Get Early Access to New Features on the Galaxy S7 with “Galaxy Labs”

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Trying new things is always fun, especially when it comes to tech. Getting hands and eyes on new features before they become mainstays is even more exciting. Not only that, but it also helps software builders gauge interest for new features before they make them permanent. Samsung gets this, so on the international versions of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, it included a new feature called “Galaxy Labs.”

As with most software things that contain the “Labs” moniker, this is a place for experimental features. It’s a place where Samsung can introduce new features without forcing them on people, letting only those who like to experiment with beta software give them a go. That’s neat, but keep in mind that there may be bugs or other quirks in these features–so only continue if you’re prepared to use beta software.

First things first—jump into the Setting menu. Pull down the notification shade and tap the cog icon. Poof.

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Now, scroll down until you see “Advanced Features.” I know it sounds scary, but it’s not. And I’ll stay with you the whole time. I promise. Tap it.

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There are several very not-scary options here, but you want to scroll all the way down to the bottom. See that tucked away down there? Galaxy Labs. That’s what I’m talking about. Jump in.

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Here there’s a brief disclaimer that these are experimental features and may be “added, modified, or removed without notice.” Alright, Samsung, cool.

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Currently there are only a couple of options:

  • Show all apps on Home screen: If you’re using Samsung’s stock Launcher, this removes the app drawer and places all app shortcuts on the home screens, a la iOS. Go ahead and try this if you’re a glutton for punishment.
  • Quick dial: With this enabled, you can long-press the home button and say a contacts name to call them. That’s pretty neat.

Just slide the toggle to “On” to turn either or both of these features on.

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Aside from having the option to toggle each setting, there’s also a “Do you find it useful?” entry at the bottom with two little faces: one happy, one…not so happy. This is what you can use to let the developers know if you’re into the feature or not. See—not only are you getting to play with new stuff, but you’re effectively helping develop the next-generation of Samsung’s software layer. Don’t let all that power go to your head.

Cameron Summerson is a die-hard Android fan, Chicago Bulls fanatic, metalhead, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at HTG, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, spinning legs on the bike, chugging away on the 6-string, or being disappointed in the Bulls.