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August 8, 2017

Master your Samsung with these Galaxy S8 tips and tricks

by John_A

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is finally here, and it’s a looker. The South Korean company’s phone packs a gorgeous edge-to-edge curved screen, a beefed-up camera, a top-of-the-line processor, and a new virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence. But like many devices of the Galaxy S8’s caliber, not every feature is easy to use — or find. Luckily, we’ve spent enough time with the Galaxy S8 to get a handle on a few of its most useful functions. Here are our favorite Galaxy S8 tips and tricks to get you started.

Tips for using Bixby, S-Health, emojis, and more

How to use Bixby

Bixby, Samsung’s new AI-powered assistant, is a command away from every screen. If you say, “Hey Bixby,” or tap the Galaxy S8’s dedicated Bixby button, you’ll get Bixby Voice, a Siri-like virtual assistant that can send photos to friends and cast videos to your smart TV.

Bixby Home, Bixby Voice’s visual companion, consists of cards that highlight weather forecasts, breaking news, and more. But it’s more than just an organizer. Home learns your preferences and habits over time; if you typically call someone after work, for example, it’ll start serving up that person’s contact info at the appropriate time each day.

There’s more to Bixby than Home and Voice. Bixby Vision, yet another component of Samsung’s AI, recognizes wine bottles, barcodes, and logos, and recommends relevant shopping links.

Looking for a more detailed guide to Bixby? Check out our guide on how to use Bixby, which tells you everything you need to know about setting up, using, and troubleshooting Bixby.

How to schedule a doctor’s appointment with S Health

Whether you’re feeling under the weather or just due for a physical, the Galaxy S8’s built-in S Health app has you covered. Thanks to deep integration with WebMD and Amwell, you can browse symptoms and drugs, find nearby pharmacies, schedule an online visit with a doctor, and reserve an appointment with a certified physician.

The new S Health app is capable of more. It can store information regarding upcoming appointments like symptoms, photos, prescriptions, and insurance information, and it offers quick access to emergency services.

How to use the new emoji

The Galaxy S8 ships with a bundle of new emoji from Emoji 4.0, the newest collection of icons approved by the Unicode Consortium. They include a giraffe, broccoli, a pretzel, chopsticks, a scientist, judge, pilot, teacher, and a boy with bunny ears.

Using them is as easy as pulling up the Galaxy S8’s default keyboard and tapping the emoji button. Then, it’s just a matter of scrolling through the the list until you find the one you want.

How to turn off notifications for specific apps

Endless notifications getting you down? What about notifications that showcase sensitive content on your lockscreen? Don’t stress — the Galaxy S8 lets you mute and hide notifications on a per-app basis.

If there’s a specific app that’s been notifying you a bit too often, you can mute it by tapping Settings > Notifications and toggling off the app’s notifications. Hiding an app’s notifications from your lock screen is just as easy. To do so, tap Settings > Notifications and choose which apps you want to hide from the lock screen.

How to enable and tweak Do Not Disturb mode

Do Not Disturb — the scorched-earth approach to notifications — mutes all alerts, but it’s also highly customizeable.

To enable Do Not Disturb mode, swipe down on the Galaxy S8’s quick settings and tap the Do Not Disturb button. You’ll get the option to switch it on immediately, and to specify a Do Not Disturb schedule. The latter feature will allow the mode to automatically kick in when you return home from work, for example.

Do Not Disturb can also let certain notifications through, if you choose to allow it. If you tap Settings > Sound and Vibration > Do not disturb > Allow exceptions, you’ll see options to allow repeat callers, allow alarms, or specify contacts that can break through the Do Not Disturb barricade. In addition, you can set priority apps — apps that always show notifications — by heading to Settings, Sound and Vibration > Do Not Disturb > Allow exceptions > Priority app notifications. 

How to customize the Galaxy S8’s volume levels

Whether you’re in a concert hall, classroom, or movie theater, sometimes you need to mute your phone in a jiffy. That’s where the Galaxy S8’s volume controls come in.

Adjusting the Galaxy S8’s volume is as easy as hitting the volume up or down button on the phone’s left-hand side. Tapping the down arrow on the right-hand side changes the ringer, media, notifications, and system volumes independently.

You can also switch the Galaxy S8 to vibrate by pushing the volume button and tapping the speaker icon in the resulting pop-up window, or by holding down the volume button until it slides all the way to vibrate.

Setting your phone to silent is a little trickier, but it’s not impossible. To do so, swipe down to access the Galaxy S8’s quick settings menu, and tap the sound shortcut until you reach the Mute setting.

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