Three Actually-Hidden, Non-Clickbaity Tricks for Your New Galaxy S8 or S8+
If you had pre-ordered a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+, you likely woke up to your package tracker displaying a satisfying “DELIVERED TODAY BY 8:00PM.” We would know, as our staff’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ units are arriving today and tomorrow, too.
Setting up a new Galaxy smartphone (or any smartphone, for that matter) is not always the smoothest task — there are settings to toggle, apps to disable or install, and a whole bunch of changes to get familiarized with. You’ll probably be playing with your new smartphone all day, babying its glass surface to fend off any possible scratches. If you are on XDA, chances are you’ll scourge every menu for hidden settings, tricks, and new features to make your life easier.
You’ll also sort through dozens of “tips and tricks” articles from other blogs or YouTube channels, all telling you the wonders of setting your device’s animations to 0.5, as if you didn’t already know about that. Well, this is XDA-Developers, so we have a small collection of actually-hidden and useful tricks to make your Galaxy S8 and S8+ even better. The three tricks we have to share with you are:
- Enable the Mobile Data and Hotspot Quick Settings Tile (if your carrier disabled it)
- Modify the Quick Settings Layout Size to any Grid Size that you want
- Enable Quick Reply for Notifications while on the Lockscreen (with PIN enabled)
All of the following tricks do not require root access, but do require you to have ADB set up on your computer.
Setting up ADB
After you have ADB set up, make sure to enable USB Debugging by going to “Developer Options” under Settings. Since your phone is new, you likely won’t have this menu already enabled, but it’s quite easy to enable it. To enable this menu, simply head over to “About” and tap the “build number” entry 7 times. You will see a toast message telling you that Developer Options have been enabled! Now you can access the hidden Developer Options in Settings to enable USB Debugging!
Next you’ll need to start a command prompt in the same directory as where you extracted your ADB binary. Plug in your device to the computer and type this command –
adb devices – in your command prompt. You should see a message stating that the ADB daemon is initialize and a prompt asking for your permission to enable ADB access will pop-up on your phone. Grant your computer access, and off you go. Re-entering adb devices into the command prompt will now display your device’s serial number, which means your phone is now recognized by ADB.
Finally, keep in mind that, like we noted on the original tutorials for these tricks, some of them (namely the one immediately below this sentence) might be unnecessary/useless depending on your region, carrier and resulting phone and software variant.
Not every Samsung Galaxy has featured the mobile data or hotspot quick setting tile. That’s a shame, because it allows you to quickly enable or disable mobile data or the hotspot on-the-go, which is useful for conserving battery life or simply limiting your data usage, or ensuring no oddities make you accidentally download files through LTE while you are “supposed to be” on WiFi.
These are very popular quick setting tiles across all devices, so it makes little sense for them to be disabled in any region. Oh well. Here’s how to fix it (make sure ADB is working!), first enter the following command:
Your terminal/command prompt should now indicate that you are within the shell environment of your device. Up next, enter this command:
settings get secure sysui_qs_tiles
This will output a comma-separated list of names that represent your current Quick Settings tiles. Copy it and paste it somewhere (like a random notepad) to keep it available, as you’ll need it for the next command. Enter the following after:
settings put secure sysui_qs_tiles "YOUROLDLIST,MobileData,Hotspot"
Where YOUROLDLIST represents the comma separated list of Quick Setting tiles that you saved just before, and MobileData and Hotspot is the name of the Mobile Data Toggle and Hotspot Toggle respectively, appended to the very end of the original tiles list. Note the comma between the old list and MobileData/Hotspot, and also note the use of quotation marks. Basically, all we’re doing is appending the name of the Mobile Data and Hotspot toggles to the end of our original tile list.
Once you enter this command, you should immediately see the Mobile Data and Hotspot toggle show up at the end of your Quick Settings tiles. You can re-arrange them as you please so it will appear on the first page. These toggles will persist through reboots, but won’t survive a factory reset.
Thankfully, Nougat introduced native DPI scaling settings, so that all OEMs can provide the options to change the size of UI elements and allow users to maximize their productivity on larger screens. Unfortunately, not all of these elements scale as we wish they would, and sometimes we’d even like certain elements to remain larger, or even simply be larger on stock settings.
Quick settings are an example of such elements, and it’s not just size, but the amount of quick settings that we see, too, that’s useful. With the commands shown below, you can customize the grind layout and size of your quick settings to better fit your needs and setup.
There are three settings we can modify, each taking an integer value. The three values to modify are as follows:
qs_tile_column– number of quick setting tile columns
qs_tile_column_landscape– number of quick setting tile columns while in landscape mode
qs_tile_row– number of quick setting tile rows (only affects portrait mode)
For instance, if I want a 6 column by 4 row button layout in portrait mode, I would have to enter the following commands in the command prompt:
adb shell settings put secure qs_tile_column 6 adb shell settings put secure qs_tile_row 4
Once these commands are entered, the layout should immediately change to reflect your input. If I want to have a 2 column by 2 row layout, I would enter these commands:
adb shell settings put secure qs_tile_column 2 adb shell settings put secure qs_tile_row 2
You can play around with these numbers until you find a layout that you like. There are two caveats you should be aware of before you mess with these values, however.
- The number of rows in landscape mode is always fixed at 2.
- If you enter 0 for both the column and row, SystemUI will start crashing. To stop it from crashing, just enter any value > 1 for either setting.
Android Nougat was actually supposed to support this feature natively, but on the 5th Android N Developer Preview the feature was removed and we didn’t see it enabled by default on Nougat ever since. It’s a useful feature to have for many instant messaging apps, and if you have a Galaxy S8 or S8+, you should be able to enable it with a very simple ADB command. Confirm you have ADB access and then type the following:
adb shell settings put secure lock_screen_allow_remote_input 1
This setting change should take affect immediately without needing a reboot. You should now be able to reply to notifications from your lock screen, provided the app supports it. Apps like Telegram and Hangouts support the notification quick reply, as well as most modern text messaging clients, so give this a shot!
We hope you found these tricks useful, as they can fix some UX annoyances in not just TouchWiz, but Android itself, and give you an extra bit of customization with no risk and almost no hassle. You can also check Mishaal’s excellent tutorials, featured in this article, here, here, and here for more details on the tricks featured in this article. As we said earlier in the article, we’ve begun receiving our personal units, so expect more Galaxy S8 and S8+ coverage in the coming weeks as we debunk common misconceptions and myths, find new features and offer interesting tips and tricks.