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. I can’t click on phone numbers In the majority of websites I visit to make a direct call….remembering the phone number while navigating out of the webpage and into the call area of my smart phone seems the opposite of smart. Any ideas are much appreciated.

  2. I was downloading something from an email and now i cant get rid of the download arrow at the top of my phone. i have switched it off numerous times, deleted the email and it wont go. Please help me!!!
    Its starting to P@$$ me off.

  3. Hi,

    At the bottom of the home screen there are 5 icons/shortcuts. 1 of those is a shortcut to to the keypad/phone to make a call. Mine has dissapeared. anyone know how to get it back?

  4. JohnB. Go to settings, security, lock screen options, shortcuts. There u can add delete or change the shortcuts that appear on the lock screen

  5. Thanks Lisa, but it isn’t on the lock screen that’s the problem. Its the home screen after the lock screen. The phone icon that sits next to the Mail, Apps, Internet etc..icons has disappeared altogether and the disturbing part is, when I called Samsung support, even they didn’t have an answer. Their only suggestion was to do complete factory reset which means I lose everything and have to start from scratch.

    Not Happy!!!!

  6. press on apps and find the shortcut u want…hold it down and drag it over the screens to home screen, hope this helps

  7. John b…did u try going to apps and tap and hold the green phone icon and drag that to the home screen at the bottom. I think that should work for you

  8. Thanks again Lisa and Michelle. In apps the icon is there and you can place it on any of the screens, just NOT at the bottom where it belongs next the Contacts Icon. According to Samsung support, those icons are hard coded onto the screen so they appear across all screens and cant be deleted…..apparently. But mine is gonski………..

  9. How many icons do u have on bottom…if u have too many hold one down and drag to delete then move your phone one down

  10. When I recieve a phone call the volume starts out very soft and then(not asscending, very abrutly) it goes to full volume. Any ideas of how to get it to ring at full volume from the start?

  11. Hi i was wondering if you could help me? I have downloaded a few avi movies onto my gs3 and the memory is full iv deleted the movies but it still says im low on space and when i click on it then it still shows 6gb of movies how do i delete them for good?????

  12. My messages are lagging really bad and what i type is ahead of what the phone is typing. Ive tried fooling around with all of the settings and nothing works. HELP!

  13. hi, if my s3 is charging on a flat surface it stops charging when I lift it up. anyone else having this issue? tweet me please @itscoopeinnit

  14. I need to get text messages off my samsung galaxy note. I have been trying to foward them to my email which works, however only one text message at a time, plus it knocks me out of location and back to end of all messages….frustrated….bad feature if this is the only way of getting them off…please help

  15. Hi When I got my S3 I loved the fact everything had a black background with white/grey writing it’s so much easier to read and sooo much better for battery consumption however the latest firmware update has changed all my Emails to white background and black text and removed the options in the context menu to change it back. I’ve tried changing the background colour setting in power saving mode but this has no effect. Anyone know how to change it?

  16. Hi OP,

    I have S3 for three days now and i like it but m trying to figure out few things like notifications (Pop up) when my phone is locked as i get lot of emails and sms i need to have a popup notification so i can see whose email or sms it is but no app seems to work for my Outlook office email everytime a email comes i need to unlock and go and check notifications manually, I had iphone4s which used to pop notification on screen when it was locked and it was very good, Was wondering if something like this works for S3 i tried popup notifier it works good with SMS and Missed call alerts but not email and tried Iphone notifications Lite but it is making my phone stuck and consume a lot of battery. Appreciate your help in this regards.

  17. I can’t move or change the icons down the bottom of my home screen. Not lock screen.
    It is really annoying since I use to be able to but since the new update I now can’t pleaz help.

  18. hi guys,

    do anyone know how to turn off the annoying beep generated randomly by samsung galaxy s3.It is very annoying when i am watching video on youtube this beep interrupt the video and put it into pause

  19. Was wondering if there is any way I can get the text message notifications to hide my text previews / content? I was able to do this on the iPhone, where when I get text notifications it just said the person’s name & then “text message” under it, but it wouldn’t actually preview the message to me. I’m wondering if I can do that on this phone because I have VERY nosy co workers and would rather not have them reading bits and pieces of my texts when they pop up. Please help! Thanks!

  20. Deb said:
    I have the Galaxy S3, does anyone know how to delete emails from the handheld and not the server?

    If your using Hotmail, you will need to log into your account from a computer, and check the POP3 settings. There should be an option in there to keep emails on the server when deleted from phone. You will need to be using POP3 for your email for this to work though.

  21. Ive had my s iii for about 2 months now. all of a sudden, my battery has been draining and i’ve noticed that throughout the day, my phone book contacts are syncing. it’s never done this before. how can i fix this so it stops

  22. Does anyone know how to change the email setting so I can read the email right of way instead of having to view on the web

  23. When I get a pic text it wint download or its downloading to a place unknown ti me….how can I recieve pic texts?

  24. hi, i am planning to give my galaxy S3 (minus my sim of course..) to my GF and buy a new Note2. I have private photos with my ex-es which i placed in apps like Gallery Lock and Dropbox.. i will erase them all of course… but is there any danger that it can be retrieved or accidentally re-sent back to the s3? She would surely kill me if it does lol… and how can i transfer all my data like contacts and messages, and fotos to my new Note 2?

    hope u could enlighten me…many thanks to you…

  25. I need help, to answer a phone call I have to drag a green bar across my screen and then I have to drag a green circle across. Also, when I make a phone call after dialing I hit the little green phone to complete, but my phone then has another screen that pops up and I have to hit a little green phone again to make the call. How do I turn this off, why the double security? I want to know how to change this setting so that I only have to do each of these items once. Thank you.

  26. Hi there, you obviously know everything about Samsung galaxy’s and I just need a little help,

    I have just received my new phone which is fantastic and I’ve spent a lot of time exploring it, Yet when I came to put a lock on the phone I didn’t know the default code therefor i now have a very small limited amount of tries.

    So my question is do you know the manufacturers default code in order to put my own code in.

    Thankyou in advance

  27. How do I change the setting that allows you to call the person your texting by just putting the phone to your ear

  28. Galaxy plays music all by itself. I notice that frequently music is playing without me playing. How do I stop this?

  29. I have several duplicate contacts…
    One contact will befrom Facebook, with a photo of them and just an email address.

    The other contact has a blank face, but does have the phone numbers that I need.

    I have tried to “join contacts” thereby eliminating the contact with the blank face, but it doesn’t appear to be working. I wind up with the same two contacts, and none of the contact information has been blended into one contact.

    Please advise of steps.
    Thank you for all of your helpful tips!

  30. I’m extremely inspired along with your writing abilities and also with the layout in your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it your self? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to
    look a nice weblog like this one today..

  31. Why is it that when I watch videos I there is a small white lock that appears in the top right-hand corner of my screen…when it appears I can’t get out of the video…I’ve tried locking the screen with the power button and I’ve even reset my phone and still it doesn’t work…what can I do to undo this?

  32. @Joe, save them to a gmail and you will be good

    @Phillip James, reset your phone by holding the power button and resetting the phone…I used to have the same problem

    @Erwin Panares, that just the indicator to show its looking for your eyes, when it finds your eyes the screen won’t shut off

  33. @Lisa, if you download app for your email that should work or check if you can save the password and try mobile view (if offered at the bottom of the website)

    @Dominic, long click (hold your finger) on the email and it will check-mark it then delete

  34. thanks for the information, I was confused with the Change Lockscreen Shortcuts, having a hard time looking for it… thanks for you screenshots, i finally found..

  35. I recently updated my phone and now when I slide between pages on my home screen it tells me what page I’m on. Is there any way I can turn that off? It’s loud and annoying.

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