There was a time when Samsung’s UI over android, called Touchwiz was the laughing-stock of the whole smart phone industry. There weren’t any inherent fundamental flaws with Touchwiz, it was just ugly and sluggish for no reason. The trend continued for a while as Samsung still raked in the cash with their much better hardware. However, around the time of the Galaxy S5, Samsung phones started to get the reputation of getting really slow and laggy with time. This was the time when Samsung finally started to invest heavily into R&D for their software division too. In a couple of years, touchwiz was replaced by Samsung Experience. While it was still a million times better than Touchwiz, Samsung Experience still failed to quite hit the sweet spot.
Fast forward to 2019 and Samsung has finally fixed the software issues that have plagued its excellent hardware for almost a decade. One UI, coming with Android 9.0 Pie is a major improvement over Samsung Experience and it just feels right. The thoughtfulness that has gone into the design of One UI cannot be ignored with One handed phone usage at the forefront. Little things like the rotate button and dark mode make a ton of difference. The whole interface also just feels much simpler and snappier than before. However, there are still a few things you can do to get the best out of your Samsung device and One UI. So, let’s make your phone better!
1. Night Mode
The first thing you absolutely need to do is to turn on the Night Mode. People have been asking for a dark mode for Samsung phones for a very long time and they have finally delivered. Previously, you’d have to download dark themes but that has side effects as custom themes can sometimes slow down your phone. The night mode for One UI is a god send. It saves battery because pixels in the black areas don’t need to turn on. Night mode is also much easier on the eyes and just looks cooler. Here’s how you can turn it on:
- Swipe down twice from the top to access the quick settings.
- Click on the crescent moon icon called Night mode. It might be on the second menu of the quick settings as shown in the screenshot.
You can also turn night mode on by going into the Display menu under settings.
2. Animation Speed
This quirk is not a One UI exclusive feature and can be applied on other Android phones as well. By default, most phones have 1 second animations for opening up windows and navigating through UI. Doing thousands of operations with 1 second animations can bundle up to be a lot of time and no one likes wasting time. So, what you could do is turn the animations down to 0.5 seconds. Other than making your phone feel much faster, it will also still make the animations look smooth and snappy. Here’s how you can reduce the animation speeds on One UI:
- Go into settings and swipe all the way down to the bottom.
- Under the About Phone menu, go into Software information.
- Tap on the Build number for five times until it says that you are now a developer.
- Now go back to settings and you’ll see that a new menu has appeared called Developer options.
- Go into developer options and swipe down until you see the ‘Drawing’ options.
- Under Drawing, set the Window, Transition and Animator scales to 0.5x.
One UI has another way to reduce animations under Advanced features but that just disables the animations entirely and doesn’t look very nice.
The Bixby Button has been a feature on flagship Samsung devices for over 2 years now. However, it is no secret that Bixby is just bad and you’re better off using the Google Assistant instead. Samsung didn’t allow users to remap the Bixby button to anything else until now. However, the changes are still restricted as you still have to keep Bixby turned on for a double press and you cannot use Google Assistant with the button. However, there is an app that solves the problem, called BxActions. You can even use the app to turn the Bixby Button into a ringtone/vibrate/silent toggle button or a flashlight button. Here’s how you can use it:
- Open Play Store and download the BxActions app or just click the link here.
- Open the BxActions app and select PC Upgrade.
- Follow the onscreen instructions until you have turned on the full button remapping.
- Now in the app, go to the Bixby Button menu and select any action you want like flashlight etc.
- If you are unable to do the PC Upgrade, you can still do step 4. The action for the button just wouldn’t be instant.
Samsung Good Lock
This is a good one, folks. Good Lock is an app by Samsung that allows users to customize pretty much every single thing in their phone. From the recent tabs screen to the notifications panel, you can literally change anything. Good Lock comes in the form of modules or different apps that can be used individually as well. However, there is a catch like always. Samsung Good Lock is not available in most regions meaning you have to side load the app. This isn’t very hard to do though as you just have to download apk files for the apps. There is also a neat app that lets you select all Good Lock modules from one place. Here’s how you can use Good Lock:
- Download the Nice Lock app from the Play Store or use this link.
- You’ll see many Good Lock modules in the app that are yet to be installed.
- The links to download each module are given on this thread. You can also download them from any apk website like apkmirror.
- Once they’re installed, you’ll be able to access them through nice lock.
Nice Shot – Screen Recording
Nice shot is one of the modules for Samsung Good Lock. It adds the ability for native screen recording with internal system audio. Third party apps are not able to do this. Just download and install the Nice Shot module and take a screenshot. The screen recording prompt will show up after you’ve taken a screenshot. You do need to enable Smart Capture under Advanced features in settings for it to work though.
Some other useful Good Lock modules include Clockface, that adds a ton of new clock designs for the lock screen and always on display. The task changer is a good one too because it allows you to change the recent apps screen and has a lot of options. Edge Lighting+ gives additional customization options for edge lighting notifications. LockStar basically allows you to change the whole lock screen layout to your liking. All of these modules work great since Samsung develops them specifically for One UI.
With One UI, Samsung also brought the Navigation gestures that were introduced in Android 9.0. These, however, work differently to Google’s implementations. The One UI gestures just replace the on-screen buttons in the exact same locations. You can turn these on by going into the Navigation bar settings under Display settings. Just select full screen gestures instead of navigation buttons to use them. You can also turn off the gesture hints in the same menu.