I spent a lot of time doing silly things to my Samsung Galaxy S3, Grace, this holiday season. I’d like to say I did it so that you don’t have to, but honestly, I did it just to see what would happen. This is why it’s good I’m not a surgeon or virologist or anything like that, as I’d be one “I wonder what happens if I do this?” away from becoming a serial killer (or mass murderer).
That said, while curiosity killed the cat (and the inattentive neurosurgeon’s patient), my curiosity can be of use to you (and I don’t have to go to jail!).
Here are a few things I worked out that you might find cool in no particular order (Happy New Year!):
1. To avoid switching from Android’s letter keyboard to its number and symbol keyboard, hold down the period key to see commonly used punctuation marks and symbols.
a. Slide your finger to the menu that appears, lifting it to select the right key. Note, this works with the stock keyboard.
b. You need to look up any specialty options if you are, for example, using any custom keyboards…like me. I’m in the Swiftkey Flow beta and LOVING it…the best of both Swype and Swiftkey in one keyboard.
2. You can unlock your phone with your face. This is not a Homer Simpson-like smack of the head against the physical device, this is using the default unlock options available to have it do facial recognition and unlock your phone.
a. To do this go to Settings, Security, Screen Lock and choose Face Unlock. Set a backup PIN or pattern just in case it suddenly doesn’t grok you.
b. Note, this is also not as secure as using a code or pattern…someone who only “kinda” looks like you could cause the phone to unlock (say a thief with a wig and a pair of glasses similar to yours).
3. You can change Home Screen Icons. No longer are you stuck with the default as installed by the carrier/phone, and, you don’t have to crack or hack or flash your device to make this change. This assumes the Samsung Touchwiz interface–thus making it more of a trick for the Galaxy S3 than Jellybean–but if there’s a way to do it for Grace, there’s probably a way to do it for your own phone. Now you aren’t stuck with Phone, Contacts, Messaging, Internet, and Apps unless you want to be.
a. To move an icon out of the Home Screen dock:
-Touch and hold any of the icons in the bottom dock and move it upwards
Drag it to any of your Home screens and release
-It will now reside on that Home screen and you will have a blank spot in the dock for a new icon
-You can then drag it from that home screen to the trash bin like any icon if you don’t want it on that Home Screen
b. To move an icon into the Home Screen dock:
-First, there has to be room — on the S3, the dock can only hold 5 items; if you want to add another, remove an existing icon. For example, Grace has Phone, Contacts, Messaging, Settings, and Apps because I took out Internet.
-Next, it’s almost like adding any app to a Home Screen (except you’re adding it to the dock).
-Long click on a Home Screen.
-From the apps menu that pops up, long press the application you want to eventually add to your dock.
-Once added, find the icon or folder you added to place in the dock on that Home Screen.
-Touch and hold the icon or folder and drag it down into the doc.
-Release, and tada! You have a customized Home Screen dock.
4. You aren’t stuck with your default Lock Screen icons, either. This also assumes the Samsung Touchwiz interface.To move (or add) an icon out of the Lock Screen dock:
a. Click on Settings, then click on Lock Screen, then click on Lock Screen Options, then click on Shortcuts.
b. Note, if you do not click the word “Shortcut” you could accidentally click the “On/Off” option instead. Both do tasks on the screen—to change the icons you want to click the word “Shortcut.” If you want to disable icons (or enable them), then click the “On/Off” option.
c. On the shortcuts screen, press on an icon until the delete option appears and then drag that icon to the delete option.
d. To add an app, click the plus (+) button on the screen, locate the app you want, and select that.
e. Done! Your Lock Screen Dock has been modified!
Tada! Okay, enough with the exclamation points (for now). Off to do more poking around for future posts. Enjoy, and again, Happy New Year.