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August 12, 2012 Leave a comment
Last update: January 26, 2012
In part one of this article, we talked about what you need to get started with your new phone. This week were going to go much deeper and discuss more than twenty more tips that every Samsung Galaxy S III user should know.
2. Try the new live camera filters – Android 4.1 has some cool new Instagram-style live filters that work on photos or video. To enable these, go to the Camera app and touch the magic wand icon. You’ll be able to choose from presets including warm vintage, cold vintage, black and white, sepia, solarize and many more.
3. Edit video on-the-fly without editing software – Android 4.1 also lets you make your own movie by simply pressing the pause button in the Camera app and then starting to record again. When you’re finished press the stop button and you can watch your edited shots in sequence. This is simple, but really useful addition.
4. See how widgets automatically resize – As you drop widgets onto the Android 4.1 home screens, everything else automatically moves to make room. When a widget is too big it, it resizes itself.
5. Quickly speed up bogged down apps – I love the Zite app, but after you use it for a while it gets slower and slower until you can hardly scroll the page. This problem is easy to fix however. First, long press the Home button and touch ‘Remove all.’ Then, touch ‘Task manager’ and ‘Clear memory.’ Finally, hit the Back button and go back to the problem app. You’ll find the problem is gone.
6. Capturing a screen – To capture anything on the screen press the home button and the power button together for 2 seconds OR use your palm to swipe from right to left. If you’ve done it correctly, you should hear a copy machine sound and see the screen flash white. Video instructions.
7. Turn off 4G to increase your battery life – If you’re in an area without 4G LTE reception there is no reason to have your phone continually scanning for a 4G signal. This can take a toll of your battery life. Unfortunately carriers like Verizon do not let you disable 4G from the Settings pages. Fortunately there is a solution to this problem although it’s not as easy as it should be.
You should be now be connected to Verizon's 3G network. Because the phone is no longer constantly searching for a 4G signal, this will conserve battery life.
Here are some more great tips to preserve battery life on the Samsung Galaxy S III.
8. Mute your phone by turning it over – Go to Motion and ‘Turn over to mute/pause’ to on. Now turning your phone over so it’s screen is down automatically mutes incoming call ringtones and alerts sounds. This feature also works with music and videos when you use the stock Samsung players.
9. Make your graphics smoother – Normally your CPU handles rendering of 2D graphics. By going to Settings > Developer options and making sure ‘Force GPU rendering’ is checked, you can free up CPU clock cycles so your graphics are rendered faster and smoother. In the unlikely event that you encounter an app which doesn’t support this, you’ll want to disable this setting before running that app.
10. Pick your favorite contacts – To do this launch the Phone app and touch ‘Contacts,’ then mark your best friends and family members with a star to identify them as Favorites. You’ll find the star in the upper right-hand corner of the screen after you select a contact. Favorites are displayed first in the Phone app so you can quickly call or message them.
11. Toggle screen rotation – By now you’ve probably figured out you can enable and disable screen rotation from the Notification bar which is displayed when you swipe down from the top of the screen. I recommend that you disable this when you’re not viewing photos or video.
12. Enable Driving mode – Another useful Notifications bar option is Driving mode. When this is enabled, all incoming caller ID and text messages will be read to you.
14. Display a world clock for notifications – Touch the time in the Notification area to display a world clock. Touch ‘Add city’ to display different zones around the world.
15. Access your phone, mail, texts or camera from the lock screen – You can simply quickly swipe up from any of the four icons on the Lock screen to immediately launch the associated app. This is a real time saver.
17. Quickly switch between all running apps – Press and hold the Home button to see all of the running apps. Touch the screenshot for any app to switch to it.
19. Close all running apps – To close all apps that are running in the background, press and hold the Home button and touch ‘Remove all.’
20. Zoom in or out using hardware buttons- You can use the volume and volume down buttons on the left to zoom in or out which in the Camera app.
21. Connect to your corporate mail – To access your work email click on the ‘Email’ app on the home screen shown to the right. Then click on the ‘Corporate’ icon and enter your name and password. If it doesn’t connect with you exchange server the first time, check your user name and try again. To save battery life, change from ‘Push’ to a time interval like 30 minutes or Manual for Off-Peak.
22. Access all of your email from a single app– To add all of your different e-mail accounts (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo mail, Outlook mail, etc.) touch the icon for the red Email app and go to Settings. Then touch the ‘+’ sign and choose which account to setup.
24. Use your favorite song as a ringtone – You can use any song as a ringtone for all calls, calls from an individual person, or as an alarm. Launch the stock ‘Music Player’ app and touch and hold on the song you wish to use. Then touch ‘Set as’ and choose from the available options.
25. Upgrade your browser – The stock Browser is fine, but you should download and install Chrome and use it instead. It’s much faster and links with your computer and tablet.
26. Buy a wireless charging doc – Most people don’t know it, but the Galaxy S III supports wireless charging. To take advantage of this feature, you’ll need to purchase a special doc from Samsung. These docs should go on sale any day now.
27. Prevent your phone from switching to Wi-Fi – You may want to consider turning off Wi-Fi when you’re in an area with great 4G data speeds, because it will make your phone faster. The reason for this is because your phone will always use Wi-Fi when it’s available — even if it’s much slower than 4G. Since the Galaxy S III automatically turns Wi-Fi back on when you do certain things, you’ll have to go to Settings/Wi-Fi and uncheck the first option which says “Notify Me – When launching high data usage applications…” Important: You should only do this is you have a 4GB data plan, or are sure you’re under your monthly allowance.
28. Download some great new apps – If this is your first Android phone, you should download some of the best Android apps. Here is a good list of the fifty best.
29. Fix your auto-brightness – Your phone has an auto-brightness setting, but it doesn’t work that well. You should download Lux Auto Brightness to fix this problem. Lux automatically adjusts the brightness of your display based on your environment. When you go into a dark room and unlock your screen, Lux will automatically lower the brightness of your display to make reading more enjoyable.
To setup Lux you need to go through their setup wizard. I suggest you leave the factory default settings as is. After you do that, you’ll need to go back and launch the app again and touch ‘Press to enable Lux.’ Lux will adjust every time you unlock your screen. If you sometimes use your tablet in a totally dark room, I suggest you go to the settings page and set ‘Night Mode’ alpha to 10.
30. Share your screen with other devices – It’s possible to share the screen on your Samsung Galaxy S III with Samsung phones, tablets or TVs. Learn how to do this here.
31. Connect your phone to a speaker dock – Now you can buy a cable which connects your Samsung Galaxy S III to any Apple-compatible speaker dock.
In addition to the above tips, here are five little-known features for Your Samsung Galaxy S III that you’ll be able to appreciate after you upgrade to Android 4.1. If you’re wondering why I left out S Beam, I’ve devoted a whole post to that feature alone. Check it out.
More Android 4.1 tips from Samsung.
Copyright 2013 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.
Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1
August 4, 2012 11 Comments
Last update: December 15, 2012
This article has had almost 10,000 views. Thanks for reading it.
a. Make shortcuts on your home screens for all of your favorite apps. To do this touch ‘Apps’ and then touch and hold an app and then drag it until it appears on the desired home screen.
b. Create folders for different categories of apps (e.g. Games, Utilities, etc.) and move all of the related apps into those folders. If you’re not sure how to create folders, there are details below in the section called ‘Cleaning Up Your Homescreens.’
c. Uninstall any unnecessary apps and widgets. To do this, simply touch and drag them into the trash can in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
d. Remove any extra home screen panels after you’ve created shortcut for all of your most-used apps. The SIII comes with seven home screen panels, but you can speed up the time it takes to get to your apps if you delete all blank home screen panels. To do this pinch the home screen with two of your fingers. Then drag any blank panels into the trash can. You can add them back later if you want to.
a. Go to ‘Language and input’ and enter words into your ‘Personal dictionary.’
b. Customize your predictive text settings (details at the bottom on this post)
c. If you’re still not satisfied after the above two steps, download SwiftKey 3 keyboard and use it instead of the stock Samsung keyboard.
How to create folders
You can no longer drag and drop and app on another to create a folder.
Note: Make sure you only try to do this on a homescreen that has room for the folder to appear. Otherwise it won’t work.
How to uninstall unused apps like ‘Media Hub’
Note: You can only delete certain apps. If there is no minus sign, you cannot delete them.
After you hide a lot of apps you’re going to see spaces where the old apps used to be. The easiest way to fix this is to follow these instructions:
How to customize predictive text
If you’re having problems with the keyboard inserting wrong words, you may want to disable or customize predictive text. To do this, follow these instructions:
If you’re moving from an Android 4.0 phone like the Galaxy Nexus, there are some things you need to know to get the most out of your incredible new phone. Although the Galaxy SIII runs Android 4.0, there are some differences between Touchwiz and the stock Android 4.0 GUI. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive list. I’m focusing on the features that I find to be the most useful.
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that there are now three buttons below the massive 4.8” screen on the Galaxy S III.
Instead of viewing your apps by touching the menu button in the upper right hand corner of the Google Play app, you’ll now touch the menu in the lower left-hand corner.
There are other differences between the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Checkout my next article to learn how to turn off 4G or capture your screen. You’ll find answers to those questions, along with twenty five more tips. If case you’re wondering why I left out S Beam, I’ve devoted an entire article to that alone. You won’t want to miss that one.
Copyright 2012 Rick Schwartz. All rights reserved. Linking to this article is encouraged.
Follow me on Twitter @mostlytech1