Must Know Galaxy S3 Tips & Tricks

The Galaxy S3 is the sucessor to the super successful S2, and since I did a very popular must know tips & tricks post for it, now would be a good time to do a follow up for Samsung’s latest superphone. The S3 packs a quad core processor, a GB of RAM, a 4.8″ Super AMOLED screen with a 1280 x 720p resolution, a 2100 mAh battery, support for NFC and runs Ice Cream Sandwich with the TouchWiz layer on top.

TouchWiz is Samsung’s Android skin that differentiates the look and feel of its devices from others, while at the same time adding useful tweaks. Since this is a brand new version of TouchWiz, you’ll have to learn a few new tricks to get the best out of this flagship device. Samsung has also bundled a few useful and a few gimmicky features, some apparent and some hidden. This post explores a bunch of must know tips and tricks that every Galaxy S3 user should master.

If you can’t see the video embedded above, hit this link to go to YouTube. If you’d like to see these tips & tricks in text instead of video, read on.

  • Setup Any Screen As Your Default Homescreen: TouchWiz finally adds the ability to setup any screen as your homescreen. Just hit the home button on the top right, and once selected, everytime you hit the physical home key, you’ll be taken to that screen. You can of course move homescreens around as well.

 Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Change Lockscreen Shortcuts: Changing the shortcuts on the dock of the homescreen is fairly straightforward, you simply drag an icon from the homescreen to the dock and it gets replaced. However the option to change the quick launch shortcuts on the lockscreen is a little hidden. You have to go into Settings>Security>Lockscreen options and then tap the shortcuts label to get to the screen on the right. Once there, tap an icon to replace it.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • WIFI Direct: This feature lets you send files to another WIFI Direct devices like the S2, or the S3 at speeds much higher than bluetooth. This is done by establishing a adhoc WIFI network, here’s a demo and an explanation of how it works on the S2. On the S3, the procedure is similar and once you’ve used it, you can turn it off by going into Settings>Wireless & networks. If you’re sending files between two S3’s, then just touch their backs to each other (NFC) and the phones will do the rest.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • LED Customisation: Out of the box the S3 doesn’t let you change the LED for specific tasks. You can’t have a red notification for missed calls, blue for emails, yellow for messages and so on. Fortunately an app called Lightflow can let fix that.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Get Flipboard & Photo Editor: The S3 has a ton of apps pre-installed including Google Plus, however if you’re looking for Flipboard you’re out of luck. To get it you’ll have to go into an app called ‘More Services’. While you’re there I recommend you get Photo Editor as well, a very capable free tool. Also present are a bunch of other free apps.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Task Manager & Clearing RAM: Despite packing 1 GB of RAM and a quad core processor, the S3 does get a little sluggish at times. The TouchWiz launcher sometimes has to redraw the apps once you exit a heavy app and so on. While the S3 uses the ICS way of killing apps by sliding them off the screen, Samsung’s also retained its own task manager. Its accessible from the bottom left of the task switcher screen and lets you quickly uninstall apps, clear some memory and even monitor storage.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Motion Activated Actions: Some motion activated controls are cool, while others are gimmicks. I’ve explained all of them in the video, but to quickly recap:

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

– Direct calls dials the number of the contact you are looking at, if you put the phone to your ear. This also works if you’re in messaging and looking at a text.

– Smart alert vibrates the phone the moment you pick up the phone from a flat surface/table to let you know of any missed notifications. That way you won’t have to turn the screen on to see if you’ve missed a call etc.

– Tap to top works as advertised. A double tap on the top of the phone brings you to the top of a list.

– Tilt to zoom is fairly obvious, and pan to move icon uses the accelerometer to move icons around based on the direction in which you’re tilting the phone.

  • Enable Swype like typing: Unlike other Galaxy smatphones, the S3 doesn’t come with Swype pre-installed and there’s no official beta either. Fortunately Samsung’s own keyboard has some Swype like features. Once enabled from settings you can swipe to type.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • EQ setting during calls: A hidden setting that can be accessed by going into call settings and then additional settings. Access call settings directly from the dialer by hitting the menu key.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • More Useful Call Settings: Get extra volume in calls when you’re in noisy places by enabling the extra volume in call settings. Another option is to increase the volume of the ringtone if the phone detects that its in a pocket/handbag.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Display battery percentage: For the control freaks among us, goto Settings>Display and hit the checkbox.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Facetag & Buddy photo share: The S3 gallery has the ability to recognize faces and it prompts you to tag them. Once you do that, an option called buddy photo share comes in handy. By selecting this option you can directly email the photo(s) to all the people tagged in the photo without having to compose an email, enter their addresses and so on. It can send the email to any one person tagged in the photo as well. Sometimes face-tag gets annoying, specially when you’re just trying to browse photos on the large display of the S3 as it keeps showing a box around the face. That time you can turn Face tag off by hitting the menu key and choosing face tag.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Additional security in Hotspot mode: The S3 has tethering capabilities and you can even set a password to protect your precious bandwidth. However Samsung has gone one step ahead and introduced a feature called ‘Allowed device list’. With this turned on, despite the fact that you have the right security code you won’t be able to connect to the hotspot, unless your device has been added to the ‘allowed list’.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

In addition to all of these, there are a bunch of things that work in the same manner as the S2, so check this post out as well. The one thing I am disappointed about is the fact that you can no longer control the brightness from the notification bar, unlike the S2. I also did a tips and tricks post for the Galaxy Note which can be found here.

What did I miss? Sound off in the comments section below!

105 thoughts on “Must Know Galaxy S3 Tips & Tricks”

  1. Useful. Is there any way to customise the physical home screen button? Right now it sometimes requires 2 clicks to get to the home screen from inside an app – ideally it should be one click.

  2. Hi Vaibhav,

    Good set of tips. I wonder if I can remove the series of dots at the bottom of the pages which represent the different pages. They are a waste of space for me.

    Any idea?

    Thank you,

    Umesh

  3. Unfortunately, I don’t think thats possible as sliding you finger over them also launches a scroll to quickly jump between pages. So Samsung will not let users remove them.

  4. Good tips,
    I just got this phone and my applications from my android are hiding in the galaxy S3 – They show as downloaded, but they do not pop on the app list. Any idea?

    Also, as I follow up with the tutorial my lock screen options was not available –

    Does any one know if I can download a portuguese keyboard, since the phone does not come with it?

    Many thanks- Finding to be a great phone so far!

  5. The only way i have found to get rid of the ‘dots’ at the bottom of the pages is to use a launcher. (I know Apex Launcher gives you the option) not sure if others do as well..

  6. very nice article

    just one question, anybody know how to disable the “open folder/close folder” voice notification and keep light flow enable?

    thanks

  7. I have been told that the Samsung Galaxy S3 does not have word wrap or text wrap in the internet browser or email? If so, is there a work around for this and how would I do it?

  8. I have been told that the Samsung Galaxy S3 does not have word wrap or text wrap in the internet browser or email? If so, is there a work around for this and how would I do it?

  9. Question : When i put my galaxy s3 in the charding dock 4 icons popup. How to change them ? Thanks

  10. its a beautiful phone and obviously the most advanced features in it right now as compared to any other phone, superb review and some of the features even i dint know

  11. anyone have that problem when the phone is connected to a wifi, either home wifi or public wifi, you will see additional stuff in “Gallery”

    This being said, it seems like my housemate’s computer is showing up in my Gallery without me allowing it or letting it connect… any clue on this ?

  12. doa766 said:
    very nice article

    just one question, anybody know how to disable the “open folder/close folder” voice notification and keep light flow enable?

    I am having the same issue. Can’t seem to find a way to disable it. If anyone know, please let me know, it’s driving me crazy!

  13. Does anyone know how I can keep my text messages separate from my email?
    currently text messages are delivered to both the email and message storage locations.

  14. i dont have screen lock options. is this available only in international S3? is the phone rooted in this video? would love to have the camera options for home screem

  15. How can i put a password on my messages

    You forgot to mention TouchWiz lets you HIDE applicatiobs

  16. Here’s a funny question.

    When my S3 is charging and I pick it up and then put it back on the table (while the screen is on) then it makes a some sound (a tone that goes up and then down) that I never heard in other situations.

    Any idea what that may be??

    David.

  17. Lucy said:
    doa766 said:
    very nice article

    just one question, anybody know how to disable the “open folder/close folder” voice notification and keep light flow enable?

    I am having the same issue. Can’t seem to find a way to disable it. If anyone know, please let me know, it’s driving me crazy!

    I think what you’re describing is a problem Light Flow is having on the S3 with Talkback. Here’s what they say:

    “Some users have issues where the TalkBack accessibility service gets enabled when the Light Flow accessibility service is switched on. This seems to be a bug in Ice Cream Sandwich and we’ve raised an issue for it. Add a star to it here: http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=23105 as a temporary workaround, go into your phone “settings” –> Accessibility –> Install web scripts –> and make sure it’s set to “Not allowed”. Also enabling TalkBack->disabling all the check boxes in it and then switching it back off may help.”

    Go to their website and search under the FAQ page for issues with the S3. Hope this helps!

  18. any of u guys got an idea why that despite cramming both the S3s micro sd card and hd with music and apps…it keeps reading that theres 80 pc in each left of free space. Now i have bout 10gbs of space left on the sd as its loaded with games and movies…but no matter how much u cram the more space u have left…it dosent slow down, and i want to know why this is. I have a dropbox acc linked to it too…but is the phone mainly cloud based?

  19. I have just found a new problem with my galaxy S3. I got a screen prompt that said that the touchWiz wasn’t working or something of that sort. How do I fix it. As of right now when i am sending a text message, my key board will not turn horizonta, it only stays vertical.

  20. i somehow have turned on a voice setting that says ‘folder open’ when i open a folder and ‘folder closed’ when closing can someone please help me turn this off as it’s doing my head in lol

  21. Hey Paul,

    Stole this off another site, hope it helps!

    Could be a number of reasons: 1) talkbalk is on. Accessibility>talkbalk. 2) you installed LightFlow. It`s a bug on the Ice Cream Sandwich which hopefully they`ll fix soon 3) Driving Mode is on. Go to Language and input> Text-to-Speech Input > Driving Mode off.

    Read more: How to turn off voice announcments samsung galaxy s3? – Its not in driving mode.but it keeps announcing the callers name and text when i recieve one. :: Ask Me Fast at http://www.askmefast.com/How_to_turn_off_voice_announcments_samsung_galaxy_s3-qna2830425.html

  22. Thanx for great tips. The «Swype» on S2 is better than the «swiping»-function on S3. On S2 you can deactivate automatic word-suggestions which appear in the text field, but on S3 you have to live with the fact that words changes as you type… If you turn this off on S3, you turn off the «swiping» as well. Very annoying! Do you know a way to fix this?

  23. Overnight my screen has suddenly gone very bright, I haven’t adjusted any controls, and nothing makes it go back to the regular colour.

  24. Hi!! My Samsung s lll keeps giving me a new text message alert when I do not have any in reality. I have tried resetting the phone, deleting the function, turning it off. Nothing has worked and I would appreciate any help.

    Thanx!!!

  25. Hi, Very nice article both SGS2 e this SGS3 .. but we can’t see the images (1 in sgs2 e ALL in this sgs3!) : there is a problem with this hosting site blocked(vaibhavsharma.files.wordpress.com)..

    the article is very good !
    thanks

  26. What is the N with the small blue signal strength indicator overlapping on the bottom left part of the N in the middle of my Indicator Icons on top of the phone?

  27. Galaxy II issue. cked fit to screen size and it does not word wrap or adjust size to fit page. it did in galaxy I . any suggestions??

  28. hi all…from today i’m having the same problem of michelle.. i keep ketting a notification of new email but there is no email… it beeps everytime the phone checks for new messages on the server depending from frequency settings.. tried removing acount and re-adding but didn’t help. it started after automatic upgrade of the firmware.
    this only happening with yahoo mail account and not gmail.

    thanks

  29. Same problem, kep getting new email notifications even though the email has been read. Please help.
    I’m using Yahoo bizmail
    Thanks

  30. i do not have the app “more services” that allows you to download the photo editor. is there a way to to get that?

    also on the S2 there was a setting in the internet to have word wrap but i havent found it on the s3. is there such a setting?

    thank you

  31. can someone please tell me why my phone light dims when I go on the internet and how to fix it? thank you

  32. Very frustrated pictures in gallery can no longer ‘ve text messaged I did a factory reset and the option showed up however know utility is gone again how do I get it back

  33. CORRECTION: “The one thing I am disappointed about is the fact that you can no longer control the brightness from the notification bar, unlike the S2”

    This feature has since been added with a samsung firmware update 😀

  34. Mark said: What is the N with the small blue signal strength indicator overlapping on the bottom left part of the N in the middle of my Indicator Icons on top of the phone?

    Mark – You must have enabled the NFC Function “Allow data exchange when device touches another device”

    To disable it go to Setting->More Setting->NFC Remove the Check mark beside NFC and the icon will go away.

    Hope that helps.

  35. hey i m downloading email aatachment i downloaded but on notification it is showing downloading what should i do

  36. Any one have trouble with facebook notifications not working anymore?
    Very usefull would like to have it back.

  37. How do I stop my screen going off during a call.I can’t touch my keypad when I need to and have to take the back off my phone and battery out to end a call.

  38. my fb push notifications are no longer working and the sound doesn’t work, not sure what i have done but they used to…..all the volume settings are up and its really puzzling me

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