One of the best things about using an Andriod device is the level of customizability that comes with the platform. In this video, I’ll show you how to customize the Home Screens on your Galaxy S9 so you can make it your own.
Let’s take a look at how to customize your home screen on your Galaxy S9 and S9+. So, this is the current home screen that I have, and this is what comes by default whenever you first launch your device. We have a nice little weather widget. We have google widgets, some icons down on the dock that we can quickly launch into, and then swiping over to the right will give us another home screen. And swiping over to the left shows us Bixby.
Now, all I have to do is tap and hold anywhere in an empty area of the home screen, and I can add in new home screens. Swipe over, tap the plus button, and we can continually add in new home screens just by tapping on the plus button. We can get rid of those home screens by tapping on the trash can icon in the top right-hand corner of each one of those screens, and we can even get rid of some of the ones that came by default, which I can do so right here. And if I’m going to delete the page, I’m going to also delete all of the app icon shortcuts that are there.
I’m gonna go head and leave a blank page here, because I’m gonna also show you how to add on some app icons to the home page. You’ll notice down below, we have wallpapers, themes, widgets, and even home screen settings. So, if I wanted to quickly jump in and add in a wallpaper, I can do so by tapping wallpaper. Here’s it’s gonna launch the Samsung themes, and I’m gonna see all the wallpapers that are featured. I can even see top. I can even see new as well. And all I have to do is go ahead and tap on any one of these, and I can go ahead and change my wallpaper.
I can also tap the view all at the top of the screen. This will show me all the default wallpapers that come with my device, and if I’ve taken any photos with my Galaxy S9, I can even choose a photo from my gallery. Just tap on From Gallery, and then we can see all the images that are on our device, and I can tap on one of those and set it as a wallpaper. So, for example, I can tap on this brick image. I can choose to set it as my home screen, lock screen, or both. And if I choose home screen, it’s gonna show me a preview of my home screen. I can drag it around, position the wallpaper how I want to. I can even add motion to it, so when I rotate my device, it’ll move around on the screen, and what’s really nice is seeing a preview of it here.
Now, if I tap on that again, and let’s say choose Lock Screen, I’m gonna get a preview of what it’s gonna look like on my lock screen, even with the clock widget that I’ve set up. So, I thought that’s really cool that you can get a nice little preview of that.
So, what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna come back out, and now what we’re gonna do is take a look at themes. Themes will dramatically change the way that your phone looks and feels. So, right here, again, [inaudible 00:02:21] into the Samsung themes, and I can see all of the themes that I currently have installed up at the top of the screen. I can swipe down, view featured, view top, and also view new.
All you have to do is you tap into a theme, and it’s gonna show you a preview of it. So, this one happens to come with an always on display. There’s a log screen. Here’s our home screen. You can see it changes the look of the icons, even the dialer, some of the actual menus and backgrounds, even the actual widgets up at the top of the phone. So, that’s really cool.
Now, this one happens to be a premium one, so you will need to purchase it for $1.99. You can also download a free trial to make sure you like it on your device before you actually install it and purchase it. And then there’s also some free things that you can go through and purchase as well. I actually have a free one up here that I chose. This is called Pixelize. It actually tries to make your Galaxy S9 feel more like a Google pixel device, and you can see it gives you a stock Android feel. And I like that these themes give us a preview here at the top of the screen.
So, let’s go ahead and come back out. We have widgets. So, tapping our widgets will show us all the widgets that are installed. Some applications that you download from the Google Play store include their own widgets, which they will shop up here whenever you download them from the Google Play store. So, I might have more widgets than you would see on your device if you’re setting up your device for the first time.
But if you wanted to add a widget, all you have to do is find the one that you want to add and then just tap and hold and drag it out onto a home screen. So, for example, I’m gonna tap on Starbucks. It’s gonna show me that there are two widgets available. I’ll tap and hold on the actual 4X1. It will let me know that it’s gonna be a 4X1 grid. You can see it gives me a representation of the home screen. If I don’t have a screen that it fits on, I can always swipe over to the right. It can add in a new home screen automatically, or I can just find an empty area and then tap and let go. And now I have the widget out there.
If the widget allows resizing, you’ll see this blue little box around it, and you can drag on the edges of the widget, and it’s actually gonna resize the widget dynamically to fit within the bounds of that blue box. Now, you’ll notice for this one, I can only go down to a 1X2, but I can go all the way over to a 5X1, and here’s a 4X1 as well. Now, once you have your widget placed, tap anywhere on the empty screen, and now I have access to that widget. What a widget is is just really a quick shortcut to an application. So, for this one for Starbucks, I can see my current balance, how many stars I have, even find a Starbucks or just quickly launch into the application itself.
Now, again, if we tap anywhere on an empty area of the home screen, now we have all of our controls again. Now, down at the bottom of the screen, we have home screen settings. Tap in there, and I have a bunch of different options. So, I have home screen layout. I have home screen and apps. So, right now I have the home screen and then I have an app drawer, or I can have it be home screen only, which it will no longer give me an app drawer, and all of my applications will live directly on the home screen.
So, if I apply that, then we’re going to go ahead and discard our current layout, and now you see I have all of the apps out on my home screen. And if I swipe up from the bottom like we would normally get into the app drawer, you notice it launches a search on the phone. The same thing with swiping down. So, swiping up and down will get us into our app drawer, but right now, they’re only giving us a search. So, if I go back in here, choose my home screen layout, and do home and app screen. Tap apply, will tap apply again, notice all those empty pages of home screen are gone, and I can swipe up to get into the app drawer, swipe down to get into the app drawer.
Now tap and hold again, and we’ll go into home screen settings. I can change my grid size by default. It is a 5X5. I can go all the way up to a 5X6, or I can all the way down to a 4X5. What this is doing is allowing us to use up the screen less, so that way we can actually fit in less icons and make them a little bit bigger. Or we can fit more icons while making everything smaller. So, a 4X5 would make everything bigger, giving us less room to work with, but we’d be able to see them on this large display. Or we can go to a 5X6, which maximizes the actual screen real estate. It will make everything appear a little bit smaller.
Now, down below that would be the apps screen grid. This is the same basic principle. We can see how it’s going to appear. We have a 4X6 or a 5X6 into our app drawer, and just choose the one that suits you.
So, after the apps screen grid, we have the apps button. What this will allow us to do is actually have an apps button that lives in the dock in the bottom right-hand corner. If you’ve used any previous Galaxy device, this used to be the default standard to have an app button down in the bottom right-hand corner. So, if I tap apply and go to my home screen, notice I now have a button I can quickly use to get into the apps drawer. Now, swiping up and swiping down will still get me into my app drawer, but I have a dedicated button, and this is the way that Samsung used to do it until the swiping feature became more of a standard.
So, if you liked having that button down there, you can also enable it right there in the settings, but do notice that it did take the place of one of our app icons. If I come back in there and go back into home screen and disable the apps button and tap apply, notice I now have another position to bring out an app. So, if I wanted to bring Chrome back out there, all I have to do is bring it back out, and now there is now Chrome that lives in my dock. So, it does give me an extra app to put down there if I don’t have the apps button. And not having the apps button is what comes by default.
So, now I come back into the home screen settings, and the next area is app icon badges. So, if you have any notifications, say if you have a text message or a missed call or voice mail, there would be a little badge that appears on the icon letting me know that there’s a notification in that application that I need to take care of. So, if I tap on there, you’re gonna notice that it gives me a little preview. I can show with the number or without the number. I can show notifications in the home screen, and then I can either turn this on or off.
Now, if I wanted to, I just wanted to shut it off, I can do so right here from the main home screen settings, but if you tap on it, it gives more of that graphical overview showing you what it’s gonna look that whenever you do any of these settings and modify them.
So, the next area is add apps to the home screen. So, if you ever download a new application from the Google Play store, it’s gonna live in your app drawer, but if you wanted it to be automatically added to a home screen, you can tap that on, and it’s gonna automatically add the app to your home screen whenever you download it from the Play store.
Now, this next one, I find it very, very useful: Quick Open Notification panel. Swipe down to open your notification panel from the home screen. Currently, you’ll notice, if I swipe up or if I swipe down, it opens up the app drawer, and if I want to open up my notifications, I have to go to the very top of the screen and pull down. With that setting, though, that we were just looking at, Quick Open Notification panel, what this will allow me to do is swipe down on the screen to open up my notifications and then swipe up to open up the app drawer. I found that really useful, because I could use this anywhere on the home screen. I could be swiping down in the middle of the screen and open up the notification panel, and then swipe up anywhere to open up the app drawer.
With the way it is by default, you just open up your app drawer in two different methods. I don’t really find that all that useful, and especially considering on the S9+, you have a taller device. So, actually, it becomes a two-handed gesture to even get down to your notification panel. Where here, you can hold your phone in one hand and then swipe down and open up your notifications.
So, there is a couple more settings. We have our portrait mode only. This will keep your device from rotating to the actual landscape whenever you’re using it. So, you can actually force it to just be portrait mode only. And then we can choose the hide apps. What this is great is this will be for the app drawer. I can actually select any one of these applications, and it will hide it in the app drawer, and I will no longer see it in there. That doesn’t mean that you are removing the application from your device. All it means is that you’re hiding it from being shown.
So, now if I go into my app drawer, you’re gonna notice the two apps that I just hit are no longer there. I do have Google calendar and the Google calculator. The ones that hid were the Samsung calendar and the Samsung calculator. Now, I can always go back into the home screen settings, go back into Hide Apps, and I can choose to show those apps again just by tapping on them, and now they are gonna be able to be seen in my app drawer. You’ll notice there, now there’s the calculator and the calendar that I had just previously hidden.
So, now let’s say you wanted to add an app to your home screen. All you have to do is tap and hold down an app icon. It’ll give you the option to add it to home. So, if I tap there, it’ll just add it to my blank space on the home screen. Or what I can do is come back in here and tap and hold, and then drag it to the top of the screen or the bottom of the screen, and then I can add it out here onto the home screen anywhere that I want to. So, you’ll notice again if I do that, I can actually go down to the bottom of the screen and it gives me the same effect, and I can drag it anywhere on the home screen that I want to or even drag it over where there is no home screen, and it will create a new one automatically for me to place it there.
Now, let’s say I wanted to group some of these applications together. All I have to do is tap and hold, drag it over on top of another application and let go, and it makes a folder. So, I can give this folder a name. So, let’s just go ahead and give it a name Social, and then I can even change the folder color in the top right-hand corner. I can choose from a pre-defined color, or I can even come to the color wheel and choose my own color and then tap Done to save that color.
And when I’m in a folder, I have the option of choosing to add apps. So, adding apps, just tap on there, and then we can come in here and find any other applications that we want to add and then tap Add in the top right-hand corner, and those will automatically be added into the folder.
Now, when you’re in a folder, you also have the option of rearranging the icons that are in the folder. I thought this was really cool. All I have to do is tap and hold and start dragging it around, and it rearranges them in that folder. Tap anywhere on the empty area of the screen to come back out to your home screen.
So, let’s say I didn’t want that folder on my home screen anymore. All I have to do is tap and hold and then tap Delete Folder, and then it’s gonna give me this warning. “The apps in the folder will still be available on the apps screen,” and then tap Delete. Now, the same basic principle works, whether it’s in the folder or a single application. See, I wanted to remove the camera. At the top right-hand corner, tap and hold, and then remove from the home screen.
You’ll also notice some applications have additional commands. So, for example, on the messages app, if I tap and hold, I can actually quickly create a new message directly from that app icon instead of removing it from the home screen. So, that’s really useful, so play around with some of the applications and see if they actually have these quick commands. Some of the Samsung ones that are built in, like the phone or the camera or the messages, those will have commands by default. Other applications that you download from the Google Play store will need to support those commands, but it is something that is available, and you might want to just play around with a few applications and see if it’s available for the ones that you like.
Now, a couple more features of the actual home screen customization is if we tap and hold, we can actually choose to align all of our app icons either to the top or bottom of the screen. So, tap on the top, and it’s gonna align all the applications to the top left-hand corner. Tap on the bottom, and it’s gonna align all the app icons to the bottom right-hand corner.
We can even make a home screen our default home screen by tapping on the house icon. Notice it now highlights this home screen with a white square, and then the little house icon at the top is also lit in white. So now, if I actually swipe over to any one of my home screens, tap the home button, it’s gonna treat that other home screen as my new default one. I can always change that back whenever I want to just by tapping on the home icon, and then it highlights that actual home screen with the white outline.
So, the last option we have here is actually disabling the Bixby home screen. So, if I tap on the home screen and swipe over to the left, notice that Bixby home opens up, and if you don’t want that happening, you can quickly disable it. All you have to do is tap and hold in an empty area, swipe over to Bixby, tap on the toggle button on the top right-hand corner of the Bixby panel and then come back out to your home screen and notice I can no longer swipe over to Bixby. Now, this doesn’t fully disable Bixby. You still have access to Bixby if you have the Bixby button or any of the Bixby voice commands or even Bixby vision that’s in the camera. We do have a dedicated video on using Bixby, but if you wanted to quickly just disable it from being accessed on the home screen, that was how you do it.
So, that is how you customize your home screen on your Galaxy S9 and S9+. If you found this video useful, be sure and give it a thumbs up. For more videos like this, be sure and subscribe to StateofTech, and we’ll see you in the next one.