25 March 2016

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge hidden tips and tricks

We've stumbled across great many hidden features that not just everyone might know. 

Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge hidden tips and tricks

Some of these are neatly hidden away in complex menu system of TouchWiz. The last one is a treasure trove of features, indeed, and it can always surprise you with a neat trick up its sleeve. What's more, many of the tips right below will certainly amp up your power-user game!

So, what does TouchWiz can do, but doesn't want you to know? Well, we put on our geeky thinking caps and delved deep into the depths of TouchWiz, and here's what we found.

Smart Alert is nice, but might be secretly draining your battery

Have you ever picked up your Samsung Galaxy S7 and felt a subtle vibration? No, your mind is not playing tricks on you, it's just Samsung's Smart Alert feature doing its job. It gently vibrates if you have a pending notification and pick your phone from a flat surface. Although convenient, this feature might be causing a slight battery drain, as it's actively polling its sensors to detect whether the phone has been picked up or not. You can enable or disable Smart Alert by heading to Settings > Advanced Features > Smart Alert.

Condensed display mode

This hidden feature that was uncovered as someone was tinkering with Nova Launcher on their Galaxy S7. It seems that the third-party launcher allows users to mettle with the DPI scaling of the interface. Here's what you need to do to enable the hidden Condensed display mode on your Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 edge:

Step 1. Install Nova Launcher. If you're not already using it, there's no need to dump your current launcher, we just need Nova to enable the hidden DPI scaling setting.

Step 2. Open Nova Launcher. You don't need to set it as the default launcher, just open it once.

Step 3. Go to the Nova Launcher homescreen, long-press in an empty space, then select 'Widgets'.

Step 4. Find the 'Activities' widget, then drag and drop it on a homescreen.

Step 5. Find the 'Settings' folder, then choose .DisplayScalingActivity. Doing so will create a new icon on the homescreen.

Step 6. Tap the icon. Once the activity opens, select the 'Condensed' display mode.

Step 7. Your Galaxy S7 will now need to be rebooted. Once Android loads back up, UI elements should now be smaller.

Note: once you've enabled the 'Condensed' display mode on your Galaxy S7 device, you can switch back to your favorite launcher.

Auto restart

Your Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge might automatically restart from time to time in order to "optimise" itself, as Samsung puts it. If you enable it, your phone will restart when the screen is off, you're not actively using the device, your battery is over 30%, and your SIM card lock is disabled. This feature can be enabled by going to Backup & reset > Auto restart.

Material Black theme helps you save power

Black images tend to be more battery friendly for AMOLED devices than almost anything else, as they and generally use way less battery by not lighting up select pixels. That's why downloading a completely black theme might be quite beneficial to your overall battery life. Just head to the Samsung store and download one that will change all of your backgrounds to black ones. [MINU] Black Edition is free and tickled our fancy.

Pin Windows is well hidden, but it's there

Pin Windows debuted with Android Marshmallow and allows users to pin a single app window to the screen, which can't be closed by tinkering with its interface buttons or the back button. The nifty feature that debuted with Marshmallow is hidden deep in the TouchWiz menu system. Go to Settings > Lock screen and security > Other security settings, then scroll down until you see the "Pin windows" option. Once you enable it, you can have pin any app from the Recent apps menu. Quite useful if you have to give your phone to another person and you don't want them to go through all of your pictures and stuff!

Notification reminder

If you wish your device to remind you for each and every notification you have, TouchWiz allows you to do so! Just go to Settings > Accessibility > Notification reminder, and tweak the feature as per your liking. Your device can vibrate each X minutes if you have a pending notification, so you might never miss an important one.

Doorbell and baby detector

Did you know that your Galaxy S7 or S7 edge can detect doorbell sounds and baby cries? Well, they totally can! Just go to Settings > Accessibility > Hearing > Sound detectors, and you can enable the two curious features.

Manage capacitive buttons backlight behaviour

Sadly, Samsung has removed the TouchWiz feature that allows users to configure the backlight behavoiur of the capacitive buttons at the front. Fortunately, this doesn't mean that users can't tinker with this. Thanks to an app, called Galaxy Button Lights, users can define the timeout for the buttons, as well as whether these should light up at all.

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