Galaxy Note 3 tips and tricks

triangle  S Pen

25. Don’t lose your S Pen with S Pen Keeper

biggest usability issue we’ve had with Note phones is that a stylus is

terribly easy to lose. However, the Galaxy Note 3 does at least have a

go at keeping you attached to your stylus. S Pen Keeper is a clever

little function that makes the phone bleat and vibrate if you walk away

without the stylus.

It’s not magic – the phone knows whether the

stylus is in its cubby hole or not, and the accelerometer of the Note 3

knows when you’re walking. It’s dead handy, though.

HTC One Max 324. You can use the S Pen with the soft keys

great little update Samsung made with the third-generation Note phone

is that you can now operate the phone’s touch-sensitive home buttons

with the S Pen stylus. This is because the digitiser layer now extends

down below the screen. It’s not a secret feature, but Samsung hasn’t

shouted too much about it.

23. Customise how the S Pen reacts for even more stylus speed


the Galaxy Note 3 knows when the S Pen is taken out of its little

sheath, it can be made to load apps as soon as the stylus is taken out.

You can’t launch absolutely anything (a shame if you ask us given how

many other features the phone has), but you can pick between Air Command

– the stylus menu overlay – and Action Memo. The latter is a virtual

post-it that lets you perform actions too. You’ll find these options

under the ‘Pen detachment options’ menu within Settings>

Controls>S Pen.

However, we found that we liked the S Pen most when it didn’t launch anything when taken out.
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triangle  Keyboard

22. Gesture keyboard gives you faster typing

Note 3’s big screen is great for two-handed typing and the stylus is a

neat handwriting tool. However, we find that the fastest Note 3 typing

comes from using the gesture keyboard. Some people also know this as the

Swype keyboard, although Galaxy phones use their own kind of gesture

keyboard these days.

Using it, you draw a line over the letters

in a word rather than tapping away at virtual keys. The menu option for

it is buried fairly deep in the Settings menu, though. Go to Settings,

then tap  the Controls menu. Tap Language and Input, then tap the cog

icon next to the Samsung Keyboard entry. Under the Keyboard Swipe

heading, turn on ‘continuous input’. If the option is greyed-out, make

sure predictive text is turned on.

HTC One Max 221. Turn off auto pen input if you don’t like handwriting much

of the few bugs we’ve encountered while using the Galaxy Note 3 is that

the handwriting recognition keyboard tends to stick around when you

actually want to use the standard Qwerty keyboard. It’s annoying.


you find yourself in this situation, or just don’t like using the

stylus to write messages or emails, go to the Samsung Keyboard menu

mentioned in the previous tip and deselect Pen Detection.

20. Downloading custom keyboards

to the wonderful way Android works, you’re not limited to Samsung or

Google keyboard with the Galaxy Note 3. You can use all manner of

third-party keyboards. There are loads of them available from the Google

Play app store. One of our personal favourites is Swiftkey. Once you’ve

found a keyboard you like the look of, install it and then go

Settings> Controls tab> Language and Input then hit the Default

option. You should see a radio button for the keyboard your just

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triangle  Battery Life

19. Use Flight Mode in dire straits

quickest way to minimise battery use in your Note 3 is to turn it onto

Airplane mode. This turns off all the phone’s wireless functions

(Bluetooth, mobile network, Wi-Fi ) and so on. You may be shocked at how

long the phone will last in this mode.

18. Turn off Haptic Feedback

mode is a surprisingly potent battery drainer in phones. The most

notable of the lot is the Haptic feedback, which produces a little

rumble too accompany screen taps. It feels food on the fingers, but is

no good for battery stamina. Turn it off in the

Settings>Sound>Haptic feedback menu.

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triangle  Wallpaper

17. How to create your own wallpaper


your own wallpaper is the easiest way to give your phone its own

personality. And if you want to make the perfect wallpaper, it needs to

be matched to the Note 3’s screen. That means it should be 1,920 pixels

high and 1,080 pixels wide. Alternatively, you can crop and edit your

own photos in the Gallery by pressing the ‘pencil’ icon at the top of

the screen when viewing a picture.

16. Transferring and setting wallpapers

made a piccy on your computer? The easiest way to transfer it is to

plug the Note 3 into your computer using the supplied USB 3.0 cable and

drag it over into the phone’s file system.

Alternatively, email

it to your Gmail address, find the email within the Gmail app, open the

attachment then press the ‘menu’ soft key. There’s be a ‘save’ option

that’ll save it to the phone’s gallery.

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triangle  Audio and Video

Note 3 MHL
15. Get an MHL adapter to turn your Note into a home cinema handset

MHL adapter is an essential accessory for those who want to turn a Note

3 into a media jukebox. It’s a little cable that jams into the microUSB

port on the phone, ending in an HDMI socket that can be jammed into

your telly.

14. How to output surround sound over HDMI

are some extra settings that need to be switched to get the most out of

an MHL adapter – namely that you have to manually opt to output Surround

audio. As standard the Note 3 is set to output stereo surround over

HDMI. You’ll find this settings in Settings> Device tab> Sound>

Audio Output.

13. Perfect sound quality for your ears with Adapt Sound

of the coolest audio features of the Galaxy Note 3 (and other top-end

Galaxy phones in fact) is Adapt Audio. What this does is to give you a

miniature hearing test, in order to optimise the phone’s sound output to

make it suit your ears better. It’s great, even if it does make you

worry about your level of hearing. Check it out for yourself at

Settings>Device tab>Sound>Adapt sound. It’s right down the

bottom of the menu.

12. Using Screen mirroring, what is it?

Mirroring is a very clever feature that lets you send what’s on your

Note 3’s screen to another device wirelessly (using Wi-Fi Direct

technology). It’ll work very well with up-to-date Samsung TVs. You’ll

find it right down at the bottom of the Connections tab within Settings.


11. Control music playback with your voice
One feature we

imagine few people know about is that you can control music playback of

the Note 3 using your voice. Simply say ‘play’, ‘pause’ ‘next’ and

‘previous to do so.

You’ll need to make sure the feature is

turned on in the Note 3 first, though. To do so, go to the Voice control

menu found in the Controls tab of Settings. There is a separate check

box for music control. However, you will have to use the inbuilt player

for this to work.

10. Transferring files more quickly – how to use USB 3.0


Note 3 is the first USB 3.0 phone we’ve used. It’s why the socket on

the bottom is so weird-looking. USB transfers files faster and will

charge the phone over USB faster too. However, in order to get the

benefits of USB, you’ll have to use the oversized bundled cable rather

than a standard microUSB one, and you’ll have to be plugged into a USB

3.0 port too.

9. Palm Mute

Using one of the Motion Control

features of the Note 3 you can mute anything playing on the Note 3

simply placing your palm over the phone’s sensors. However, the screen

needs to be on for this to work. You’ll find this option in the Palm

Motion menu in the Controls tab of Settings.
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triangle  Apps

HTC One Max 4
8. Essential S Pen apps

most interesting Note 3 apps are those that make use of the S Pen

stylus – and its pressure sensitivity. One of the best, SketchBook,

comes pre-installed, but other must-try apps include Papyrus and

Infinite Painter. Drawing/virtual painting is one of the best uses for

the Note 3’s stylus.

7. Essential Games
Aside from a few

quirky games made for the S Pen stylus, the best Note 3 games remains

those we’d recommend for any Android phone. For action, try out Dead

Trigger or Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. For driving, take a look at Real

Racing 3 or one of Gameloft’s Asphalt series games. For something a

little more casual, give Angry Birds a go (duh), Candy Crush Saga or

World of Goo.

6. Essential general apps
The Note 3 comes with

most of the apps you need to get going with an Android phone. It’s

seriously feature-packed. However, there are a few gems we recommend

checking out too. Whatsapp is great for chatting to, and sharing pics

with, friends (if you haven’t tried it, where have you been?), iPlayer

is a must, Endomondo is great for fitness freaks, Strava is perfect for

cyclists and the eBay app is a lot better than using the website if

you’re a virtual action fan.

5. Look out for indie bundle deals online for great deals

probably won’t know about this unless you’re a bit of a gaming geek,

but the indie gaming scene has started selling ‘humble bundles’ of games

made by independent games studios in order to raise money for charity.

They now regularly offer bundles for Android devices too. Check out the

Humble Bundle website for more.
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triangle  Troubleshooting

4. How to fix glitchy performance

relative freedom Android gives apps means your system can often get

bogged down, causing glitch performance despite the Note 3’s great

specs. One obvious way to solve these it to properly power off the phone

by holding down the power button until the power off pop-up comes up –

then either turn off or restart the phone.

If this doesn’t help,

try closing down all recent apps by holding the central select button

to bring up the multi-tasking menu, then tap the ‘cross’ icon in the

bottom-right of the screen.

3. How to close down apps fully

this still doesn’t solve your issue and your problems relate to a

specific app, you can delve deeper. Go to Settings>General

tab>Application Manager. Then flick right-to-left on-screen to the

list of the apps currently running, or all apps. Find the pesky app’s

entry and tap it. You’ll see options to ‘force stop’, ‘clear data’ and

‘clear cache’. Pressing all of these will fully  reset the app, and

should solve most app-related problems.

2. How to perform a factory reset

none of the above measures have exorcised the gremlins from your phone,

you should probably try a full data reset. This wipes everything of

yours off the phone, making it just like it was fresh out of the box –

so make sure you save any photos before doing this. To perform a reset,

go to Settings>General tab>Backup and Reset, and select Factory

Data Reset.

1. How to update software
The Galaxy Note 3

will get fairly regular software updates. The phone should give you a

nudge when a new update is available, but you can manually check for an

update too. To do this, go to Settings>General tab>About Device

(it’s right down the bottom). At the top of this sub-menu is a ‘software

update’ option. Within it is a check box to make the phone

automatically check for updates, along with the manual check button.

Let us know any bits and bobs we’ve missed in the comments

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