Samsung’s phones always have a lot of features hidden in their labyrinthine menus, but the Note series is particularly jam-packed. Along with the usual Samsung One UI features, the 10 and 10+ also have S Pen capabilities and all the features those entail. The new Notes aren’t cheap phones, so you’ll want to actually use all those features. Here are the 10 things you ought to do first.
Choose your navigation buttons
Samsung still defaults to the standard button navigation system, but you can make some changes. There’s even a gesture option that’s easier to adjust to than the systems used by some other device makers. Just head to Settings > Display > Navigation bar.
Customize Air Actions
Samsung adds at least one new S Pen trick every year, and this time it’s “Air Actions.” The pen’s new accelerometer detects gestures like swiping and drawing circles. You can change what these gestures do in various apps under Settings > Advanced features > S Pen > Air Actions.
Currently, Air Actions work in only a handful of apps like Chrome, the camera, and Samsung notes. Still, you can tap on any of them and change all of the pen functionality. For example, maybe you want a swipe up or down to scroll in Chrome. The button press options are bundled in here, too. Just pick your actions, and start swinging your S Pen around.
Floating lock screen shortcuts
The Galaxy Note 10 has an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor like the Galaxy S10. It’s more secure—and slower—than the optical sensors in some other phones, but you can use the sensor to access your lock screen shortcuts very quickly. Just head to Settings > Lock screen > App shortcuts. Change the setting to Floating button and decide which apps you want accessible while unlocking. You can unlock the phone with your fingerprint, and the app icons float above your finger without even letting go.
Jot down a Screen-off Memo
You don’t need to unlock your phone and open an app to jot down a quick note on this phone. Simply remove the S Pen while the phone is asleep, and you can create a note with Screen-off Memo. The interface is sparse by design. All you have is a few color options, line thickness, and an eraser. Notes created with Screen-off Memo automatically save to Samsung Notes. You can also tap the “pin” button to keep the note on your lock screen for 30 minutes.
Configure Link to Windows
The Galaxy Note 10 is the first phone to ship with a fully integrated “Link to Windows” app. As the name implies, this feature plugs into Windows 10 PCs, allowing you to manage text messages, see notifications, access photos, and more.
To set it up, you’ll need to sign in with the same Microsoft account used on your computer. Then, install the Your Phone app from the Microsoft Store. After allowing app permissions, your content should show up on your computer instantly.
Install DeX Desktop
This phone still has the now-familiar DeX functionality when you plug it into an external monitor, but you can also run DeX on a Windows or Mac computer. You’ll need the DeX desktop app, but this is an easy way to access apps and content stored on your phone with a full computer setup.
After installing the desktop app, simply plug in the Note 10 and tap the DeX notification. The DeX desktop appears in a window you can manage like any other, except it’s a fully self-contained operating system running on your phone.
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