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Old July 21st, 2013, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What Samsung Specific Features Do You Use?

I'm almost regretting not buying a Google Edition S4, because I don't use hardly any of the Samsung features. The only ones I am aware I use are Smart Stay and Smart Rotation. I have all the Air View features turned off.

If it wasn't for the fact that I use a WMC HTPC as a DVR I might use the IR TV remote features.

Does anyone find any of the Samsung specific features useful, and if so, which ones?
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Old July 21st, 2013, 03:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am pleasantly surprised at how much I use and appreciate the drop-down widget bar. So convenient and they work flawlessly. Sometimes I find third party "switch" widgets to be a little wonky.

I also like the split screen. I cut /paste text from the Web to Evernote often, and in some cases the split screen works best for this.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 04:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
I'm almost regretting not buying a Google Edition S4, because I don't use hardly any of the Samsung features.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Does anyone find any of the Samsung specific features useful, and if so, which ones?
You probably use more of the Samsung features than you realise as the Google Special Edition firmware, which by the way you can flash to a stock i9505, is very basic.

For instance, there are none of the camera Mode settings on the SE that Samsung have given us, not to mention that the SE phone/firmware only saves photos and videos to the built-in internal memory. There is no option in the firmware to save these to your external SD card.

The drop down menu has a very basic, non-configurable, 6 shortcuts. The list goes on.

I used my i9505 as an SE for a day or two but reverted back to the modified stock, de-bloated, custom ROM I am on now.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 08:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I use Samsung Link all the time and I have used S beam once in an airport cause a guy wanted one of the movies I had on my phone to watch on the plane. I have the air gestures on but really i have only used it a few times to answer the phone and that was out of novelty really.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ironass, you're probably right I use more than I realize, but the drop down menu is the only thing you mention that I use, unless maybe changing the default size of picture image to a smaller size is a Samsung feature. I never take pictures with my N7 so I don't know. And I was really addressing more the software that they advertise that does things differently (e.g. answering without touching), and not just things that they might do differently than stock Android.

ctychick, the split screen was a feature I was really interested in, but there aren't two apps I have that I would use that work with the split screen, so until I get a new or updated app, it's useless and turned off.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 09:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have all the features turned off, i like the phone as a whole but they could have not included all of these gimiky features and just made the phone even more powerful which i'm sure most people would have been even more happy with. stupid sammy!
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 10:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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SmartStay while reading Google Currents, mails and Twitter.
SmartAlert daily, because my phone is mostly set to silent. I know what I missed the moment I touch it.
Sbeam, because we have 5 galaxies in the family. Sharing photos and videos almost daily.
With my son, every evening GroupPlay. We listen to the same music, so he sets up playlist from his room, and I listen to it in my studio while I work.
NFC for house, car, office and cycling.
AirView to preview SMS which I missed. It allow me to preview the message, without checking it as "read". Follow up on the most urgent ones, and the rest, less important, by the end of the day.
Camera Animated Image mostly for my friends' Google Plus.
I also use Samsung Link to watch Youtube and movies on my large screen, through AllShareCast.

Then, there is lots of other, tiny things that TouchWiz comes with, not available on stock Android. Which I didn't realize were Samsung's till I was setting up tablets and my friend's Nexus 4.

I get enough of vanilla on my Nexus 10, and I too often miss some of the Samsung's features, which I take for granted.
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 10:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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NFC for house, car, office and cycling..
I bought a pack of Tectiles, and downloaded the Samsung software, but still haven't used it. I wasn't really considering NFC to be a Samsung specific feature though, any more than IR is Samsung specific, although the Samsung software for both would be.

What specifically do you have them programmed to do?
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Old July 22nd, 2013, 11:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I bought a pack of Tectiles, and downloaded the Samsung software, but still haven't used it. I wasn't really considering NFC to be a Samsung specific feature though, any more than IR is Samsung specific, although the Samsung software for both would be.

What specifically do you have them programmed to do?
Of course, you are absolutely right. There are number of devices that comes with NFC.

Before I go on with an essay about my NFC application, let me first recommend NFC Task Launcher <---- , far more comprehensive tool than Samsung's native app.

Enter home, tag with "Switch" (toggle like) action, near my key basket. Wifi On, Ringtone Off, Notification 30%, System Sound Off, Display minimum, Lock Screen Off.
When I exit the house, same tag turns everything vice versa.

Car, Bluetooth On, TuneIn Radio On to sync with the card Radio. Samsung Drive Mode On, Power Saving On, Blocking Mode On (I don't take call when I drive). Upon exiting the car, settings reversed.

On my bike, Endomondo sport tracking app On, all sounds OFF, and Blocking Mode, plus, open music player. Stop biking, reverse setting.

I also integrate Tasker with it, to launch specific playlists, based on time of the day. If I cycle morning (between 7am and 10am), that will be weekend, different kind of music. After work (8pm to 10pm), daily, different playlist.

I also use Bluetooth ear piece to control Tasker to trigger voice commands while cycling, to change songs or playlists or make calls. I get it done by mixing Tasker and a plugin call AutoVoice. Super voice chain commands recognition plugin.
I just like to clarify, I DO NOT like Bluetooth I only use it as a voice trigger, as I don't want the phone to be on standby listening for my commend all the time. Even tho the AutoVoice is very battery friendly, I like to have it OFF and call it only by pressing the Bluetooth button.

A friend of mine Joao, is the guy who develops the Tasker plugins:
joaoapps.com | Supercharge your Tasker!

Demo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjTj0ymhbBw
Another:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYMpMt0lwUY&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLFGfKKOu8_7WzRC5f-Nn_-Z1LWF8nKwD_

And people in these videos, are the guys who I learn from how to set it all up.

No, I don't get commission from these apps

This is not a joke. All the guys I cycle with (6 dudes), converted from iphone to Galaxy S3 (now S4), after seeing what I have been doing with my phone, without the need to pull it out the mount or pouch while on the road.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 11:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SebaKL View Post
A friend of mine Joao, is the guy who develops the Tasker plugins:
joaoapps.com | Supercharge your Tasker!

Demo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjTj0ymhbBw
Another:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYMpMt0lwUY&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLFGfKKOu8_7WzRC5f-Nn_-Z1LWF8nKwD_

And people in these videos, are the guys who I learn from how to set it all up.
Really cool Demo YT clip.
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Old July 25th, 2013, 11:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I do have air gesture set on for answering calls, particularly useful when either out in the garage or feeding my son :-)
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Old July 25th, 2013, 01:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I like the pull-down widgets, the Samsung mail client, the Samsung text messaging setup, camera software. I think the music player is OK too, and I find the Browser to be (in some ways) superior to Chrome.

Otherwise, I have mostly tried to disable Samsung "features."
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Old July 25th, 2013, 10:45 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Pretty much all the S features are off until I need them, but in everyday use:

Smart Stay
to keep the screen on while I'm looking at it. (works really well) before I had to use a 3rd party app to do this.

WatchOn to see what's on Directv and to control TV and DVR. Our kids keep leaving our living-room remote everywhere except where it's suppose to be. Now, when I set down to watch TV and the remote isn't there, I just us my S4.

Stock email app is great. I have 3 email accts. I have to track and this makes it easy to keep up and very customizable.

Calendar is awesome. I love the colors, layout and transition effects. Keeps me in order with 9 different calendars.

Camera app is great. I have a Kodak Easy Share 12MP point and shoot camera that takes great pictures. But the camera on the S4 tops it with all of its features, settings and HD pictures/video.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 04:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Allcast sharing, best shot, screenshot, task manager, S Voice (I find it allot better than Google Now, you can actually get answers from it instead of Google search results), Stock E-Mail (Very easy setup), Smart Stay, Calender, S-Heath, Stock Video Player (I prefer the player on the S3 though), S-Beam, Samsung Camera App.

I also tried the GPE Rom and regretted it, I was immediately looking for replacements on the market for missing functions or trying to get Samsung apps working with the rom.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 09:28 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I do not use any of the new sensors and found battery life was less when having them active. For those that use the features, cool, but I prefer battery life over a bunch of features I have no use for. Too much feature bling for me.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 12:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I do not use any of the new sensors and found battery life was less when having them active. For those that use the features, cool, but I prefer battery life over a bunch of features I have no use for. Too much feature bling for me.

Amen.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 02:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I do not use any of the new sensors and found battery life was less when having them active. For those that use the features, cool, but I prefer battery life over a bunch of features I have no use for. Too much feature bling for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkaboutDavid View Post
Amen.
I suspect you're still using the sensors at times, but just turning off the Samsung software that keeps them on too much.

Other than that, I agree, and that's part of the reason I started this thread.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 04:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I suspect you're still using the sensors at times, but just turning off the Samsung software that keeps them on too much.

Other than that, I agree, and that's part of the reason I started this thread.
I gave the GPE Rom a try on my Galaxy S4 for a week, you want to know want I noticed about battery life? it didn't make any noticeable difference and I usually leave allot of the Samsung features enabled.

On GSMArena the GPE Galaxy S4 scored less on the battery test than the Touchwiz version so make of that what you will.

Personally I think all this talk of the these features draining the battery is a load of rubbish, of course they use power but compared to allot of other offenders like the Screen, CPU, GPU, GPS, Wifi, 3G/4G, NFC etc it's nothing worth noting.
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Old July 26th, 2013, 11:41 PM   #19 (permalink)
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The drop-down is fantastic, I really like the way the unlock screen is setup and I use S-health all the time. Not as powerful and full featured as something like MyFitnessPal but its useful and the widgets are nice. I use a lot of the camera features too. The auto-GIF is great for making mini recordings of little ones.
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