The Best Hidden Features of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Learn the hidden secrets and features of the Note 9

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is a powerhouse phone. With a large battery (4000mAh), impressive storage (expandable up to 1 TB), a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED Infinity display, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, and the Bluetooth S Pen, the Note 9 is among the most capable of smartphones of its generation.

Still, the specs don't tell the whole story of what the Galaxy Note 9 can do. Here are the four best hidden features of the Galaxy Note 9.

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Customize the Way You Use the Samsung Galaxy Note 9

How to customize screen activation, the navigation bar, and keyboard layout for the Note 9.

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, you can customize many features to fit your needs:

Unlock your phone with a wave: When enabled, you can unlock your phone with a wave of the hand. To enable this feature, go to Settings > Accessibility > Dexterity and Interaction, then toggle on Easy screen turn on. Choose Easy screen turn on to see a demonstration of how to wave your hand over the phone to unlock it.

Customize the navigation bar: Does it seem like you have to press too hard to activate your home button? Or maybe you don't like the way the navigation buttons on the bottom of the screen are laid out? No problem. Go to Settings > Display > Navigation Bar to access a menu that allows you to toggle on a Show and Hide button, change the color of the navigation bar, adjust the pressure sensitivity when you press the Home button, unlock your phone with the Home button, and change the layout of the navigation bar.

Customize your keyboard for one-handed (or fat-fingered) operation: If the layout or design of the Samsung keyboard is awkward, you can control how your keyboard looks, and how it works. To do so:

  1. Access the keyboard from within an app where you need to type text.
  2. With the keyboard displayed, select the Settings gear icon. The Samsung Keyboard options menu opens.
  3. From there, tap Keyboard layout and feedback to toggle the Keyboard toolbar on or off, change the Keyboard theme, or change the Keyboard size and layout.

The Show and Hide button appears as a small black dot in the left corner of the navigation bar. Tap this twice to hide the navigation bar. To get the navigation bar back, swipe up from the bottom of the phone, then tap the Show and Hide button twice again to lock the navigation bar back into place.

If the keyboard is difficult to use with one hand, from within the open keyboard, tap the downward-pointing arrow in the right corner, then select One-handed keyboard. The keyboard shrinks and slides to one side for easy single-handed operation. You can change which side the keyboard is on by pressing the arrow on either side of the keyboard.

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Handle Text Differently With the Galaxy Note 9

Galaxy Note 9 showing how Bixby Vision and Translate work.

Ever wish you could snag a bit of text that's on a label or in a book? Or maybe you want a text-to-speech option for your messages and emails? You can do those things with the Galaxy Note 9 if you know how:

Put Bixby Vision to work: Even if you're not a fan of Samsung’s voice assistant, Bixby, you can still use Bixby Vision with your camera as an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool. Simply enable Bixby Vision on your camera, select the Text option, then point your camera at any text and snap a picture. Bixby captures and transcribes the text, and translates words that are in a different language. You can then copy and paste or share the text with other applications.

Use the S Pen Translate function to read text: Using the Note 9 S Pen Translate function is a handy feature. You can enable it to translate blocks of text to make it even better. To change from single word translation to phrases or blocks of text:

  1. Open the message or document you want to have read aloud.
  2. Remove your S Pen from the device.
  3. From the Air Command options select Translate.
  4. When the translation window appears, choose the languages you want to have the text translated from and to (yes, you can select English for both options), then tap the T icon in the left corner of the translation window.
  5. The icon should change to look like a document. Now you can highlight and translate blocks of text.
  6. To hear the selected text read aloud, tap the speaker icon in the translation box.
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Customize the Note 9 Display

Showing how Glance and Recent App views work on the Galaxy Note 9.

The functionality from previous versions of the Note is still available, so it should be easy to customize things like the Edge Panel and Always On Display. But you can also make some changes to the Galaxy Note 9 to make the display more user-friendly:

Use Glance to monitor action in other windows: Samsung App Pairs are a great way to work with two apps simultaneously, but what if you don't need to work with two apps and only want to monitor one? Glance is Samsung's equivalent of picture-in-picture and it lets you drop an app into a smaller window in the bottom corner of your screen. Once activated, you can move the smaller window to any location on the screen that's convenient; increase the size of the app to full screen by hovering your pen tip over the app. To activate an app in Glance:

  1. Open the app, remove your S Pen, then choose Glance from the Air Command menu. The app is instantly reduced to thumbnail size.
  2. After you finish monitoring the app, drag it to the top of the screen to close it.

Change the way recent apps display: If you use a lot of apps, when you view your Recent Apps, the standard app tiles can be overwhelming. But you can change the way those recent apps display. From within your Recent Apps screen (tap the Recent Apps button in the bottom navigation menu), and then tap the three dot icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Then select List View to convert the thumbnails to list items.

In the Recent Apps view, tap the Multi Window button (represented as two squares stacked on top of one another) on an app to open it in split-screen mode. Tap another recent app to create a temporary app pair on the fly.

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Use the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Safety Features

Showing how to activate SOS Messages and Blue Light Filters on the Galaxy Note 9.

It's no surprise Samsung integrated some safety features into the Note 9. Two of the top safety features you should check out are SOS Alerts and Blue Light Filter:

Send SOS messages without turning on the phone: Go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Send SOS messages to enable this safety feature. When enabled, you can choose to attach pictures and attach audio recordings to send pictures taken with the cameras or a 5-second audio message to your emergency contacts when you quickly press the Power key three times. If you're often on your own, this is one safety feature you don't want to be without.

Protect your eyes with a blue light filter: Blue light, such as the kind emitted by mobile devices, can be damaging to your eyes. To protect your eyes from this harmful light, go to Settings > Display to toggle the blue light filter on or off. Once enabled, tap Blue light filter to open options where you can adjust the opacity of the filter and schedule the blue light filter to activate during certain hours (for example, during evening hours just before bed).

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