The 11 best features of the Samsung One UI to try on your Galaxy phone

Gone are the days when Samsung was infamous for TouchWiz Android shocks. The look of the company’s One UI software has received positive responses from users and reviewers. With a long list of features, smooth performance and timely updates, One UI has become the main reason to make the Samsung Galaxy phone above its competitors. Here are the best One UI features you should use on your Samsung Galaxy device.

1 Automate tasks with routines

Samsung removed the Bixby brand from routines. It is now part of your device’s Settings app. You can find the option below Spaces and routines. You can create any number of automations that perform selected actions exactly when you need them.

Routines (formerly known as Bixby Routines) can be triggered when you connect to certain Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices, when your Samsung Galaxy Watch detects a certain exercise, when the battery drops below a certain percentage, and more. It’s Samsung’s IFTTT (If This Then That) implementation with an easy-to-use interface and tight One UI integration. Let’s take a look at some routines you can use to automate tasks like a pro.

You can create a routine called Slow loading which disables fast wired charging during sleep mode to preserve battery health. When the routine ends, fast charging will restart and charge the phone when you wake up. You can define another routine by name Migraine which dims the phone’s screen, turns off the sound, and turns on the blue light filter. You can check all the built-in routines by going to settings > Spaces and routines > Routines or create one from scratch.

2 Open applications in pop-ups

In addition to opening two apps side-by-side like other smartphones, Samsung lets you open them in freeform windows that can be moved, resized, and minimized. They are similar to Google’s chat bubbles, but more useful and reliable. Unlike bubbles, popups work with any app that supports multiple windows, not just messaging apps. While it may not be suitable for small phones like the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Samsung Galaxy S23, pop-ups are a great addition to foldable devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 4.

There are many use cases for this. One is to watch a YouTube video while using other apps without paying for YouTube Premium. You can open YouTube in popup mode, resize the window, play the video you want, and tap for full screen size. When you do, YouTube will play the video in full screen mode within the window. It’s better than split screen.

  1. Swipe up and hold to open the multitasking menu (recent apps).

  2. Tap or long press the app icon at the top and select
    Open in a pop-up window

  3. Tap the horizontal bar at the top to close, minimize, and expand the popup view.

You don’t need to use split screen mode to browse apps side by side. Features like RAM plus allow you to keep more apps open in a popup window.

3 Hiding status bar icons

When Google released Android 6.0 Marshmallow, one of our favorite features was the System UI Tuner, which lets you customize parts of your system. Google removed the UI tuner in subsequent Android releases, but if you’re a Samsung user, Good Lock is ready to fill the void. It’s Samsung’s solid offering to add new features to your phone.

Good Lock replicates many of the things the old UI Tuner was capable of. If you always keep your phone on vibrate and connect to a smartwatch, you don’t need status bar icons to tell you. Turning them off makes everything look cleaner. If you’re in the US, some Samsung phones like the Galaxy S23 Ultra will tell you that NFC is on, which is unnecessary if you ask us. It can also be disabled. Try this by downloading QuickStar from the Good Lock app and searching Visibility of indicator icons from the menu.

4 Keep the screen on while watching

The Google Pixel 4 came with Screen Attention, which keeps the screen on while you’re looking at it, bypassing the typical timeout. While this was a first for the Pixels, Samsung had been doing the same thing since 2012 when it debuted the Smart Stay app on the Galaxy S3 before eventually rolling out the feature to older phones.

That was nine years ago, so it shouldn’t be surprising that many people forget it exists, especially since it’s been renamed and buried in a sub-menu.

  1. Open
    on your Samsung phone.

  2. Scroll to
    Additional features
    and open
    Movements and gestures

  3. Enable
    Keep the screen on while watching

You can also use the S Pen for a smooth online experience.

5 Customize your handout

Scrolling through dozens of installed apps in a spreadsheet can be tiring and tedious. However, you can customize the share sheet and keep your frequently used apps at the top. Apple also offers the same in iOS.

  1. Open your handout and tap
    pencil icon
    in the upper right corner.

  2. Drag and drop and pin your favorite apps to the top.

  3. The next time you share something, the one you’ve selected will appear above everyone else for faster access.

6 Make pop-ups less annoying

Pop-up notifications take up a lot of space at the top of the screen, which can be annoying if you’re looking at something. You can turn them off completely, but Samsung offers a middle-of-the-road option.

  1. Go to yours
    menu and tap

  2. choose
    Notification popup style

  3. Choose between the default settings
    notices or compact
    one. The advantage of using the Short option is that you can expand them to show more detail with a smooth animation.

7 Change lock screen hotkeys

You can either never use lock screen shortcuts or use them all the time. You may not prefer the default phone and camera shortcuts on the lock screen. You can replace them with other apps and options by following the instructions below.

  1. Open Settings and scroll to
    Lock screen

  2. Choose yours
    Lock screen

  3. Tap the shortcut icon in the lower left corner and replace it with another option. Repeat the same for the lower right corner.

You can set the flashlight and enable DND from the lock screen.

Google removed lock screen widgets from Android 5 Lollipop, but Samsung brought them back in One UI 3, which is based on Android 11.

  1. Open
    Lock screen
    in the device settings (check the steps above).

  2. choose

  3. Enable, disable and arrange the built-in widgets as you wish. You can’t use any of the popular third-party widgets and you’re stuck with what Samsung has to offer. You can choose from music, weather, the day’s calendar events, the next alarm, digital well-being, your favorite routines and a voice recorder.

We were hoping Samsung would add new options in future updates like One UI 4 or One UI 4.1 (based on Android 12) and the latest One UI 5 with Android 13. It might not be as versatile as the iPhone or what we had on Android KitKat. days, but it’s better than nothing, and being able to see the day’s calendar without opening the phone has proven useful. However, you cannot use stacked widgets on the lock screen.

9 Customize the side key

You can customize the side key and open the app you want when you press it twice.

  1. Open
    and scroll to
    Additional features

  2. choose
    Page key

  3. Enable
    Double click
    change. You can quickly launch the camera, open a protected folder, or set it to open an app.

  4. You can also wake up Bixby or open the Power off menu by pressing and holding the side key.

10 Use Dual Messenger

Apps like WhatsApp and Facebook don’t make it easy to use multiple accounts. You can review and enable supported social media apps to sign in to another account.

  1. Go on
    Additional features
    in the Samsung settings.

  2. choose
    Dual Messenger

  3. Supported applications will appear after installation. Enable the switch next to the desired app and install another copy on your Samsung phone.

  4. You have the option to use a separate contact list for the installed application.

  5. Open another social app and set it up with your account information.

If you delete the first messenger app, the second messenger app will also be automatically deleted.

11 Hide apps and games

If you don’t want your kids to explore work apps and other addictive games, hide them from your home screen and app menu using the instructions below.

  1. Touch and hold the home screen and select

  2. choose
    Hide apps on the Home screen and the Apps screen

  3. Select the apps you want to hide and tap

Get to know the Samsung One user interface

Not everyone likes the default icon style and size on the Samsung One UI. If you’re one of them, check out our dedicated post and learn how to apply custom icon packs to your Galaxy phone. If you have the latest Samsung phone with One UI 5.0 or higher, read our post to create the perfect home screen.

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