The Samsung Galaxy S6 is a device packed with plenty of potential just waiting to be unlocked, and tinkered with. I’m not talking about unlocking your S6 for trips overseas, but unlocking what your phone is truly capable of. I have lots of tips and tricks for your Galaxy S6 that just might surprise you, and leave you wanting to know one after the other.
This is a pretty long list, but believe me, it’s worth it to read through the whole thing if you want to make sure you get the most out of your phone. Every tip has the potential to be something you either never knew before or a trick that features something you were already using every day in a new light.
Phone Performance and Functionality
There are several functions and tricks the Samsung Galaxy S6 is capable of to squeeze the most potential out of your device. All of these tips are beginner friendly, and easy to perform, so there’s no need to worry about having much prior Samsung Galaxy knowledge.
A Better Do Not Disturb Mode
If you’re familiar with Lollipop’s Priority Notification system and enjoy it, then you’ll enjoy the Samsung Galaxy S6’s Do not Disturb mode even better. To reach your DnD settings you’ll need to:
- Navigate to your Settings
- Go to Sounds and notifications
- Once there you can turn on Do not Disturb
- Additionally, you can now set exceptions for what notifications you want to be alerted for.
- Otherwise, absolutely no notifications will get through to you in this mode.
Soft Resetting Without a Removable Battery
By design, the battery in the Samsung Galaxy S6 cannot be removed.
While this seems like it could impede any attempts at soft resetting by removing the battery, you can still complete a soft reset with a hardware button combination. By pressing and holding the power and volume down buttons for at least ten seconds, the phone is able to be rebooted without the need for battery removal.
Save Even More Battery with Ultra Power Saving Mode
While we’re on the topic of batteries, the Samsung Galaxy S6 sports an Ultra Power Saving mode. This mode may sound like a special move you can only perform with the S6 when the planets align, but it’s thankfully much easier.
From your battery settings you can enable this mode to change your interface to a low power consumption model, disable most background processes, and only allow the use of a few important apps.
Alternatively, a less severe Power Saving mode can be enabled at any time, and can be set to turn on automatically at a certain battery percentage, so take a look at your battery settings to determine what is right for your amount of smartphone usage.
Perform Phone Maintenance with Smart Manager
While some stock apps could be considered nothing but bloatware, Smart Manager doesn’t fall under that category. With the use of Smart Manager, you can:
- View battery information detailing how much longer your current charge will last, which apps are using the most battery power, and gives you the option to turn on battery saving features right from the app.
- View storage information detailing what apps and files are taking up the most space, and gives you an option clear out any data not being put to use.
- View security information where you can see any unauthorized access attempts with your phone, enable anti-malware features, and enable Samsung KNOX.
It’s an all-around helpful application for getting information about your phone, fast.
Take Advantage of 100GBs of One Drive Storage
This is a minor detail, but every new Samsung Galaxy S6 has the option to receive a free 100GBs of storage with Microsoft’s OneDrive storage system. You have the option to get this service during initial setup, and at the price of free, it can’t hurt.
Charge your Phone without Wires with a Wireless Charging Station
Compatible Samsung devices have a charging function that doesn’t require wires connecting to your phone believe it or not. With a Samsung Charging Pad (or any other compatible charging pad) you can charge your phone just by placing it on top and leaving it there for the duration of the charge.
Make use of the Samsung Galaxy S6’s Fast Charging Capabilities
If wireless charging isn’t your preferred method, you can still fast charge your device to get your smartphone back in action even quicker. You could get hours worth of phone battery charge out of just ten minutes or less of charging.
Use Two Apps at the Same Time
The Samsung Galaxy S6 has a multitasking feature that allows you to interact with two different apps at the same time using Multi-window mode. To make use of this mode you’ll need to:
- To the left of the home button is a Recents button, give that a tap.
- This will open up all of your recently used apps.
- Apps recently used that can be used in Multi-window mode are branded with a twin triangle symbol in the top right corner.
- Tapping the twin triangle will open that app in the top half of the screen.
- Do this again to another app to open it in the bottom half of the screen.
- You can re-size either app by dragging in the middle.
Make Use of S Finder to Search for Everything You Need on your Device
S Finder is an app that can be accessed in your quick toggle menu to search your device for files, apps, contacts, and anything else that could be found on your phone. S Finder is a great tool for finding anything on your phone quickly.
Download Files Faster with Download Booster
In your connection settings is a toggle-able option for download boosting. This makes use of Wi-Fi and LTE connections in tandem to boost download speeds. Using this feature can run up data usage if you are on a limited plan, so be careful when activating it.
Keep Track of all of your Notifications with Notification Reminder
If you have trouble remembering notifications like I do, the Galaxy S6’s built in Notification Reminder can alert you to ignored notifications in different timed intervals. To access these functions, you must:
- Navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Notification reminders
- This is enabled for all apps with notifications, but can be set for specific apps only in your Notifications reminders settings.
Share Files Between Other Galaxy Devices with Quick Connect
With Bluetooth enabled, Samsung devices can quickly send files to each other with the use of Quick Connect.
The Galaxy S6 has this ability built in, and can be used by:
- Going through the notification bar to find Quick Connect
- After tapping Quick Connect you will be shown all other QC enabled devices
- Tap one of those devices and then select the file you want to send
- The transfer should begin almost automatically
A good camera is a great to have with a smartphone, but what separates a good camera from a great camera is the quality and number of features associated with them. The Samsung Galaxy S6 has more than just a few tricks you can pull off while snapping pictures, and while setting up for those quick shot moments.
Easy Camera Access with a Single Double-tap
In the Camera app’s settings menu, you can enable Quick Launch, which when enabled, allows you to access the camera app at any point in time just by double tapping the home button.
View Photos Right after Snapping Them
If you still have your camera settings open, stay there and enable Reviewing Pictures so you can see a picture you take right after snapping it instead of having to dig through menus to get to your photo gallery.
You might want to stay in that menu a little longer, because I’ve got another tip for you.
Auto Focus on Subjects with New Tracking
I hope you stayed in that menu like I asked, because if you enable Tracking AF in your settings, you can turn on Auto Focus Tracking to keep your lens focused on any subject of your choice, even if they start to move within the shot.
Record Videos or Snap Photos with Voice Commands
That’s right, we’re still not done with your Camera Settings menu. If you switch the toggle for voice commands from off to on you can use the following vocal cues to snap a picture;
- Record video
That’s certainly a lot easier than fumbling for a button or tapping the screen.
Take Easy Selfies with New Gestures
That’s right, the Galaxy S6 has not 1, but 2 built in ways to take better selfies. When using your front facing camera you can:
- Place a finger over the S6’s heart rate sensor for at least two seconds.
- Wave your hand in front of the camera, which starts a countdown timer to leave you to get ready for your close-up.
Take Advantage of New Modes for your Camera
The Samsung Galaxy S6 features a new mode for its camera, called Pro Mode. You can enter this mode by pressing the Modes button while using your phone’s camera. In this mode you can independently tweak focus modes, white balance, exposure correction, ISO, and metering.
Once you find a mixture of modes that you like, you can even build pre-sets to quickly set up shots the way you want them to be taken.
Get Multiple New Camera Add-ons
Don’t forget that you can also browse the Samsung App Store to get add-on apps for your built in camera, increasing the amount of picture taking capabilities you have with your phone in just a few minutes.
Let’s take a look at a few gestures you can do with either your hands, eyes, or even by moving the phone itself to produce interesting and useful results.
Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts
If you see yourself typing the same words and phrases multiple times, there’s an easy way to create shortcuts for these words and phrases almost like keyboard macros. To set up keyboard shortcuts you need to:
- Navigate to your Settings
- Go to Language and input
- Select Samsung keyboard
- Select Text shortcuts
- Then tap ADD to start adding your shortcuts
Turn on Swipe Inputs for your Keyboard
If you’ve tried swipe inputs on your Samsung Galaxy S6 and were frustrated with the lack of results, it’s because swiping to use your keyboard is turned off on the S6 by default. To enable it you’ll need to:
- Navigate again to the Samsung keyboard from above
- Select Keyboard swipe
- Then select Continuous swipe
Now you can type a word by swiping your fingers over the letters required in order.
Swipe your Palm Across the Screen to take Screenshots
This next tip is the first of two ways to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S6, and is probably the most finicky of the two, but a cool feature nonetheless. It’s fairly self-explanatory, but this picture below can help show off the technique.
Use Direct Call to Switch from Messages to Calling Almost Instantly
In Motions and gestures in your Settings is a feature called Direct Call. This useful little gesture lets you call someone just by placing your phone to your ear on their contacts page, or while messaging them.
This is definitely one of my favorite features about the S6.
Mute Your Phone by Turning It Over
Staying in the Motions and gestures menu, you can additionally toggle two different gestures that allow you to mute your phone (while ringing or sounding an alarm) by either placing the palm of your hand over the screen, or just by turning it over
This is great for someone like me who tries to get my phone to stop yelling in the morning by shoving a hand awkwardly at its face anyway.
Get Alerted to Missed Messages and Calls instantly with Smart Alert
This is a minor feature in the Motions and gestures menu, but toggling Smart Alert enables your phone to vibrate when being picked up to alert you to missed calls and messages.
Customizing Your Phone
The Galaxy S6 is no exception when it comes to customizable smartphone experiences, so there are plenty of features you can take advantage of to make your phone more of a unique, personable space.
Different Screen Modes for Different Moods
On the Galaxy S6 you can switch to different screen modes with your Display settings, each of the three playing with brightness and saturation.
- First there’s the Basic mode which is just what it sounds like, basic. It’s easy on the eyes with brightness and saturation.
- Second on the list is Adaptive Display. While in AD mode, your screen tries its best to adapt to what you’re currently doing to provide the best possible visuals.
- Lastly, we have AMOLED, which has a high amount of saturation in its colors and brightness levels.
You can switch between these modes as much as you like.
Get Rid of Bloat without a Root
While it’s not possible to fully remove most the pre-installed apps on the Samsung Galaxy S6, you can still disable them from appearing and running in the background. To do this, you’ll need to open the edit menu in the app drawer, and then select the apps you want to disable.
This isn’t the same as rooting to get complete control of your device, but it’s an easy way to put away what you don’t want to see.
Download New Samsung Galaxy S6 Themes
Thankfully, the Galaxy S6 includes a Theme Store where you can download different themes to your device to change the look of icons and even your UI. You can download as many themes as you like and then apply them when the mood strikes you.
Customize your Quick Toggles Menu
Your notifications bar has multiple customization options when you tap the edit button. If you haven’t set up your quick toggles to suit your needs and wants, you can do so at any time with just a few taps.
Make More Room on Your Home Screen
If the default amount of panels on your home screen isn’t enough for you, then you can increase the count up to at least seven. To do so, you need to:
- Long press any blank space on the home screen to open up panel options.
- When adding a panel, swipe left and press the plus icon.
- When removing a panel, tap and hold the desired panel, and then move it to the Remove option at the top of the screen.
- To move a panel, long press the desired panel, and drag it where you want it.
- Additionally, you can set a panel as the new home screen you can tap the home icon present.
Removing Flip Board Briefing
If you aren’t a fan of the slow flip board briefing feature on the Galaxy S6, there’s a way to remove it.
- First, long press on the home screen.
- Second, navigate to the Briefing panel over on the far left side.
- Then third, uncheck the box sitting at the top.
Use Smart Stay to Customize How your Screen Display Functions
Smart Stay is more of a gesture than anything else, but when turned on in your Display settings, when enabled, the Galaxy S6 will only keep the display on while eyes are focused on the screen.
This could have limited usefulness for most users, but it’s a feature worth noting.
Enable Easy Mode if the Interface is too Overwhelming
After all the features I’ve mentioned so far, the Samsung Galaxy S6 interface may sound a little overwhelming for some. If this is true for you, there’s an Easy Mode you can enable.
- Navigate to Personalization from your Settings
- Then select Easy mode from this menu
Easy Mode makes app icons larger, and displays the interface in a simpler manner. Additionally, you can set which apps display in easy mode, and which don’t.
Security is always an important concern when it comes to a smartphone, and this is no different with the Samsung Galaxy S6. Thankfully, the S6 comes with a few new features to help keep your phone secure.
Make Use of New Private Mode Features
While there are already apps that can help keep your files under lock and key from prying eyes, the Samsung Galaxy S6 features a built-in private mode to help keep these files safe.
Private Mode can hide videos, music, photos, files, and even help protect any secrets you have on your web browser. However, before Private Mode can protect something, you need to let the app know what it needs to protect.
- First open the app and go into the multi-select tool
- Use the tool to select anything you want to make private when Private Mode is enabled
- Now in the upper right corner, select more and then Move to private.
Now you know how to make things private, but how do you switch over into Private Mode?
- Navigate to Privacy and safety in your Settings
- In this menu you’ll find a toggle for Private Mode set to either on or off
- With Private Mode Off all files set to private will not display, but with it On, Private Mode files will still be viewable.
A PIN will be required for Private Mode, so make sure it’s something you can remember to swipe.
Use Emergency Mode to Save Battery
Emergency Mode manages to turn off all background processes, mobile data, and Bluetooth while the phone is put to sleep, conserving battery even more so than the S6’s different power saving modes.
To access this mode, you need to long-press the power button and select Emergency Mode from the options presented. You will be informed what this mode does, and you can reverse the process by taking the same steps again.
Use SOS Mode to Send Emergency Messages to Contacts
This is the Samsung Galaxy S6’s most useful feature that you should hope you’ll never have to use, but you’ll be glad it works if you have to. It works by sending an emergency message to a preselected contact when you press the power button three times in quick succession.
This feature is turned off by default, but I’ll quickly go over how to turn it on.
- Navigate to Privacy and safety from your Settings
- Search for Send SOS Messages and select it
- Now toggle it to ON
- From here you can set however many contacts or numbers will receive the message, the text of the message, and if any pictures or audio recordings are included.
This is a feature that could potentially save you from a dangerous scenario, so it would be a wise idea to configure this as soon as possible.
Use Your Fingerprint to Lock Your Phone
This is a feature that’s spoken about frequently, but warrant a mention.
On the Galaxy S6 you can set your lock screen to respond to your fingerprint as a locking/unlocking method. To enable this, go through the following steps:
- In Settings navigate to Lock Screen and security
- Now go to Fingerprint
- Once there, select +Add fingerprint
- You will receive instructions on how to create your fingerprint at this step
- Once done, you’ll be prompted to make a backup password
- Now tap Ok to set the fingerprint locking feature
- From here, you can unlock your phone by holding the printed finger against the home button
This isn’t all your fingerprint can be used for currently, it can be used in additional supporting apps.
Make Use of the New Pin Window Feature to Lock your Phone into One App
Last but not least we have a feature that’s good for children, or even nosy phone snoopers. This makes use of the Pin Window feature to make sure your display is locked into the current app and that app only unless you are able to enter the selected pin.
To enable this, you must:
- Navigate to Lock screen and security from Settings
- Go to Other security settings
- Select the Pin windows option
- Set the switch to ON
- Set that you want your lock screen to come up if the home key is pressed while in the app selected.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 is a powerful little phone with plenty of capability under the hood, with plenty of attractive features still sitting on the surface. The S6 is a phone you can’t go wrong with, and one that can go even further with a little more help. Even with 38 features listed, the S6 still has more potential that you as a user can help bring to light that’s just a root away.
Are you looking to see what the S6 Edge can do as well? Look no further, because there are plenty of features that the S6’s edgier brother is capable of.