New, new software features inside. Samsung freshened up the way the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra work, from rebooting the devices to taking screenshots, enabling gesture navigation and more.
The changes come from a combination of Google’soperating system and software layer. There are too many new features to name (discover the best-hidden features here), but I have plenty of tips for using your new S20 phone. When you’ve mastered the features below, here are .
Below are some tips and tricks I’ve found while testing Samsung’s latest phones.
Be quicker when taking a screenshot
The first time I tried taking a screenshot on the S20 Plus, I pressed and held the buttons waiting for the screenshot notification, only to see an alert letting me know I had to be quicker. On theyou had to hold the buttons down to take a screenshot.
Instead of holding down the volume and power buttons for a moment, you only need to quickly press the volume rocker (either up or down, it doesn’t matter) and the power button at the same time. Don’t hold either button in — just quickly press them at the same time.
What happened to the power button?
Speaking of the power button: You may have noticed that holding it in will launch Bixby, Samsung’s digital assistant. I don’t know many (read: anyone) who actually uses Bixby, but, thankfully, Samsung added the option to use the side key to turn your phone off or restart it.
Make the change in the Settings app by going to Advanced features > Side key and select Power off menu for the Press and hold option. Now, when you hold the side button in, you’ll have the option to power off, restart or activate emergency mode.
Get the most out of your display
One of the headline features of the Galaxy S20 line is its 120Hz refresh rate for the display, double the rate on most phones. That increase makes tasks like scrolling through apps or websites smoother.
Out of the box, though, your S20 is set to 60Hz refresh rate. Change it to 120Hz by opening the Settings app and selecting Display > Motion Smoothness > High refresh rate.
Before making the change, note that using 120Hz will have an impact on your battery life (our S20 Ultra review saw less than all-day battery life with the option turned on). I suggest trying the faster refresh rate for a few days, and if you’re unhappy with battery performance, change it back.
Ditch the Samsung Daily screen
Swipe ($99 at Amazon) to the right on the home screen and you’re greeted with the Samsung Daily feed, which curates news and information from various apps in one place.
To disable it, long-press on an empty area of your home screen. Swipe to the right on the thumbnail of your home screen until you see the Samsung Daily card. Slide the switch at the top of it to the Off position.
Customize the home screen and app drawer
Want more apps on your home screen or on each page of the app drawer? You can customize the grid with a long-press on the homescreen, selecting Home screen settings and then choosing home or app screen grid. Pick your preferred grid size for either option.
An easier way to view notifications
The screens on the S20 lineup are only getting bigger, making it harder to use the phone with one hand. But instead of stretching your thumb all the way to the top of the screen, there’s a setting that allows you to swipe down anywhere on the home screen to easily view your notifications.
Long-press on the home screen, then select Home screen settings, then turn on Swipe down for notification panel. Now, when you want to view your quick settings or pending alerts, swipe down anywhere on the homescreen.
Gesture navigation is the way to go
You have two options for getting around your S20. You can stick to the default traditional three-button setup, or you can enable gesture navigation. Using gestures removes the buttons along the bottom of the display, freeing up screen real-estate, and letting you swipe your way between apps. I think you’ll find it to be an improvement.
Turn on gesture navigation by going to Settings > Display > Navigation bar > Full screen gestures. An animation will show you the various gestures you’ll need to learn. We have an in-depth guide to Android 10’s gesture navigation if you need more help.
Use Finder to search your device
There’s a search bar at the top of the app drawer that you can use to search for apps, documents, messages, and any other content on your phone. The first time you use the search bar, you’ll be asked to turn on Finder and give it permission to search your device — take advantage of it.
I use Finder to locate my apps instead of scrolling through multiple pages in the app drawer. It’s much faster, and if the app isn’t installed, Finder will provide a link to the Play Store or Galaxy Store to install the app. It’s pretty cool.
Turn on dark mode
The Galaxy S20 has a built-in dark mode that turns all of the bright background colors, well, dark., and it just looks cool. Set up dark mode to be on all the time, or on a set schedule by going to Settings > Display > Dark mode settings.
Thanks to Android 10’s support for dark mode, many apps have updated with support and will change their theme based on your system settings. Here’s a list of apps to check out.
Android 10, and , including that you should know about.
Originally published last week. Regularly updated.