As one of the best phones around, the Samsung Galaxy S3 provides a great experience out of the box but here I wanted to offer you 30 tips and tricks to get the most out of the Android giant.
I’ve taken my Samsung Galaxy S3 for a long time, and I can say without reservation that it absolutely rocks for everything. It can do so much that it’s impossible to get my head around everything it’s capable of in a few days. And I am here to share what I’ve found. After reading this list, you’ll turn this Android smartphone into a super phone. Think I’ve missed something? Drop us a line in the comments.
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1. Take a screenshot: Taking a screenshot with the Samsung Galaxy S3 is a snap: simply hold the power and home button for about two seconds. The image with then be saved to your gallery.
2. Quickly multitask: To hop between apps without having to go through the home screen, hold down the home button for a few seconds and your currently-running apps will appear on screen. Tap on the one you want to switch to. You can also kill running apps swiping them left or right.
3. How to hard reset: Hopefully, you won’t have to hard reset your Galaxy S3 too often but if you do, here’s a simple guide. You go into Settings, tap Storage, scroll to the Factory Data Reset button, follow the on-screen instructions and select Erase Everything. Confirm this by tapping Yes and your Galaxy S3 will reset and reboot.
4. Display battery percentage: The Samsung Galaxy S3 lets you easily see how much juice is really left on your device. Go to Setttings, then Display and then check the “Display battery percentage” box.
5. Turn on WiFi Direct: WiFi Direct lets you send content to to other WiFi Direct devices without needing a WiFi network. To turn this on with the Samsung Galaxy S3, go into Settings, more Settings, scroll down to the WiFi Direct column and then slide it on.
6. Turn on S Beam: The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with an NFC chip that lets you quickly transfer content to other NFC Android devices with S Beam. To turn this on, go into Settings, more Settings and then tap S Beam. You’ll be given instructions on how to use it and it will be active once you slide it to on.
7. Set data limit: The Samsung Galaxy S3 is great for browsing the web but some of you may be nearing your data limit for the month. In order to set up data limit notifications, go into Settings, tap Data usage and then check the box which says “Set mobile data limit.” Once you’ve checked this, you can set the data limit on the graph below by sliding the limit bar up or down.
8. Save battery life: The Galaxy S3 has solid battery life but you can alway eek out a bit more. You should read through it but by lowering your screen brightness, turning off location services when your’e not using it and turning off push data for email, you’ll definitely be able to get better battery life.
9. Quick access to Mute, Restart and Airplane mode: You can turn on Airplane mode and Mute a variety of ways but the quickest route is to hold the side power button down for a few seconds. You’ll then be given the option to turn off your phone, reset it, mute it or turn on Airplane mode.
10. Quick access to search: Hold the Menu button for two seconds and you’ll quickly be kicked to the Google search bar.
11. Quick access to Settings: You can go through the Apps menu and then tap Settings but a quicker way to get to it is pulling down the notification bar and then tapping on the gears icon. This should be under the Screen rotation button.
S Voice, Motion Gestures
12. Activate S Voice: The Galaxy S3 lets you use your voice to control a ton of functions with its S Voice feature. To use this, tap the home button twice and S Voice will be activated.
13. S Voice actions: The Galaxy S3 uses the S Voice for a variety of functions. Once you activate S Voice, you can use it to send and receive calls, send texts, set alarms, find directions and even launch other apps. Once it’s launched, just say what you want to do. For example, to text your friend Jim, open S Voice and say “Text Jim (insert message).”
14. Disable S Voice: While S Voice is nice, some of you may want to turn it off. To turn off S Voice on the Galaxy S3, open the S Voice app and then hit the Menu button. You then go into Settings and uncheck the Launch S Voice box. This will also give you faster access to the home screen because the phone won’t wait for the second press to launch S Voice.
15. Turn on Motion controls: The Samsung Galaxy S3 offers a variety of motion controls which enable you to use gestures to control the phone. Instead of going through each one, we’ll point you to the list of them. Go into your phone’s Settings, tap Motion and then check the Motion box.
16. Change the keyboard: If you want to try a new keyboard on your Galaxy S3, it’s very simple to change. Go into Settings, tap on Language and input and then tap on Default. Depending on which new keyboard you’ve downloaded, you’ll be able to make that the standard input method on your Galaxy S3.
17. Select a screen lock: Putting a screen lock will help secure your Galaxy S3 and this can be done by going into the Settings and then tapping on Security. Tap Screen Lock and you’ll then have the option to put in Swipe, Motion, Face unlock, Face and voice, Pattern, PIN or Pinword.
18. Customize your lock screen: If you’ve set up a screen lock, you’ll also be able to control what info appears on it. Go into Settings, tap on Security, then tap on Lock screen options. From here, you’ll be able to set up Shortcuts, turn on the Information ticker, get quick access to the camera, set up a Clock or Dual clocks, turn on weather widget and you can even toggle the Ripple effect.
19. Encrypt device, SD card: If you encrypt your Samsung Galaxy S3, go into Settings, tap on Security and then tap on either Encrypt device or Encrypt SD card. Once you’ve tapped these, you’ll go through the on-screen instructions for securing your device further.
20. Use Share Shot: The Galaxy S3 has an amazing camera and one of the coolest features is called Share Shot, which enables you to quickly share shots with nearby Samsung users in real time. In the Camera app, tap on the shooting mode button (in the middle) and then scroll down and check Share shot. Have your other Samsung-toting friends do the same and as long as you’re within 100 meters of each other, shared images will be stored in a Share Shot album on the device.
21. Use Group Cast: The Group Cast feature on the Galaxy S3 lets multiple users interact with the same image at once – including the ability to have real-time markups on an image or PDF file. To launch this with other devices on the same WiFi network, open an image, tap on the Share button and then tap on Group Cast.
22. Use AllShare Play: The Samsung AllShare Play lets you use DLNA to “automagically” transmit content from your Galaxy S3 to other devices like a television or a computer. You have to sign up for an AllShare account but once you do, launch the AllShare Play app and then follow the on-screen instructions for adding other devices or for utilizing web storage.
23. Turn on HDR or Panorama: You can set a variety of shooting options on the Galaxy S3. To turn on things like HDR or Panorama, open up the Camera app and then tap on the Shooting mode button. From there, you’ll be able to choose from Single shot, Burst shot, HDR, Smile shot, Beauty, Panorama, Cartoon, Share shot and Buddy photo share.
24. Take better shots: This is probably the one aspect that will take the most time to learn but it’s definitely worth it. Basically, when you’re taking photos with your iPhone 4S Galaxy S3 (Thanks Jan), keep in mind the lighting, composition and angles.
25. Install apps: The Galaxy S3 comes with a bunch of great preloaded apps but you can add many more through the Google Play Store. To do this, open the Google Play Store app, click on the apps menu, click on an app you want to download and then hit the Install button. There’s a variety of free and paid apps.
26. Install apps from your computer: You can install apps on your Galaxy S3 directly from your computer. Go to play.google.com when you’re signed into your Google account, choose the app you want to download, click Install and there will be an option that says “Send To Another Device…” Tap on the “Choose another device on which to install,” scroll down to the Samsung Galaxy S3 option and the app will be automatically installed a few seconds later.
27. Install apps from non-Play Store: The Google Play Store is a great way to add apps but so is the Amazon Appstore or GetJar. To install apps from third-party markets on the Galaxy S3, go into Settings, tap Security and then check the “Unknown sources” box. This does come with some security risks, so be sure you want to do this.
28. Put an app on your home screen: After you’ve downloaded an app, you can easily put it on your home screen of the Galaxy S3. Open the app tray and simply hold down on an app icon for a second or two. You’ll then be able to drag it to the home screen you want it to be on. ‘
29. Delete apps: If you want to get rid of an app, it’s pretty easy to do on the Galaxy S3. Open the app menu and then tap and hold an app icon like you were going to place it on the home screen. Drag it to the App info icon on the bottom of the screen and then click on the Uninstall icon.
30. Root your Galaxy S3: If you want to really tinker with your Galaxy S3, you should root it. This will give you allow you to install all sorts of new apps and ROMs but it does come with risks, so be prepared for those.