The Galaxy Note 8 one of the best smartphones, there is no doubt. With its plethora of software features such as App Pair, Edge Panel, Edge Lighting, new wire-frame icons and more, the device also includes additional hardware features compared to most Android devices. Although it is certainly difficult to emulate the hardware features of Note 8, you can get most of the software features of the Galaxy Note 8 to work on any Android device. It only requires a lot of third party apps and a few complications. Let's take a look at how you can change your current Android device to feel more like the Galaxy Note 8.
Note : I tried the following methods on my Moto G4 Plus with Android 7.0 Nougat and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 with Android 6.0 Marshmallow. important to note that split screen functionality only works on devices with Android 7.0 and above.
Get Note 8 features on your Android device
The main reason why users opt for an Android device is the ease of customization, with the plethora of options in tow. You need the right tools to improve the functionality and appearance of your Android device. Here, we'll see how you can make your device closer to Samsung's flagship Galaxy Note 8.
1. Get rounded corners for the 8-note screen
One of the main design choices that make the Galaxy Note 8 aesthetically pleasing are the curved edges of the display. Samsung has been playing with edge-to-edge displays for some time, but has hit the nail on the head with this device. It looks nice and can even get rounded corners on one of your Android devices . All you need to do is install the app Rounded Corner (free in-app purchases starting at $ 2.00) from the Google Play Store.
Once the app is installed, extract the necessary permissions to add rounded corners to your device. Allows you to set the size and color of the corners while providing more granular settings for each app installed on your device . You can also add new custom styles to the corners, but it all requires us to shell out $ 5 via in-app purchases.
2. Changing the icons of the navigation bar
Now that we have the home screen and corners ready, the final change that will make your device look like the Galaxy Note 8 is the navigation buttons. We will replace the standard icons on my Moto G4 Plus with new wireframe icons via the app Custom Navigation Bar (free, get the pro version for $ 2.99). It will take you some work to make it work.
- Once you download the app from the Google Play Store, you will notice that the app requires that the settings of "WRITE_SECURE" work. You won't be able to use this app until you give it the necessary permissions.
- To do this, connect your device (with USB debugging activated) to your PC / Mac with the ADB tools installed on it. Prompt Open command, type " adb devices "to see if your device is connected to your PC. So type " adb shell " and hit Enter .
Note : if you are interested in a detailed explanation on how to install the ADB tools on your PC or Mac, you can read here. There are also many interesting things you can do with ADB on your Android device.
- Now, enter the command shown below and press " Submit "to provide your device with the necessary permissions. You will notice that the" Permission permission "on your device will turn green, which means the process was successful.
pm concedere xyz.paphonb.systemuituner android.permission.WRITE_SECURE_SETTINGS
- Now you can choose two different paths from here on. You can choose to download the Note 8 navigation icons and install them yourself through the " Experimental changes "under the navigation bar in the app.
- Select the type of each navigation button as "Code key ", then select the icon you just downloaded. Here's what the navigation bar will look like after updating the icons:
- Otherwise, you can purchase the " Pro "application for $ 2.99 to instantly access the Note 8 navigation bar theme, as shown below.
Note : This method does not work on Android devices with physical navigation buttons (which should be obvious). But you can get the Note 8 navigation bar by downloading the app with the same name and turning off the physical buttons on your device.
3. Setting up the notification screen 8
Now that we have completed the minor changes, let's move on to the most important part of the device, that is, of course, the home screen. So, we will start by customizing the appearance and operation of the Galaxy Note 8, before moving on to additional software features introduced with this flagship device.
- If you've used Android long enough, you know this is the part where I will tell you to install a custom launcher on your device. I personally prefer Nova Launcher (free, Prime version unlocked for $ 4.99) for plenty of customization options.
- Our first step in making the Home screen look like Note 8 changing icons with the help of a third party icon pack. I chose the icon pack Experience UX S8 (free in-app purchase starts at $ 0.99), similar to the Galaxy Note 8 and includes over 600 icons. Makes my home screen look like this:
Note : you can select any Note 8 icon pack of your choice, but I have selected this because it does not only include the Galaxy S8 / Note 8 icons but also the redesigned search and weather widgets.
- This now brings us to the customization of the app drawer and dock at the bottom of the screen. Pass to Nova settings> App drawers and widgets to change the aesthetic appearance of the app drawer and activate the " scroll to open " . You will also need to remove "the scroll indicator "to match the Galaxy Note 8 dock.
- Now need to install Zooper Widget Pro (paid, $ 2.99) to add the new search and weather widgets to the home screen. We would also have requested a widget app, such as Trident, if our icon pack didn't already include the necessary Zooper widgets.
- Now you can place the two required widgets on the home screen via Zooper, which also gives you the ability to heavily modify them according to your needs. It provides a fairly robust set of customization options for editing widgets.
- The only thing we need to change now to make the Home screen look like the Note 8 wallpaper. You will need to download the app for Galaxy Note 8 (free) to access the official wallpapers. Here's how your new homescreen will look like that when you started with the customization process.
4. Emulation of app pairing functionality
We've had multitasking functionality, opening two split-screen apps since Nougat launched, but Samsung has gone one step further to simplify the task with App Pair on Note 8. The Korean giant is taking advantage of its huge screen by providing a shortcut which can group two apps, which you want to open in split screen, together. You just have to touch the icon ' App Pair 'and the two apps you have selected will open on your mobile screen simultaneously.
For example, you can choose to open YouTube and Google Maps at the same time to have fun while keeping track of directions on a trip. Simplify the process by making it easier to open multiple windows on your device by running Nougat or Oreo. It won't work with old Android flavors.
We will emulate this multitasking function with the help of a third party app called Split-screen Creator (free version, Pro unlock for $ 0.99). After providing access to the app to accessibility services, you can proceed and create your Appate App . The method to create a pair of apps as below:
- If you are using Nova Launcher, like me, long press on an empty spot on the main main screen to open the Widget menu . Here, scroll down and long press the shortcut option " New split screen "to place it on the home screen.
- This widgets open one creation window a link, where you can simultaneously select apps and shortcuts that you want to open in split-screen. As you can see in the screenshot attached below, I chose YouTube and Google Maps as in the example mentioned above. Awards "Create" once you are satisfied with the name of the association and the label .
- Now, you will notice that the Split-screen widget icon has been replaced with a new icon which includes the combination of the two selected apps. Looks like the 'App Pair' that can be created on the Galaxy Note 8.
- Touch the combined icon to open both YouTube and Google Maps in shared screen mode at the same time. It works well, except for some minor inconveniences when you may need to exit split screen mode and empty the memory for it to work.
While split screen creators let you choose apps and name the pair of apps, you still need to purchase a " Pro "to end advertising and unlock additional features. It will also allow us to modify the icon pack to match the Galaxy Note 8 and to hide this app's icon from the launcher.
5. Adding app pairs to an Edge panel
The Edge panel of the App present in the flagship devices of Samsung since the launch of Galaxy S6 Edge, therefore not exclusive of the Note 8. It simplifies the management of a device, big like this, easier with one hand. But important to us because Pairs apps reside in this Edge panel on the original device.
To bring the functionality of the Edge panel to our Android devices, we will again help from the developers of Split-screen Creator. They released the two apps that work in tandem to emulate the Note 8 feature edges. We will use an app called Meteor Swipe (free, unlock version Pro for $ 1.99) to integrate a sliding panel on the device.
Once you download the app and grant it the necessary permissions, the Edge panel will be activated immediately. A rectangular bar appears on the right side of the screen, which swiping out opens the Edge panel. However, you will need to follow the steps defined below to add App Pairs to this panel:
- In the Meteor Swipe panel tab, you will see an activated Edge panel. Touch the icon " Edit " (the pencil) at the bottom of this panel to add new shortcuts at the same.
- Once you touch the shortcut " Create split screen ", this will be added to the Edge panel and you will be greeted with a familiar app selection screen. Choose the apps you want to open at the same time before touching the button" Create "to confirm your choice.
- Here, instead of the combined "App Pair" icon you saw on the home screen, you will see the default split screen creator icon. However, it can be changed by touching the pencil icon which appears next to each link on the Edge panel. Select the " change icon "to assign it an icon of your choice.
- Now, go back to the home screen and swipe from the right edge screen to open the Edge panel. Touch the App Pair icon you just created to open the two apps on the split screen at the same time.
You can use the free version to create only a single Edge panel, with a limited set of actions and shortcuts for apps. Allows you to locate location, themes, notification plugins and more. But you can unlock the "Pro" version to create infinite panels with an unlimited number of shortcuts. It also unlocks a mobile widget that shows updates without having to open the Edge panel.
6. Track your notifications with the view always on
Always-on Display another feature that is not exclusive to the Galaxy Note 8 but useful for keeping track of time and notifications without unlocking the device. But this basic functionality has also been updated on the Note 8, which now allows you to take notes / reminders directly on the lock screen with the help of the S Pen.
Although no third-party app can achieve Always-on Display's intuitiveness, there is a strong competitor approaching it. We will install an app called Always On AMOLED (free in-app purchases start at $ 0.99) which work with exceptionally good AMOLED displays, but not as exceptional with LCD ones. The app contains a " BETA "all capital, but you don't have to worry about the same as it will work perfectly.
Note : it is not recommended to use this app on devices equipped with an LCD panel, due to the possibility of excessive battery consumption, but it is still possible to proceed if desired. I was running the app on my Moto G4 Plus and it worked perfectly.
- After installing Always On AMOLED, you will need to provide the app with a set of permissions. Tap " Allow " to grant each of the required permissions to the app . You can read the details of each authorization by pressing the " Question mark "next to each authorization button.
- The Always-on display is now activated and you can see how it looks by tapping the " play " bottom right. Double tap the always-on display to turn on your device screen.
- Now, the app comes with a robust feature set. You can customize it to look more like an always on display on the Galaxy Note 8 by unlocking all the features, including the Note 8 clock face, backgrounds, weather information and more. It will cost you $ 0.99 to unlock Pro features.
- But, I decided to go with Always On AMOLED for two reasons. One that the app automatically move widgets to avoid screen burn-in issues and has also included a reminder feature . It is not possible to write on the lock screen, but to show a pre-written note on always on display with ease.
- This app will also provide you with another popular feature of the Galaxy Note 8, called Edge Lighting, where the edges of the locked screen light up in a conversation or notification. been labeled as " Edge Glow "under the notification settings
Note : during the test of this app I found that this app caused some image retention on the LCD screen of my Moto G4 Plus. Not a big deal and the previous images are not visible too long.
7. Choose a good and smooth writing stylus
While we have suggested changes to the software that will make your Android devices work similarly to the Galaxy Note 8, at least to some extent, but the main reason many users buy the device with the included S Pen stylus. You can, at any time, click to extract the S pen and access some of the exclusive functions. Therefore, if you are looking to add to your personalization experience, here are three stylus tips:
Adonit Snap Stilo Bluetooth
Although I'm not a big fan of physical styles, because we have fingers, but Adonit Snap has captured my full attention. This incredibly thin stylus not only super portable but also magnetic, which means you can attach it to the back of your Android device. Useless?
Adonit Snap has a 1, 9 mm Pixelpoint tip, which allows you to write notes or draw an image with great precision. The stylus yes colleague also on the phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to take photos with the push of a button . You can use the pen to draw on the Snap you upload or write notes during the lesson.
This stylus looks like an elegant pencil, the key point for my attraction towards it. compatible with Android or iOS devices and can be recharged via micro USB .
Buy from Amazon: ($ 29.99)
Sensu Artist Brush and Stylus
The Brush and the stylus of the artist Sensu, as the name suggests, have one dual function . can use the realistic digital brush, with its capacitive bristles, to show your artistic side or take off the cap on the other side of the stylus for expose the rubber stylus . It can be used for simple tasks like navigating the device, writing or even sketching at times.
The Sensu brush and the stylus, that will cost you $ 39.99, have been praised for being the best brush and nib for digital artists. But the biggest disadvantage of this stylus is that it is not sensitive to pressure, which could have added a little more depth to the experience. Also, remember that you can't use Sensu's digital brush with real paint . available in two beautiful colors, matt black and chromed.
Buy from Amazon: ($ 39.99)
Our latest recommendation is Meko's disc-style precision stylus. Make use of a transparent disc very small which allows you to see and locate exactly the stylus in the position where you want to place the tip of the stylus. This technique makes it suitable for annotating class notes or moving sketches.
This stylus compatible with all touch-based devices and will last a long time, thanks to the stock of spare parts made available with the stylus. You can replace any part of it in seconds, without tools .
Buy from Amazon: ($ 14.99, pack of 2 styles)
As you may have already observed, I suggested three different types of stylus. because these are one of the best categories and you can choose according to your nature of work. If you're going to take notes at university, Meko or Adonit styluses are the best choice, but artists, on the other hand, will prefer the Sensu brush.
Also, since you don't have a stylus fence on your Android device, where you can store the stylus, so I suggest not to randomly carry it and drop it. And if you think the chances of the stylus getting lost are high, you should attach a card to keep track of it at all times.
8. Installing a coloring application on the device
One of the most talked about S Pen features introduced with Galaxy Note 8 is their new coloring app called PENUP . Now you can take the S Pen out of its wrapper and devote free time from work to color images on your smartphone . Some people have said that the process is extremely therapeutic and helps them relax after a long day at work.
Since you are transferring Note 8 features to your Android device, it would be a good idea to also install an adult coloring application. Samsung made available the PENUP app (free) in the Play Store, so you can download this app and start coloring or drawing sketches in your spare time.
easy enough to color the pictures, that they can be filled using your finger or stylus and share them with the PENUP community once you're done. The app has a decent collection of brushes, the size and opacity of which can be adjusted at any time. You can choose between touch or scribble to color the image, depending on your imagination.
There image collection on the Samsung PENUP currently quite limited, so you can choose other adult coloring apps like Pigment (free, in-app purchases starting at $ 1.99) or Colorfy (free, subscription for $ 2.99).
9. It has never been easier to write on the screen
One of my favorite S Pen features is the ability to start writing anything, anywhere on the screen, when the stylus is pulled out of its slot. This feature known as Screen Write and can be easily used on any Android device. All you need to know is a screenshot of a screen you want to draw on and a good photo editing app or a single app that can do both.
While many Android manufacturers already include editing tools in the gallery app, making it easy to edit images and write on screenshots. However, if no editing tools are integrated into your device in the Gallery app, you can download the Touchshot app (free) from the Google Play Store to take screenshots with a simple touch.
In the attached screens at the top, you can see the "Touchshot" mobile bar in the upper right part of the screen in the image on the left. Touching the camera icon on the floating bar will instantly take a screenshot and show a pop-up with it. then you can tap the painting icon to open the edit windows, which is displayed in the image on the right side. It not only allows you to scribble on an image but also to annotate and add stickers.
10. Translate the text without changing apps
The Galaxy Note 8 also debuted with an instant translation function, which allows you to touch and highlight portions of text to be translated and show the result in a window with the mouse. If you were impressed with the Samsung translation demo, you should know that an old trick can be emulated using the " Touch to translate "from Google Translate. To activate this, you need to follow the steps described below:
- Every time you open the Google Translate app (free) for the first time, you will notice a card asking you to take a tour of the " Touch to translate ". Tap on" Enable "to enable the function.
- Now you can open any app or website and select the word or phrase you want to translate. I listened to Despacito (Remix) for a while and wondered about the meaning of the word. Therefore, I open the lyrics of the song in Chrome and touches the word Despacito, which opens a floating menu with the Translate option .
- Tap on " Translate "and Voila, the Translation of the selected words will appear on the screen in a floating window . And best of all, translations are supported by Google.
For Samsung devices only
Most Android users are not going to shell out $ 930 to buy the Galaxy Note 8, so it's natural that they adopt the aforementioned hacks to get the Note 8 features on their devices. Owners of Samsung devices may already have the appearance and operation of the inactive operating system, but the functionality of their main admirers will also be lacking. So, here are also some hacks on how to get Note 8 features on a Samsung device:
1. Note 8 ROM customized for Galaxy S8 users
The feature-rich Galaxy Note 8 was released by Samsung over a month ago, but it didn't deter the XDA developer community from putting together an unofficial Note 8 port for the latest S8 series.
This custom ROM, which contains a beta tag, is called Renovate Ice Note 8. based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat (one step ahead of the Galaxy S8 Android 7.0 ROM) and brings with it most of the software features of Note 8, except functions compatible with the S Pen . You will still have to resort to the aforementioned hacks to access these features.
However, it is also important to note that this custom ROM is not an exact copy of Note 8. The developers have crossed the features of Samsung's huge flagship device on a new Android variant, making some changes to the home screen and existing features. . App Pair functionality has been natively enhanced by allowing two apps to be linked to a shortcut of the Multi Window app.
In addition, the ROM of Renovate replaces the customizable AROMA installer, which can be used to remove and remove Knox security from the S Series device. It also optimized the battery and overall performance of the device, adding SystemUI Tuner and more to the software.
Since Renovate Ice Note 8 is still in beta development, we recommend that you install this ROM only if you do not mind voiding the warranty of your device. You can refer to the full set of instructions on the XDA forum post here.
2. Install App Note 8 on any Samsung device
While the low-cost and mid-range Samsung devices launched in the last year arrive with the updated home screen, the new features introduced with the Galaxy Note 8 are absent from all Samsung devices. However, an XDA developer managed to transfer Note 8 applications and features to other devices produced by the Korean giant.
Using this method, all you need to do is install a ZIP file using TWRP on an uprooted Samsung device. This not only porter the user interfaces of the updated apps for the gallery, the browser, the clock and more, but also the main functions of Note 8 like Live Messages, Edge Lighting and more. This hack is most useful for users with older generation Note devices as they will also be able to use the new S Pen features. The only limitation that Android Nougat should be running on their devices.
You can read a detailed explanation of the whole process of bringing Galaxy Note 8 apps to any Samsung device, with at least Android 7.0 Nougat, which can be found right here. You just need to follow the detailed procedure to bring most of the Note 8 features to your Samsung device.
How does the unofficial Galaxy Note 8 experience work?
The process of adding some of the exclusive features to my cheap Android smartphone was a fun and boring experience. I was really impressed with the way the new home screen turned out exactly like the Galaxy Note 8 but features like the Always-on display proved to be lackluster in my implementation. been a huge battery eater and even caused image retention issues on my device's LCD screen.
The feature that impressed me most was to launch "App Pair" in shared screen mode by touching a single icon from the Edge panel. I plan to customize and make more Pair apps in my spare time with the device, which will now also see my color skills. To sum up the experience, Note 8's unofficial features worked well and will need more tweaks to match the original.
You can, however, go ahead and familiarize yourself with the Galaxy Note 8 experience by using these hacks. Let us know if you customize your Android device or skip all the main features in the comments section below.