The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 can be mastered with these tips, tricks and hacks
The Galaxy Note 2 is one of our favorite phones around, as we absolutely loved it in our review.
1. Take a screen shot: The Galaxy Note 2 lets you take screen shots with a simple command. By holding down the power button and the home button for about two seconds, you'll take a screen shot. This isnt the only way to take a screen shot but we'll cover that in the S Pen section.
2. Install apps from a computer: A really cool feature of Android is that you can browse the web and push apps directly to your phone. Simply register your Galaxy Note 2 with your Google account and when you click Install, you'll have the option to send to your device.
3. Install apps from a non-Play stores: While the Google Play Store is great, Android allows you to go to a variety of third-party app stores for new programs. Amazon and GetJar are two great app stores that you can't download programs from with the default settings. Go into Settings, tap "Security" and then check the box which lets you install from "Unknown sources." Be warned that this can open you up to some potential vulnerabilities, so be careful where you download from.
4. Put app on home screen: While we're on apps, once you've downloaded an app, you can easily throw it on your home screen. From the app tray, just long press on the app for about two seconds and you can then drag it to your home screen.
5. Delete an app: Not all apps work out, so if you want to delete one just open up your app tray. Long press the app like you're going to put it on your home screen but then drag it to the "app info" section and then click on Uninstall.
6. Set a data limit: With AT&T and Verizon implementing shared data plans, users may want to set a strick data limit on their Galaxy Note 2. This is quite easy to do: go into Settings, tap "Data usage" and then click on the box which says "Set mobile data limit." You can slide the bar up and down to set your limit.
7. Smart Stay: A truly cool feature of the Galaxy Note 2 is the Smart Stay feature: this uses the front-facing camera to track your eyes to make sure the screen doesn't turn off if you're reading. To activate this, go into Settings, scroll down to "Display" and then tap it. Go to the menu called "Features" and then click on the Smart Stay check box.
8. Easy mode: Android offers a ton of flexibility to customize your home screens but if you don't want to bother with the fuss, Samsung has included an "Easy mode" which will set up your screens with widgets, frequently-used apps and more. You can set this up when you first turn on the phone or find it through the Settings.
9. Smart rotation: Another nifty bit of software on the Galaxy Note 2 is a way to make sure the screen display direction adjusts to your angle of sight. This is called Smart rotation and you activate this by going into "Settings," tap on "Display," tap on "Features" and then hit the "Smart rotation check box.
10. Use S Voice: The Galaxy Note 2 has its own version of Siri called S Voice and this lets you use your voice to make calls, send texts, set alarms, launch apps and even disable WiFi. It doesn't work perfectly but to activate this, just double tap the Home button and give your voice command.
S Pen tips
11. Pop-up note: If you plan to use the S Pen a lot to take hand-written note, then you can set up the phone to automatically use the Pop-up Note app whenever you take the S Pen out. You can enable this by going to Settings, then going to "S Pen Settings."
12. Screen shot with S Pen: You can take a screen shot with the above method but the S Pen can also help you take a screen grab. To take a screen shot with the S Pen, you can hold it against the screen for about two seconds. You can also trace sections of the screen if you only want to take a partial screen shot.
13. Quick Command: A great little feature of the S Pen is the ability to use the Quick Command function to use the stylus to open up new apps. Once this is turned on in the "S Pen Settings," holding the S Pen button and swiping upward will open up a command dialogue box. There are preset gestures to do things like turn on WiFi or you can even create your own.
14. Missing S Pen: If you're worried about losing your S Pen, you'll be happy to know that Samsung has put in some nice software to try and minimize the chances of that happening. In the Settings menu, you can set up the phone to vibrate every time you're more than 10 feet away from the stylus. It doesn't guarantee that you won't lose it but it's some nice insurance against that.
15. Air View: The S Pen isn't just for touching the screen, as you can hover the stylus over the top of the screen and it will trigger actions like showing a calendar, previews of emails and more.
16. Scribble personalized email signature: Want to make your email stand out with a hand-written signature? Well, the S Pen will let you do with within the native Android email app. When you're done composing your email, click on the S Pen bun and then draw within the body of that message.
17. Write on your photos: Your S Pen can let you annotate pictures and this is done by opening pictures, holding the button on the stylus and writing away. You can even write notes on the "back" of photos by opening a photo, hitting Menu and then choosing the "Draw on Image" option. These notes will be saved in your Gallery and you'll be able to see which pictures have note thanks to an icon on the corners.
18. Boost battery life: Even though the Galaxy Note 2 has a massive battery, you can always get more out of it with a few tips. Turn your screen brightness down if you can stand it and having the Smart Stay option on will mean you won't have to worry about your phone turning off when you're reading stuff.
19. Boost battery life, again: If you're willing to fiddle with your Galaxy Note 2 often, then you can really extend your battery life by switching off your WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS when you're not using them. Additionally, if you set your email to sync manually, that can give you a bit more juice.
20. Boost battery life, once again: The last tip I'll give on battery life on the Galaxy Note 2 is that it comes with a removeable battery, so take advantage of it if you're going to be in a situation where charging options will be few and far between. An extra battery can cost as little as $30 and it could pay for itself if it helps you stay connected in a tight situation.
21. One-handed keyboard: The Galaxy Note 2 is quite a large phone and that big keyboard can be nice for typing but it's still tough to handle with one hand. Thankfully, Samsung has installed a mode for one-handed operation and this will push the keyboard to the right or left side of the screen, depending on your preferences. You can turn this on by going to Settings, tap on Language input and then on keyboard.
22. Set up a passcode lock screen: The Galaxy Note 2 can be more secure with a passcode set on the lock screen and it's simple to set up. Go into Settings, scroll down to Lockscreen, select "Screen lock," then PIN and then enter in your four-digit passcode or alphanumeric password. Retype your password for confirmation and then you're all set.
23. Customize the lock screen: Once your lock screen has a passcode, don't forget that you can customize it with thnkgs like information tickers, clocks, widgets and shortcuts. To do this, go into Settings, tap on "Security," click on "Lock screen options" and then you can set up your lock screen however you desire.
24. Use Motion controls: The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 has multiple ways you can interact with it and one of these is called Motion controls. This can let you do things like zooming in by holding two points on the phone and then tilting back and forth. These Motion control options will pop up when applicable and hitting "Enable motion" will let you use them. If you don't want them be sure to check the "Do not show again" box.
25. Encrypt device, SD card: You can never be too safe with the data on your Galaxy Note 2, so think about encrypting your device and your SD card. To do this, go to Settings, tap on Security and then hit Encrypt SD card or Encrypt device. The on-screen settings from there will take you the rest of the way.
26. Automatically upload your photos: I'm a big believer of backing up your files as often as possible and there are multiple ways to have your pictures autmatically upload. You can use the Google+, Facebook or Dropbox apps to automatically upload your pictures to a private folder online and all of these are free. Be sure to set your app to only automatically upload over WiFi so that you won't waste your mobile data on this.
27. Share Shot for sharing pics: Another neat Samsung-specific software is called Share Shot and this lets you share your pictures with others nearby in real time. In the Camera app, click on the shooting mode button and then check Share Shot. Other Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 users can get the same shots as you as long as they're within about 100 meters.
28. Group Cast: The Galaxy Note 2 can use the Group Cast feature to let a group of people interact with a single device at the same time. To enable this, make sure users are on the same WiFi network, open an image, tap on the Share button and then tap on Group Cast. This feature is compatible with the Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S3 units.
29. Turn on Panorama or HDR: We like how the Galaxy Note 2 shoots as is but you can get a bit more out of the camera with HDR mode or with Panorama. To enable these, open the camera app and then tap on the Shooting mode button. Along with HDR and Panorama, this allows you to access things like Buddy photo share, Smile shot and more.