Wednesday, April 19, 2017

How to Enable Full Screen Apps on the Galaxy S8

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The Galaxy S8 and S8+ have all-new huge 5.8 and 6.2-inch Infinity displays that looks absolutely stunning. However, those just getting their new phone may notice some apps don’t use all that space. If so, here’s how to enable full screen apps on the Galaxy S8.


After launching some apps and games you may notice black bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Below the notification bar and above the on-screen keys. This is due to the new 18.5:9 aspect ratio that’s different from most phones. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ have a tall but skinny screen.


Read: 16 Best Galaxy S8 Cases and Covers


You may remember a similar situation with 16:9 widescreen movies and video a few years ago. Until more app developers adopt this standard, you’ll need to enable “full screen apps” with a setting on the Galaxy S8. Read on for more details.



Most Android apps easily and instantly scale up to fill the entire screen. Google’s system in place makes most apps scale with ease from phones to a tablet size, or even Android TV, but not all. As a result you’ll find these awkward black bars in some situations.


We have good news though, they don’t have to be there. For one, Samsung has a quick option in settings that will make almost all apps compatible with the bigger display. Additionally, developers will quickly start updating apps to support this new screen resolution. Especially considering the Galaxy S8 will be one of the most popular phones of the year. Not to mention the LG G6 and other upcoming smartphones.


If you’re experiencing black bars with some apps on the Galaxy S8, here’s how to enable full screen mode so everything looks great.


How to Enable Full Screen Apps on the Galaxy S8


So far most apps work perfectly with the bigger display. That said, we’ve seen a few games where the black bars aren’t a problem, it just doesn’t look very great. With that in mind follow these steps to fix the issue.



  • Pull down the notification bar and head into Settings (gear-shaped icon near the top right)

  • Find and select Display

  • Select the option labeled Full Screen Apps

  • Find any app that isn’t highlighted and switch full screen mode to on

Our image above is a quick glance at exactly what you’ll be looking for. Again, most apps work just fine and will be enabled by default. The ones that aren’t highlighted just need to be turned on manually to force full screen scaling. Like Snapchat and a few others.


Now simply hit the home button and open any and all apps and enjoy the full Infinity display experience. It’s also worth mentioning that videos have a similar option that will popup for users. Letting us expand them to full screen if it isn’t already.


Should You Do This?


Your next question will likely be how does this work, if you should do it, and if there will be any problems. Personally, everything I’ve manually forced to full screen works just fine. However, there will be some instances where it doesn’t look perfect.


Samsung is essentially stretching out the apps to better fit the full screen. Similar to what the Netflix app does with select shows or movies. Or how we can zoom in with cable TV.


Read: 8 Neat Things You Didn’t Know About the Galaxy S8


In the end some apps may look squished on the edges, or certain things may actually slide off the edge of the screen. One game a button was missing, and some elements were cut off completely. However, as we said above this is hardly a deal breaker. Most apps work perfectly fine with the Galaxy S8. The ones that don’t can be switched to full screen and work great. Only a select few won’t be perfect, but we’re expecting developers to move swiftly to ensure the best experience possible.


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