Tag Archives: Samsung Galaxy S3

Must Know Galaxy S3 Tips & Tricks

The Galaxy S3 is the sucessor to the super successful S2, and since I did a very popular must know tips & tricks post for it, now would be a good time to do a follow up for Samsung’s latest superphone. The S3 packs a quad core processor, a GB of RAM, a 4.8″ Super AMOLED screen with a 1280 x 720p resolution, a 2100 mAh battery, support for NFC and runs Ice Cream Sandwich with the TouchWiz layer on top.

TouchWiz is Samsung’s Android skin that differentiates the look and feel of its devices from others, while at the same time adding useful tweaks. Since this is a brand new version of TouchWiz, you’ll have to learn a few new tricks to get the best out of this flagship device. Samsung has also bundled a few useful and a few gimmicky features, some apparent and some hidden. This post explores a bunch of must know tips and tricks that every Galaxy S3 user should master.

If you can’t see the video embedded above, hit this link to go to YouTube. If you’d like to see these tips & tricks in text instead of video, read on.

  • Setup Any Screen As Your Default Homescreen: TouchWiz finally adds the ability to setup any screen as your homescreen. Just hit the home button on the top right, and once selected, everytime you hit the physical home key, you’ll be taken to that screen. You can of course move homescreens around as well.

 Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Change Lockscreen Shortcuts: Changing the shortcuts on the dock of the homescreen is fairly straightforward, you simply drag an icon from the homescreen to the dock and it gets replaced. However the option to change the quick launch shortcuts on the lockscreen is a little hidden. You have to go into Settings>Security>Lockscreen options and then tap the shortcuts label to get to the screen on the right. Once there, tap an icon to replace it.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • WIFI Direct: This feature lets you send files to another WIFI Direct devices like the S2, or the S3 at speeds much higher than bluetooth. This is done by establishing a adhoc WIFI network, here’s a demo and an explanation of how it works on the S2. On the S3, the procedure is similar and once you’ve used it, you can turn it off by going into Settings>Wireless & networks. If you’re sending files between two S3’s, then just touch their backs to each other (NFC) and the phones will do the rest.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • LED Customisation: Out of the box the S3 doesn’t let you change the LED for specific tasks. You can’t have a red notification for missed calls, blue for emails, yellow for messages and so on. Fortunately an app called Lightflow can let fix that.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Get Flipboard & Photo Editor: The S3 has a ton of apps pre-installed including Google Plus, however if you’re looking for Flipboard you’re out of luck. To get it you’ll have to go into an app called ‘More Services’. While you’re there I recommend you get Photo Editor as well, a very capable free tool. Also present are a bunch of other free apps.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Task Manager & Clearing RAM: Despite packing 1 GB of RAM and a quad core processor, the S3 does get a little sluggish at times. The TouchWiz launcher sometimes has to redraw the apps once you exit a heavy app and so on. While the S3 uses the ICS way of killing apps by sliding them off the screen, Samsung’s also retained its own task manager. Its accessible from the bottom left of the task switcher screen and lets you quickly uninstall apps, clear some memory and even monitor storage.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Motion Activated Actions: Some motion activated controls are cool, while others are gimmicks. I’ve explained all of them in the video, but to quickly recap:

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

– Direct calls dials the number of the contact you are looking at, if you put the phone to your ear. This also works if you’re in messaging and looking at a text.

– Smart alert vibrates the phone the moment you pick up the phone from a flat surface/table to let you know of any missed notifications. That way you won’t have to turn the screen on to see if you’ve missed a call etc.

– Tap to top works as advertised. A double tap on the top of the phone brings you to the top of a list.

– Tilt to zoom is fairly obvious, and pan to move icon uses the accelerometer to move icons around based on the direction in which you’re tilting the phone.

  • Enable Swype like typing: Unlike other Galaxy smatphones, the S3 doesn’t come with Swype pre-installed and there’s no official beta either. Fortunately Samsung’s own keyboard has some Swype like features. Once enabled from settings you can swipe to type.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • EQ setting during calls: A hidden setting that can be accessed by going into call settings and then additional settings. Access call settings directly from the dialer by hitting the menu key.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • More Useful Call Settings: Get extra volume in calls when you’re in noisy places by enabling the extra volume in call settings. Another option is to increase the volume of the ringtone if the phone detects that its in a pocket/handbag.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Display battery percentage: For the control freaks among us, goto Settings>Display and hit the checkbox.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Facetag & Buddy photo share: The S3 gallery has the ability to recognize faces and it prompts you to tag them. Once you do that, an option called buddy photo share comes in handy. By selecting this option you can directly email the photo(s) to all the people tagged in the photo without having to compose an email, enter their addresses and so on. It can send the email to any one person tagged in the photo as well. Sometimes face-tag gets annoying, specially when you’re just trying to browse photos on the large display of the S3 as it keeps showing a box around the face. That time you can turn Face tag off by hitting the menu key and choosing face tag.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

  • Additional security in Hotspot mode: The S3 has tethering capabilities and you can even set a password to protect your precious bandwidth. However Samsung has gone one step ahead and introduced a feature called ‘Allowed device list’. With this turned on, despite the fact that you have the right security code you won’t be able to connect to the hotspot, unless your device has been added to the ‘allowed list’.

Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks Galaxy S3 Trips & Tricks

In addition to all of these, there are a bunch of things that work in the same manner as the S2, so check this post out as well. The one thing I am disappointed about is the fact that you can no longer control the brightness from the notification bar, unlike the S2. I also did a tips and tricks post for the Galaxy Note which can be found here.

What did I miss? Sound off in the comments section below!

How To Easily Root The Galaxy S3

One of the reasons that people prefer Android over iOS, or even Windows Phone is that it is ‘open’. It is, to an extent, but to really push the device, you do need to root your Android smartphone. Fortunately, rooting Samsung devices has been fairly easy in the past, and that’s thanks to XDA’s Chainfire. He has released CF-Root for a number of Samsung devices, and the best part about his method is that it keeps the device as close to stock configuration as possible, while giving you superuser status.

So your Samung Galaxy S3 will look as behave in the same manner as before, because CF-Root is not a complete ROM. It just installs SuperSU for allowing applications root access, a recovery manager in ClockWorkMod and a utility called CWM Manager. As Chainfire explains:

  • Root – SuperSU – The root permission management app installed by CF-Root is SuperSU. This will allow your apps to gain root (superuser) access.
  • Recovery – ClockWorkMod (CWM) – A custom CWM 5.5 build is included in CF-Root, taken from this thread. This provides for the ability to install custom ROMs, and do nandroid (full device) backups and restores.
  • Util – CWM Manager – My management application for CWM is also installed, see the recovery thread linked above for further details. It allows you to command CWM (install a ROM, make/restore backups, etc) from normally booted Android.

Beware that rooting your device may void your warranty, and once rooted your phone will display a yellow triangle during bootup that signifies your use of an insecure kernel. If you’re ready to root your Galaxy S3, here are the steps as explained by Chainfire himself:

– Follow these instructions to the letter. Do not touch any buttons or checkboxes that are not listed below to touch.
– Unzip the  Odin3-vX.X.zip file (Get it from this thread).
– Download and unzip the CF-Root-SGS3-vX.X.zip file (Get it from this thread).
– If you end up with a recovery.img and cache.img file, you’ve extracted twice. You need to end up with a .tar file – don’t extract that one.
– (USB) Disconnect your phone from your computer.
– Start Odin3-vX.X.exe.
– Click the PDA button, and select CF-Root-SGS3-vX.X.tar.
– Put your phone in download mode (turn off phone, then hold volume-down + home + power to boot – if it asks you to press a button to continue, press the listed button, or run adb reboot download command).
– (USB) Connect the phone to your computer.
– Make sure Repartition is NOT checked.
– Click the Start button.
– Wait for Android to boot.
– Done (if it took you more than 30 seconds, you need practise!)

CF-Root is the easiest way to root your device, and in this XDA-Developers thread you’ll find extensive guidance. If you are new to rooting Samsung devices, then you can also familiarise yourself with Mobile Odin, and Triangle Away. The first lets you perform most actions that you can undertake using Odin on the PC, without needing the PC. The second, removes the pesky triangle that demonstrates that you are using an insecure kernel.

Note: The image is only a representation of how Odin looks on the PC, while performing the actual flash strictly follow the instructions listed. Image credit. Undertake at your own risk.

White Samsung Galaxy S3 Unboxing & Overview

The Galaxy S3 is definitely one of the hottest devices of 2012, and will continue to be the reigning Android flagship come 2013. Samsung’s just started selling the device across the world, and it just went on sale in India. While the maximum retail price in India is closer to the 43,000 INR mark, you can get it for anything between 38-39000 INR in in stores and online.

While Samsung in recent months has followed a policy of not dropping prices quickly, I do expect the retail price of the S3 to settle closer to the 35,000 mark rather than the near the 40,000 it currently is.

Back to the device, its a 4.8″ Super AMOLED display packing, 1.4 Ghz Quad-core processor touting superphone that is just 8.6 mm thick.  There’s also an 8 MP camera, an impressive 2100 mAh battery, NFC and the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) inside. The device was supposed to come out in blue and white, but Samsung’s apparently hit a few production snags with the blue version and you can just buy the white currently, which isn’t really a bad thing.

So if you were to walk into a store and get a Galaxy S3, this is what it would be like. The unboxing video follows:

I will be bring you a ton of S3 coverage in the next few days, but in case you want me to cover something specifically, let me know in the comments section below.