(Pocket-lint) - The Samsung Galaxy S7 is one of the hottest smartphones of the year, along with its Samsung Galaxy S7 edge sibling and winner of Best Smartphones in the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2016.
The SGS7 launched on Android Marshmallow, but has updated to Android Nougat with TouchWiz layered over the top, bringing with it plenty of changes. We've updated these tips and tricks to reflect the Nougat version of the phone.
Samsung offers a huge amount in its phones and it's easy to get lose. Fear not, we've done the hard work for you, drilling deep into the SGS7 to pull out all the tips and tricks to help you master your Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, whether that's in the basics around the home screen, getting into the nitty-gritty of managing your Do Not Disturb notifications, or finding out how to automatically restart your device on a schedule.
If you've any questions then be sure to ask, if you've any more tips, then feel free to add. Here's a complete expert guide to the Samsung Galaxy S7, which has recently been updated to Android Nougat.
Samsung Galaxy S7 top tip: If you're struggling to find the settings you want, head into the settings menu and tap SEARCH. Then you can type whatever you want and suggestions will appear.
Samsung Galaxy S7 home screen
Edit your home screen: A long press on the wallpaper on any screen lets you edit the wallpaper, widgets, themes or the grid size. This grid size applies not only to the home screen, but the apps tray too.
Get more on your home screen: You can change the size of the screen grid on which your shortcuts and widgets sit. It fit more on, select 5x5. This makes widgets more compact or lets you have up to 25 shortcuts.
Resize widgets: Many widgets are resizable. A long press selects them. When you lift your finger, you can drag the blue box that appears and resize your widget. You can even resize the Google search box.
Create a folder: Simply drag one app on top of another and a folder is created. To remove an app from a folder, open the folder and long press an app to select it and drag it out. To add apps, either drag them into a folder, or hit the + within the folder.
Change a folder colour or name: Open a folder and enter the name you want at the top. If you don't want a name, leave it blank. To change the folder background colour, tap the palette in the right-hand corner and select a new colour.
Access upday news reader: Swipe right from your home page to access upday for your news updates. Hit the settings button in the top right-hand corner to customise the content you see. This replaces Flipboard on the SGS6, but offers a similar news digest. (upday is a UK service, not all regions have the same system.)
Disable upday: If you don't want it, you can remove upday. Long press on your wallpaper, swipe right to upday and toggle off the switch. It will then vanish.
Stop adding new app icons to home screen: If you don't want new apps you install cluttering up your home screen, head into Play Store > settings and uncheck the box.
Access Now on Tap: As the SGS7 launched as a Marshmallow handset and is now Nougat, you get Now on Tap. Press and hold the home button and Now on Tap will scan the page and deliver results.
Access Google Now: A long press on the home button will launch Now on Tap. Tap the G at the bottom of this screen and you'll be in Google Now. Or, if you're using the Google Search widget, just tapping the text box moves you to Google Now. We're expecting Google Now to be replaced by Google Assistant via an update soon.
Change launcher (home screen): You can easily change the experience of your phone with a different launcher, such as Nova if you want a more customisable experience. Just download the launcher from Play Store and install it. When you press the home button you'll be given a choice to select a new default launcher.
Edit quick settings: To change the settings you see when you swipe down the notifications, swipe down twice so you see the full grid, open the menu but tapping the three dots, then hit EDIT. You'll be shown the full list of options. Drag the shortcuts you want to see to the top of the page and hit DONE to save. These will then appear first for quicker access. You can have two pages of quick settings. If you don't want two pages, just drag the options you don't want out of the list.
Use Quick connect in notifications pane: The S7 offers a Quick Connect option to help manage your devices and find devices to connect to. This appears as a banner in your notifications area, displaying what you're connected to (like Bluetooth headphones). To turn the banner off, tap it, go to the menu in the top right, hit settings and you can turn it off or turn off scanning for TVs. Leave on "available TVs" and it will always offer TVs you could connect to. Even if you opt to turn off the quick connect panel, it will still appear when you're connected to devices.
Instantly access device settings from Quick Settings: This is a standard Android tip, but great for accessing settings instantly. Press and hold the shortcut (for example Bluetooth) and you'll instantly jump to the full settings menu. It's really useful for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and power saving options.
Samsung Galaxy S7 apps tray
Alphabetize your apps: In the apps tray, hit menu in the top right-hand corner, then SORT. This will give you the option to have alphabetical order. Just tap that option and everything will drop into place.
Reorder apps: Hit the menu button in the top right-hand corner, then tap SORT. This time, select custom order. You'll then have to open the menu again and press EDIT. Now you can drag the apps to the position you want them in. Hit DONE to save.
Create an apps tray folder: Open the menu and hit the EDIT option, drag one app over another and a folder will be created. You can then drag this folder to wherever you want it to be if using the custom order.
Uninstall apps: You can uninstall directly from the apps tray. Hit the menu, then EDIT, then tap the minus icon that appears in the corner. If the app can be uninstalled, it will be. If it can't be uninstalled, it will be disabled. You can also open up folders to uninstall the contents.
Add apps to your home screen: Press and hold on the app shortcut in the apps tray. This will let you place a shortcut on your home screen.
Use normal app icons: Samsung loves putting backgrounds on app icons, turning everything into a squircle. Head into settings > display > icon frames and select "icons only". That will return apps to their normal shape.
Samsung Galaxy S7 lock screen and security
Change lock screen shortcuts: You can have two shortcuts on the lock screen for quick access. These are phone and camera by default, but can be anything you like. Head into settings > lock screen and security > info and app shortcuts. Here you can select the left and right shortcuts, or turn them off completely.
Fingerprint security: To use your fingerprint to unlock, head into settings > lock screen and security > screen lock type. Here you can select fingerprints. We recommend registering at least both thumbs, so you can unlock with either hand. You'll have to set a back-up PIN or passcode at the same time.
Instant lock: When you press the standby button, you want your phone to lock instantly. Head into settings > lock screen and security > secure lock settings. There's the option to lock the device as soon as the screen goes to sleep or when you press the standby button. If you do want a delay, there's plenty of time options.
Smart Lock/Bluetooth unlock: Again in settings > lock screen and security > secure lock settings there's the Smart Lock section. This is a standard Android feature and you have the option to nominate trusted devices, so your Android will unlock when connected to something else. You can nominate Bluetooth devices (like your smartwatch or car Bluetooth), location, trusted voice and so on.
Automatically wipe your device: If you're worried about your phone falling into the wrong hands and being cracked, you can have it automatically wipe. Head into settings > lock screen and security > secure lock settings. Here you'll find the option to auto factory reset if 15 failed unlock attempts are made.
Samsung Galaxy S7 notifications tips and tricks
Disable/enable lock screen notifications: If you don't want notifications on your lock screen, head to settings > lock screen and security > notifications on lock screen. This lets you show content, hide content or disable notifications completely.
Hide some lock screen notifications: If you never want lock screen notifications from a particular app (like a messaging app, or annoying game), head into notifications on lock screen as above, then you'll get a list of all your apps. Switch off the apps and you'll never get lock screen notifications from them.
Instant access to lock screen notifications: Just tap a notification twice and it will open up the app. Want to dismiss it? Just swipe it away.
Hide content in some app notifications: If you want to have notifications on your lock screen, but hide sensitive information in some of those apps (like a messaging app), first enable lock screen notifications to show content as above. Then head into settings > notifications > ADVANCED. Here you can manage the notifications of each individual app. You can opt to hide content from the lock screen here for specific apps.
To turn off notifications on an app: Go to settings > applications > application manager. Tap on the app you want. In notifications you can block all notifications for any app on your device. Or, when you get a notification you don't like, drag it slowly to the right and you'll see a settings icon, tap that to go to the settings for that app.
Pinch to expand: Got a stack of notifications? You can pinch to expand them, both on the lock screen and in the notifications area.
Samsung Galaxy S7 volume controls and Do not Disturb
Quickly switch to vibrate alerts: If you want silence, but are after vibration alerts still, push the volume button and tap the speaker icon on the pop-up. This will switch to vibrate. Or you can hold down the volume button so it slides all the way down to vibrate.
Set you phone to silent: The normal volume controls only go to vibrate. To make your phone silent, swipe down to the quick settings and tap the sound shortcut. This will cycle through sound/vibrate/mute. Remember to turn the sound back on, or you'll miss all your calls and messages, or use do not disturb instead.
Turn down media volume: Hit the volume up or down button, and the volume slider will appear. Tap the down arrow on the right-hand side, and you can change the ringer, media, alarm and system volumes independently. Perfect for when you want to watch a YouTube video on the bus without disturbing others.
Engage do not disturb: Do not disturb is an Android feature that lets you silence your phone, but set up a range of exceptions. Swipe down quick settings and tap the do not disturb button to turn it on. You can also set it to a schedule, for example at night, or when you're in the office.
Allow notifications in do not disturb: If you want silence then do not disturb is great. But if you want some notifications, then you have to designate the exceptions that are allowed. Head into settings > do not disturb > allow exceptions. Here you can allow alarms (essential if you want to wake up in the morning), but also allow repeat callers or nominated contacts - such as favourites for messages and calls - as well as allowing priority apps notifications.
To mark an app as a priority app: Head into settings > applications. Tap on the app you want. In-app notifications, you get app controls, and you can set an app as a priority so you always get notifications from that app, including in do not disturb mode.
Samsung Galaxy S7 app management
Change the default app: Android lets you decide which is the default app if you have more than one that will do the same thing. Under settings > applications hit the menu button and then "default applications". There you can see what has been selected as the default browser, calling app, messaging app and home screen. Other defaults are selected by the first app you open for a particular task.
Control app permissions: Nougat lets you manage all the permissions for each app on an individual basis. Go to applications, select the app and hit Permissions. This will let you toggle permissions on and off, so you can disable location access, for example.
Samsung Galaxy S7 display tips
Turn on always on display: To have the lock screen show you "always on" information, head into settings > display > always on display > and switch it on. This shows when the phone display is in standby.
Change always-on display layout: You can customise what you see in always-on display by heading to the section above and tapping on it. You'll find an option for "layouts" where you can customise what you're shown and how it is laid out.
Change the display colours: Head into settings > screen mode and you'll get the option to change the way the display looks. If you want something more vibrant, it's here you can set it.
Turn on night clock: On the Galaxy S7 edge there's the option to have a clock on the edge at night. Head into settings > display > night clock to set the times you want to to come on.
Turn on night mode: Called "blue light filter" by Samsung, this changes the colour of the display to reduce blue light, avoid eye strain and help you sleep better. Head into settings > display > blue light filter to change the times and the strength of the change.
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge screen tips
Manage edge screen content: If you have the S7 edge, head into settings > display > edge screen > edge panels to manage what you see when you swipe in. You can add or remove content, as well as download other content here.
Enable edge lighting for incoming calls: If your phone is face down, you can have the edges light up when there's an incoming call. Head into settings > display > edge screen > edge lighting. This is ideal for meetings. Your phone will reveal there's an incoming call without you needing vibration or showing everyone who is calling.
Set a quick reply message for incoming calls: If you don't want to answer the call, you can reject it and send a customisable reply message by placing your finger on the rear heart rate scanner. Head into settings > display > edge screen > edge lighting and toggle on the quick reply option. Here you can also change that message.
Samsung Galaxy S7 multi-tasking
Multi app view: To view two apps at the same time, hit the recent apps button, find the app you want and hit the icon looking like two boxes at the top of that app card. The app will occupy the top half of the screen. You can then select the second app from the apps shown on the bottom of the display. You can change the size of each app by pressing the blue line in the centre and dragging it up or down.
Pop-up view: To view your app as a pop-up, drag the app in from the top left-hand corner. The app will shrink down and can then be moved around and placed where you want. To close it, tap the dot at the top - when it expands you have the option to return to fullscreen, close and so on.
Samsung Galaxy S7 camera and photo tricks
Quick launch: Double tap on the home button to launch the camera. You can do this from the lock screen or any other location in the phone. If it's not turned on, head to the camera app > settings and toggle on "quick launch".
Enable raw capture: If you want the dng files saved as well as regular jpeg, head into the settings and then picture size. At the bottom is the option to save both raw and jpeg files. To use it you'll need to be in Pro mode, however, so swipe in from the left and tap Pro.
Control HDR: In the camera app, hit the HDR toggle button on the left-hand side. This cycles through on-off-auto HDR options.
Enable video stabilisation: To stabilise your video on the rear camera, you'll have to make sure the quality it set to QHD 2560 x 1440 or lower. It doesn't work on the UHD setting. Open settings and scroll down to find "video stabilisation".
Wide selfie: To get more into your selfie shot, select the front camera, then swipe in from the left and select "wide selfie". Tap wide selfie and you can take a wider shot.
To take a selfie using a gesture or the heart rate sensor: In the camera flip over to selfie mode and hit settings > shooting methods (front). Here you'll find the options for voice capture, gestures, or using the heart rate sensor to take a picture.
To take a long exposure photo: In the camera app, swipe in from the left and select Pro. On the right-hand side you'll see the option to change the length of the exposure. Use the arrows to select the length of time you want. The exposure compensation icon above will indicate whether you're going to over or under expose, by switching from + to -.
To save photos to the microSD card: There's now a microSD card slot, so you might as well use it. Head into the camera app > settings > storage location and select SD card.
Change gallery view: If you're looking at your photos and you want more or less on display, you can pinch zoom, to change the thumbnail view.
Samsung Galaxy S7 screenshot
Take a screen shot: Press the home and standby buttons at the same time. A screenshot will be captured.
Palm swipe for a screenshot: If you don't want to press the buttons to take a screenshot, head into settings > advanced features > and turn on palm swipe to capture. This saves you having to press two buttons at once.
Use scroll capture: Samsung gives you more options for screenshots. Head into settings > advanced features > smart capture. This will let you scroll to get more of a page, with instant edit and share options too.
Samsung Galaxy S7 managing calling, data and networks
Smart network switching: If you want to let your phone switch to mobile data when a Wi-Fi network is poor, enter settings > Wi-Fi > advanced > Smart network switch to enable or disable.
Set a data limit: If you don't want to exceed your contract data, head into settings > data usage and you have the option to set the data limit and the date your contract renews.
Restrict Wi-Fi hotspots: Phone always jumping on Wi-Fi networks you don't want it to? Head into settings > data usage > advanced > restrict networks and you'll get a full list of recognised Wi-Fi networks. Here you can limit those annoying hotspots when you're walking down the street.
Enable download booster: If you're looking for download booster (to use Wi-Fi and mobile networks simultaneously for big downloads, head into settings > connections > more connection settings and you'll find the option.
Identify incoming calls: If you want the phone to identify who is calling you, head into phone and open the menu, tap settings and turn on show caller infomration. You'll then be shown any information that can be found on incoming callers.
Samsung Galaxy S7 storage tips
Explore what's on your device storage: Head to settings > device maintenance > storage and view the internal storage and SD card. This will give you a breakdown of what's taking up your storage. In this new device maintenance app you'll have the option to clean up trash files.
Move an app to SD card: If you want to move apps to the microSD card to make more space on your internal storage, head into settings > applications and tap on an app. Within the app details you'll find a storage section. Tap this, then CHANGE and you'll be able to select the SD card. The phone will then move the app to external storage.
Auto restart to keep things fast: If you're a power user and want to restart your device to flush out the caches, you can do it automatically. Head into settings > backup and reset > auto restart. Here you can set the day of the week and the time you want your phone to restart itself.
Clean your storage up: To clean up your storage, head into settings > device maintenance and tap the storage section. Here you'll be able to scan and find content to delete.
Samsung Galaxy S7 battery tips
View what's eating battery: Head into settings > device maintenance and tap battery. This will show you the predicted battery usage based on your 7-day averages, and tapping the "battery usage" will show you what's using up that battery.
Engage power saving mode: Either hit the shortcut in quick settings, or head into settings > device maintenance > battery. Here you can engage mid or max battery saving, with the option to change the settings for each mode.
Enable fast charging: Head into settings > device maintenance > battery > advanced settings > fast cable charging. If this is not turned on, the phone won't use fast charging.
Manage app power saving: In settings > device maintenance > battery you can see the app power monitor. Here you can select apps to have the phone save battery on those apps in the background.
Use Android Doze: Android Doze is a low power state that lets apps sleep when your device isn't being used. It saves a lot of battery in quiet times, for example over night when you don't have a charger. It's part of Android Nougat and is automatic - so you don't have to do anything - it just works.
Time till fully charged: Charge time is displayed when connected to a charger. Look at the bottom of the lockscreen and in the battery status screen. If you're fast charging, it will say so, and the estimated time left.