The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is full of features that most users will overlook or never go deep enough into the settings to figure out. After exploring the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 settings and looking for the best way to use the Galaxy Note 3 we discovered a collection of hidden Samsung Galaxy Note 3 features that unlock the full potential of this device. In addition to those hard to find items, we have a number of Galaxy Note 3 tips and tricks to help users get more out of this device.
Wether this is your first Galaxy Note or you third, Samsung is well-known for hiding features deep within settings and including small extras into the more well-known features like multitasking and the S Pen. We’ll show you how to add additional storage to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, on top of a Micro SD card, how to supercharge the keyboard, what you need to know for a better multitasking experience and much, much more.
Most of these hidden Galaxy Note 3 features don’t require any extra accessories, so you’ll just need to tap through settings and learn the tips and tricks to using the Galaxy Note 3. These hidden Galaxy Note 3 features are not locked behind a special pass code and don’t require a user to root the Galaxy Note 3, they are just hard for the average user to find on their own.
It doesn’t matter if you are using the Galaxy Note 3 on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint or U.S. Cellular, as these special Galaxy Note 3 features should work on every model. We could see some tweaks and changes come as Samsung offers up staggered Android updates in the future, but for now users should experience the same access.
Here are 25 hard to find and hidden Galaxy Note 3 features that the Gotta Be Mobile team discovered while using the Note 3.
Use the Galaxy Note 3 One Handed
The Galaxy Note 3 is a large smartphone that is challenging to use with one hand, but there are settings to change which will help you use the large device one-handed. Specifically these changes can make unlocking the Note 3, typing on the Note 3 and making calls. There is also an option to use one-handed mode for all screens with a swipe in from the side. this will shrink the display to about the size of the iPhone 5s’ display.
To set up the Galaxy Note 3 for one-handed use, go to Settings -> Control Tab -> One-handed operation -> Check the options you want. The Use for all screens option is a bit much for everyday use, but there are times when you are in a hurry and can’t stop to use two hands to type out a message or check something. The most used one-handed operation tweak for Gotta Be Mobile team members is the Keyboard toggle, which pushes the keyboard to the right or left of the screen. Here’s a full how to on using the one handed keyboard on the Galaxy Note 3.
To use the small screen mode on the Galaxy Note 3 swipe in and back out from the right side of the screen while in an app. This will shrink the screen so you can use it easier with one hand. This allows you to move and resize the window to fit your hand.
Control S Voice Even when the Screen is Off
Always on voice control is a major feature of new smartphones and Samsung includes it on the Samsung Galaxy note 3 if you know where to look. Once this mode is turned on, you can say “Hi Galaxy” to start S Voice, even if the phone is alseep. Previous versions would require the user to touch the phone to turn on the display before using S Voice.
With the new S Voice for Galaxy note 3, users just need to say, “Hi Galaxy” and then tell the phone what to do. Options including making calls, performing local searches, looking up information, sending text messages and opening apps. Users can play music, but unlike the Always listening Google Now on some Android devices S Voice only controls the built-in Music player app, so no using Google Play All Access or Spotify.
Tap on S Voice in apps -> Tap the Menu button -> Tap on Settings -> Scroll down and check Voice Wakeup to turn this feature on. Once this is on, simply say “Hi Galaxy” to use S Voice.
Use the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with Gloves
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 works with gloves on your hands, as long as you turn the setting on. This is perfect for contractors and outdoor sports enthusiasts who want to use the phone without taking gloves off. It’s also a handy feature for anyone who experiences a harsh winter.
Go to Settings -> Control tab -> Scroll to the bottom -> Check Increase touch sensitivity.
Once this is turned on you will be able to use the Galaxy Note 3 with gloves on. In our experience it works best with thinner gloves, as some heavy winter gloves will not work.
See All Notification Toggles with a Two Finger Pull
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 puts settings toggles in the Notification drawer so users can quickly turn settings or and off and so they can quickly jump to a specific setting. Most users are probably opening the notifications and tapping in the upper right to see all the toggles or scrolling side to side, but there is an easier way.
Pull down with two fingers on the notification drawer to show all of the settings toggles instead of your pending notifications. On this screen you can also hit the small pencil icon in the upper right to remove and rearrange the settings toggles to put the ones you use most at the top.
Also to quickly go into one of the settings, you can tap and hold on the setting. This opens up that specific setting page, for faster access.
Use Two Apps at the Same Time
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with a Multi Window mode that many users call multitasking. This allows users to use two apps on-screen at the same time. In this new version of Multi-Window mode, the Note 3 can even put the same app on-screen twice to simplify talking in two Google Hangout windows. The video below describes how to setup and use Multi Window mode on the Galaxy Note 3.
The video above explains how to use Multi-Window Mode on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, how to use Pen Mode for a smaller window on top of other apps and how to use two of the same app in Multi Window Mode.
You’ll need to turn some of these settings on by going to Settings -> Device -> Multi window -> On. The Pen Window mode and ability to use two of the same app at once are already on once this is checked.
Make the Galaxy Note 3 Easier to Use with Basic Mode
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 can be daunting to the first time smartphone user, or even to an iPhone switcher. If you don’t want to see all the options and settings, and instead just want an easy to use phone with a big screen and a S Pen, turn on Easy Mode.
Go to Settings -> Device tab -> Easy mode -> On. This will simplify using the Note 3 including the settings menu and access to commonly used apps. To turn it off, go to Easy Settings -> More Settings -> Easy Mode – Off.
Customize Sound & Display
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with the option to turn on adaptive sound and an adaptive display. These options will change the display and sound to meet your environment or your ears respectively.
With Adapt display on, the Note 3 will automatically change the color range, saturation and sharpness for apps like Camera, Gallery, Google Play Books and several other apps to deliver a better overall look. Turn this on in Settings ->Device -> Display -> Screen Mode – Adapt Display. Alternately if you don’t like it, select one mode to use.
After setting that up, go to Settings ->Device -> Sound -> Adapt Sound -> Start. This will walk you through what sounds and feels like an ear test, that will help the Note 3 deliver the best sound for you during calls and while playing music. You will need headphones for this to work.
Use Flash as Call Alert
If you need to make sure that you know when someone is calling the Galaxy Note 3, you can use the camera flash as an alert. This is a popular accessibility feature on the iPhone, and now Samsung owners can use it as well.
Go to Settings -> Device tab -> Accessibility -> Scroll down to Flash Notification and check the box to the right. This will deliver a very bright alert for notifications. Turning the device over will turn it off for that notification.
Do Not Disturb for Galaxy Note 3 (Blocking Mode)
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with Blocking Mode which is basically a Do Not Disturb mode for the device. Users can manually turn this on when heading into a meeting or trying to take an afternoon nap, or set a schedule to turn it on every night.
The easiest way to turn it on manually is to tap on it in the notification tray. Hold on it to open the settings where you can set an automatic start and stop time for Blocking mode. While in blocking mode you can allow calls from favorites as well as those who call repeatedly, so users can get through in an emergency.
Control the Galaxy Note 3 with Your Voice
In addition to using S Voice when the screen is off and the Note 3 is asleep there are a variety of other ways you can control the Galaxy Note 3 with your voice. Go to Settings -> Controls tab -> Voice Control. Turn this on and put checkmarks next to the parts you want to control by voice. Here’s a quick rundown of what you can control.
- Answer or Decline Calls
- Snooze or turn off an alarm
- Take a photo by saying Capture, Shoot, Smile or Cheese
- Pause, play and skip tracks in the Music app.
This will not work when the phone is on vibrate only, for taking calls. When using Voice to answer a call the Note 3 will automatically go on speaker mode. Just be careful with the ability to snooze alarms without moving.
Use the Galaxy Note 3 Hands Free in Your Car
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with an easier to use hands free mode that makes it possible to use the Galaxy Note 3 easier while driving. With Hands Free Mode turned on the device reads out calls, messages, alarms and scheduled events and allows users to answer a call with Air Wave.
Turn this on by going to Settings -> Controls tab -> Hands-free mode and turning it on. You can pick and choose the options you want to be on inside this next menu. While active S Voice is more focused for a driver and can connect to a car from inside the S Voice settings.
Never Lose Your S Pen
The S Pen attaches inside the Note 3 so it’s not easy to lose, but spend any amount of time with the device and you’ll misplace it at least once on a desk or at a table. Samsung includes a small utility that warns you if you walk away without the S Pen in the included silo.
Go to Settings -> Controls tab -> S Pen -> S Pen keeper -> check this box. When this is on the Note 3 will sound an alert and pop up a notification to check for the S Pen if you walk away with the screen off and the S Pen not attached.
Quick Look at Notifications
The Moto X comes with Active Display to let you see notifications without unlocking the device, and Samsung offers something similar with Quick Glance. You can’t see the notification text like on the Moto X, but you can at least quickly see the notifications you missed.
Go to Settings -> Controls tab -> Air Gesture -> Quick glance -> On. Once this is on simply swipe your hand overtop the Note 3 when the screen is off to see notifications you missed. Check it out in action on the video above.
Use Air View for Faster Access to Info
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 includes Air View which lets you use the S Pen or a finger to hover over details in select apps to see more without actually tapping on it or going further into a message or gallery. Go to Settings -> Controls tab -> Air View -> On. From here you can select certain actions that it will work with.
It’s a good idea to choose Auto for the mode if you want to mix the S Pen and your finger, or you can pick which it will work with. When it is turned on you can see previews of messages, galleries and more without tapping.
Smart Vibrations to Never Miss Alerts
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 lets users turn on a smart vibration feature that will make the phone vibrate quickly when you pick it up if you missed a notification while it was sitting on a table. This is especially handy for users who keep the Note 3 on silent or vibrate and set it on a table.
Go to Settings -> Control tab -> Motions -> Smart Alert -> On. Of course if you don’t like the short vibration when you pick up your Note 3, this is where you can turn it off.
Smart Stay to Keep the Screen On
If you are sick of the Note 3 display going blank when you are using it make sure to turn on Smart Stay, a feature that can detect your eyes using sensors on the front of the device. With this setting on the Note 3 will keep the display active.
Go to Settings -> Controls tab -> Smart screen -> Smart Stay -> On. You can also turn on Smart Pause and Smart rotation, though they are not as useful since they only work in specific cases or in specific apps.
Search All Settings
As you may know by now the Galaxy Note 3 comes with a lot of settings and options. Even the settings have settings on the Note 3. This can make it hard to find a specific item, but Samsung includes a handy search feature that solves this issue.
On any of the Settings screens tap on the search field and enter the information you want to change a setting for to see the settings options and even toggle the setting right from the search results.
Add or Remove Pages on Home Screen
Samsung allows users to customize the Galaxy Note 3 home screen by adding and removing pages, but it’s not the most intuitive thing to find. To get started, go to a home screen and then tap on the Menu button.
When the list of pages comes up, you can add or delete a page. This is also where you can re-arrange pages and set a new home page. This home page is where the home button takes you to when pressed.
Search the Galaxy Note 3
If you want to find something you have stored on the Galaxy Note 3 you will want to keep these two tricks in mind. a long press on the menu button will open a search option that lets users search by typing or talking. The search app can filter by time, by type and can even search handwriting and personalized tags.
Removing the S Pen and tapping on the small search icon in the pop up list of commands will also open the search. Searches look on your phone, including calendar, contacts and Evernote as well as offering the options to search the web.
Quick Note on Lock Screen
The S Pen is incredibly handy for taking notes, and sometimes you need to be able to write a fast command without unlocking the Galaxy Note 3. Go to Settings -> Device tab -> Lock screen -> scroll down and check the box next to Action Memo on lock screen.
When the Note 3 is locked, remove the S Pen and double tap on the lock screen while holding the button in. This will launch an Action Memo window. With this window you can take a fast note that when saved are searchable in the S Finder.
Fast Access to Google Now
Samsung includes Google Now, the personal assistant from Google on the Note 3 but it is hidden in hopes you will use S Voice instead. While S Voice is a nice feature, Google Now is more flexible and a better option for many users. The Google Now button is tucked away inside of multitasking, but it’s still pretty quick to get to.
Press and hold the home button. On this next screen tap on the small Google icon right above the home button. This will open Google Now. From here you can say, “Google” and then what you want to know.
Master the Galaxy Note 3 Camera
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 camera is a very capable device that can record 4k video files for the ultimate HD experience as well as deliver great looking photos in a variety of modes.
- Burst Mode – Tap and hold the shutter button to quickly take 20 photos with one press.
- Best Photo & Best Face – Pick these options from the Mode button to take a series of photos that can pick the best overall or the best face for each user in a photo.
- Filters & Effects – Pull the small arrow on the left side of the screen in to apply filters and effects like fisheye without the need for any special accessories.
- Slow Motion and Fast Motion – Tap on the Gear icon on the right side and then on the camera icon to pick between slow motion or fast motion.
- Dual Shot – Tap on the small camera and back of camera icon to use both cameras at once. This will put your face in the photo for a family photo to put yourself in a vacation photo.
Explore the other Camera modes for more hidden features like erasing unwanted people from a photo, adding motion to a photo and much more.
Use a USB Drive with the Galaxy Note 3
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes with a Micro SD card slot that is great for photos, but if you want to store a lot of movies or other files for access on the Note 3 a USB drive may be a better option. With an inexpensive Micro USB OTG cable you can make this happen.
Buy a USB OTG cable on Amazon or your preferred retailer and plug it in like you would a Micro USB charging cable. Next plug a USB drive into the other end of the cable. This should open a file browser that ships with the Note 3. Tap on files or movies to play them right from the drive.
Use a Handwriting Keyboard Anytime you have the S Pen Out
The S Pen is a nice Galaxy Note 3 accessory that users can use to handwrite instead of tapping on the keyboard. Users who prefer to write their messages out can make the keyboard automatically switch to handwriting if the S Pen is out.
To do this, open the keyboard by tapping in a text field. Tap on the setting icon to open up keyboard settings or tap and hold on the voice typing icon to open settings. In the settings app scroll down and tap on Pen detection to automatically use the pen for handwriting when the S Pen is out.
Treat your eyes better with Reading Mode
The Note 3 comes with a Reading Mode that tweaks the screen to deliver a better look for your eyes. This delivers a slightly different tone to the screen which makes it easier to read for long periods.
Unlike most of the special apps that Samsung includes, users can add their favorite apps to the reading mode. Favorites include Google Play Books, Amazon Kindle App and Reddit is Fun. Give this a try to see if you like it for longer reading and browsing sessions.
Pull down the notification panel with two fingers and long press on the Reading Mode icon. On this screen tap the pencil in the upper right to edit the apps it works on. Add Kindle or any other apps you want to use it with. To activate it tap on the icon. Then Reading Mode is on and you go into one of these apps the screen tone will automatically change and change back when you exit the app.