Friday, April 21, 2017

The first 10 things to do on your new Galaxy S8

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If this were a week ago I would have recommended you remap Bixby to Google Assistant, but with that tip no longer an option, what other tips can we give new Galaxy S8 owners? I’m glad you asked.

Samsung Galaxy S8 gets put through extreme torture test

2 days ago

Forget Bixby

I know this is going to elicit howls of anger from the Samsung faithful, but no matter which way you cut it, Bixby is a half-baked voice assistant. No matter how much potential it might have by the end of the year (and I’ll be happy to revisit my current condemnation at that time), right now it’s not terribly helpful, resembling first-generation Google Now.

So play around with Bixby for a little while if you like, but you’d be much better off wrapping your head around what Google Assistant can do instead. Not only is Assistant far more advanced, it can also follow you from one phone to another, unlike Bixby who will only ever live in Galaxy devices. If you decide to go this route, and have no interest in Bixby Vision etc, you can long press on the home screen, swipe to the Bixby screen and flip the switch to hide Bixby until its ready.

Switch button layout

If you’ve always felt that Samsung had its navigation buttons in the wrong order, you’re far from alone. So far from alone that Samsung even finally decided to let you put them in normal Android order on the Galaxy S8.

If you’ve been using Galaxy phones forever and think the way Samsung has always done it is the right way, then please move along, but if you’re itching to get things back in the right order, go to Settings > Display > Navigation bar > Button layout and choose Back – Home – Recents. Then sit back and feel the universe aligning somewhat. You made the right decision.


Disable animations

Samsung’s software has gotten much faster over recent years but all Android phones can do with a little speed boost. Or in the absence of an actual speed boost, a simple trick to make your phone feel a little snappier.

First you need to enable developer options. Go to Settings > About phone > Software information and tap on Build number seven times. Back up to the main Settings menu and you’ll see Developer options at the bottom.

Scroll down until you see the options called Window animation scale and Transition animation scale. Turn both of these options off to get a snappier feeling phone (if you want to see what they do, put them at 10x and navigate around a little).

Disabling animations is a simple trick to make your phone feel a little snappier.

Maximize your screen space

If you want to make the most of that luxurious Infinity Display, then you might want to take a leaf out of my book and shrink the on-screen contents a little to give it the feeling of being even larger. Fortunately, there’s a raft of options that allow you to achieve this quickly and easily, without any of the fiddly tweaks it used to require.

First up, go to Settings > Display > Screen zoom and font and slide the sliders around to get the icon and text size the way you like. Just remember to hit Apply each time before backing out to see how it looks. You can also change the layout of app icons on your home screen and in the app drawer, allowing you to further change the sense of space.

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