How to switch software buttons on the Samsung Galaxy S8

Annoyed by the Samsung Galaxy S8’s software button positioning? Those who are not accustomed to Samsung’s layout will have a hard time getting used to it. Back and multi-window button placement is one of those things manufacturers just can’t agree on, but software navigation buttons are here for the rescue, as they can be easily switched to one’s preference.

The process is super simple, but it’s also one of those options no one ever tells you about and have to find on your own. We are here to help you, though. Let’s walk you through the process!

How to switch software buttons:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap on Display.
  3. Select Navigation bar
  4. Hit Button layout.
  5. Select your order of choice.

Within this menu you can also do certain things not usually found in other phones. It’s possible to adjust home button sensitivity, unlock with the home button and even change the background color.

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note 5 getting Android 7.0 Nougat

Still carrying around a Samsung Galaxy Note 5? It is technically the latest Note handset, so it only makes sense to give it its timely update. Multiple carrier versions of this phone have begun getting Android Nougat, but T-Mobile users are still left wondering when their devices will be ready for prime time.

We have good news: you won’t have to wait much longer! In fact, T-Mobile’s Des has taken it to Twitter to let us know the OTA update is approved and should start hitting smartphones “early next week”. This was posted on the 21st, which means the update is actually being released within the coming days.

“Gadget Guy” Des isn’t unveiling any specific details. We have no idea how large the update file will be or what it comes with, but we assume you can expect the same general features other Galaxy Note 5 devices have gotten from Nougat. This would include the new version of TouchWiz, improved multi-tasking, mini-conversations, improved battery management, a nicer keyboard and more.

Excited to have t he latest and greatest Android version? Sit back and relax until it arrives. And don’t forget to hit the comments to share your experiences once you get the update.

The Galaxy S8 is evidence of Samsung’s changing attitude to bloatware

Remember back when we all used to have a field day bashing Samsung bloatware? There was sooo much of it, you couldn’t disable or uninstall it, and most things duplicated stuff that Google already did perfectly well (and also pre-installed on Galaxy phones). But starting with the Galaxy S6, Samsung started to change its attitude toward bloatware, and the Galaxy S8 benefits greatly from the continuation of that tendency.

But more to the point, we benefit greatly. As much as we understand how lucrative these software deals can be to smartphone manufacturers, none of us really want bloatware clogging up our phones. In the past you could barely uninstall any, having to settle for disabling a few and making your peace with most, but times have changed.

See also:

Does bloatware drain your battery? – Gary explains

June 25, 2016

The 32 GB Galaxy S7 had 8 GB of storage taken up by its ROM and pre-loaded apps. The 64 GB Galaxy S8 in my hands – even without any carrier bloat – admittedly had 12 GB used by the time I peeled the plastic off. But even though I’ve already lost a large chunk of my internal storage to the system it doesn’t feel so bad because the apps that are on the S8 are largely removable.

Pre-loaded apps may not ultimately take up much space, but to have the ability to get rid of most of them almost makes you forget about the rest of the space you’ll never get to reclaim. Of course, pre-installed apps you don’t want, can’t remove and can’t disable are also a drain on your system resources, so any time you can uninstall or disable them, the better.

The Galaxy S8 has 37 pre-installed apps (at least on my unlocked international variant). The Galaxy S6 had 50 apps, not including carrier bloat. By my count there’s only a dozen I can’t uninstall or disable on the S8, and some of those are rather useful like the dialer.

You can still get rid of the few remaining apps Samsung won't already let you disable or uninstall.

Even for those of you suffering from extensive carrier bloat in the US, there are still steps you can take to get rid of the few remaining apps Samsung won’t already let you disable. You simply have to decide if ridding yourself of them is worth $1.50. If it is, you’ll also be able to remove future bloat on your next Galaxy phone. Not uninstall, sadly, but disable any and all apps you want to. And it doesn’t even require root.

You won’t get the storage space back, but you will block them from chewing system resources and you’ll no longer see them in your app drawer. All you need to do is fork out for an app called BK Package Disabler, which you can do via the button below. Install it, grant it the necessary permissions and swipe to the ‘Bloatware’ tab in the app.

Tap the check mark next to the apps you want disabled and that’s it (don’t just go crazy, look for the specific apps in the app drawer you want removed). You’ll no longer see them in your app drawer and they won’t be able to run in the background. If something breaks or you want the app back for some reason, simply relaunch the BK Package Disabler app and uncheck the box next to the apps you want resurrected.

While it’s unfortunate we still have to resort to paid apps to remove everything we want to on a phone that cost us an arm and a leg, the base situation has at least improved from years past. On my S8 I can uninstall or disable 25 apps straight out of the box, and pay $1.50 to disable the rest. That may not quite be ideal, but it sure is better than it once was.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus International Giveaway with Rhino Shield!

Welcome to the Sunday Giveaway, the place where we giveaway a new Android phone each and every Sunday!

Congratulations to last week’s Samsung Galaxy S8 Giveaway winner: Anthony P. (USA)

This week we have partnered with Rhino Shield to give away a brand new Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus and a Rhino Shield Bumper Case!

Samsung’s new Galaxy S8 Plus features a beautiful 18.5:9 Infinity display, a powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, 4 GB of RAM, a 3,500 mAh battery, as well as a 12 MP rear-facing camera with an f/1.7 aperture. One of the standout features on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus this year is Bixby, Samsung’s new AI assistant that even has its own hardware button.

Enter giveaway

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus International Giveaway!

More giveaways:

Winners Gallery

Terms & Conditions

  • The giveaway is an international giveaway (Except when we can not ship to your Country.)
  • If we can not ship to your country, you will be compensated with an online gift card of equal MSRP value to the prize.
  • We are not responsible for lost shipments.
  • We are not responsible if your giveaway prize malfunctions.
  • You must be age of majority in your Country of residence.
  • We are not responsible for any duties or import fees that you may incur.
  • Only 1 entry per person, do not enter multiple email addresses. We will verify all winners and if we detect multiple email addresses by the same person you will not be eligible to win.
  • We reserve all rights to make any changes to this giveaway.
  • This giveaway is operated by AndroidAuthority.
  • The prize will ship when it is available to purchase.

Huawei is repeating some of Samsung’s old mistakes

Huawei is a big name in the smartphone industry these days, having grabbed a significant share of the growing Chinese market and also gaining ground abroad in European and even North American markets. While the company has been releasing some very solid devices, critics may have noticed that Huawei seems to be falling into some of Samsung’s old pitfalls in the pursuit of catching up with the big two.

For starters, Huawei’s software, while improving, continues to be a weak spot in the company’s otherwise strong handset launches (an all too familiar feeling for opponents of Touchwiz and Samsung Experience). While opinions on the color scheme and look will vary according to taste, EMUI is still playing catchup to the best UIs. For example, it has only just included an app drawer as standard.

Solid processor, check. Impressive camera, check. Nice build quality, check. Top notch software, eh not so much. Sound familiar?

Huawei also still ships with a number of duplicate apps that consumers are probably never going to use, insists on odd tweaks such as “Knock Knock” swipes and knuckle gestures, and includes a ton of extra settings and options tucked away in the UI that, arguably, not many people need. While fun for those looking to customize their device, this suggests that Huawei can’t make up its own mind about which features are the most important for its users. EMUI 5 isn’t bloated per se, but it’s still in need of some refinement before it competes with the best.

See also:

What’s new in EMUI 5?

November 4, 2016

Speaking of software, Huawei hasn’t been the fastest at updating its older smartphones to the latest version of Android either, a complaint commonly levelled at Samsung too. While Huawei has released Nougat for some of its latest models, the older P9 and P9 Lite flagships have suffered from numerous delays after the company initially promised a Q1 rollout. Furthermore, the barely two year old P8 and Mate S aren’t going to receive an upgrade to Nougat at all, a bitter pill for the company’s long term fans.

Huawei can and must do better on the software and support front if it wants to win over premium tier consumers in the West.

Despite being less than two year’s old, Huawei has confirmed that the Mate S won’t receive an upgrade to Nougat.

Then there’s the marketing, the confusing crossovers, and the ever growing product portfolio. Huawei claims it’s cutting down on the number of ranges that it offers, but each of these now seems to be split into a wider number of handsets.

For starters, we have the new P10, P10 Lite, and the P10 Plus, a trio of different sized and slightly different spec’d handsets. While offering customers a selection at different price points is partly what has made Huawei so competitive, the Lite variant of Huawei’s flagships has always been a cutdown affair that offers consumers a slower processing package, less memory, and a more basic camera. The Lite is really a different mid-range handset disguised in the wrappings of its top-tier siblings, resulting in a quite different experience.

Huawei's Lite flagship models are the equivalent of Samsung's much maligned Galaxy S Mini handsets.

Samsung has done this in the past too. The Galaxy S Mini series repeatedly cut down on the hardware components found inside its flagship namesake, essentially offering customers a cutdown experience just because they wanted a smaller model.

We mustn’t forget the sheer number of tweaked models that the company offers as well, which just lately includes the Porsche Design Mate 9, Mate 9 Pro, Honor 8 Pro, P9 Plus and the P9 Lite options that are all floating around out there, and that’s not mentioning the various X and C revisions of the Honor brand too. Here’s an example of how ludicrous this can quickly become. Do you believe that many customers would know that the Honor 6X is actually newer than the Honor 7?

Samsung eventually abandoned its Mini range in favour of improving the marketing of its mid-range models. Huawei has Honor, so does it also need the P10 Lite?

Remember the days of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy Note Edge and Duos, all of those Active variants, and the seemingly endless range of Galaxy A, C, and J smartphones? This type of convoluted naming scheme does little other than maybe tell consumers that a phone is slightly bigger than one another, and all the small variations make it almost impossible to keep track of the latest handsets.

As far as I’m concerned, the Mate and Note series should be the phablets from Huawei and Samsung, while the P and S ranges are the more reasonably sized flagships. This Plus sized nonsense is just marketing clutter from manufacturers that can’t make up their minds. OK, that’s enough ranting.

The new Huawei P10 is quickly turning into a controversial handset for the company.

Of course, the elephant in the room for Huawei right now is the debacle over the various memory options inside the P10. The latest revelation that Huawei has also skimped out on the oleophobic coating on the P10 screen is another example that makes the company look like it’s cutting corners and/or not undertaking proper quality control. Something that Samsung is all too keenly aware of after the Note 7 battery fiasco. And don’t forget that whole mess with the DSLR photo pretending to be from the P9 and the controversy over the Leica co-branding.

The big problem for consumers is that it makes it difficult to assess the performance and quality of what we’re buying. Samsung’s long running decision to release Exynos and Snapdragon powered versions of its flagship smartphones has left some consumers with similar questions. Performance enthusiasts often pursue benchmarks each year to find out if there’s any major difference between the two, although at least for Samsung the regional distribution of these models ensures that your next door neighbour isn’t going to receive a faster handset just thanks to the luck of the draw.

Huawei was surely aware of consumer interest in the differences between Samsung's Exynos and Qualcomm powered handsets. If so, it would be naive to think that customers wouldn't care about RAM and flash differences too.

That being said, it’s not completely unheard of for manufacturers to source components from multiple manufacturers to ensure adequate supply, but usually the end result is two models that are very difficult to distinguish. Apple does this with its iPhone modems, and Samsung, along with other OEMs, have sometimes sourced camera components from multiple manufacturers. I don’t think that I need to mention that Samsung and others have all had to contend with component shortages in the past too, nor that there’s customer backlash every time component differences are uncovered.

See also:

Huawei admits buying a P10 or P10 Plus is a bit of a lottery

2 days ago

Wrap up

I want to end by saying that these points aren’t intended as a slight against Huawei, as no manufacturer is perfect. Instead this is more an observation about the types of issues now facing the company and how oddly similar they are to others we have seen in the past.

Most of these complaints, if you will, are actually likely a result of Huawei’s massive growth over the years, and should improve as the company adapts to its new market position. Huawei builds quality hardware and now customers are demanding better software to match. However, the growing back catalogue of smartphones is making it harder to provide the longer term support that smaller manufacturers can afford. Meanwhile, selling a record number of handsets and expanding into new territories is clearly putting a strain on Huawei’s component supply channels, but this can hopefully be overcome as its purchasing power grows.

Global expansion is bringing new challenges for Huawei, and the company is going to have to tackle them head on if it is to reach the same heights as Apple and Samsung. If the company succeeds, then we’ll all be better off for the competition.