Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ customization guide: All the essential settings you should change
Home screen settings
1) Home screen layout: The homescreen layout can be customized, which means that you can choose between a traditional homescreen layout with all of your apps tucked in an app drawer accessible by swiping up or down on the homescreen, or choose to have all of your apps plastered across a couple of home screens, just like iOS has done for a decade. It's good that Samsung offers its users a choice in this regard.
To customize this setting, hold a blank space on your home screen, then tap "Home screen settings", and finally, go into "Home screen layout".
2) Apps button: Conversely, should you choose with an app drawer, the Galaxy S9 throws even more welcome options at you. You can choose whether you access the drawer by swiping up or down on the homescreen, but you could also choose to have an old-school app drawer button. So 2012.
To customize this setting, hold a blank space on your home screen, then tap "Home screen settings", then tap the "Apps button" menu item.
To customize this setting, hold a blank space on your home screen, then tap "Home screen settings",
Objectively viewed, it's quite lackluster when you compare it with some of the custom offerings found on the Play Store which simply blow any stock launcher out of the water with the amount of options they have.
Nova Launcher Prime is our usual top recommendation when it comes to custom launchers, but there are other, equally-deserving ones available, too.
Evie Launcher, Smart Launcher 5, and Action Launcher 3 also deserve a mention. Any of these would allow for a much deeper level of customization that simply cannot be matched by a stock solution.
Aside from applying an overall theme to your device (have in mind most of the good ones are paid), you can also customize the different elements of the theme themselves.
Have in mind that the only way to get rid of the unapologetically-white background of the Settings app and the quick settings panel is by applying a theme that will hopefully change the colors, provided the theme maker has implemented it.
Always On Display
Aside from downloading a premade always-on display template from the Themes hub, you can also create your own by playing around within the settings of the device. There are multiple ways to customize your always-ion display widget: aside from the handful of cool watchfaces that Samsung has pre-installed, you can also add an animated GIF that will run for a couple of seconds before pausing due to power-savings. Overall, we'd advise against using these as they add little to no functionality whatsoever.
As far as the custom watchfaces go, you are once again only allowed to change the color and type, but we feel that's sufficient enough for the everyday user.
To customize your Galaxy S9/S9+'s Always-On Display, go to Settings > Lock Screen > Clock and FaceWidgets. Make sure that Always-On Display is enabled, of course.
Unsurprisingly, most of the advanced features on the Galaxy S9/S9+ are available in the eponymous Advanced Features menu in the main Settings app. Thanks to these, you can further enable or make use of a host of features, including but not limited to the following ones:
1) Smart Stay: Similar to older Galaxy devices, the new one still has the neat Smart Stay feature present and will keep the display on should you be looking on it. To enable this, simply go to Settings > Advanced features > Smart stay.
The Video enhancer feature will boost up the colors of the display when you're watching videos. Given that the display of the Galaxy S9 and S9+ are both among the best ones out there, having a little more pop in videos is definitely not a necessity but we'd advise you turn it on simply for that extra oomph.
Samsung has been pushing the edge screen on us for years, but it's still debatable if this one is useful or not. If you ask us, it's among the more forgettable features of the Galaxy S9 and haven't necessarily changed majorly from the days of the Galaxy Note Edge.
To customize the edge panels and all the various features of the edge screen, you need to go to Settings > Display > Edge screen and tinker away to your heartfelt content.
Should you have a strong disdain for Samsung's Bixby but are open to the idea of using the Google assistant, you can simply remap the dedicated Bixby button to launch Google's smarter AI assistant. The easiest working way to do that is by using Bixby Button Remapper app, which is also known as BxActions and is available on the Play Store. With it, you can remap the Bixby button to open the Google Assistant, and even remap the volume buttons, which we wouldn't recommend. By using a PC, you can further increase the capabilities of the app and make it work faster: you won't even see the Bixby app fire when you press the button, which is exactly what we've been anticipating Samsung would let us do natively.