You might have glanced at the title of the article and assumed that we would be discussing technology. While that’s true, we are also going to be celebrating your individuality and freedoms. All of these methods are to ensure that you get what you want from your Samsung Galaxy Note 5. This is about you achieving the appearance, convenience, and even eliminating features that annoy you.
If you are anything like your fellow human beings, you probably spend a lot of time on your phablet. So why not make it exactly the way you want it? Today the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, tomorrow the world.
1. Get a New Theme
If you are looking for an overhaul, a new theme might be just what you need. A change in theme can mean a change in wallpapers, sounds, colors, icons—even your system UI and apps. A few themes are included by default. You’ll find them by going into Settings>Themes.
If you would like more of a selection, go to the Theme Store. While there might be a few themes that require purchase, the vast majority are free. If you would prefer more of a stock look, try out the Android 5.1 Lollipop Material Theme. If that doesn’t suit your fancy, that’s okay, because there are still more than 200 more to choose from.
2. Customize the Home Screen Grid
The Note 5 will allow you to change the size of the TouchWiz Home Screen grid if you want fewer or greater app icons in each panel. You can configure the grid to be 4×4, 4×5, or 5×5.
Long-press on a blank area of your Home Screen, tap Screen Grid, and when you see the one you want, tap Apply. Using this trick will allow you to have as many as 25 apps on the Home Screen.
3. Disable Touch Sounds
The annoying water sounds you hear every time you unlock the Note 5 can start to wear thin after a while. So can the clicking noises you hear when you tap on icons.
To get rid of these, go to Settings>Sounds and Notifications>Ringtones and Sounds. At this point, you will now be able to toggle the Touch Sounds and Screen lock sounds to an OFF position.
4. Customize Quick Settings
The concept of Quick Settings is great—quick access to the Settings you need the most. However, not everyone uses the same settings with the same frequency. Thankfully, you can edit these by selecting More (the three vertical dots in the top right corner), then Edit Quick Settings. Now you can place a checkmark in each box next to as many as nine of your most-used settings.
5. Remove Flipboard
You don’t like the Flipboard app popping up from your Home screen? Get rid of it by long-pressing an empty space on te Home screen, swiping left, and removing the tick in the upper portion of the pane.
6. Explore the Customization Menu
Obviously the Note 5 was meant for customizing. Why else would it have an entire menu devoted to just that? To access it, long-press any open space on the Home screen. You will unearth a place where you can set widgets, choose wallpapers, etc.
Notice that you can change the theme from here also. You can specify what general wallpaper you prefer and even use a different wallpaper for your Lock Screen. To add a widget, tap on Widgets and long-press any one you want. Drag it to its new home.
7. Boost Speed
Are you tired of your animations and screen transitions just dawdling along? You can add some perk to these features, but you need to grant yourself access to Developer Options first. Go to About Device from the Settings menu and tap Build Number about seven times. A window should appear, verifying that Developer Mode has been enabled.
Head back to Settings and now you should see Developer Options.
- Window Animation Scale
- Transition Animation Scale
- Animator Duration Scale
You can adjust these to whatever you please, but keep in mind that if the default is 1x, .5 will cut the time in half. That means that animations and transitions will be twice as fast. You can also turn them off altogether, but that can cause a lack of fluidity.
8. Add or Remove Home Screen Panels
Earlier we showed you how to add the maximum amount of icons to each Home screen, but if you have a ton of apps, that still may not be enough. This is how you can add more screens. Conversely, if you are interested in simplifying via fewer screens, here’s how they can be removed.
To remove a panel, go to a Home screen, long-press a blank area, then drag it to Remove at the top of your screen. To add a panel, you will still touch and hold an empty space, but then you need to tap the + (plus sign) icon.
9. Easy Mode
Sometimes simplistic is best. Far too easily, your Note 5’s screen can become untidy, cluttered. You don’t need or use half of the stuff that’s on there, but you can’t find it in your heart to go through and totally delete everything either. If only you could start with a clean slate.
You can with Easy Mode. Easy Mode is also a great option to break in someone with less smartphone experience, so they won’t be so overwhelmed. To turn on Easy Mode visit Settings and then Personalization. Toggle on Easy Mode and select the apps you want to appear on the homescreen. Done.
10. Customize Air Command
You can now choose your own app shortcuts in Air Command, as well as configure how Air Command opens. To add the app shortcuts, go to Settings>S Pen>Air Command>Shortcuts. By default, Air Command opens when you remove the S Pen from its slot. You can change that by going to Settings>S Pen>Detachment Options.
11. Notification Shade Toggles
Like Quick Settings, only even more easily accessible, these toggles make it to where you don’t have to forage for to find your settings. Pull down the shade and there are five buttons; swipe to the left to see five more. But are these the toggles you actually use the most? If not, tap the Edit button near the upper right corner.
Then you can change the ranking of these toggles. Drag and drop the button wherever you please. Uncheck any unnecessary settings, such as Quick Connect. Press Done when you are finished.
12. Change Font and Text Size
There are really two types of options for window(s) display—Multi-Window and Floating Window. If it’s a split screen you desire, you can have it by tapping and holding Recent Apps and selecting an app from the list. Repeat and choose the second app you wish to display. The apps do need to support Multi-Window.
Pop-Up View creates floating windows. You can also resize said window and take it for a ride around your screen if you’d like. You can open the app as you normally would (or you can tap and hold the app from the multitasking interface) and scroll diagonally from either side of the top edge. Another method is to use the pop up button when an app is already in Multi-Window mode.
13. Get a Custom Launcher
Not feeling the love for TouchWiz? You don’t have to be stuck with it. To change the way you view folders and get more say in your layout, try Nova Launcher. Or for a pure Android feel, try Google Now Launcher instead. If you want a different, more intuitive method of app organization, Aviate could be your perfect launcher. There are a lot of launchers out there.
Google Now Launcher
14. Add Your Fingerprint(s)
There’s been a wave of biometric authentication measures, and with good reason. It’s pretty difficult to imitate your fingerprint. So what better way to make the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 your own, than to allow it to be unlocked by your unique fingerprint? This will also allow you to authorize payments with a simple tap.
You can register your fingerprint by going to Apps> Settings> Lock Screen and Security> Fingerprints> Add Fingerprint. You will need to read, and agree to, a disclaimer. Once you have done so, rest your finger on the Home key until you feel the phablet vibrate. Repeat as necessary, then enter a backup password for your phablet. Touch Set in the pop-up window.
15. Custom ROMs
When it comes to customization, the installation of a custom ROM is still king. The only downside is that a custom ROM can carry some risk. Newly developed ROMs for newer devices can be unstable. Luckily, the Note 5 has been out long enough for some ROMs to be tested and stabilized. Another way you can attain more customization options is by rooting your Samsung Galaxy Note 5.
Some custom ROMs for you to try include DarthStalker Android 5.1.1., which comes with Aroma Installer and allows you to customize away. There is also Dr. Ketan ROM L10, known for its lightness, auto call recording, and ability to use the camera even with a low battery. What works best for you may also depend on your carrier. If your provider is T-Mobile, then you should consider using Hyperdrive ROM. This ROM will afford you many options in terms of multiple interfaces and features.
You have a lot of options when it comes to optimizing your Note 5, even without rooting. What did you decide to do to customize your Note 5? Did you experience any issues during or after?
Send us your thoughts on all of these topics. We hope you find these ways to customize your Samsung Galaxy Note 5 to be useful.