10 Tips, Tricks and Hacks for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is one of the few phones on the market that has its target audience in the name, active. This is a phone that’s meant to be as active as you are, and can keep up with anything you throw at it. That’s why I’ve got a few tips for any active S6 Active users to make sure you get the most out of your phone.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on tips and tricks that already apply to the standard S6, so if you want the full rundown, take a look at what the Galaxy S6 does on its own. Whether you’re a new Active S6 owner or a potential one in the future, you’re going to learn at least one thing that’ll change how you look at your phone.
Tips for the S6 Active Lock Screen
Let’s start with tips about something important to every Android user, security. This time around, the S6 Active has a few different options available for your lockscreen. There are two that I’m talking about specifically, and I’ll show you how to set them up.
1. New Smart Lock Options
Smart Lock isn’t something new, at least in concept. The way the system works is you set certain parameters that let your phone know when it’s safe to unlock and vice versa. On the Galaxy S6 Active, there’s a new Smart Lock option called Trusted voices.
This isn’t a feature that’s only on the S6 Active, but it’s worth talking about. Now instead of having to use a pattern or a PIN, you can unlock your phone with your voice. The only problem with that is if someone with a similar voice tries to unlock your phone, they’ll get the same result.
To enable Smart Lock options, follow this path:
- Go to Settings
- Go to the Personal tab
- Go to Lock screen and Security
- Go to Secure Lock Settings
- Go to Smart Lock
From there, select any option you want to start using Smart Lock features.
2. Directional Lock Screen
So you probably think that for this next tip you need to stay on the Lock screen and Security menu, and while that makes sense, we need to go somewhere else instead. To enable a directional lock screen, find the Accessibility menu in your Settings.
From there, select Direction Lock and set a pattern of directions to be your new lock screen. A directional lock screen is similar to a pattern lock but is easier to use, and much more elegant at a glance.
Related: How to Change Lock Screen Wallpaper on Android for a Fresh Feel
Quick Tricks for More Input Customization
How often do you swipe through a notification on instinct, and then immediately after forget what was on it? Do you have apps or games bugging you every ten seconds that your energy is full? With a few tweaks, and quick toggles, you can tune your notifications, and even your text inputs.
3. Customize Individual Notification Settings
Let’s start with notification settings. There are already methods to block all notifications, but what if you want to single out one app that’s a repeat offender? On the S6 Active, there’s a little trick to do this in just a few seconds, in your Sounds and Notifications menu.
From there, go all the way to App Notifications, and now you can change any app’s right to spam you with notifications just by clicking on them. Nothing makes me uninstall a game faster than it constantly bugging me about offers and items.
4. Get Reminders for Old Notifications
Go back to your Accessibility menu for now and scroll down to Notification Reminder. Here, you can set either specific permissions for what apps should display notifications more than once, and even how frequently they repeat. You can choose as quickly as a few seconds, or as long as five minutes.
This is great for people like me who just swipe through notifications to clear up my screen, and then remember shortly after that I needed to read it first.
5. Create Text Shortcuts
If you have any phrases or piece of information you type on a regular basis; shortcuts are a lifesaver. With a shortcut, all you need to do is type a number or a certain key, and your shortcut is suggested to you why typing. To enable and set shortcuts, go to these places in this order:
- System tab
- Language and Input
- Samsung Keyboard
- Text Shortcuts
From here, freely add or delete text shortcuts using the ADD or DELETE buttons at the top o the screen.
Related: Secret Keyboard Shortcuts: 35 Tips to Speed up Typing on your Android Device
How to Really Use the Active Key
The activity key is arguably the most advertised feature about the Samsung Galaxy S6 Active. With that in mind, here are a few tricks to quickly learn how to make use of the new little button.
6. The Activity Zone
Without doing any additional setup, pressing the activity key once pulls up the activity zone.
The activity zone gives you quick, one-touch access to the weather, a handy barometer, a stopwatch, a compass, a flashlight, a step tracker, and music selection all on one screen. You can use and interact with each app on the activity zone screen, or expand any one of them by tapping their individual square.
However, this still isn’t the only thing you can do with the active button.
7. Quick Launching Apps
Like mentioned above, by default, the active button launches the activity zone, but you can change your settings to make the button launch two different apps instead. To change how your active key responds:
- Tap MORE
- Tap Active key settings
Now select an app that launches when you quickly press the active button, and then an app for when you long press the button.
8. Use the Active Key Even While Locked
To make the active key even more convenient, stay on the settings menu, and then enable Active key on the lock screen. Now press the active key, even while your phone is locked, to launch your selected apps.
Tips for Better Pictures With the S6 Active Camera
Last but in no ways least, let’s talk about the camera. This is still a Galaxy S6, so the camera quality is nothing shy of fantastic, but this time around there are a few new gestures and modes for users to play with.
9. New Camera Gestures
To use gestures, you need to enable Gesture Control, which is in your Camera Settings. When in your camera, tap the settings icon in the top-left at any time to open Camera Settings. On the S6 Active, there’s a Gesture Control option just a few spaces below the top of the screen.
If you tap it, you can start taking pictures without using hardware buttons or tapping the screen. Just show the camera an open palm, and two seconds after that your phone snaps a picture. This is great for selfies since you can focus on steadying the camera instead of needing to press a button or tap the screen.
Related: 5 Best Selfie Sticks for Android Phones
10. Different Camera Modes
So just like any camera on Android phones now, there are separate modes to use and play around with. Don’t pass on tapping the mode button if you aren’t expecting anything new, give it a shot and take a look at what you can use.
Nothing here is specific to the Active S6, but you can still pull off more than a few great camera tricks to snap powerful shots, and record interesting videos.
Related: How to Open and Edit Raw Images in Android (Snapseed)
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Active is meant for people constantly on the go, and taking the road less traveled. One of its biggest draws is the active key, but that doesn’t stop it from carrying over some tips and secrets from the original Galaxy S6.
Do you have anything that you want to share about the S6 Active? Leave any comments down below.
Do you remember when the rugged ones were a rarity and you needed a mounstrous case? Hahaha… now I have seen waaay cheaper models as the AGM: IMO, are quite great ruggeds (and again, cheap too :S) talking about rare stuff : the 18k gold edition for the x1 got a better battery !