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    First things to do with Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus

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    Valery Aloyants
    @valeryaloyants

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    Are you still waiting for your Galaxy S21, S21 + or S21 Ultra to arrive in your hands, you may be wondering what you should do first. We've compiled a list of the first things you should do after unpacking the S21, so you can get the most out of the hottest phone of the year.


    Use Smart Switch to transfer everything from your old phone

    It can be a real hassle trying to transfer all your files from an old phone to the new Galaxy S21. From re-downloading all your most used apps to keeping all those files, the process is extremely annoying. Fortunately, Samsung's Smart Switch feature is built right into the phone and takes all the pain out of it. It works with all your Android phones and even those that make the switch from iOS.



    Configure your fingerprint scanner

    The ultrasonic fingerprint scanner has been greatly improved in the Galaxy S21 range. Samsung has integrated Qualcomm's second-generation in-display scanner, which is larger than the previous iteration. This allows for more accurate readings and faster unlocks. We recommend that you set up this configuration so that not only anyone can log into your phone when you are not around and you can set up multiple fingerprints.

    Switch to gestures

    To make the most of the gorgeous displays on the Galaxy S21, S21 + and S21 Ultra, you may get used to using gestures. This just adds a little extra screen real estate, as the navigation bar will be completely removed. It might take some getting used to if you've never used gesture navigation, but there's a little tutorial and the controls are pretty intuitive.



    Enable and customize Always On Display

    Instead of having to worry about tapping your phone every time you want to check the time or see notifications, why not use Always On Display? This is a feature found on almost every other Android phone nowadays, including the Galaxy S21 line. Here's how you can set it up on your new phone:


    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Scroll down and tap Screen lock.
    3. Tap the switch next to Always On Display to activate it.
    4. Toccata Always active display from the lock screen settings.
    5. Customize to your liking.

    There are options for how long the AOD stays on, as well as the ability to show music information and select screen orientation. But then you can customize the actual appearance of the AOD in Clock style. There are a few options already installed, but the Galaxy Store has many more to choose from.

    Take advantage of the higher refresh rate

    All three Galaxy S21 models feature displays with a higher 120Hz refresh rate. But if you want to take advantage of this, you'll need to make sure the correct display settings are enabled.


    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Scroll down and tap Display.
    3. Select Movement uniformity.
    4. Toccata Adaptive.

    Adaptive will automatically adjust the screen refresh rate based on what you're doing. There is also an option for “Standard”, which locks the phone at the old 60Hz refresh rate. This will ensure slightly better battery life, but once you start using 120Hz, you won't want to go back.


    Adjust the screen resolution

    Another way to take advantage of Samsung's gorgeous displays is to adjust the screen resolution. With the S21 and S21 +, you can go up to FHD +, while the S21 Ultra offers a resolution up to WQHD +. Regardless of the reason, you can go in and change the screen resolution. This will drain the battery a little more or provide enough power to last all day.


    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Scroll down and tap Display.
    3. Select Screen resolution.
    4. Choose the resolution you want to use.

    Quickly access apps with the Edge panel

    While it's great to put all your apps on the home screen, the truth is that your home screen can get pretty cluttered pretty quickly. Thankfully, Samsung has integrated its Edge Panels feature into the software. This allows you to access apps or tools with a quick swipe. Here's how to enable and customize the Edge panel:


    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Scroll down and tap Display.
    3. Tap the switch next to Edge panels to activate it.
    4. Toccata Edge panels.
    5. Select the panels you want to use.
    6. Customize the size, shape and color of the side panel "handle".

    Turn the side button into the power button

    Gone are the days when the power button was the power button. Now, Samsung has started calling it the “side button,” as it's also the primary way to access Bixby, if you're into that sort of thing. But if you're not and don't care about using Bixby, here's how you can set the side button to use as your power button.


    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Scroll down and tap Features Advanced.
    3. Toccata Side key.
    4. In Hold down, select Shutdown menu.

    From this screen, you can also customize the side button actions if you use a quick double press of the button. By default, it opens Bixby, but you can also set it to quickly launch the Camera app or even open another application (like the Google Assistant).


    Personalize your home screen

    Probably the best aspect of using Android, especially with these gorgeous displays, is the ability to customize the home screen. Samsung has also joined its own launcher, as you can now adjust a few different options, while still using Samsung's launcher instead of a third-party option.

    1. from main screen, find an open space.
    2. Keep pressed until the overview of the main screen is displayed.
    3. Choose from the following:
      • Wallpapers
      • Temi
      • widget
      • settings

    If you want to change the layout and the grids and edges of the main screen, we recommend that you tap thesettings. This will allow you to change the home screen and app screen grids, along with the layout, and provides a number of other options for changing the look of the home screen.

    Make sure all your apps are up to date

    During the initial setup process, some apps will be installed automatically. However, there are many other apps pre-installed on your phone, and they are likely to need updating. Here's how to update apps from the Play Store.

    1. Open the Google Play Store.
    2. Touch thehamburger menu icon in the upper left corner.
    3. Select Le my apps and games.
    4. Tap the tab Updates up.
    5. Tap the button Update everything.
      • You can also choose which apps you want to update instead of updating them all.

    Although Samsung has already made it possible to download and update some apps from the Play Store, there are others that are not available. Instead, you'll need to dive into the Galaxy Store app to make sure all your apps are truly up to date.

    1. Open the app Galaxy Store.
    2. Touch thehamburger menu icon in the upper left corner.
    3. Select Updates from the pop-up menu.

    From here, you can tap the button Update everything in the top right corner or you can update apps individually. If you want to update apps one at a time, tap the icon next to the app that looks like a reload button. If you have a Galaxy Watch also connected to your Galaxy S21, you can update those apps from this screen in the section Clock.

    Get better battery life without 5G

    5G is the biggest "buzzword" of 2020 and 2021, and it's something we will continue to see and hear about for months and years to come. But the problem with 5G is that it's not available to everyone. This can result in unnecessary battery drain, as the phone will use network bands to search for 5G when you are away from Wi-Fi. 

    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Toccata Connection.
    3. Select Mobile networks.
    4. Select LTE / 3G / 2G from the list.

    Enable mobile notifications for messaging apps

    One of the main features of the Android 11 update is the ability to use "chat bubbles" or mobile notifications for messaging apps. These are similar to what you may already be used to with Facebook Messenger. But instead of only being able to use them with a single app, mobile notifications can be enabled for any of your messaging apps.

    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Toccata Notifications.
    3. Select Advanced Settings.
    4. Toccata Mobile notifications.
    5. Select Bolle.

    Disable battery optimization

    The constant struggle to improve battery life is a never-ending battle, but it comes at a cost. With features like battery optimization and adaptive battery enabled, you'll see some big improvements in battery life. But these features will essentially "shut down" your apps in the background, which means you won't get notifications until the screen is turned on. The problem with this is that you may miss an important notification or get bombarded with apps that throw notifications at you when you just wanted to open Twitter.

    1. Open the app Settings.
    2. Scroll down and select Battery and device maintenance.
    3. Toccata Battery.
    4. Select Other battery settings.
    5. Tap the switch next to Adaptive battery in place off.

    Now that adaptive battery has been disabled, we recommend that you remove apps from being "optimized for battery".

    1. From the app Settings, scroll down and tap App.
    2. Touch the three points in the upper right corner.
    3. Select Special access.
    4. Toccata Optimize battery usage.
    5. Toccata Non-optimized apps and select All.
    6. Scroll through the list and turn off battery optimization for your apps.

    You don't necessarily have to turn off battery optimization for all your apps. Only the ones you rely on regularly for notifications.

    Add new modes to the Camera app

    The Galaxy S21 features some of the best cameras we've seen on a smartphone. And while you can stick with the default modes in the Camera app, like Single Shot, Photo, and Video, Samsung makes it possible to add new modes for quick access.

    1. Open the app Camera.
    2. Toccata Other.
    3. Tap the icon Plus (+) in bass.
    4. Drag your favorite modes in and out of the tray at the bottom of the screen.

    Get the most out of the quick panel

    The quick panel is the easiest way to turn various features on or off. Additionally, some applications offer shortcuts (like an Add Task button) that can add more functionality. But you'll want to make sure you customize the quick panel so that your most used features are at your fingertips.

    1. Scroll to il bass once on the main screen to reveal the notification shade.
    2. Scroll to new downward to view all quick panel options.
    3. Scroll to the right.
    4. Tap the icon More.
    5. Touch and hold the buttons at the top to drag them to the quick panel.
      • It can also be used to remove unused options from the quick panel.
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