With the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, the Korean company has further worked on refining its software which has always remained its Achilles heel. Over the last few years though, Samsung has been making slow and steady progress in this regard to improve the overall user experience of its UI.
The Galaxy S9 ships with the company’s latest Experience UI based on Android 8.0 Oreo. This is the same version of the skin that we first saw on the Galaxy Note 8 last year, but Samsung has made some improvements to it and further refined it. Ultimately, despite Samsung’s best efforts, there are a lot of areas where Samsung’s UI still needs a lot of work. A lot of features are half-baked, while performance in other parts of the UI is still not up to the mark.
Most of these issues can be resolved by simply using a third-party app from the Play Store. And if the Galaxy S9 is your first Android smartphone, there are some apps that you should download to further improve the experience of using the phone.
Best Apps for Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+
Despite Samsung making vast improvements to its Experience UI, the launcher remains one of its weakest aspects. Its performance is sub-par, it drops frames, and gets laggy after a few hours. And not to forget, it’s a very basic launcher with not many advanced features. That’s why you should use Nova Launcher which offers far superior performance and features than Samsung’s stock launcher. No wonder then that Nova launcher has remained among the most popular app on the Play Store for the last few years.
With Nova launcher, you will forget about dropped frames, stutters, and lags while swiping between homescreens. It also offers plenty of advanced and useful features like gesture and icon pack support, customizable animations, support for notification dots, and more. There are plenty of other advantages of using Nova launcher which will be evident once you start using it on a regular basis. You will have to pay $4.99 to unlock the full functionality of the launcher though.
Download: Nova Launcher
If you are a power user, you need to have Sesame shortcuts installed on your Galaxy S9. The app creates quick shortcuts to almost every possible action that you could think of including those for third-party apps. So, for example, Sesame shortcuts will create shortcuts for your WhatsApp contacts so you can quickly search and send them a message without having to open the app. Similarly, there will be a shortcut for quickly taking a selfie, opening your favorite website, and more.
Even better, Sesame Shortcuts integrates with the native app search function of Nova Launcher. This way, you can quickly do a search in Sesame without having to open the app. Once you get used to Sesame Shortcuts on your Galaxy S9, there’s no going back.
Download: Sesame Shortcuts
Samsung’s own keyboard on the Galaxy S9 is pretty good but it definitely cannot beat Google’s Gboard. The keyboard offers a plethora of features that you will not find in Samsung’s stock keyboard app. This includes multilingual typing, support for plenty of languages, GIF and emoji integration, sticker support, themes, and more. The keyboard also has Google search integration which means you can do a Google search right from within it without having to leave the app you are currently using.
Sadly, the Galaxy S9 continues to come with a dedicated Bixby button which is of not much use if you are not a fan of Samsung’s digital assistant. While Samsung now allows you to disable the Bixby home button, it does not allow one to remap it which it ideally should.
Thankfully, bxActions lets you do just that. Using the app, you can remap not only the single press but also the double press and long press functions of the button. You can even customize the button actions depending on whether your Galaxy S9 is locked or not.
Before you dismiss Samsung’s stock Internet browser, you should definitely give it a try. The browser is fast, has Samsung Pass integration, and packs plenty of features. Even better, unlike Chrome, Samsung’s Internet browser supports ad blockers. While not pre-installed, you can install one of the many ad blockers available for Samsung’s internet browser from the Play Store. Apart from blocking annoying ads, most of these ad blockers also protect your privacy, consumes fewer resources, and improves the overall browsing experience.
You can download one of the many adblockers available for Samsung’s internet browser from here.
The above apps should help in further improving the overall experience of using your brand new Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+. Got any other app that every Samsung Galaxy S9 owner out there must know about? Drop a comment and share them with our readers.