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I can use my Galaxy Tab like an iPad again, thanks to One UI 5.1

Opinion
By 

Last updated: March 31st, 2023 at 17:08 UTC+02:00

If there's one thing I like about Apple's iPads, it's the swipe-to-search home screen gesture. However, I am a happy Galaxy Tab S7 FE user. And thankfully, I don't have to abandon my Samsung tablet and switch to an iPad to enjoy this type of search feature on my device.

As we explained in our full guide last year, One UI users can forego the traditional apps drawer and replace it with a “Search from Home Screen” feature that works similarly to the search function on iPads and iPhones.

Why would you do such a thing? Is that not a sin against Android OS? First of all, no, it isn't. And as to why, it's because, in my experience, Galaxy tablets have enough screen real estate that users can disable the apps drawer and comfortably use app shortcuts from the home screen and home screen folders — especially now that they get a more generous taskbar.

In exchange for the apps drawer, users can enable “Search from Home Screen” to swipe up on the home screen and launch the Finder. The Finder can search your tablet for settings, apps, contacts, files, and more. So it is quite a convenient tool.

The problem was that previous versions of One UI weren't too kind on the Search from Home Screen feature — at least, not on my Galaxy Tab S7 FE, which isn't a high-end device. Thankfully, this appears to have changed with One UI 5.1.

Finally, One UI 5.1 made this feature more usable again!

As much as I liked the idea of using the Search from Home Screen feature on my Galaxy Tab S7 FE, it was rather slow to summon in One UI 4.1 and One UI 5.0. Much to my dismay, these performance issues made me stop using this feature after a while.

Thankfully, Samsung started updating the Galaxy Tab S7 FE with One UI 5.1 recently, and one of the first things I tried was the Search from Home Screen feature. Was it improved? Is it now usable?

After limited testing, I'm happy to report that the feature appears to work much faster than it used to on previous versions of One UI — albeit it still isn't summoned instantaneously, and there is room for improvement. But it now seems snappy enough that I feel hopeful. I am guaranteed to try adding it to my repertoire of One UI features and gestures again.

For a quick demonstration of how well Search from Home Screen works on my Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G after the One UI 5.1 update, take a look at the screen recording below (and please keep in mind that screen recordings have a slight negative impact on performance and the framerate).

FirmwareOpinionTablet AppleGalaxy Tab S7 FEOne UI 5.1
Galaxy AI summarized

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