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Buying a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5? This should be the first app you download

With a few taps and swipes, Samsung's Good Lock app fixed my biggest problem with the Galaxy Z Flip 5's Flex Window.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 running Good Lock
June Wan/ZDNET

When you create a foldable phone with a fun-sized outer screen, you expect to do fun-sized things on it like scrolling TikTok, playing games, and DJing the car ride (read: Browsing through Spotify). That was all possible on Motorola's Razr Plus, which I tested about two months ago. But it's not possible on Samsung's new Galaxy Z Flip 5 -- not to the same extent, at least.

Review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: Three features I love (and two that I still wish for)

At the initial boot-up, Samsung's cover screen allows you to place a panel of apps that are considered "compatible" with the smaller aspect ratio. The list is rather limited, as developers and Samsung itself continue to optimize user interfaces for the lesser real estate, though popular apps like Messages, Maps, and YouTube are available.

That's fantastic, don't get me wrong, but considering how Samsung's biggest flip-phone competitor gives users the option to open anything they'd like on the outer screen, including Spotify, Waze, and Uber, a similar behavior on the Z Flip would make all the difference.

Fortunately, it's possible -- just not by default. The solution to this problem is Samsung's own Good Lock app. You won't find it on Google's Play Store. Instead, a bit of digging in the Galaxy Store, one of the preloaded apps on Samsung phones, is required. 

Also: Protect your new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 with these reliable cases

Once the app is downloaded, you'll be presented with a catalog of customizable services. At this time, "MultiStar", found in the "Life up" section, is your one and only concern. Within the service, tap "I heart Galaxy Foldable" > "Launcher Widget" > select the apps that you'd like to place in the cover screen panel > and then tap "Enable Launcher Widget".

Good Lock on Z Flip 5

With Good Lock, you can now Google Search right from the cover screen.

June Wan/ZDNET

There's no limit to the number of apps you can place on the panel, you can tap the minus sign to remove them, and a tap-and-hold lets you move them around. 

Thanks to MultiStar, the Galaxy Z Flip 5's cover screen, which was once limited in functionality, allows me to use virtually any app I want with a quick swipe and tap. I also recommend reordering the Launcher Widget panel to the top of the Widgets list for the most convenient access.

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