accommodate phones with notches, but there's one major downside for Samsung users: since no Galaxy phones have a notch, all this did was take away space for the notification icons that would otherwise start from the left corner.
While the audio experience is solid on Galaxy phones, it isn't the absolute best out of the box. That's because Samsung has partnered with Dolby Laboratories to provide its industry-leading sound technology known as Dolby Atmos, but it's turned off by default. Once enabled, your audio experience will go from good to great.