10 Tips To Make The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 The Best It Could Be

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 17 Apr 2017

Make the most of that slick new tablet
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Some Android OEMs had backed off making tablets over the last few years. But not Samsung, though. It always seemed to have another Android slate in the pipeline, boring though many of them are. The Galaxy Tab S3 certainly wasn’t. This is a premium tablet with a sleek metal glass chassis; it shipped with a redesigned Samsung pen stylus. It was not cheap, though. Here are ten tips to help you take full advantage of your splendid new tablet.

Customize quick settings
tab s3 tips quick settings

Samsung shipped the Tab S3 with Android Nougat, so you got the standard customizable quick settings, plus a little extra functionality courtesy of Samsung. To edit your quick settings, open them, and tap the menu button at the very top of the screen. From here you can change the layout. When changing, long-press drag to move, add or remove tiles. The top few tiles will remain visible at the top of your notification shade as well. The button layout option lets you set either a 4×3 or 5×3 grid for your quick settings. If you don’t need access to many settings, the looser grid makes each icon larger and easier to press.

Change Icon Text Size

The Tab S3 had a reasonably spacious 9.7-inch screen, but Samsung chose to waste a lot of space by setting the default icon text size to “ginormous.” You should make it a little smaller. Open Settings > Display > Screen zoom font, then use the slider to change the zoom font size. I thought they were fine at the smallest setting, but you might want them a notch larger. The smaller you set them, the more content can fit on the screen.

Customize Air Comm

Air Comm offers quick access to stylus-oriented features. First press the Samsung pen button, and Air Comm will appear. But don’t let Samsung tell you what to include in Air Comm. You can add your own and remove the default ones. Open Air Comm and tap the Add shortcut button. The active shortcuts are listed on the right side of the screen. Tap any app on the left to add or remove it from the list. You can also choose to hide the floating Air Comm bubble when it’s not in use by going to Advanced features > Samsung Pen > Air Comm > Floating icon.

Handwriting Input Everywhere

Samsung’s keyboard includes a handwriting input option, but what if you don’t want to use the Samsung keyboard? You can still use handwriting input when you’ve got the Samsung Pen. This is called direct pen input; it’s enabled by default. Simply hover over a text field until a small text icon pops up. Tap that with the Samsung Pen; a handwriting frame appears at the bottom of the screen. Start scrawling there, the tablet transcribes it to text as you go. Tap “Done” to insert the text and leave direct pen input mode.

S Pen Text Selection
tab s3 tips s pen text selection

Android let you select, and copy text from a lot of places, but the Tab S3 S Pen can select almost any text. Press and hold the Samsung Pen button, then drag across the text you want to highlight. It works in menus, on the home screen, and in apps. When highlighted, you can copy, share, or define text with the built-in dictionary.

Split-screen p-up View

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The Galaxy Tab S3 is the most powerful Android tablet for multitasking; you just need to take advantage of all it has to offer. It’s running Nougat, so split-screen is supported in almost all apps. Thirdly, the quickest way to open split-screen mode is off by default. Head into Settings > Advanced features > multi-window turn on “Split-screen view action.” That lets you long-press the overview button to move an app to split-screen.

Samsung has also retained its custom pop-up View, allowing you to also have apps run in a floating window. This doesn’t work with all apps, but it’s still useful. To open the pop-up View, drag down from the top left or right corner to set the window size. Both split-screen pop-ups can be active at the same time for a remarkably desktop-like experience.

Smart Select
tab s3 tips smart select

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Samsung brought over one of Note 7’s premiere features to the Tab S3—a screen capture tool called Smart Select. It’s accessible from the Air Comm menu. When activated, it pulls up a selection tool with options for a square, circular, or lasso mode. Click one and use the Samsung Pen to draw the selection area. It’ll be instantly cropped out so you can edit, extract text, and draw on it. There’s also a GIF mode that captures an area of the screen and saves the animation to your tablet.

Screen-off memo
tab s3 tips screen off memo

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The Tab S3 is great for taking notes; you don’t even have to unlock it to jot something down. The screen-off memo is another holdover from the Note 7. Simply hold the Samsung Pen near the screen while the tablet is asleep and press the side button. The display will wake up to a black screen with basic editing tools. Scribble your note, hit save, and you’re done. Saved notes are added to Samsung’s built-in note app, which syncs to your Samsung account.

Set up custom power saving
tab s3 tips custom power saving

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The 6,000 mAh battery in the Tab S3 will keep you chugging for a few days, but you can eke out a little more life when the battery begins to sputter. There are two power-saving modes; the settings can be modified to suit your usage. We’re saving is accessible in Settings > Device Maintenance Battery. There’s a “Mid” “Max” setting for battery saving. Tapping on either of them brings up an interface where you can apply the power-saving mode. This is also where the customize option is. The power-saving modes have configurable display brightness levels, as well as on/off toggles for C speed limiting background network usage. The settings you choose will be saved so you can just flip power saving on the next time you need to save some juice.

Secure folder
tab s3 tips secure folder

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This tablet has Samsung’s Knox security framework built-in, which means you have access to Secure Folder. It’s not just a folder—A secure Folder is a place to run apps, and manage files that are separate from the main system, completely secure. You need to have a secure lock method enabled on your tablet to use Secure Folder. So be aware it will take a few minutes to create the encrypted space.

When it’s all set, you can add copies of any app on your tablet to the Secure Folder. These copies will only be accessible in the Secure Folder, so the data they contain is completely secure. The same goes for files you add to Secure Folder. There’s no way to access any of them without your unlock code. Even the screenshots you take in the Secure Folder are kept safe inside the encrypted directory.