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Five Samsung Galaxy S III features that might blow you away

Jack Wallen highlights five of the coolest features found in the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone.

Here are five Samsung Galaxy S III features that could possibly blow you away.

Smart Stay

Picture this... you're reading a long text, email, web site, or video chatting with a colleague. Every so often, you have to touch your screen to keep it from dimming -- but not with the S III. The Smart Stay feature prevents the screen from dimming while you're looking at it. Smart Stay is based on built-in facial recognition and allows the device to "look" for your eyes to be focused on the screen. If your eyes are focused on the S III, the screen will not dim. [Note: This feature may not work for someone wearing glasses.]

Smart Stay is disabled by default. To enable the feature, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the menu button
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Display
  4. Tap Smart stay to enable (Figure A)
Figure A

The Verizon-branded Galaxy S III Smart Stay setup.

S Suggest

This unique feature discovers and recommends apps for you to try based on your usage pattern, your device, and the popularity of the apps. S Suggest is actually an app you run (found within the app drawer) and has a similar look and feel to the Google Play Store (Figure B). Figure B
The S Suggest main page.

I tested S Suggest and found it to be a fairly accurate snapshot of my usage and installed apps (based on the abundance of apps I have associated with my Google Play Store for all testing and personal devices).

From within S Suggest, you can sort apps by:

  • (Top) Picks
  • Category
  • Games
  • Friends

For the Friends feature to work, you must log into social networking through S Suggest, and give S Suggest permission to share data with the app.

S Beam

This nifty feature uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to get past the Bluetooth pairing process. Basically, you can share content with another Galaxy S III user by gently bumping the backs of the phones together. Once you've activated S Beam, you can take a photo of an event or whatever and share that photo with a colleague later by simply bumping S III backs together.

Here's how to enable this feature:

  1. Tap the menu button
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap More Settings
  4. Tap S Beam
  5. Slide the On/Off slider to the right to switch it on

Now, to beam a specific photo, open the photo in the Gallery app, and then bump the back of your S III against the back of your colleague's S III.

All Share Play

This feature uses the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) to enable you to share content to your other DLNA-capable devices. With All Share Play, you can do the following:

  • Group Cast -- phone-to-phone presentation sharing
  • Share Shot -- gives you instant access to another device up to 50 yards away so you can share photos, etc

You do have to create a free All Share Play account for this feature. Once you've created the account, any devices associated with that account can immediately share content. [Note: This is not the same as the standard All Share application.]

Pop Up Play

This feature might be one of the coolest new features of the S III. Pop Up Play is like having picture-in-picture for video. You can play a video (that has been saved on the device -- this doesn't work for YouTube videos), and then pop the video out of the Video player and have it overlay your screen (Figure C). Figure C

Here is one of my cheesy "Squatchtalk" videos playing in Pop Up Play.

With Pop Up Play, you can continue watching your video while you text. To manage this cool feat, follow these steps:

  1. Open up a video using the Video Player app
  2. While the video is playing, tap the Pop Up Play button in the lower right corner (Figure D)
  3. When the window pops up, you can drag the smaller video window wherever you need it
Figure D

Another view of the "Squatchtalk" video on the Verizon-branded Samsung S III.

What I really like about the Pop Up Video is that it enables users (like administrators) to view a video and communicate with colleagues while viewing. With this, you could view a training video or company video while discussing it with fellow employees remotely.

The Samsung Galaxy S III is, by far, one of the most impressive mobile devices I've seen in a long, long time. With plenty of power and unique features like these, you can see why this smartphone is taking the planet by storm.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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