May 9, 2022

First 10 things to do with your new Galaxy Tab S8

By Michael L Hicks published March 11, 2022

These Galaxy Tab S8 tips will ensure you get the very best tablet experience

The Galaxy Tab S8+ back with S Pen

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)Jump to:

The Galaxy Tab S8 series has arrived, and all three tablets top our list of the best Android tablets we’ve ever tested. It has the same smooth pixel-rich display, rich audio, and long battery life as its predecessors, but with revamped software and the speedy Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering it. 

Once you unbox your Galaxy Tab S8, Samsung takes you through the standard setup process and then drops you into your new playground with very little guidance. Because of that, you may not know what to do with your new Galaxy Tab S8. Having used the Galaxy Tab S8+ for a few weeks now, I have some suggestions.

Unless you only plan to use it for streaming and note-taking, you’ll need to dive into the Settings to get the most out of your new tablet. Our Galaxy Tab S8 tips and tricks should help you enjoy your new tablet experience even more.Sponsored LinksIT companies in USA Might be Hiring People from PakistanIT companies in USA | Search Ads


The Galaxy Tab S8+
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

By default, the Galaxy Tab S8 home screen has a simple layout: a few core apps, the Google Search bar visible, and most of the space left empty. Because of the extra display space, you can easily cram in several widgets and get tons of information without ever opening an app.RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…Best Android Phones – Late 2021These are our picks for the best Android phones you can buy going into 2022! seconds of 2 minutes, 53 secondsVolume 0% PLAY SOUND

Simply tap and hold any blank display space to pull up the Home Screen editor. There, you can change your Wallpaper, add Widgets or jump to the Display Settings.

Among my personal favorite widgets, I’ve added Flashlight Widget to toggle it without jumping into Quick Toggles, a Gmail widget to scroll through my latest work emails, Google Photos memories to see random photos of family throughout the day, a Samsung Notes bar to quickly open a new note, and a Calendar widget. 

If you don’t care about widgets and prefer to simply see all your apps on the home screen without swiping up, go to the Display Settings and switch Home screen layout to Home Screen only

Otherwise, even with the more traditional Android layout, you may want to change the Home screen grid to 8×5 or 10×5 — especially on the Plus or Ultra. It’ll ensure you can fit more content onto each screen and more flexibility on widgets’ widths.


Galaxy Tab S8+ settings
(Image credit: Android Central)

I recommend doing this for any Android device but it’s especially helpful with the Galaxy Tab S8. Your Quick Toggles appear when you swipe down from the display’s top, including the Wi-Fi toggle, Lock/Rotate toggle, and Airplane Mode. Swipe down again to show a larger list of toggles.

You can change which Toggles appear in your first swipe by tapping the ellipsis and selecting Edit Buttons and rearranging your favorites into the first seven slots.

You’ll also find niche buttons like Camera/Mic access, Secure Folder access, or Kids mode. Simply drag the ones you want into the main list and any you don’t want out of that list into the Available buttons section.

Galaxy Tab S8+ settings
(Image credit: Android Central)


Once that’s done, tap the ellipsis again and select Quick panel layout, then switch Brightness control to Show always. That’ll ensure you can quickly dim or brighten the screen with a single swipe instead of two. Or, if you don’t care about Device Control or Media Output, you can hide those from the Quick panel to leave more room for notifications.


The Galaxy Tab S8+
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

My absolute favorite aspect of the Galaxy Tab S8 is its simple multitasking tools. A small gray bar on the tablet edge hides a taskbar (or Edge panel) full of recent and favorite apps; tap the Sandwich icon on the bottom to edit it so it saves your absolute favorite apps, making them always just a swipe away.

Once the taskbar is ready, you can open one app, reveal the taskbar, and drag-and-drop a second app onto the display so they’re both visible at once; you can also drag it onto a specific part of the display to determine whether the apps are side-by-side or atop one another. 

You can drag the border between the two apps to resize them so one is larger than the other. Or, you can tap the ellipsis icon in the border’s middle to reveal three useful options: Rotate ClockwiseSwitch Window, or Add app pair to Edge panel. The last option not only reopens those apps but also remembers the layout; so make sure only to favorite them once you’ve figured out the perfect size for each.

Don’t be afraid to add a lot of apps, app pairs, or app triples: the Edge panel expands to multiple columns once you add enough favorites.

You may also want to move the pinned Edge panel itself. On the home screen, tap and hold it with the S Pen and you can slide it up and down, or even drag it to the other side of the display.

The Galaxy Tab S8+
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)


Finally, if you go to Settings > Advanced features > Labs, you can turn on Show multi-window menu in full-screen view. This pins a small gray line on top of an app; tap it and you can select Open in split screen view to force it to one side; an app menu will appear on the other so you can choose which app to add next.

The Galaxy Tab S8+
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

In that same Settings menu, you can toggle Full screen in split screen view, which hides the status and navigation bars to give yourself a little extra screen space for each app. Some people will prefer keeping that info, so try both options and choose whichever you prefer.


DeX Mode on the Galaxy Tab S8 Plus
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Samsung DeX Mode is a handy tool that gives your tablet a desktop-like interface. It still relies on Android apps, but they open as pop-up windows so you can fit more on the display, and it works very well with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. You can access it easily by making the “DeX Mode” button one of your first Quick Toggles.Advertisement

Another useful shortcut button for PC owners is Second Screen. Tap it, select Drawing/gaming or Video mode, and then go onto your Windows computer and open the Connect screen with Windows + K. Once you connect the pair, your tablet will mirror your PC desktop, so you can expand your screen space without even needing a cord.

Your other option is to cast your Galaxy Tab S8 in DeX mode to a compatible television, which you can also do wirelessly. Suddenly, it’ll be a lot easier to squeeze multiple pop-up apps on the screen because they’ll all balloon in size thanks to the extra display space.


The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8+ and keyboard cover
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Whether or not you plan to bring your Galaxy Tab S8 outside, its beautiful, lightweight design with scratch-resistant material isn’t going to help if you drop it screen-down or something scrapes it while on the move. 

The Galaxy Tab S8/S8+ Slim Keyboard Cover checks most boxes because it can protect your tablet on the move, and prop it up with a fairly comfortable auto-connecting keyboard attached, so you don’t ever need to bother with manual Bluetooth pairing. It’s expensive and gets fingerprint-smudged very easily, but I’d argue it’s worth the cost.

Still, you can save a healthy amount of money by simply buying a 3rd-party Galaxy Tab S8 case, most of which offer a built-in kickstand. Then simply pair the Galaxy Tab S8 with your favorite Bluetooth keyboard and you’re good to go for a much lower price.



The Galaxy Tab S8+
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

The Galaxy Tab S8 series has excellent quad speakers backed by Dolby Atmos, but you may not realize that Atmos is turned off by default when you unbox your Tab. Go to Settings > Sounds and vibration > Sound quality and effects to turn on Atmos.

It’ll default to Auto, meaning it’ll optimize audio for Movie, Music, and Voice. You can set it to target just one — most likely movies — since it can have an odd effect when it’s used for non-Atmos content. If you do choose Auto, you can use the Dolby Atmos Quick Toggle from the Quick Panel to switch it off in a pinch.

In that same sound settings menu, you can adjust the Equalizer to target specific genres of music, or manually adjust the settings. Otherwise, you can adapt the sound profile to target users in the <30, 30-60, and 60+ age groups, boosting higher or mid frequencies for younger ears.


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