Galaxy Note 10 tips: 10 things to do first

Samsung’s phones always have a lot of features hidden in their labyrinthine menus, but the Note series is particularly jam-packed. Along with the usual Samsung One UI features, the 10 and 10+ also have S Pen capabilities and all the features those entail. The new Notes aren’t cheap phones, so you’ll want to actually use all those features. Here are the 10 things you ought to do first.

Choose your navigation buttons

Samsung still defaults to the standard button navigation system, but you can make some changes. There’s even a gesture option that’s easier to adjust to than the systems used by some other device makers. Just head to Settings > Display > Navigation bar.

In that menu, you can change the order of the buttons to the standard arrangement used on non-Samsung phones (back, home, overview) and turn on gestures. With gesture nav, you just swipe up where the buttons would be to trigger actions. There are optional “hints” to show a line for each swipe target, but they take up space on the screen.

nav buttons Samsung

Customize the Edge Screen

Samsung’s Edge Screen is an always-available menu of apps and tools that you can open with a swipe. However, it’s not very useful if it doesn’t have the apps and tools you need. You can customize what shows up in Edge Screen under Settings > Display > Edge Screen.

The menu is organized by panels like apps, contacts, and so on. You can reorganize all the panels and edit the contents of some of them (for example, Apps, seen below). The Edge Panels menu also includes an option to change the size, appearance, and location of the swipe handle. If you find that you never use Edge Screen, you can also just shut it off.

edge screen Samsung

Customize the Air Command popup

The S Pen works as a stylus as soon as you remove it from the phone, but the Air Command popup can give you quick access to stylus-specific features. This small floating icon has customization settings in Settings > Advanced features > S Pen.

Under the Air Command heading, you can change which app shortcuts appear. If you don’t like Air Command, you can remove the floating icon altogether. Also note the “Removal” heading. There, you can have Air Command open automatically when you take out the S Pen. That could be a good alternative to the persistent icon.

air command Samsung

Customize Air Actions

Samsung adds at least one new S Pen trick every year, and this time it’s “Air Actions.” The pen’s new accelerometer detects gestures like swiping and drawing circles. You can change what these gestures do in various apps under Settings > Advanced features > S Pen > Air Actions.