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May 4, 2012

Samsung GALAXY S III: In-Depth Look on Software Features

The latest “Next Galaxy” smartphone continues to make headlines several hours after its official launch. One of the most controversial Galaxy handsets released by Samsung, the phone comes with a range of interesting applications and services.

Before we take an in-depth look on the software features of the third-generation Galaxy S, we recommend those interested in the phone’s hardware performance to check out this article for the latest benchmark results scored by Galaxy S III.

The first thing I want to point out is that Samsung has built the Galaxy S III with convergence in mind. The phone is packed with all sorts of software meant to improve the user’s experience and make it easier to take advantage of the phone’s features.

The Galaxy S III can recognize the user’s voice and understand his/her intention. The software that comes pre-loaded enhances the interaction between the device and its user. 

The handset can also detect the user’s face, though this is no news. In addition, Galaxy S III is capable of detecting the user’s gestures and it can even adapt to the user’s needs in order to provide a smoother experience. 

For example, with the “Smart stay” feature, Samsung Galaxy S III actively learns how the owner uses the phone and provides everything that is required for a much better experience without having to set any additional options. 

The smartphone uses the front camera to identify the user’s eyes and can detect when he/she reads an e-book or browse the web, so it is able to maintain a bright display for a better experience.

“S Voice” is an advanced natural language user interface that many think it’s superior to Apple’s Siri similar software. With “S Voice,” Galaxy S III listens and responds to the user’s words. 

Aside from being able to provide search results, the new feature offers powerful device control and commands. It can quickly act based on user’s voice command, so when the phone alarm goes off and you want to snooze it, just say the word and the phone will automatically recognize your voice and snooze the alarm. 

The “S Voice” feature can also be used to play songs, turn the volume up or down, send text messages and emails, organize an agenda, or automatically launch the camera and capture a photo.

There’s more to it, as Samsung Galaxy S III can recognize the user’s face and voice, so when he/she is messaging someone but decides to call them instead, they only need to lift the phone to their ear and “Direct call” will dial their number. 

In addition, “Smart alert” catches any missed messages or calls as the phone will vibrate to notify missed statuses when picked up after being idle.

Last but not least, Galaxy S III comes with “S Beam,” which is an improved version of Android Beam feature. “S Beam” allows a 1GB movie file to be shared within no more than three minutes and a 10MB music file within two seconds by simply touching another Galaxy S III phone.

The same can be done with the “Buddy photo share” function, which allows photos to be shared with friends pictured in an image directly from a camera or photo gallery.

TOSHIBA Launches Quosmio X870 with Nvidia’s Kepler

As you probably remember, we’ve just presented Toshiba’s new Qosmio X875 here. Today, the Japanese electronics manufacturer is reportedly launching their Qosmio X870 model.

This is also a 17” model with a 3D screen. The Toshiba Black Widow theme is also present along with two high quality Harman Kardon speakers, just like all the other Qosmio models build in the last years.

As a notebook that addresses the needs and desires of the gaming enthusiasts, the X870 is powered by the third-generation Intel Quad-Core processor using Ivy Bridge architecture, and uses Nvidia’s Kepler-based GTX670M graphics with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM. All these should be sufficient to handle most intensive applications and games.

The 17” screen is, as we said, 3D-enabled and sports a full high definition (HD) resolution. It supports the latest Nvidia 3D Vision active shutter glasses and Nvidia LightBoost technology for immersive 3D viewing experience.

The Qosmio X870 also comes equipped with a Blu-ray disc player and HDMI connector that lets you stream 3D content from the portable machine to a 3D-capable TV.

The high quality finish is just what Toshiba presented us in all the latest Qosmio models. 

There will be 2TB of hard drive space or a hybrid SSD option, four USB 3.0 ports (two Sleep-and-Charge USB ports), Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth, a Full HD webcam with Face Recognition technology, and a red backlit keyboard.

As we can see in the pictures, the X870 comes with a large trackpad with multi-touch control that’s perfect for the gaming enthusiasts.

The Harmon Kardon stereo speakers come with Slip Stream technology and SRS Premium Sound 3D and the price will be around $3,699.

That’s around €2,815 for the European gamers, but as we all know, all the manufacturers love to overcharge us so we expect the new Qosmio model price to be over €3,000.

ASUS Launches Its GeForce GTX 690 Dual-Chip Card

NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 690 graphics card was launched a few days ago, which means that PC vendors and OEMs have had more than enough time to make their own announcements.

The company that is now launching the video card is ASUS. No modifications were made to the clock speeds, not that there was any need.

Dual-GPU cards are monstrously overpowered by default, so there isn't really any need for clock tweaking.

Of course, the same can be said about the GTX 680, or the 580, or really any upper-mainstream and high-end video controllers, but companies, and buyers, overclock them anyway.

That's neither here nor there though, so we'll go ahead and list the specs, identical to those of the reference adapter though they are.

First off, the two GK104 graphics processing units work at 915 MHz, but the GPU boost technology can push them to 1,019 MHz if needed. We're pretty sure it won't be needed, but GPU Boost is part of the Kepler architecture, so it's there regardless.

Secondly, 4 GB of GDDR5 VRAM are present, with a clock of 6,008 MHz.

Thirdly, since there are two of those GPUs, the CUDA core count is 3,072 and the memory interface is 512 bits.

Other specs include OpenGL 4.2, advanced anti-aliasing (TXAA/FXAA), Adaptive Vertical Sync, the obvious DirectX 11 and SLI (two GTX 690 are basically quad-SLI setups on just two PCI Express 3.0/2/0 slots).

Finally, connectivity to one or more displays is accomplished through three dual-link DVI ports and a mini DisplayPort connector. HDMI lovers shouldn't worry though. A DVI to HDMI adapter comes bundled with the product.

ASUS will ship its GeForce GT 690 with its GPU Tweak and Driver software, plus a power cable. The price will be of $999 or more, and probably just as many Euro in Europe. Exchange rates say $999 is equal to 750 Euro, but we all know prices on the old continent don't often reflect them.

Samsung Galaxy S III Full Specs

On May 3rd, South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung made official its latest device in the Galaxy S line, “the Next Galaxy,” as it likes to call it. 

Dubbed Galaxy S III, the new device is the successor of last year’s best-selling Galaxy S II, and it is loaded with top-of-the-line hardware to deliver a great experience to all users. 

In all aspects, the new Galaxy S III represents an upgrade to the Galaxy S II, although many have been disappointed by its design. 

Samsung has included a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display on this device, so that users could benefit from a 1280 x 720 resolution when playing games or viewing high-quality videos while on the go. 

To help in this task, there is a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4 Quad processor, complemented by 1GB of RAM, and advanced connectivity options. 

In most markets, the device will be released with HSPA+ 21Mbps capabilities inside, but it will also feature LTE capabilities in specific countries. Thus, users would experience fast download speeds at all times, Samsung claims. 

For those who would like to carry their photos, videos and other files around at all times, Galaxy S III offers plenty of storage. The handset will offer internal memory ranging from 16GB to 32GB and 64GB, with the possibility to add some more via a MicroSD memory card slot (up to 64GB). 

On top of that, Samsung partnered with Dropbox to provide users with 50GB of storage in the cloud for the first two years, provided that they set up the account from the phone. 

Galaxy S III’s imaging capabilities are as impressive, courtesy of an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, with auto-focus, flash and Zero Shutter Lag. It can also record videos in full HD resolution. Additionally, the smartphone provides video calling support through a 1.9MP camera on the front. 

On the connectivity side, in addition to said 3G and 4G capabilities, the handset will offer Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi a/b/g/n, NFC, with S Beam support, GPS/GLONASS, MicroUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the like. 

Samsung also included accelerometer, digital compass, proximity sensor, gyro, barometer and RBG light sensors inside the phone, as well as a 2100mAh battery. 

Powered by Google’s Android 4.0.4 ICS platform and with a new TouchWiz UI on top, the smartphone also offers features such as S Voice, S Beam, Google Maps, Face Zoom, Share Shot, Social Tag, full HD playback and more, all inside a body that measures 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm (5.38 x 2.78 x 0.34 inches) and weighs 133 g (4.7 ounces). It is set to hit shelves in marble white and pebble blue.

SimSimi for Android

Melt your heart and make a friend, SimSimi act as an advanced robot, allowing users to engage in a light-hearted and friendly chat.

The app itself is easy to set up and has a tutorial that'll teach you the basics of chatting to SimSimi. Once you say something to the colorful character, you'll receive an instant reply. In some circumstances, SimSimi won't understand what you say, so you've the option to teach him new words and phrases. This feature is surprisingly intuitive and worked well. Oroginally Korean only, you will find the occasional trace of broken english, but it doesn't have any real benefits for your device, but it's an innocent pice of fun. 

Game specification:
Price: Free
Requires Android: 2.1 and up

Get more from your Android phone with these hints

SIM Lock
Always set up a SIM card PIN. This can stop people using your account if it gets stolen. Go to Settings>Location & Security and scroll down to find Set up SIM card lock. Just make sure you remember the PIN

Darker themes
To save battery power, using a darker theme can actually save battery life and using dark colours in other apps will also help. It sounds crazy, but it has been proven to work with modern smartphone and tablet screens.

Bad vibrations
Another way to save your battery power, you may not be aware of is to disable the vibrating and haptic feedback in settings. If you type a lot, it is surprising just how much battery is required to create the physical vibration sensation.

Send a Contact as an SMS on Android

It can be a labourious process having to keep switching back and forth beetween a number and text message as you try and send over one of your contact's details to someone else.

Just set up your quick actions, your quick actions refer to the formats of the message you're sending, and there's a variety of formats to chose from.

Open the Preference
With the Ciacs app open on its home screen, tap on the menu button on your device. This will open a small option list at the bottom of your screen. Choose the settings option to begin configuring the app for use.

Find quick actions
Scroll down until you find the quick actions tab, then select the formats you wish to use. The business card option will allow the recipient to add details to their address book automatically, while plain text will enable them to copy and paste it.

Did it work?
When you start to put together a message, click on the green symbol on the left side of the app. This will open up all the available formats that you set previously. Choose the one you want to use and the app will adapt to the format. Once you've finished putting together your message, press the send button that's located in bottom-right corner of the UI. Even though may send display photos of your contacts, you'll only ne charged for sending a single text message.

Translate Printed Text in Android

Google Goggles means you'll never be left scratching your head and wondering what a foreign word means.

Take Snapshot
Open up the Google Goggles app and select the Snapshot action menu. You will then be taken to the camera on your android smartphone. Now you need to point your phone at the word or phrase you want the app to translate for you

Get Specific
In the bottom-right corner of the next screen, you will see a region of interest button. Tap on this and it will allow you to draw rectangle box around specific word. Use this to highlight a word or phrase and press the shutter button to move on the next step.

The app will then take a photograph of the text that you have pointed your smartphone at. It will begin scanning the text before looking for a suitable match. In our example, 'Soupe a l`oignon' has been correctly translated back to English as 'Onion Soup'.

When you tap on the translated result, you can not only see the translation on a full page, but Google Goggles will also perform a web search, looking for entries which relate to that word or phrase. The copy option will retain the phrase in the phone's memory.

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