Samsung Galaxy S III Tip Collection [Updated with 20 must know tips!]

Posted on Aug 30 2012 - 4:54pm by Brian

The Galaxy S III like its predecessor the Galaxy S II, has been a blockbuster hit around the globe. Our Galaxy S II Tip Collection was such a hit, we decided that now would be a good time to do a follow up for Samsung’s latest superphone.

Like the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III runs Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, a custom skin which adds many useful features on top of the stock Android experience. The latest version of TouchWiz has many new tweaks, so even if you are familiar with the old TouchWiz, we think this guide will prove quite useful! Now let’s take a look at some tips and tricks all Galaxy S III owners should know.

1. Select which screen is your default homescreen
2. Change your lockscreen shortcut apps
3. Send files via NFC and WiFi direct
4. Customize your Galaxy S III notification LED behavior
5. Multitasking manager and how to clear RAM
6. Galaxy S III motion activated controls
7. Enable ‘Swipe’ typing without Swype’s official keyboard
8. In-call EQ settings
9. Display battery percentage in notification bar
10. Additional security for mobile hotspot
11. View your notifications while in a full screen app
12. Tip: Decrease the Galaxy S III’s home button activation lag/latency
13. Tip: Galaxy S III Menu Button Long Press for Search and Browser History/Bookmarks
14. Application: Get Samsung’s Galaxy S III wallpapers on any device
15. How To: Hide and remove bloatware applications from your Galaxy S III
16. How To: Change or add lock screen shortcuts on the Samsung Galaxy S III
17. How To: Create your own custom vibration notifications on your Samsung Galaxy S III
18. How To: Manually install flash on your Samsung Android Device
19. How To: Use the Samsung Galaxy S III’s S Beam and WiFi direct to transfer files
20. How To: Take Panoramic Photos with the Galaxy S III Camera

1. Select which screen is your default homescreen

Custom launchers have had this for ages and Samsung has finally incorporated this feature in to TouchWiz’s launcher. Simply hit the small ‘home’ icon in the top right of the screen you would like to select as the homescreen.  The screen that has been selected will have a blue ‘home’ icon and be set as your homescreen.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

2. Change your lockscreen shortcut apps

Samsung has adopted another great feature that has typically required a custom ROM or a paid widget, but now you can have app shortcuts on your lock screen!

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

To change your lockscreen shortcuts, hit Menu > Settings > Security > Lockscreen options, and then hit “set shortcuts on lock screen”

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks


Select one of the shortcuts to replace it, long press and drag to the trash can at the bottom in order to delete it.

3. Send files via WiFi with WiFi Direct or NFC

Samsung’s WiFi direct feature allows you to quickly and wirelessly transfer files over WiFi with compatible devices like the Galaxy S II. Go to Menu > Settings > More settings in Wireless and network > and turn on Wi-Fi direct and enable NFC.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

NFC: When you place your phone back-to-back with another NFC device, you can share what is on your screen by tapping it.

WiFi: One you turn on WiFi direct, select the “Set up peer-to-peer connectivity,” and pair your device with another WiFi direct device. Now you can quickly transfer files between the two devices.

4. Customize your Galaxy S III notification LED behavior

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

If you go to Menu > Settings > LED indicator > you can toggle when your LED lights up. Although there are only 3 default settings, you can fully customize your notification LED’s behavior with an app called Lightflow.

5. Multitasking manager and how to clear RAM

Quickly access the multitasking menu by long pressing the home button. From here you can quit apps by swiping them to the left or right, like in the standard ICS multitasking menu.

Galaxy S3 Trips & TricksGalaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

The classic Samsung Task manager is still intact as well. From here you can clear your memory, uninstall apps, and monitor your storage usage.

6. Galaxy S III motion activated controls

Samsung is always trying to make useful new features, and although they can be hit or miss, we appreciate the effort. Their latest advancement in motion based actions can be managed by going to Menu > Settings > Motion

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

Some of these may be familiar from the Galaxy S II’s motion controls, but in case you are new, here’s a description of each feature:

  • Direct call allows you to dial the number of the contact you are viewing by raising the phone to your ear. This feature also works when you are viewing a message thread with a single contact.
  • Smart Alert is a nifty feature that vibrates your phone when you have a notification and you pick up your phone from a flat surface. Now you won’t have to turn on the screen and navigate to an app to see a notification
  • Tap to top lets you double tap the top of a list to bring you to the top–simple and useful.
  • Tilt to zoom and Pan to move icon/browse images lets you look zoom an image or browse a gallery by moving your phone in the air

7. Enable ‘Swipe’ typing without Swype’s official keyboard

Unlike the previous Galaxy smartphones, the S3 doesn’t come with Swype’s keyboard pre-installed. Luckily Samsung has added their own swiping feature:

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

To activate this feature, go to Menu > Settings > Language and input > hit the cog icon next to ‘Samsung keyboard,’ and select “continuous input or T9 Trace (varies on location).

8. In-call EQ Settings

Samsung has gone as far as including EQ tweaks not only for media playback, but for in-call audio as well.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

To access this menu, open up the Dialer, hit Menu > Call settings and then ‘In-call EQ settings.’ You can also set the phone to ring louder while in your pocket with the ‘Increase volume in pocket’ option, to help you hear your phone when its speaker is muffled.

9. Display battery percentage on notification bar

It’s really hard to tell how much battery you have remaining using the standard battery icon, so I always used to use Battery Monitor widget to display battery percentage in my notification bar. Samsung has added this as a native feature on the Galaxy S III.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

All you have to do is hit Menu > Settings > Display, scroll down and select ‘Display battery percentage’

10. Additional security for Mobile Hotspot

In addition to the standard password protected mobile hotspot mode seen in most devices, Samsung has gone a step further in protecting your precious bandwidth by adding a device whitelist.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

With the whitelist activated, even if the person trying to connect has the PW, if they aren’t on the list, they won’t be able to connect.

11. View your notifications while in a full screen app

To activate this notification bar while using a full screen app, all you have to do it drag down on the top of the screen–it helps if you start from the bezel and drag downwards:

Once you do that, your notification bar will appear for a few seconds at which point you can drag it down and view your notifications!

Now drag down to view your notifications!

12. Tip: Decrease the Galaxy S III’s home button activation lag/latency

By default, double clicking the home button will automatically bring up S Voice. However, in order to recognize a double click, the Galaxy S III must add a few milliseconds of delay in order to recognize the second click–this results in a bit of lag before it will bring you back to the home screen. In order to remove this lag, all you have to do is disable launching S Voice with the double click action.

To disable S Voice via the home button, double click the home button and activate S Voice. Hit Menu > Settings > untick activation by double pressing home:

Now your home button actioon should be noticeably quicker:

To undo this, simply navigate to S Voice from your app menu and repeats steps 2-4. Check out our Galaxy S III Tip Collection for more helpful tricks!

13. Tip: Galaxy S III Menu Button Long Press for Search and Browser History/Bookmarks

Long pressing the menu button can also be used to bring up your browser history and bookmarks when using the Galaxy S III’s default browser.

14. Application: Get Samsung’s Galaxy S III wallpapers on any device

The Galaxy S III comes standard with 5 different wallpapers which I’ve conveniently named:

  • Dandelion
  • Water drop
  • Dew on leaf
  • Purple flower
  • Orange droplet

All these high res images can now be had complements ofkovdev via their app on Google’s Play Market, Galaxy SIII Wallpapers.

15. How To: Hide and remove bloatware applications from your Galaxy S III

Although you can’t technically uninstall them, you can hide any application from your app drawer by going to your app drawer and long pressing the app in question. Drag it into ‘app info’ in the lower part of your display:

Once you are in the App Info menu, select disable, and hit ‘OK’

Rinse and repeat for the rest of the apps you don’t plan on using in order to clean up your app drawer:

16. How To: Change or add lock screen shortcuts on the Samsung Galaxy S III

First–if you haven’t already–disable your lockscreen security, otherwise the ‘Lock screen options” will be greyed out. Go to Menu > Settings > Security

Then select Screen lock > enter your password > select Swipe/No security, and this will remove your screen lock

Now we can begin editing shortcuts. Select Lock screen options and select Shortcuts:

Now we can begin customizng the lockscreen shortcuts. You replace each one by tapping on it, or remove them completely by long pressing and dragging them to the trash can. Hit the “+” icon to re-add a shortcut.

To use your new shortcuts, simply select the shortcut and slide up–now your Galaxy S III will unlock and launch that application!

17. How To: Create your own custom vibration notifications on your Samsung Galaxy S III

1. Hit Menu > Settings > Scroll down and select Sound:

2. Select Device vibration > Create

3. Before you hit ‘Tap to create,’ thing of a memorable vibration pattern you can tap out. Once you tap, the Galaxy S III will start recording you vibration pattern. At the end of the recording, you can play it back or save it:

4. After you hit the save button, you will be prompted to enter a name for your pattern. After you hit OK your new vibration pattern will be set as your notification:

16. How To: Manually install flash on your Samsung Android Device

Disclaimer: We at CareAce take no responsibility for the results of the actions you are about to take. Keep in mind that you are about to install software that is not officially supported and could result in security and stability issues, particularly on Android 4.1 or newer.

Okay, now that we know what we are getting into, let’s make sure we have everything we need. Make sure you are running some version of Android 2.2-4.1. In the case of Jelly Bean, make sure you have a stock browser other than Chrome which doesn’t support flash.

1. Make sure you can sideload apps (more info about sideloading here). Go to Settings > Applications > and check “Unknown sources” for Android 2.2 or 2.3, and Settings > Security for Android 4.1

2.  Now we have to procure the .apk installation file of flash. Download the latest version here.

3. Move the .apk to your phone and install it

4. Now pop open your stock browser:

  • If you are on Android 3.0 or later, go to Menu > Settings > Advanced > Enable plug-ins
  • For Android 2.2 or 2.3, go to Menu > [more] Settings > Enable plug-ins

5. You should now have Flash working on your device!

19. How To: Use the Samsung Galaxy S III’s S Beam and WiFi direct to transfer files

You may have seen the Galaxy S III demonstrating its S Beam capabilities in their commercials, but are you curious how to actually go about emulating the results?

It looks pretty simple in the commercial–just tap and send right? Well there is a little prep work required for this process.

1. Go to Manu > Settings > More settings [Wireless and network]

2. Now we have to turn on S Beam and WiFi Direct. Make sure to tick the NFC box, switch on WiFi direct and then select S Beam and toggle that on as well. Now we are ready to get beamin’!

3. Now we can start S Beaming our friends. After you’ve applied steps 1 & 2 to each phone, simply touch them together back-to-back. Once S Beam activates, touch your screen to beam the image (or other content) to your friend’s Galaxy S III.

4. After you separate your phones, the content transfer will be completed over WiFi direct, and you will successfully have sent your image–just like in the commercials!

Now keep in mind your phone will prompt you to turn off WiFi direct after 5 minutes of activity (it is a sort of hotspot so it can drain battery life), so you can’t always send content with merely one touch. But this is a nice way to easily and most importantly, wirelessly, swap content between two Galaxy S IIIs.

20. How To: Take Panoramic Photos with the Galaxy S III Camera

To take a panoramic photo with your Galaxy S III, follow these simple steps:

1. Navigate to your camera, then hit the Cog icon > Shooting mode > Panorama:

2. Now aim 90 degrees right of where you want the center of your image, hit the shutter button and proceed to sweep to the left (or vice versa)

3. Your Galaxy S III will automatically frame your subsequent shots in a light blue outline so that you stay on track as you make the panoramic sweep.

4. Once you have done a full 180 degree sweep, the Galaxy S III will compose a panorama from the images you just captured:

The end result should look something like this:

Remember, you can take vertical pictures as well:

Stay tuned for more tips as we keep updating this post! Let us know if you have any comments or ideas below.

12 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. RioGrandeRebel December 2, 2014 at 2:49 pm -

    Hi there, I want to say thanks for the great breakdown of these tips for the S3. I have an SG4 but my friend who owns a S3 ran into a problem with deleting photos from her gallery. Through her icon on her phone the option to delete photos is not there she can select from delete all , select, share and the rest of the standard options but it is unable to delete selected photos when they are selected. There’s no garage can icon or extra option in the settings either. It is a little strange but I think if we have over looked some random setting to enable it it might explain it. I’m sure you may have a simple way to go about helping us. I would like to add that the specific items in her gallery are screen shots or something similar from a game application she was playing . I don’t know why games or applications seem to repeatedly capture these images except maybe it’s part of a way to monitor a users activities?
    Looking forward to your feedback on this and I will share these great tips and tricks with my friend.

  2. Ken September 11, 2014 at 12:15 am -

    how do I extend the length of your Galaxy S II ring duration before voicemail

  3. Joel Labonte September 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm -

    how do you delete camera sound when taking photo?

  4. Shannon V. June 19, 2013 at 11:04 am -

    Great tips….just one question…where are tips #17 & #18? The article jumps from #16 to #19.

  5. Di December 25, 2012 at 1:03 am -

    Great tips but what i really wanted to know was how you changed the shortcuts on the bottom of your home screen.. i wanted to change my internet shortcut to chrome..

    Thanks in adv..

  6. Jeff October 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm -

    I only wish I found this post a week ago. Thank you!

  7. Brian September 20, 2012 at 10:42 am -

    Hey Cliff thanks for the kind words! You’re quite welcome and I hope to provide even better tips in the future!

  8. Cliff September 19, 2012 at 2:52 am -

    Brian’s S3 Tip collection has got to be one of the best reference pieces that I’ve seen on the GS3.

    Most of the other user oriented reviews are so “ho-hum”, at best.

    Brian goes the extra mile; and I will subscribe to his postings; as you might consider doing for yourself, also.

    Thanks again, Brian.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.