Samsung ditched the “signature” capacitive (hardware) navigation buttons (Back, Recents, and Home) in Galaxy S8 and S8+ as explained in Galaxy S8 layout page and new features of Galaxy S8 page, and embraced the modern software-based on-screen navigation buttons which can be found in almost all other Android devices.
But Samsung did one step further to allow you to customize Galaxy S8 navigation buttons and navigation bar.
This Galaxy S8 new feature guide will show you how to use and customize the on-screen Galaxy S8 navigation buttons, and the Galaxy S8 navigation bar.
What can you do to customize Galaxy S8 navigation buttons, and navigation bar?
In stock Android, the on-screen navigation buttons are fixed, although a few vendors, for example LG, may allow you to add more buttons in the navigation bar.
Samsung used not only different (and a bit confusing as well) icons for the three standard buttons (Recents/Overview, Home and Back), but also made the layout of these navigation buttons customizable in Galaxy S8 and S8+.
For Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ on-screen navigation buttons and the navigation bar, you can:
- switch locations of the Recents and Back button.
- customize the background color of Galaxy S8 navigation bar.
- adjust Galaxy S8 Home button pressure level sensitivity.
Please note, fingerprint scanner was decoupled from the Home button in Galaxy S8 and S8+, and is now relocated to the back of the phone (next to main camera) as detailed in Galaxy S8 layout page.
How to customize Galaxy S8 navigation buttons layout?
In stock Android, the Back button is to the left of Home button and Recent (aka Overview) button to the right.
But the layout of Samsung’s traditional capacitive buttons is opposite to stock Android’s on-screen navigation buttons.
In Galaxy S8 and S8+, the default layout of Galaxy S8 navigation buttons follows its old capacitive buttons as shown below. This maintains the continuity for seasoned Galaxy phone users.
But for owners who switched from other Android phones, this can be annoying because they will tap wrong buttons too often.
To address this issue, Samsung allows you to customize Galaxy S8 navigation buttons layout. You can re-order Galaxy S8 navigation buttons.
To customize Galaxy S8 navigation buttons layout, you can follow these steps.
Step 1: Go to Galaxy S8 settings
In Galaxy S8 and S8+, there are many ways to access Galaxy S8 settings, for example,
- from Galaxy S8 apps screen or Galaxy S8 home screen, open Settings app.
- from notification pane, tap Settings (gear) icon.
The result is identical. You get the same setting page.
Step 2: Tap Display
You can tap Display in Settings page to enter Galaxy S8 display settings.
Step 3: Tap Navigation bar
In Galaxy S8 Display settings page, tap Navigation bar as shown below.
Step 4: Tap Button layout
In Navigation bar setting page, you can find some customizable items:
- Button layout (marked as 1 in the screenshot above) for you to change the layout of on-screen navigation buttons in Galaxy S8 and S8+.
- Background color for navigation bar (marked as 2) for you to change the background color of the navigation bar.
- Home button sensitivity (marked as 3) for you to adjust the touch sensitivity (pressure levels) for the Home button.
- Unlock with Home button (marked as 4) for you to choose whether to unlock the phone with Home button (lock screen security is set to none or swipe).
To customize the layout of Galaxy S8 navigation buttons, tap Button layout.
Step 5: Select the layout of Galaxy S8 navigation buttons
You can now choose the button layout for the Galaxy S8 navigation bar.
Actually, you have only two options.
The Home button is always in the center.
The layout of Galaxy S8 navigation buttons can be either Recents — Home — Back (default) or Back — Home — Recents (as in other Android devices)
For example, you can choose Back — Home — Recents layout. The navigation bar will look like this:
How to customize background color of Galaxy S8 navigation bar?
By default, Galaxy S8 navigation bar is transparent in Galaxy S8 home screen and apps screen, or light grey in Samsung’s apps.
Samsung allows you to customize the background color of navigation bar in Galaxy S8 and S8+.
You can use any color for Galaxy S8 navigation bar.
To customize background color of Galaxy S8 navigation bar, tap Background color (marked as 2) in navigation bar settings page discussed above.
Please note, the customized background color of the Galaxy S8 navigation bar is for apps made by Samsung only. Other apps will still use the default black background color for the navigation bar.
How to set up Galaxy S8 Home button sensitivity?
As explained in the missing features of Galaxy S8 and S8+, Samsung very likely planned to put fingerprint sensor under the touch screen and to be integrated with the on-screen Home button.
But this was not materialized in Galaxy S8 and S8+. And Samsung had to relocate the fingerprint scanner into the back of the phone.
This leaves some half-baked features of the on-screen Galaxy S8 Home button.
One of these features is the touch sensitivity of Galaxy S8 Home button. You can set up the pressure levels (how hard you tap the screen) for the Home button.
As shown in the screenshot above, you can use the slider (marked as 3) to adjust the touch sensitivity for Home button.
How to unlock Galaxy S8 and S8+ with Home button?
By default, the Home button in Galaxy S8 and S8+ cannot wake up the screen.
But you can change this behavior to make it like a hardware button.
As shown in the Navigation bar settings page, you can enable Unlock with Home button (marked as 4 in the screenshot).
If you set lock screen security as PIN/pattern/password, you will then be directed to unlock the phone.
Galaxy S8 navigation buttons disappear in some apps, how to get them back?
Android supports full-screen immersive mode to get better user experiences.
In this immersive mode, both the status bar in the top of the screen and navigation bar in the bottom of the screen may disappear so that the screen can accommodate more contents.
You can simple drag upwards from the bottom of the screen to bring navigation buttons up again if you need them.
Do you have any questions on Galaxy S8 navigation buttons and navigation bar?
If you have any questions on Galaxy S8 navigation buttons and navigation bar in Galaxy S8 and S8+, please let us know them in the comment box below.
The community will help you find the answer or solution.
You may also check our Galaxy S8 guides:
- Galaxy S8 new features guide covers all new and unique features of Galaxy S8 and S8+.
- Galaxy S8 how-to guides give you detailed step-by-step guides on using most features of Galaxy S8 and S8+.
- Galaxy S8 user manuals lets you download official Samsung Galaxy S8 user manuals in your won language.
- Galaxy S8 camera guides covered everything related to Galaxy S8 camera is covered in Galaxy S8 camera guides section.
- Galaxy S8 accessories guides help you find the perfect accessories for Galaxy S8 and S8+.
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