How to Disable Bloatware on the Galaxy S8

How to Disable Bloatware on the Galaxy S8 is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

In this guide we will explain how to get rid of bloatware on your Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+. What’s bloatware? It is the dozens of apps that come pre-installed by carriers and often waste space on our smartphones. Samsung is notorious for it, but they aren’t the only ones.

Most phones sold by carriers in the United States are filled with applications most owners will never use. Things like Lookout Security, Sprint’s NASCAR stuff, or even T-Mobile and Verizon apps. Who needs AT&T WiFi or an app dedicated to the Dictionary anyways?

Read: 16 Best Official Galaxy S8 Accessories

This is called “bloatware” or crapware — in the industry — and it cannot be removed. Well, not without rooting (Jailbreak for Android) your phone and doing a few hacks. That said, it can be completely hidden and disabled. Basically out of sight, out of mind. Here’s how to disable all the bloatware on your new Galaxy.

When you get the new Galaxy S8 you may notice upwards of 15 apps on it you didn’t install. And these are in addition to Samsung’s own apps. Look for apps like Hancom Office Editor, DirecTV, DT Ignite or a few from Amazon. These were all put there ahead of time by carriers, and sometimes they even add more with big software updates.

Luckily for us getting rid of bloatware is pretty easy. Well, disabling them so they’re no longer visible on the phone is easy. Actually uninstalling bloatware so it’s gone for good takes a little more work. Thankfully the Galaxy S8 now has 64GB of storage, so a few apps wasting space isn’t as big of a deal.

Still, if you want to get rid of all those pre-installed apps and bloatware, here’s how.

Instructions

All owners need to do is head into settings and find their list of applications. Then we’ll need to disable or uninstall everything one at a time. It isn’t ideal, but only takes a few minutes and you’ll never need to do it again.

The screenshot above is a visual guide on where to go and what settings menus are needed to disable bloatware. Follow that and our full instructions below.

  • Pull down the notification bar and hit the gear-shaped Settings button (or open the Settings app)
  • Navigate to and select Apps
  • Make sure the tab at the top is selected on All Apps
  • Find any app you’d like removed and Select it
  • Hit Disable, then Confirm to get rid of it (some will require updates be uninstalled first, then it can be disabled)
  • Repeat steps for any app you’d like to remove

One by one find the app and hit disable. Make sure to only disable things from carriers or if you know it won’t cause problems. Some may sound like bloatware, but are essential to the operation of the phone. I disabled everything from Amazon, AT&T, AT&T Data Usage Manager, Lookout Mobile Security, PDF Write and a few others. Twelve in total.

Other Details

These applications will longer work, and won’t be in the app tray wasting screen real-estate either. That said, they still take up a little of the internal storage. Because we didn’t actually delete any of them. Owners can also follow these same steps to Enable any app they need at a later date. 

We’re all done. Now all of the apps that came pre-installed on your Galaxy S8 are completely disabled and hidden. Once developers and hackers figure out how to root the Galaxy S8, we’ll update this guide with the steps required to fully uninstall everything. While you’re here, take a look at these awesome Galaxy S8+ cases.

How to Disable Bloatware on the Galaxy S8 is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

How to Add Left/Right Keyboard Cursors to the Nav Bar during Text Input

Customizing the navigation bar has been a staple of custom ROMs ever since Google introduced the Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (we don’t talk about the Motorola Xoom and Honeycomb around these parts). Although a few OEMs offer some kind of software key customization on their phones, it’s only with the first Android O Developer Preview that Google is officially including nav bar customization. However, users on our forums discovered that Google’s nav bar tuner was actually hidden in AOSP since Android Nougat, but it was only this week that we discovered that this hidden nav bar tuner could be accessed through shell commands without needing root, custom ROMs, or System UI mods. Is it now possible to implement popular custom ROM features like adding keyboard cursors to the nav bar?

You bet, as this revelation has opened the flood gates for rootless customization of the nav bar, and at the forefront is XDA Senior Member paphonb who developed an application called Custom Navigation Bar to help users modify the nav bar without having to run shell commands. His application is quite feature-filled; for instance, it provides a Tasker plugin so you can contextually change the nav bar. Since many users are not familiar with Tasker, I am writing these tutorials to help users take advantage of nav bar customization.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to add left/right keyboard cursors to the nav bar while the keyboard is showing (Android 7.0+, no root needed!) This tutorial is similar to the one I wrote for Android O users, but this tutorial will be much more accessible since it works on Android Nougat.

Yes, yes, we know that Swiftkey and Gboard, among others have keyboard cursors built in to the keyboard. Not every keyboard does, though, and in my opinion it’s more convenient using buttons on the nav bar rather than the buttons in Swiftkey (that take up space) or the ones in Gboard (which require imprecise swipes over the space bar or switching to a special mode).


Recommended Reading 1: How to change your Nav Bar Icons or Re-arrange the Buttons without Root

Recommended Reading 2: How to Add Media Playback Controls to the Nav Bar when Playing Music


 Add Left/Right Keyboard Cursors to the Nav Bar during Text Input

Requirements

System Requirements: You will need an Android 7.0+ device compatible with the AOSP nav bar customizer. Google Nexus, Pixel, and some Sony/HTC phones are known to work. Most devices that are close to stock Android are likely to have not removed the AOSP nav bar customizer and should work. This means it likely won’t work on your stock LG, Samsung, or Huawei/Honor device. See the “compatibility” section in the first post of this thread. (Note: your device’s OEM may not be listed in that thread. The only way to know for sure if your device is compatible is to try the app out, which we will show you how to do below.)

App Requirements: 

The reason we need Custom Navigation Bar is obvious – this application is what will allow us to modify the nav bar to display these media playback keys. (Technically, we don’t actually need this app for these modifications as we can use shell commands or other Tasker plugins, but to make things easier for our users, we will show how to set this up using this wonderful app.) AutoInput Beta is a Tasker plugin that will help us detect when the keyboard is showing (technically, the plugin will detect when a text input box is showing rather than the keyboard itself showing, but this is the closest we can get). Finally, Tasker bridges the gap between AutoInput Beta and Custom Navigation Bar.

Setup: Custom Navigation Bar

The first thing we need to do is to make sure that it’s even possible to modify the nav bar on your device. If your device is one of the ones listed as compatible in the Custom Navigation Bar thread, then chances are it will be. We can verify by running through the brief tutorial that accompanies this app.

Install the app from the Google Play Store, then open up the app and proceed through the introductory screens. Custom Navigation Bar will ask you to grant it a certain permission called WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS in order to proceed with using the app. There are two ways you can do this, as stated in the application.

  1. If you have a rooted device, Custom Navigation Bar will request superuser access. Grant it, and the app will automatically grant itself this permission.
  2. If your device is not rooted, then you will need to grant the permission through ADB. Open up a command prompt/terminal on your machine, and then enter the following command: adb shell pm grant xyz.paphonb.systemuituner android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

Once you’ve granted the app this permission through either of the two methods above, then the app will proceed with a compatibility test. If your nav bar doesn’t change, then you’re unfortunately out of luck. If your nav bar changes to display a right arrow button, then congrats your device is supported! We can now move on to modifying our nav bar.

Setup: AutoInput Beta

In order for AutoInput Beta to detect when a text input box is showing, we have to enable its Accessibility Service. All you have to do is go to Settings –> Accessibility (depending on your device, it may be within another submenu) and find AutoInput in the list of Services. Tap on it then hit the toggle up top to enable the Accessibility Service.


Tutorial

Once you’ve confirmed that Custom Navigation Bar is compatible with your device and that the Accessibility Service is enabled for AutoInput Beta, it’s time to set up this all up. The first thing we need to do is to create a new profile in Custom Navigation Bar that, when enabled, will add the left/right key to our nav bar. Here are the step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open up the Custom Navigation Bar app and tap on Profiles under the Automation section.
  2. Tap on the + icon in the top right to add a new Profile.
  3. Tap on the Profile that was just created.
  4. Under the Profile section, tap on Name and name this profile Keyboard Cursors.
  5. Under “Extra left button” tap on Type. Set the Type to Keycode.
  6. There should be two new options under “Extra left button” called Keycode and Icon. Tap on Keycode.
  7. Scroll down and select Dpad Left.
  8. Now tap on Icon under “Extra left button” section.
  9. Select the chevron left icon.
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 for “extra right button.” However, set the Keycode to Dpad Right and set the Icon to chevron right.
  11. Back up top under the Profile section, tap on Enabled to test this Profile out. If you see a left and right arrows pop up in your nav bar, then this is working correctly.

Now that we’ve got the Custom Navigation Bar Profile set up, we’re ready to set up our Tasker Profile which will enable/disable this profile when text input is detected/disappears. All of this will be done in one single Profile. Here are the instructions:

  1. Open up Tasker and create a new Profile by tapping on the + icon in the bottom right.
  2. Select the Event context.
  3. Choose Plugin –> AutoInput –> UI Action. Tap the pencil icon to open AutoInput configuration.
  4. Once in AutoInput UI Action configuration, tap on Action Types. Select Input Element Focused and Input Element Focus Lost. Ignore the Element Text section. Tap on the checkmark icon up top when done.
  5. Go back to Tasker’s main screen, and Tasker will ask you to attach a Task to this Profile. Choose to create a New Task. Don’t bother naming the Task.
  6. Add an Action to this Task by tapping the + icon in the bottom middle.
  7. Go to Task –> If. Set it to If %aifocus ~ true. The ~ is “matches.”
  8. For the second Action, go to Plugin –> Custom Navigation Bar. Hit the pencil icon to open the configuration. For the Action select Enable Profile. Under Select Profile pick the Keyboard Cursors profile that we made earlier.
  9. For the third Action, go to Task –> Else.
  10. For the fourth Action, go to Plugin –> Custom Navigation Bar. Hit the pencil icon to open the configuration. For the Action select Disable Profile. Under Select Profile pick the Keyboard Cursors profile once again.
  11. For the last Action, go to Task –> End If.
  12. Press back and exit the Task editing screen.

Once you’ve done all of the steps above, we’re done! Go ahead and try it out by opening any text input box and seeing if your nav bar changes to include the left/right keyboard cursors. If it isn’t working, double check that AutoInput’s Accessibility Service is enabled.


Using Shell Commands

Given how easy it is to use XDA Senior Member paphonb‘s Custom Navigation Bar app, I don’t really see the need for providing detailed step-by-step instructions on how to do this with other Tasker plugins such as SecureTask or AutoTools (or the run shell function in Tasker). However, it is certainly possible, and at the very least I will provide a summary of the commands you need to replicate this setup without the use of paphonb’s app.

The first thing you need to do is install either SecureTask or AutoTools. You will need to grant the WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS permission to whichever app you pick in order to control the nav bar tuner.

For SecureTask:

adb shell pm grant com.balda.securetask android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

For AutoTools:

adb shell pm grant com.joaomgcd.autotools android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS

Next, you will need to download the icons that you will use for the previous/next keys. You’ll need the icons in the PNG format, and as for the size, you can determine the size of the icons you need by looking up your device’s display density metrics on Material.io and correlating that with an icon size reference chart. IconsDB.com is a good resource for free icons. Save the icons you will be using as left.png and right.png in a folder called /NavIcons on the root directory of your storage.

Finally, you will be entering this command to show the media control buttons:

settings put secure sysui_nav_bar "key(21:file:///storage/emulated/0/NavIcons/left.png),back;home;recent,key(22:file:///storage/emulated/0/NavIcons/right.png)"

where key #21 refers to KEYCODE_DPAD_LEFT and key #22 refers to KEYCODE_DPAD_RIGHT.

Then to revert your nav bar keys to the default layout (ie. the text input focus has been lost), enter this command:

settings put secure sysui_nav_bar "space,back;home;recent,menu_ime"

In essence, the Tasker Profile setup will be the exact same as the setup above, except in place of the two Custom Navigation Bar Tasker Actions, you will use SecureTask/AutoTools/Run Shell. Just note that, unless you are rooted and using the “run shell” action in Tasker, the process to get these commands into SecureTask or AutoTools is all on you. It’s really not that hard to do, but many users find just using paphonb’s app easier to use so I won’t go into much more detail here.


Conclusion

That’s it for this tutorial. I will occasionally post future tutorials when I find more practical uses of changing your nav bar, especially in a contextual manner using an automation app such as Tasker. If you have any clever ideas but don’t know how to implement it yourself, do send us a message using our Tip Form or e-mail us directly, and we’ll do our best to figure it out!

Please support XDA-Developers in whatever way you can! We recently discovered that there were several blogs cut, copy, pasting our original tutorials and other content shared by our users on the forums. These blogs have been trying to take credit for the huge amount of effort we do in compiling these tutorials rather than providing quality content on their own. You won’t find tutorials such as the ones we’ve written in our tutorials category or tutorials from our forums anywhere else.

Follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or YouTube. Check out our XDA Labs app for a fast way to browse our forums (and consider getting XDA Ad-Free too!) on your mobile device, and check out our recently released XDA Feed app if you own a OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T! Thanks, and stay tuned for our next tutorial!

How to Turn Off the Galaxy S8 Always On Display

How to Turn Off the Galaxy S8 Always On Display is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

Whether it’s just distracting or you want better battery life, this guide will explain how to disable the Galaxy S8 always on display. Samsung’s new phone is loaded with features. From the curved edges of the screen, IP68 water resistance, micro-SD cards, and more. But if you don’t want the screen on 24/7, so here’s how to turn off that feature.

Following a March 29th announcement and April 21st release the Galaxy S8 and S8+ are now available. As millions get their new phone many will have questions and concerns. Here’s the first 10 settings to change, then read on for the quick how to guide.

Read: Best Galaxy S8+ Screen Protectors 

When you turn off the Galaxy S8 or S8+ screen, it’s still on. A small area displays the time, date, battery level and even some notifications. It’s called an “Always-on Display” but it’s not for everyone. It also moves occasionally which can be very distracting. Here’s how to customize or disable this neat feature.

Always on displays have been around for a while with Motorola and others. It wasn’t until the Galaxy S7 in 2016 that Samsung made it mainstream. Now, all of their flagship phones support the popular feature. And while some may be concerned with battery life because of it, don’t be. Samsung claims it uses under 5% battery life over the course of an 8-10 hour work day.

Between the efficient processor the the AMOLED display being able to light up small areas, it won’t affect battery life much. That said, if this option is distracting, too bright at night, or you just want to squeeze more battery from your phone it can be disabled.

Read: Best Galaxy S8 Battery Cases

Based on studies the average user turns their phone on over 150 times a day. Often just to check the time, weather or look at notifications. Rather than turn the entire phone on, let the Always-On display show this information at a glance. In the end it should actually save you battery life.

That all said, if you still don’t want to use the always on display lets change or turn it off.

How to Disable the Galaxy S8 Always On Display

Thankfully almost every aspect of this device is customizable. Samsung really delivered. In settings you’ll find options, controls, or on/off switches for just about everything.

To disable the always on display feature we quickly need to head into Settings > Lock Screen & Security > Always On Display > and flip the switch to OFF. That’s it. Here are more details and some screenshots to help you disable it.

  1. Pull down the notification bar and hit the gear-shaped settings button
  2. Find and select Lock screen & Security
  3. Flip OFF the option for Always On Display
  4. Or tap Always On Display for more options

It only takes a few taps in settings to disable this in the settings menu. Now the screen will completely turn off and show nothing. That said, users will need to tap the power button in order to quickly check notifications and such.

With the Galaxy S7 Edge this is one of those features I disabled at first. Then later realized how great it is and turned it back on with some personal customization options. It even works with some 3rd party apps and services. So using a different text app like Textra will still show on the AOD. It even dims to a lower setting in a dark room or at night, and brighter during the day, making it easy to see at all times. Basically, it’s worth using.

Above is an image of some of the options available for owners. There’s no way to manually control the brightness or add new widgets (like a weather icon) but it’s still worth recommending. Users can choose between 7-8 different clocks, backgrounds, calendars and more. There are even new “facewidgets” where you can tap the clock and swipe over for more options, like music controls without waking up the device. Neat, right.

Samsung also manually updates the Always-On Display app throughout the year with more features or options. So more could be coming soon. For now, give it a try, or disable it with our instructions above.

How to Turn Off the Galaxy S8 Always On Display is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

How to Change Galaxy S8 On Screen Buttons

How to Change Galaxy S8 On Screen Buttons is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

This quick guide will explain how to change the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ on screen buttons. This is a brand new phone with a lot of new features and changes. Like the missing physical home button. Thankfully the on-screen navigation buttons are completely customizable, and here’s how.

Following the March 29th announcement Samsung finally released these new phones on April 21st. Now that the Galaxy S8 is in the hands of millions of users, many will have questions.

Read: First 10 Things to do on the Galaxy S8

Above are the first 10 things all new owners should do. Additionally, below are some quick and easy instructions for customizing the navigation bar. Owners can change the on screen buttons order, background color and more.

Users will want to setup the fingerprint scanner, learn about enabling apps to use the full screen and much more. If you just got the new Galaxy S8 don’t forget to redeem your free Gear VR headset. Then, continue reading to learn how to customize the on screen navigation buttons.

For the first time in seven years, and on any Galaxy, the S8 has virtual on-screen keys. Not physical back, home and recent apps buttons like past devices. As a result owners will have to completely re-learn how the interact with the smartphone. It’s pretty easy though, and works like most other Android phones available today.

Lucky Samsung included a slew of customization options and controls. If this is your first Galaxy the on screen “Back” button is likely in the wrong place. All other Androids put it on the left side of the device. If you want to change that and other things, here’s how.

How to Customize the Galaxy S8 On Screen Navigation Buttons

Just like anything, users can head into the settings menu and find a lot of advanced controls and options. Samsung allows owners to switch up the button order, add a background color and some other cool things.

  • Pull down the notification bar and tap the gear-shaped Settings Button (or find Settings in the app tray)
  • Tap on Display
  • Scroll down and select Navigation Bar

From here users have a few options to choose from. You can change the background color for the on-screen keys based on the device theme. Or choose from an entire color selection. Additionally Samsung added a color-wheel for absolute customization.

Next simply select Button Layout and choose whether you want the back button on the left side like most Android devices, or Samsung style on the right side.

Read: How to Transfer iTunes Music to Galaxy S8

Users have the option to make a hard-press of the home button take you home from any location. Whether the phone is locked, off, or even in fullscreen mode running an app or movie. We’d recommend enabling this. And finally, there’s a slider where owners can customize how hard or light the vibration motor is with the virtual on screen keys and home button.

As a quick note, there will be certain circumstances where the on-screen navigation background color won’t be what you choose. Some apps or even the the home screen will default to transparent or other colors. Either way, it’s nice to have this level of customization on Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone. While you’re here, get a Galaxy S8+ screen protector from our roundup below.

8 Best Galaxy S8+ Screen Protectors

SuperShieldz 3D Glass for Galaxy S8+

 1 / 8
SuperShieldz 3D Glass for Galaxy S8+

 Supershieldz is one of the first on our list because they offer a slew of different products design to protect our smartphones. From regular film screen protectors, matte or privacy glass, to extra-strong real glass screen protectors. Here we'll be suggesting the latter of the three. 

Supershieldz uses a tempered, strengthened and extra durable glass just like what comes on the Galaxy S8+ out of the box. Meaning it won't scratch or damage easy. The company uses a 3D technology to round the edges which prevents chips or a case causing the protector to come off during use.

The product listing promises a scratch-free, fingerprint-free, and bubble-free experience with their product. 

It has a color-matched black framing to make the protection look invisible on your device, and an easy to apply adhesive that won't bubble or leave residue if removed. Supershieldz also offers a hassle-free lifetime replacement program. If it gets scratched or breaks, they'll replace it no questions asked. Try one of these today, it's what I have on my Galaxy S7 Edge and Google Pixel XL. 

Buy it Now on Amazon for $10.99

 1 / 8

How to Change Galaxy S8 On Screen Buttons is a post by Cory Gunther from Gotta Be Mobile.

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus

Need to show off your display’s content? The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus offer multiple methods and types of screenshots. Touchwiz has taken a simple process and turned it into something that can adapt to most scenarios, but this also means there is a slight learning curve before you can access the handset’s full screenshot capabilities. In this short tutorial we will take you through all available procedures, so let’s get started.

Galaxy S8: Take a screenshot the traditional way

This method has pretty much become muscle memory for screen shooting, as it is available pretty much with every Android smartphone out there. Samsung is no exception.

  1. Navigate to what you want the screenshot to display.
  2. Press and hold the “Volume Down” and “Power” buttons simultaneously.
  3. Done!

Galaxy S8: Take a screenshot using a palm gesture

Using this gesture to take a screenshot has become one of Samsung’s staple features. It does the same as the button method, but it is much faster and simpler once you get used to it.

  1. Navigate to what you want the screenshot to display.
  2. Extend your palm and swipe the whole screen with the side of your hand.
  3. Done!

Keep in mind this is an advanced feature, so it can be turned off. Toggle it on/off by going to Settings>Advanced features>Palm swipe to capture.

Galaxy S8: Take a screenshot of long pages using scroll capture

Have you ever used Samsung’s scroll capture feature? It allows users to grab an image of more than what your physical screen can display. It’s great for capturing entire scrollable pages or apps in a single image.

  1. Navigate to what you want the screenshot to display.
  2. Use the button or palm swipe methods to capture a screenshot.
  3. A preview and multiple options will show up at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap “Scroll capture”. You can also draw, crop or share from this menu.
  5. Keep pressing the “Scroll capture” button to keep going down the page.
  6. Done!

This feature is found in a section called Smart Capture, which can be turned off. Toggle it on/off by going to Settings>Advanced Features>Smart capture.

Galaxy S8 Smart Select: ovals, squares, GIFs and pins

Take things to the next level with TouchWiz Smart Select. This feature makes it possible to create screenshots in the shape of ovals and squares. You can also put GIFs together and pin screen sections (keeps them floating above the UI).

  1. Navigate to what you want the screenshot to display.
  2. Open the Edge panel.
  3. Slide left/right until you find the “Smart select” section.
  4. Select which mode you prefer.
  5. Select the area you want to screenshot and follow instructions.
  6. Done!

There are special functions within each feature here. For example, one can extract text from screenshots. It is also easy to draw over them, share and more.

Smart Select is a feature within the Edge panel, which can be deactivated within the settings. Toggle it on/off by going to Settings>Display>Edge screen>Edge panels.

You are ready to get screen shooting!

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has plenty to offer, go enjoy it! Now you know how to take full advantage of screenshots, so keep learning how to do more things by following our Samsung Galaxy S8 how-to series.