Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tips for getting started with the Samsung Galaxy S3

Stocked with Ice Cream Sandwich and a truckload of Samsung-specific features, theSamsung Galaxy S III (S3) does not fall short in offering ways for you to customize and tweak the interface.

With all those options, where do you start? Break the ice with the following five features that make your S3 an even smarter companion.

(Credit: Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET)

1. Hide unwanted bloatware.
Like a new computer, the S3 comes prestocked with an unsavory amount of branded apps and services. Because they've been installed by the manufacturer, you can't uninstall these apps; however, you can keep them out of sight.

To disable a bloatware app, find it in the app drawer. Tap and hold it, then drag it to "App Info." From there, tap "Disable," and the app will vanish from the app drawer. Repeat the process for any other apps you want to hide.

If you ever want to unhide an app, go to Settings > Application manager. Tap the app to want to unhide and tap "Enable."

2. Customize the lock screen.
Want superfast access to your favorite apps and widgets? On the S3, you can completely customize your lock screen with shortcuts to apps, widgets, and the camera.

But first, a heads up: you must disable your screen lock (PIN, pattern, face unlock, etc.) to get these features. Trading security for convenience will be up to you. If you decide to live without the security, keep reading.

To customize your options, go to Settings > Security > Lock Screen Options. From there, pick and choose the items you want to appear on the lock screen. You can also change the app shortcuts by tapping "Shortcuts" in the Lock Screen Options settings.

(Credit: Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET)

3. Learn the S Voice basics
The S3 has S Voice built in; it's an intelligent voice recognition service that wants to be your personal assistant. Using voice commands, you can do things like get directions, check the weather, compose an e-mail, and more.

After some testing, we found that it doesn't quite stack up to Apple's Siri, but can certainly be useful in a pinch.

The key to making the most of S Voice is to know the commands. To find out what they are, double-tap the home button to launch S Voice, and say "What can I say?" A list of available commands will appear on screen.

As you get started, tweak S Voice's settings to your liking. Just tap the menu button while in S Voice to access the settings. Among other things, you have the option to enter your home address so that you can say, "How do I get home?" and S Voice will route you there.

Another important setting is "Wake up command." By enabling this, you can prompt S Voice at any time using a command. Just know that using this feature will have a negative effect on battery life.

(Credit: Screenshot by Sharon Vaknin/CNET)

4. Set data usage limits
If you have a limited data plan, keep a close eye on usage (and prevent overage charges) with your S3's built-in data-monitoring tool. To get started, go to Settings > Data usage.

First, check the box next to "Set mobile data limit." Next, define your billing cycle. If you're not sure, you can check your bill or call your service provider to find out. Finally, tap and drag the red line to set your data limit, and use the orange line to decide when your phone will warn you about your data usage.

You can also come back here and manually check your usage at any time. Alternatively, read our overview of apps dedicated to helping you track data usage.

5. Create custom vibration alerts
Remember back in the day when you could create your own MIDI ringtones? (Shout out to Nokia!) Well, now you can relive that memory by creating your own vibration alerts on the S3.

Head to Settings > Sounds and tap "Device vibration." At the bottom, tap "Create." Here's where you'll make your own vibration. First, think about what kind of vibration pattern you want, then tap the middle of the circle to begin "recording." You can tap and hold for long vibration "notes" or tap briefly for quick pulses.

When you're done, hit "Save" and set your new vibration as the default alert.

Bonus tips!

  • To display the battery percentage in the top bar, go to Settings > Display and check "Display battery percentage."
  • Tweak the keyboard options by going to Settings > Language and Input. Then tap the gear icon next to "Samsung keyboard." Here you can do things like turn off "T9 Trace" (which is like Swype) and enable or disable the key tap sound and vibration.
  • The little-known motion gestures let you complete day-to-day tasks, like taking a screenshot or making a phone call, a lot faster. Follow this guide to enable motion gestures and find out how to work the most useful ones.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


The pocket-sized, innovative Casio EXILIM HI-ZOOM EX-V7 is currently the world’s slimmest digital camera with a 7X optical zoom lens. More than just a still camera, it also records widescreen, next-generation, high-quality H.264 movies — at remarkably small file sizes — with movie stabilizer technology that minimizes the effects of hand movement while filming. You can record up to three hours of video using a 2GB memory card. See why the Casio EXILIM HI-ZOOM EX-V7 is perfect for capturing your special moments, while maintaining the highest quality imaginable.


Friday, March 16, 2007

iPod Phone

The rather gorgeous iPhone combines three products - a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a web-friendly device with desktop-class email, web browsing, maps, and searching. The UK release date has not yet been announced, but will likely be some time in the spring

Saturday, March 10, 2007



The Archos Gmini is a gorgeous looking and seriously high-tech spec video camera, stills camera, MP3 player, games console, movie file player and voice recorder in one. Yes despite its wafer thin solid build and compact 10x6cm footprint, this sleek silver and red Archos Gmini Camcorder console is the last word in multi-tasking gadgetry. With a 20GB capacity, a digital 2x zoom and adjustable resolution, you can record up to 50 hours of low-res video footage or 13 hours in high-res. With a still camera resolution of 1.2 mega pixels and two-way file transfer via USB



Revive Your Telly with Lifebox

Perhaps you resist going buckwild over every Apple announcement, but would still like technological innovation in your home. Welcome to Lifebox TV. It's a media storage hard drive that hooks up to your television. Lifebox supports a variety of audio files and a plethora of movie formats. It also doubles as an external hard drive. With storage capacities from 160GB to 500GB, that's a whole lotta media goin' on.

From £140-260 at Maplin

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Common Sense Security

This site is designed to give an overview of what we can do to keep our computers safer and more secure while we are on the Internet. I have known the owner (Mark Rider) for a long time and confirm that his site is secure AND gives out some very useful advice. I can  recommend it highly.


Monday, January 01, 2007

A Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to one an` all.
May the year ahead bring all that you desire and more.
If that includes a substantial lottery win my address is available on

Best Wishes

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fuji FinePix A700



Designed for all the family, Fuji's FinePix A700 is easy to use and therefore everyone can enjoy digital photography! It is simple and user-friendly, with all the control buttons being on the right hand side so you can use it with just one hand.
Integrating a 7.3 megapixel Super CCD HR and an Optical Zoom of 3x, the A700 gives you very good image quality, with your photos being detailed, rich in colour and perfectly centred, enabling them to be enlarged.
In addition the Fine Pix A700 has a large LCD screen, which is more than 6cm in diagonal, giving you a very comfortable aim, as well as pertinent control of your photo taking.
Comfortable, easy to hold and with 8 different modes for each scene, you won’t get lost when taking your photos. The A700 adapts itself to the situation, therefore giving you the best results in every circumstance.
Ideal for everyone, the FinePix A700 enables you to enjoy taking digital photos, saving your most precious memories, without bothering you with technical details.

Canon PowerShot A640

Canon PowerShot A640

Topping the Competition in All Respects

Canon's popular A Series cameras have always stood out from the competition, but PowerShot A640 takes that concept to a whole new level. Experience breathtaking 10.0 megapixel resolution-a first for an A-Series camera - and the power of a 4x optical zoom lens. You'll have more fun shooting, and make your finished images even more rewarding, with the camera's exciting array of easy-to-use, high-performance features including 21 shooting modes and ISO800/High ISO Auto settings for much greater ability to shoot in low light.

UK Price      £219.00 & Delivered free in the UK. Usually dispatched within 24 hours.