Published on May 31 2016

How to Get the Most Out of Your Samsung Galaxy S7

So you’ve bought a Samsung Galaxy S7. While it’s not necessarily a huge upgrade over the S6, there are a few new features on the S7 that didn’t exist in the S6, and you might not be sure how to use them. We want to take a few moments to highlight these features.

While we don’t have time to go over every feature here today, we think some of the gaming, “always-on,” and expandability options are notable. Also, if you’re lucky enough to have the S7 Edge, we want to also bring your attention to the new uses for the Edge’s curved screen that have appeared in the S7. Let’s take a look.

Use Game Tools when playing games

The S7 is a much more capable gaming device than the S6 ever was. A more powerful processor provides smoother gameplay, while liquid cooling features prevent the device from becoming too hot to the touch. However, the Game Launcher is something you should know about, and a new floating menu called Game Tools, CNET writes.

You won’t have to do anything to use Game Launcher. Any game you download is now automatically placed in that folder. Game Launcher will also help you to find new games based on popularity and what games you have installed. But we’d like to highlight another feature called Game Tools, which is the real hot new feature.

When you play a game, look for a floating menu button that looks like a game controller. Tap it and it will open a new menu. Here’s what each of those features does:

  • No alerts during game: turns off all notifications for distraction-free gameplay;
  • Lock recents and back keys: prevents accidental exit as a result of hitting the navigation keys of your phone;
  • Minimize game: pauses and minimizes your game to an icon so you can do other things. When you’re ready to play again, just tap the icon;
  • Screenshot: exactly what it says, takes a screenshot of your game play;
  • Record: allows you to record your gameplay, even your voice too so you can narrate; and
  • Settings: opens up the Game Tools settings for even more customization.

Use S7’s “Always On” screen

How to Get the Most Out of Your Samsung Galaxy S7

The S7 supports what is called an “always on screen,” Droid Life says. What does this mean? Essentially the display itself never completely turns off. Simple tasks such as checking the time and date or new messages don’t require the entire display to be illuminated and instead just the pixels needed are illuminated. This should result in much better battery life in theory, and allow the display to be active for an entire day without killing your battery.

WCCF Tech explains how to customize this feature. Head to Settings > Display > Always On Display. If it’s not already activated, swipe the toggle to turn it on. From there, tap on Content to Show. You’ll be presented with a few options including a clock, a calendar, or a mix of the two, along with icons below that represent different features like the number of new messages, voicemails, or remaining battery power. Tap the one you like, and you’re done.

We should mention that at the moment only native phone features work with Always On, so notifications for third party apps won’t show up.

Expandable storage is back, and useful

Samsung removed the capability to expand storage through microSD cards in the S6, but it has returned with the S7 line. The return of this feature also allows you to do something else: move your apps and files off your on-phone storage.

Samsung has made it super easy to use this for pictures. Just install the card, and open your camera app. A popup will appear asking whether you’d like to store all pictures taken directly to the card. Tap OK, and you’re done. If you’re looking to use Adaptable Storage to save apps though, there is a workaround, Droid-Life claims.

One word of caution though: It’s not officially supported, so be prepared for issues if you try it.

The Edge’s screen just got a lot better

How to Get the Most Out of Your Samsung Galaxy S7

When the Edge first arrived last year, the phone’s curved screen — while aesthetically pleasing — lacked a good deal of compelling uses. In the S7 that has changed quite a bit.CNET notes that the edges of the screen can illuminate a specific color when face down to let you know if a specific contact is calling. How do you take advantage of the better functionality? Samsung’s support documents give some basic tips.

For each of these features, find the options to turn them off and on in Apps > Settings > Edge Screen.

Edge Panels allow easy access to commonly used features and information without leaving the current app. With it activated, you’ll be able to quickly access information on the following when swiping from the right edge: apps, tasks, people, Yahoo News, Samsung Milk, My Places, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Quick Tools, Calendar, and Weather. With the menu open, look for a gear icon. This is the settings menu, and you can reorder or add or delete shortcuts from the Edge Panel menu.

Edge Feeds offers five different default feeds, including one that scrolls through notifications from your applications, another through information from Samsung’s Health app, and three options from Yahoo: news, finance, and sports. To get more feeds or reorder their display, go back to Apps > Settings > Edge Screen and under Edge feeds look for a download button.

Finally, Edge Lighting programs your device to illuminate the edges a specific color when a specific contact calls and the screen is face down. Go to Apps > Settings > Edge Screen > Edge lighting and add the contacts you’d like to use with this feature there.

Use Smart Switch for painless upgrading

The biggest pain of moving to a new phone is no doubt the transfer process. We can spend hours transferring files from one phone to another, and it’s not always successful. Samsung aims to change this with the S7. Included with the phone is an app called Smart Switch, and a USB cable for fast transfer between your older devices and the S7. iPhone? Don’t worry: Smart Switch even works there wirelessly.

There are dozens of settings you can play around with and you can even select what you want and don’t want transferred. If you’re interested in seeing how this works check out SamMobile’s detailed guide on how to get started with Smart Switch right away. But go ahead and download the app first from Samsung’s website.

Motion Photo is Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Live Photos

Jealous of your iPhone 6S-owning friends’ Live Photos capabilities? The S7 has a similar feature called Motion Photos. TalkAndroid says that the feature is like Live Photos, but instead of storing the moments before and after the photo, only the moments before are captured.

Motion Photo is not on by default much like Live Photos. Also keep in mind the extra storage space necessary to store a motion photo: It might be a good idea to use the expanded storage capabilities we mentioned earlier in concert with this feature.

To get to this feature, inside the camera app, tap the settings button and look for the Motion Photo slider. Slide that to on, and any picture you take will be captured as a Motion Photo. Just keep in mind if you don’t want a photo to capture those seconds before it was taken, you’ll need to turn it off before you take the picture.

TalkAndroid does say that sharing of these photos is only limited to video files, which is different from how Live Photos can be shared with other iPhone 6S users, where they are shared as special photo files. Not to worry though: Samsung should take care of these issues in the not too distant future.

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Published on May 31 2016

HTC smartwatch rumors and news

Even though HTC was named an Android Wear partner when the platform launched in 2014, we’ve seen no wearables from the troubled Taiwanese manufacturer. That might change in 2016, with new rumors circulating about the HTC Watch.

Rumors and information about HTC’s purported upcoming smartwatch are thin, and we’ve seen the release date for the device repeatedly pushed back. That seemed to have recently been the case yet again, as recognized leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) said the smartwatch’s unveiling has been delayed to the fall from the week of June 6.

What a clusterf***: HTC wearable bumped again, to the fall. Hurry up, HTC, before people realize that they don’t really need these products.

This isn’t the first time Blass’ estimate for the watch’s release date has been pushed back. Back in December 2015, the leaker suggested that HTC fans would “finally have One watch to call your own come February,” but his prediction didn’t come true. In addition, Blass reported that the watch would arrive before the end of April, but then followed up with a report that HTC delayed its unveiling to the week of June 6.

It’s unclear why the launch keeps getting delayed, but Blass has a strong track record of predicting product launches before they happen. If HTC sticks with its current plans, it’s very likely we’ll see the company’s first smartwatch sometime this fall.

Possible specs are unknown

Although we don’t know much about the HTC smartwatch’s rumored specs, there have been a few reports about its display, design, and battery life.

A September leak from Phandroid claims the One Watch is codenamed “halfbreak,” after a type of fish. The fish-related name is similar to the codenames of previous Android Wear watches. The report says that the One Watch will come equipped with a circular display and 360 x 360p resolution.

Earlier comments suggest that the HTC watch will be well designed and energy efficient. In an older CNET report from 2014, HTC chairwoman (and now CEO) Cher Wang said the watch would connect to phones through Bluetooth, and HTC would focus on battery efficiency as well as design. Wang said it would be “the best-looking” smartwatch on the market. We don’t know if the device Wang was referring to last year is the same one that is rumored today, but HTC typically focuses on design with its products, so her comments may still ring true.

HTC has been on a rough tumble down the food chain. Originally one of the top Android manufacturers, it now controls a tiny fraction of overall sales. Recently, the company downsized dramatically to remain in business, which could explain delays to the smartwatch. But even though the market is getting crowded, it seems as though HTC may finally be ready to bust out its first smartwatch.

We will continue to update this article with any new information on the rumored HTC Watch.

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Published on May 31 2016

Samsung shows off a 4K virtual reality display

Samsung has showcased a selection of its next generation of displays at the SID Display Week conference in San Francisco, CA this week. One was a virtual reality-oriented 4K display at 5.5 inches, which is the first VR-focused display seen at one of these conferences.

4K resolution VR displays don’t exist yet. The highest resolution displays for VR on the market today come in the form of pocket-sized phones, as none of their commercially available desktop counterparts, such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, reach the same level of pixel density. This is not to discredit stationary solutions though, since with body and position tracking as well as custom solutions they can get rid of that horrendous “screen door effect.” Regardless, offering higher resolution displays for VR is a step toward eventually getting rid of the visible pixels in VR completely.

At this stage, the featured display is being demoed as a prototype. Some rumors suggest that the Samsung Galaxy Note 6 will come equipped with a 4K display. But assuming this device is in its prototype stage, it doesn’t sound like it will be seen among retailers this fall when Samsung is expected to launch that device. Details are lacking as to what makes this particular display suitable for VR displays beyond what others can provide, so we’ll just have to sit and wait while Samsung does its thing.

In addition to the 4K display, two other screens show promise in the VR field as well. One of them is called “Bio Blue” and is designed to lessen potentially harmful blue light. Put in numbers, the new display is meant to emit only 6 percent blue light as opposed to the 32 percent often seen on modern AMOLED displays. There was also an early light-field display on the site as well. This type of display uses a technology that provides a realistic sense of depth in an image. Both of these technologies are meant to allow depth to be perceived more naturally, and thus be easier on the eyes.

Thus far there aren’t any detailed hardware specifications for these displays. The question of what technology will lead the way for VR is in no way set in stone, but for now a higher resolution display would likely be welcomed by everyone.

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Published on May 31 2016

Sure, you’ve dabbled in HDR photography, but your results are nothing compared to what you’ve seen on professional websites. How do they do that? Do they take classes? Apprentice in some mountaintop HDR temple? Or did they just pick up a copy of HDR Projects 3 Professional?

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Published on May 30 2016

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Published on May 30 2016

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Published on May 30 2016

Pictures! Pictures!

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Published on May 30 2016

When you first booted it up, your computer was the bee's knees. Then, it started taking a little longer to boot up and shut down, then a little longer still. It locks up every now and then, but you've learned to live with it. Stop doing that! Ignoring your computer's performance issues only opens the door to a potentially devastating system crash! That's why you need TuneUp360!

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Published on May 30 2016

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