Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: 6 tips to make the most of its new main panel

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4: 6 tips to make the most of its new main panel

Samsung’s latest, greatest and most expensive foldable smartphone is here. Galaxy Z Fold 4 has a slightly improved design compared to From translation 3giving it slightly larger displays, improved cameras and a brand new software feature courtesy of Android 12L.

This new software feature is the main panel, which is located at the bottom of the screen and allows you to access your favorite applications at any time.

Assessment: The Galaxy Z Fold 4 is an expensive ticket to productivity heaven

But that’s not all it can do. What if you want to hide it, even if it’s just for a moment? But then how to get it back? What about using split screen apps? I’ll show you how to do all that and more below.

Z Fold 4 open on the table

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

After you set up the Z Fold 4 and start tapping and swiping between apps, you’ll notice the new taskbar at the bottom of the screen. It looks very similar to the taskbar in Windows 11 or the dock in MacOS, with a few apps permanently displayed on the left side and, if you want, the most recent apps displayed on the right side of the bar.

The taskbar works exactly as you’d think – tap an app icon to open that app or a few apps – and switch between those apps on the fly.

Main panel showing applications

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

There are again two sections of apps on the taskbar: The left side is full of apps you want to always have available, while the right side rotates through recently used apps.

To adjust which apps appear on the left side, you’ll need to adjust the apps that reside in the internal display dock of your Z Fold 4. These apps will then be mirrored on the taskbar in the same order. Go to the main screen of the Z Fold 4, then drag the app icons to the bottom dock. You can add up to eight apps to the bottom row.

Z Fold taskbar 4 recent apps

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

If you don’t want your most recent apps scrolling on the right side of the taskbar, you can get rid of it by opening the Settings app on your Z Fold 4 and going to Display > Main panel and slide the switch next to View recent apps to Off position.

Z Fold 4 multitasking

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

How to open apps from taskbar in split view

When you’re in an app and want to switch to another app that’s on the taskbar, you can do so by simply tapping the app icon. The result is an application that opens in full screen. But what if you want to use two or even three apps at the same time?

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Easy. Drag an app icon onto the Z Fold 4 display. As you do this, you’ll see a box that highlights the area the app will occupy. You can use two apps in split-screen view, or drag a third app onto the display and use three apps at the same time.

Despite the Fold 4’s large display, the three apps on the screen are a bit cramped. But hey, at least it’s possible.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 main screen

June Wan/ZDNET

How to quickly hide and show the taskbar

If you want to temporarily reclaim some screen space by hiding the taskbar, you can do it with a quick gesture. Simply long press an empty taskbar area until it slides down and off the screen to hide.

To bring it back, repeat the gesture by long-pressing the area at the bottom of the screen where it would normally be. Getting the second gesture right may take a few tries, but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough.

Z Fold 4 disables the main panel

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

How to completely disable the taskbar

Not a fan of the taskbar and want to get rid of it for good? You can. Open up Settings app on your phone and then go to Display > Main panel and scroll On switch to Off position.

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