18 Lesser Known Samsung Galaxy S3 Tips and Tricks for Power Users

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Samsung Galaxy S III has proved to be the most successful smartphones the industry has ever seen. If you’re one of those lucky persons who’ve managed to get your hands on it, here are a few Samsung Galaxy S3 tips and tricks that will help you in daily use.

1. Clipboard

samsung galaxy s3 tips - clipboardClipboard is one of those features of Samsung Galaxy S phones that very less people are aware of. It saves a history of all the items that you have copied on your phone – be it a chunk of text or a photo, which you can view later on. To launch Clipboard, long-press on any text field and choose Clipboard. You’ll be presented with your history of copied items.

2. Notification Window in Full-Screen Apps

notification windowThis is a very unique feature in TouchWiz, which lets you access notification window even when you’re inside a full screen application. To do so, simply swipe down the status bar twice. You’re welcome!

3. Custom Vibration Patterns for Different Contacts

custom-vibrationThis is a hidden feature in Galaxy S III, which lets you set custom vibration patterns for different contact. Open Contacts > tap on any person > scroll down and choose vibration pattern. A list of pre-defined vibration patterns will pop up. From that popup window hit the create button and you’re ready to create your own vibration pattern.

4. Swipe to Message/Call

Swipe to Message or CallAlthough an old feature, swipe a contact to message/call is still worth mentioning. While in the contacts app, call logs or messages, swipe a contact to left or right for calling or messaging him respectively.

5. Direct call

Direct CallAnother very handy feature for the lazy people is Direct call. When you are having a text conversation with someone and you wish to call him, simply lift your phone, hold it to your ear and Direct Call will initiate a call to that person. This tip saves a few extra steps for calling that person by pressing back-opening dialer/contacts-find that person-call him.

6. Smart Stay

smart-staySmart stay is probably the coolest new addition in Samsung Galaxy S III. With the help of its front camera, the Galaxy S III can recognize whether you are looking at your phone or not and control the screen. For an example, when you are reading a web-page and your screen timeout kicks in, Smart Stay will search for your eyes to decide if it should maintain a bright display or switch off the screen.

7. Social Tag

social-tagSocial tag is something similar to facial tags in Facebook. Your Galaxy S III can recognize faces in your photos, which you can tag them with your friends’ name. After a few tags, your phone will learn about your friends and automatically tag them in photos. Tapping on their faces will bring up a pop menu to quickly get in touch with them.

8. Face and Voice Unlock

face-and-voice-unlockFace Unlock is one of the best features of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich that lets you unlock your phone with your face. Although it’s a cool feature to show off, a few people have been successfully crack it using a photograph of the phone owner. So, Samsung decided to step ahead and make it more secure by adding voice recognition to it. To enable Face and Voice Unlock, go to Settings > Security > Screen Unlock > Face and Voice Unlock. Please note that this uses S Voice and won’t work if you’ve disabled it (like me).

9. Best Photo

best-photoBest Photo is one of the few features that Samsung has been showing off aggressively in its commercial advertisements. When you take photographs in burst mode, Best Photo automatically picks up the best photograph by examining the details, exposure and more. To activate Best Photo, launch Camera > Tap on Settings button > Shooting mode > Burst Shot > Switch on Best shot.

10. HDR Photography

hdr-modeThis is my favorite among this list of Samsung Galaxy S3 tips, which will help you take better photos with your camera. HDR stands for High Definition Range Imaging. In layman’s terms, HDR takes a series of multiple photos at the same time at different exposure settings and merges them into a single photograph where detail has been persevered in both, dark and light areas. HDR photos are generally is rich in detail, color accuracy and lighting. Most of the nature/city wallpapers that you find online are taken in HDR mode. To turn HDR mode on, launch Camera > tap on Settings button > Shooting Mode > HDR mode.

Photos taken without and with HDR mode


11. Swipe Palms to take a Screenshot

Another handy Samsung Galaxy S3 tip, ‘Swipe to take screenshot’ option lets you take screenshots of your screen by simply swiping the side of your palm on the screen from left to right or vice versa. To enable it, go to Settings > Motion > check ‘Palm swipe to capture’.

12. Reduce Screen Unlock Time

s-voice-settingSamsung Galaxy S III takes more than a second to wake up when Screen Unlock mode is set to ‘Swipe’, which is quite frustrating. This is because of S Voice, a personal assistant app, which waits for a second for your voice command to launch it directly from the screen. To disable it in order to your reduce screen lock time, open S Voice > Press Menu button (left capacitive button) > Settings > Wake up in Samsung unlock

13. Display Battery Percentage in the Status Bar

battery-percentageApart from a simple battery icon, Galaxy S III can also show battery percentage in the status bar. To enable this modification, go to Settings > Display > Display battery percentage

14. Sync Facebook Photos with your Gallery

facebook-syncHow about having all of your Facebook photos in your gallery? You can enable this by going to Settings > Accounts and sync > Add account > Facebook.

15. Music Square

music-squareMusic Square is an amazing addition in the default music player, which can play songs according to your mood by identifying the tempo of your songs. There are four different tempos present – Passionate, Calm, Joyful and Exciting. For an example, choosing a square next to Calmwill play a soft song. Likewise, choosing a square between Calm and Joyful will play a song which Music Square identifies as both Clam and joyful. Music Square can be launched in two ways:

  • While you’re on the Now Playing screen, tap on the disco-ball-type icon of Music Square present just below the Album art. Press Menu and choose Library update to add your songs.
  • Or simply launch music app from app drawer and navigate to the Music Square tab.

For Music Square to work properly, your songs need to be stored in your phone’s internal memory.

16. Enable Swype like Function in Samsung Keyboard

swype-in-samsung-galaxy-s-iiiSurprisingly, Swype keyboard is absent from the phone, which was surprising since Swype comes pre-loaded with almost every other Galaxy phone. After a bit of playing, I discovered that Samsung has instead incorporated Swype gestures in its own keyboard with a different name, Continuous Input. To enable it, go to Settings > Language and input > Tap on settings of Samsung keyboard > check Continuous Input.

fonts18. Custom fonts

The default font in Galaxy S3 is customizable and can be changed without even rooting your phone. Open settings, navigate to display and choose Font style. There are three fonts pre-available to choose from while you can also get more fonts by tapping on the ‘Get fonts online’ button.

17. Hide Apps from App Drawer

hide-apps The new Touchwiz launcher in Galaxy S III also lets you hide applications from the app drawer. To do so, open the drawer > Hit menu > Hide applications. Enjoy your new Android superphone! I will keep updating this post with more Samsung Galaxy S3 tips as soon as I find them.

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  1. Emilia says

    One seemingly simple task that I can’t find an answer to: looking at the text message log, I have texts from the same person, but to different numbers (work mobile or personal mobile). How to I see specifically which number is associated w/ the text???
    When I tap the contact name, it just shows all of the contact info, instead of which number the text originated from.
    Thanks to anyone who can help!

  2. Kris says

    I have a question about the social tag feature.

    Is there any way to keep the tags I make on my phone when i upload to online storage/social platforms like google+ and facebook? If it is not a possibility I see it as a rather insignificant feature which is kinda useless. However, if the tags are automaticly synced to the social networks I see it as a great feature.

    I hope someone can explain to me how the tags are kept while uploading:)

    Thanks in advance.

  3. Raj says

    Samsung s3 doesn’t have feature in call logs where all the log details of same name or number is shown in one list. Each outgoing, incoming & missed call, incoming & outgoing sms are shown separately for a same name/ number, eg. ABC or 9898989898.

    This feature is there in samsung galaxy pop.

  4. A_M says

    In my call log history, it shows everything, including all my message history. When I change it to just call logs, it reverts back to the original setting of “all logs” as soon as I exit the application. I don’t want my messages to show up in my call log. Does anyone know how to fix this feature???

  5. joebob2000 says

    HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range” since Dynamic Range is a key attribute of photography (and terribly lacking in ultra-small cameras). The rest of your description of what it does is accurate, with the note that the quality of the outcome rests *entirely* on how steady the phone is held when the shots are taken. Any amount of motion and the result will be garbage.

    Oh, and “continuous T9 text input” is so NOT swype that it makes me want to break my awesome new S3 in half. Its beyond terrible, i end up manually typing more often than not.

  6. Judith Wasserman says

    I am trying to get the speaker icon to appear in the keyboard area when typing text messages and emails. It should be simple, but I am at a loss. Thanks!!

  7. sugianto says

    I already installed Navitel 5 but, sometimes it crashed and hang.
    Do you know why ? or can you recommend which version works in Samsung S3 ?


  8. Rao says

    Really this blog is Good. For layman who wants to know about the mobile excellent features your blog will guide them perfectly…

    I am adding an addition tip for 11 one. Some applications won’t allow swiping the screen as screen shot so, hold the home button and lock button at the same time for a second.. it will take the screen shot… :)

    Thank you so much….

  9. Gerry says

    can u teach me how to put the default for calling a number back to regular call instead of Viber. I inadvertently press viber as default call so everytime I call a number, it automatically calls using Viber…

  10. Cindy Migone says

    Hello Gerry,

    What valuable helpful tips you shared. Thank you so very much.

    I was hoping perhaps you could tell me how to e-mail more than one pic at a time? I kno if my Evo could do it this must too.

    Thank you co very much.

  11. scott says

    How do you set the phone to continue to play music after a phone call. I can do it on my iPhone but I can’t find how to set it on my Samsung Galaxy III.

  12. Jas says


    Is there any way that you can switch from one song to the next when the screen is locked or really just any way other than hitting the “next” icon in the music player?? This would be helpful when walking or using the phone in the car. I know with blackberry you could just hold down the volume key to go to the next song and with iphone you can hit the home button.


  13. Enda says

    Hey Jas,

    If you have earphones with the control on it, you can just press it twice quickly and it will skip to the next song. Hope this helps. I also have the same question as Scott. How do you get the phone to continue playing music after a phone call. Its really frustrating having to unlock the screen to start the music again.

  14. Aida says

    How do you get the phone to continue playing music after a phone call. Its really frustrating having to unlock the screen to start the music again.

    please someone give me an answer to this. It worked when I first got the phone, now it does not.

  15. Andre says

    i have a problem. Whenever i type message or using keyboard in s3, there always 123 sym icon appears on the down left screen and it drives me crazy. How do i get rid that?

    • James says

      Andre, the “123 sym” key is on the keyboard by default to allow users access to the numbers and symbols keyboard. I do not think it is possible to remove this feature.

  16. simin says

    I used to have palm centro for years and I loved the music player function. Call put the music player in pause and music would resume after ending calls. This was ideal when I was driving or working in my home office without use headphone . Music apps that i have tried in Gallaxy S3 do not resume music when I am not using a head phone. How I can get the same function in any of music apps on Galaxy S3? I do not need anything fancy … just a player with auto resume after calls.


  17. DroidAzoid says

    Samsung Galaxy S3 has a feature that when you are on the phone and receive another call, you can send a pre-designed text message to the second caller notifying that you are on the phone, or driving, or in a meeting. Is there a way to customize your own short messages?

  18. Siren says

    How do you change the settings to be able to view a mass text as a mass text when people reply, instead of viewing each individual text under each person that replies? it will make life easier if the conversation doesn’t get broken down into individual converstions.
    Please help me out.

  19. lisa says

    When I bring up the message menu n hit the contact tab I get old email addresses that I have deleted from my gmail how do I remove them from my contact list ohh they only show up on the message screen.

  20. Melanie says

    All my Facebook photos and albums used to be on my S3, but now they are gone. I have tried deleting the app and re – adding it under accounts, but that hasn’t worked. I am on Verizon and there was a recent software update. Could that be the problem? I am really frustrated because I just downloaded Mosaic and was hoping to us Facebook pics (I have a LOT of them). Any suggestions?

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