10 Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts for Your Galaxy Tab S

By Dan Gookin

Your Galaxy tablet is capable of all kinds of neat tricks. You probably already have a couple of your own tricks, but just in case, this list of items is definitely worthy of note.

Make some multi window magic

The Multi Window feature allows you to view two apps side-by-side on the touchscreen. The quick way to turn on this feature is to pull down the notifications shade and choose the Multi Window Quick Setting.

The Multi Window card appears on the side of the screen. To summon it, swipe right-to-left, starting at the far right edge of the screen.

The Multi Window card and controls.
The Multi Window card and controls.

After a while, the Multi Window card goes away. Before it does, tap a launcher icon to start an app. The app takes over the screen. For the magical part, summon the Multi Window card again and start a second app. Both apps share the screen.

Multi Window in action.
Multi Window in action.

Tap the Control Button Thing to view some additional controls. Use the icons to swap the windows, close windows, and copy text or a screen shot between windows.

Multi Window controls.
Multi Window controls.

Snooze through Blocking mode

Blocking mode allows you to set a time of day when notifications and alarms can be disabled or silenced.

To access Blocking mode, obey these directions:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Device tab and choose Blocking Mode from the left side of the screen.

  3. Slide the Master Control to the on position.

  4. Set the start and ending time for Blocking mode.

Stay private with Private mode

Private mode allows you to conceal information in four apps: Gallery, Video, Music, and My Files.

To activate Private mode, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Device tab.

  3. Slide the Master Control by Private Mode to the on position.

    This option isn’t available on the Tab 4.

  4. Enter a PIN.

    This is a different PIN than the Lock screen PIN.

Access apps anywhere with the Toolbox

The Toolbox feature lets you quickly access your favorite apps from a floating button that appears on every screen.

The Toolbox in action.
The Toolbox in action.

To activate the Toolbox, heed these directions:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Device tab.

  3. Slide the Master Control by Toolbox to the on position.

Avoid display timeouts with Smart Stay

Please don’t be frightened, but your Galaxy Tab knows when you’re looking at it provided that you activate Smart Stay by opening the Settings app.

If you have a Tab S, tap the Device tab and then choose Display from the left side of the Screen. On the right side, place a check mark in the box by Smart Stay.

On the Tab 4, tap the Controls tab and then choose Smart Stay on the left side of the screen. On the right side, place a check mark in the box by Smart Stay.

For the Smart Stay feature to work, you must look at the screen. When your eyeballs are detected, a Smart Stay status icon appears.

Watch the tablet dream

Does your tab dream? Of course it does! You can even see the dreams, provided you activated the Daydream feature. Heed these steps:

  1. Start the Settings app.

  2. Tap the Device tab, and then choose Display from the left side of the screen.

  3. On the right side of the screen, slide the Master Control by Daydream to the on position.

    The Daydream feature is activated. Now you choose a daydream type.

  4. Tap the Daydream item to view the various types of daydreams available.

    Some daydream items feature a Settings icon, which can be used to customize the daydream.

Add spice to dictation

You can lift the vocal censorship ban on dictation by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Tap the General tab, and then select Language and Input on the left side of the screen.

    On the Tab 4, tap the Controls tab, where you’ll find the Language and Input item.

  3. On the right side of the screen, tap the Settings icon next to Google Voice Typing.

  4. Slide the Master Control by the option Block Offensive Words to the off position.

    On the Tab 4, uncheck the box.

Use the Galactic TV remote

Your Galaxy Tab features an infrared port, called the IR Blaster. It really has only one purpose: to transform your tablet into a large TV remote control. To make that transformation, you use the WatchON app.

To get the most from WatchON, you need to have an Internet-ready TV. That TV must be on the same Wi-Fi network as the Tab.

Use the Task Manager

Summon the Task Manager by pressing the Recent button. Tap the Task Manager button. You see a list of running or active apps.

  • To switch to an active app, tap its item in the list.

  • To kill off an active app, tap the End button.

  • To kill off all running apps, tap the End All button.

  • You can kill active apps also by swiping them off the Recent apps list, so that aspect of the Task Manager isn’t unique. The End All button, however, is unique to the Task Manager.

Check your data usage

To visit the Data Usage screen, open the Settings app, tap the Connections tab, and choose Data Usage. You see a graph charting data usage over time. LTE Tabs also feature red and orange limit bars, which you can adjust to set warnings when your mobile data usage gets close.

To review network access for a specific app, select it from the list. You’ll see an overlay of the app’s data usage, as well as a delicious pie chart. If you notice that the app is using more data than it should, tap the View App Settings button. You may be able to adjust some of the settings.