Our six favorite Samsung Good Lock features to get you started
Samsung phones have gotten a lot better over the years, and it’s not surprising to see them often topping our list of favorite Android phones. One of the many things we like about it is the extent of software customization available, and a suite of apps called Good Lock make these phones more customizable than out of the box. Recently, Good Lock has started to expand to more countries, which has given a lot of users their first chance to use it. Good Lock’s sheer number of options can seem intimidating, so if you’re just getting ready and need some advice on what to check out, here are our favorites to get you started.
When we get to it, keep in mind that Good Lock is made up of many different individual modules, and every time a new version of One UI arrives, Samsung stops updating the modules for the old version, and turns all its attention to the future. This means that many of the features discussed today may work with One UI 4 and possibly One UI 3, but we’re getting closer considering compatibility with One UI 5 based on Android 13, which is what we’re using on the Galaxy. S22 Ultra. We also like to note that the names of some of these Good Lock modules, as well as the general in-app text, can look a little strange. You can blame many of these wonky translations, but fortunately things still mostly make sense.
Improved navigation gestures with One Hand Operation +
One Hand Operation + lets you choose which areas of the screen will be used to trigger navigation gestures. We tweaked this area below our power button, so swiping down triggered gestures, while swiping over that let us pull up menus, etc.
Going down the rabbit hole, this unit can assign up to twelve actions (six per side) to different gestures. You can swipe diagonally up, down, or straight out, then assign different actions to these triggers if you swipe out and hold. We like to keep these settings the same on both sides, but your preferences may differ. In our test setup, short swipes are set for general navigation. Swiping up, down, or out launches recent apps, home, and back actions, respectively. This is especially useful on phones like the S22 Ultra and Z Fold 4 when opened — when holding either of those devices in one hand, reaching for your thumb to the bottom of the screen is a stretch, so being able to do everything from the side screen is more comfortable.
Moving on to long swipes, we have the up, down, and out widgets triggering the popup, one-handed mode, and quick tools, respectively. A popup widget is a small pane that can have multiple pages where you can place any widget you want for instant access without going to the home screen – we keep the Galaxy Buds controls here. The one-handed mode is quite straightforward, but the quick tool pop-ups are incredibly useful. From there, you can adjust screen brightness, volume, media control, toggle Wi-Fi, audio files, Bluetooth, auto-rotate, and more. There are forty-seven actions that can be assigned to these triggers, so there is a lot to explore with this one.
Change your home screen icons with Theme Park
Samsung has integrated custom icons into One UI with Theme Park module. Theme Park can create complete system themes for your phone, but now that we’ve got the material for you, we’d rather ignore that part of the app and focus on the icons. The first thing this app lets you do is change the adaptive icon look, which is ideal if all you want to do is ditch the “pivot” Samsung icons and get round Pixel-like icons. You can also use any icon pack downloaded from the Google Play Store. All changes are made system-wide, so you’ll see your new icons in the Settings menu, overview screen, and home screen. The app is easy to use, but it’s a longer process than we have time for today, so if you want a step-by-step guide on how to use Theme Park, you can find it here.
Expand your quick settings with QuickStar
By default, the S22 Ultra uses a 4×3 grid size for quick settings in Notification Center. This leaves a lot of wasted space, which is why we’re happy to say that QuickStar lets you change this grid density. Inside the QuickStar app, you will find a toggle called Show Quick Button Grid. With this enabled, pull down your quick settings, tap the three-dot menu, and hit the button grid. This reveals a slider that changes the size of the grid. Dragging the slider to the left “Wide” side will reduce the grid to 3 x 3, and dragging it to “Narrow” will increase the grid up to 6 x 3.
Revitalize system UI tuner via QuickStar
For a few years, Google has had a hidden menu called System UI Tuner that allows users to hide certain icons from the status bar. Unfortunately, this menu was deprecated in Android 9.0, but Samsung has recreated it in QuickStar. Open the See Indicator Icons menu, and you will find an extensive list of icons that can be hidden from the status bar. In our case, we always have the S22 Ultra set to silent mode with the smartwatch connected, and there is always an active alarm clock. This makes the icons for these functions a nuisance that makes everything look garbled, so we turn them off. Depending on the country and carrier, some Samsung phones display an icon indicating NFC is enabled, which is annoying and completely useless – this can be disabled here as well.
Use TapBack with RegiStar
Some Pixels and iPhones have a feature that lets you double-tap the back of your phone to perform an action. Ditto is now an enabled feature in RegiStar, available on any Galaxy S or Z Flip device running One UI 5. You can set many actions, including taking a screenshot, accessing Google Assistant, starting a popup, displaying notifications, and more much. The app supports double and triple taps, so you can set multiple triggers at once. Since this module is so new, it may take a few seconds for the click to register and for the action to occur.
Charge your S Pen with Pentastic
Pentastic is a Good Lock module that modifies the behavior of the S Pen, and it’s one we liked. The first thing this unit does is change the style of Air Command, the floating menu that appears when you press the S Pen button. Air Command has been redesigned several times throughout the life of the Note series, and here you can go back to those old designs. The old style is an exact recreation of Air Command as it first appeared on the Note 2, and the circle is an adaptation of this that allows for more custom shortcuts and apps. Our favorite is the circle — there’s something satisfying about rotating the menu like an old rotary phone, and it’s not as intrusive as the default style.
To move forward with the app, you can change the S Pen pointer to an arrow, a heart, or one of the little animals Samsung includes in its stickers. You can also upload any PNG image as a pointer, so if you want to fight the evil forces of the Decepticons with an Autobot S Pen pointer, there’s no stopping you. You can also customize the sounds played when the S Pen is removed and inserted. Presets are available, or you can choose your own MP3s—the S22 Ultra plays the Portal 2’s orange and blue sound effects when the pen is inserted or removed.
This is just scratching the surface
There’s a lot you can do with Good Lock, and trying to cover it all would require an article ten times as long as this one. Now that you’ve seen our favorite parts of the Good Lock, take the time to dig through all the modules for yourself. There’s no limit to the amount of tweaking you can do that will make your phone feel unique to you.
Right now, the only downside to Good Lock is the inability to sync these changes across devices, or back them up in case of a reset. Samsung has a new module in the works that will fix this, but it’s currently region locked in South Korea, and sideloading the APK file doesn’t solve the problem. As Good Lock continues to improve and adapt, we’ll be here to update you on what’s new with the best features.
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