Galaxy S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra: 7 Hidden Android Features and Settings to Know

Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra compared
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Samsung S22 and S22 Plus and S22 Ultra compared
These are the hidden settings and features you need to know about on the Galaxy S22.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Galaxy S22 series — including the S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra — is finally here, and while you’re bound to explore the more popular features, like the brand new S pen or the incredible zoom and low-light photography, there are always features and settings that are inevitably going to fall between the cracks.

It’s these hidden or buried features and settings that can completely change how you use your brand new Android smartphone, and the Galaxy S22 has a handful of them. In this story we’ll take a closer look at the features flying below the radar, such as the hidden widgets on your lock screen and Dolby Atmos immersive sound experience. Here’s what you need to know.

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Stop your screen from turning off when you’re looking at it

If you don’t touch your screen for a bit, depending on how long your screen timeout is (default is 30 seconds), it usually turns off pretty quickly to help conserve battery. That’s great and all, but maybe you’re reading something and not touching your phone, and your screen keeps falling asleep. Fortunately, there’s a way prevent your Galaxy S22 screen from turning off whenever you’re looking at it.

In the Settings application, go to Advanced features > Motions and gestures and toggle on Keep screen on while viewing. From then on, the screen will continue to stay on as long as the front camera can detect your face and your eyes looking at it.

Stop your screen from automatically turning off when you’re reading.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Turn on Dolby Atmos for cinematic surround sound

Your Galaxy S22 features Dolby Atmos, which gives your smartphone high-quality surround sound, whether you’re watching a movie or simply listening to your favorite artist on Spotify. However, this sound setting isn’t enabled by default, so you’ll have to turn it on manually.

To enable Dolby Atmos, go to Settings > Sound quality and effects and then toggle on Dolby Atmos. By default, Dolby Atmos will then turn on automatically for whatever you’re listening to, but if you tap on Auto, you can configure that so that Dolby Atmos only turns on when you’re watching a movie, listening to music or talking on the phone. Also, if it’s not already on, enable Dolby Atmos for gaming to get surround sound when you game on your phone.

Get surround sound for when you watch movies or listen to music on your phone.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Automatically enable power saving feature to help save battery

Depending on how much you use your Galaxy S22, your battery might be close to dead as early as midday. It happens, especially when you’re watching videos on YouTube or constantly scrolling through Instagram. However, if you don’t have your charger handy, there are some ways to help save battery life — like automatically enabling your phone’s adaptive power saving feature.

You can turn on the automatic power saving feature in Settings > Battery and device care. In the Device care page, tap the three-dot menu button in the top-right and then tap Automation in the menu that appears. Toggle on Adaptive power saving and your S22 will go into power saving made automatically depending on your usage patterns. The power saving mode feature may stop background refresh or turn on the AOD (Always On Display); this may vary.

Help conserve your smartphone’s battery with this automation.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

View and remove/add hidden widgets on lock screen

Notifications usually live on your lock screen, but on the Galaxy S22 you also have the option to add widgets — they’re just sort of hidden. If you want to view your existing lock screen widgets, simply tap on the time at the top of the screen. The default widgets which should appear include Music, Next alarm and Bixby Routines.

To remove or add widgets to your lock screen, tap Settings at the bottom of the lock screen when the widgets are in view. Now you can untoggle any widgets you want to get rid of and toggle on any widgets you want to add to your lock screen. To rearrange the widgets, tap on Reorder and then tap on the arrows to move the widgets around, top to bottom.

Tap on the time to view your widgets.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Stop Bixby from accidentally opening whenever you hold the side button

Bixby, Samsung’s personal voice assistant, allows you to run any number of commands with just your voice. Speak and you can play an album from Spotify, text your friend or find photos from a vacation you took last year. By default, the side button on the Galaxy S22 wakes up Bixby, but if you don’t use the voice assistant, that might be kind of annoying because it’s easy enough to accidentally trigger.

If you don’t want to bring up Bixby anytime you press down on the side button, go to Settings > Advanced features > Side key. From there, you can choose to instead to open the power off menu (power off, restart and emergency mode) when you press and hold down on the side button. You can also change what happens when you double-press the side key, or disable that feature altogether.

If you don’t use Bixby, you can prevent it from opening when you hit the side key.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Use the S Pen to quickly translate text (instead of just drawing)

The S Pen, which is new to the Galaxy S series, isn’t just for drawing or writing. If you pull out the stylus from your Galaxy S22 Ultra, you can press down on the pen’s button to bring up the Air Command menu and choose from several actions: create a note, send a live message, draw an AR Doodle and more.

One of the best S pen features is the ability to translate text by hovering your pen over a word. To translate text with your S Pen, choose the Translate option from the Air Command menu, select which language you would like to translate from and to and then simply hover the pen over the word you want to translate, without touching the screen. After a second of loading, a Google Translate window will appear, with the word in blue and the translation in black. You can also tap on the copy button to save the translation to your clipboard.

You can use your S Pen to do more than just write and draw.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Hide an app without having to permanently delete it

Although you probably use most of the applications on your Galaxy S22, there might be instances where you use an app once and then don’t need it. You could delete it permanently from your device, but if you think you’ll need it again, you can always just hide the application.

To hide an app, long-press on the home screen and tap Home Screen Settings and then on Hide Apps. This will bring up a menu showing you all the apps downloaded to your phone. Select the app or apps you want to hide. The applications should then disappear from your home screen, as well as your apps folder and settings. If you want to bring the app back, just perform the same actions as above, but this time uncheck the apps from the Hide Apps section.

Instead of deleting an app, you can just hide it.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

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