Hauling groceries in one hand trying to quick-reply to a text that popped in your notification shade, or turn on your cellular data? Today's big screen smartphones present plenty of challenges towards one-handed operation, and while plenty of manufacturers offer interface features to facilitate it, most of the big names are missing out on one great option.
We are talking about the ability to just swipe down in the middle of any homescreen, and pull the notification shade without having to stretch your thumb all the way up, trying to grasp a few pixels from the edge to bring it down. On bigger phones, like the Note 5, or maybe even the upcoming Note 7, that's very hard to do without readjusting the phone in your palm, or grabbing it with two hands.
It's not only TouchWiz that is the culprit here, as neither Sony nor LG offer this option, while most all of the Chinese overlays do, but TouchWiz is arguably the most ubiquitous interface to skimp on this boon for one-handed operation. What if you want to pull the notification shade down from right under your thumb, and don't want to install third-party launchers like Nove to it, though? Well, you actually can do it in stock TouchWiz, if you don't mind a small floating circle that will be visible on your homescreen, and it's been there for at least the last three TW editions. Here's what to do:
Go to your Settings app, scroll and tap to reach Accessibility > Dexterity and Interaction > Assistant Menu;
2. In the Assistant Menu, turn the switch to "On", and you will see a small blue circle will appear near the right edge of the display;
3. You can move the circle around until it fits the area closest to your thumb, and also edit which shortcuts will appear when you tap on it;
4. One of the default buttons that appear when you tap on the Assistant Menu circle, along with a virtual back key, is precisely a button that immediately drops down the notification shade, and it works like a charm.
That's all there is to it - granted, it's not the invisible slide-down gesture to pull the notification shade like in most Chinese UIs, plus there are third-party apps that offer such floating shortcut farms, too, but the Assistant Menu circle is something that is there by default in TouchWiz, and doesn't lag or crash like some others. Check it out.