March 5, 2021

Galaxy S21 phones let you add custom backgrounds to video calling apps

It works with Google Duo, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra display on table straight on

Credit: David Imel / Android Authority
  • The Galaxy S21 lineup includes a system-level feature that allows you add custom backgrounds to video calling apps.
  • It currently works with Google Duo, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.

With the Galaxy S21 lineup making its way out to consumers tomorrow, those who already have the phones continue to find small new features Samsung has included with its latest flagships. One of those, which was discovered by Android Police, allows you to insert custom background effects into video calling apps, including Google Duo, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.

Galaxy S21 custom effects

Once you have an S21, you can enable the feature by digging into the Settings menu, scrolling down to “Advanced features� and then tapping “Video call effects.� At that point, a floating menu will appear at the top right of the screen when using a video calling app, allowing you to blur and color the background, as well as pick a custom image. Android Police reports the tool can lead to janky results, so don’t expect a better result than you get in apps that offer that functionality natively.

Related: Everything you need to know about the Galaxy S21

With just how much all of us have come to depend on video calling apps, it’s easy to see why Samsung decided to build out a feature like this. And it’s nice to have access to in a pinch.