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2 years ago

Jelly Bean keyboard: get your quick punctuation keys back [from the forums]

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So you're all psyched about using the new fast keyboard in Jelly Bean, and digging the predictive text feature. But after a while, if you're like me, you realize that things went much smoother when you had all your punctuation options in your selection bar after typing a word instead of a guess for the next word. Predictive text is cool, but different strokes for different folks, right? Here's an easy fix from martonikaj in the Jelly Bean forums.

Buried deep in the settings (deeper than I cared to look the first time around) you can shut predictive text off, and still have word correction while typing, but when you hit the spacebar, you get your missing exclamation point and all the rest of your punctuation back up there where it always used to be. 

If this fits your typing style better than predictive text, hit the forums link below and have a look. Be sure to tell martonikaj thanks while you're at it!

[How To] Remove Predictive Text and Bring Back Punctuation

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2 years ago

Jelly Bean feature: A more functional notification drop-down [video]

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Google took its first steps towards redesigning the Android notification tray in Ice Cream Sandwich, and in the latest version, 4.1 Jelly Bean, it's taken things a step further, creating truly informative and interactive notification entries that border on widget-like levels of interactivity. In addition to the standard icon-and-label combo we're used to from earlier Android versions, many Jelly Bean-compatible notifications can be expanded by dragging down with a two-finger gesture. For example, if you've got an IM notification, you can swipe down with two fingers to view the first few lines of the message.

In addition, you'll find that notifications from many Google apps now feature buttons that allow you to perform certain tasks without entering the app. Google Calendar events, for instance, include a button to snooze the event (you can still swipe it away to dismiss it). And after capturing a screenshot, there's a handy "Share" button that you can use to send it via social networks, or any other sharing app you have installed.

Gmail is where I find this feature most useful, though. Swiping down on a Gmail notifications in Jelly Bean allows you to view a list of subject lines and senders, assuming you've got multiple messages waiting. Or alternatively, if there's just one, you can view the sender, subject line, and the first several lines of the message -- more than enough to work out if it's worth jumping into the app to respond. It's a great way to take advantage of the extra visual real estate offered by the Nexus 7, and looks good on the Galaxy Nexus too, assuming you're not already drowning in notifications.

We've got a brief video showing of all these features after the break. Also be sure to check out the rest of our Jelly Bean feature articles.

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2 years ago

How to use Pop up play on the Samsung Galaxy S3

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Pop up play might just be the “killer” feature you use to show off your new Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) and make iPhone users green with envy.

Multitasking is not just a nice feature to have on a new smartphone – it is required in order to play in the same league with the big boys and girls.  Our busy lives demand that we be able to do more than one thing at a time and not lose our place in one app to interact with another. 

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2 years ago

Jelly Bean feature: Camera app tweaks for easier photo management

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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean introduces a couple of new features in the stock camera app, with the aim of making it easier to sort through and prune all those photos you've been shooting with zero shutter lag. Currently only available on the Galaxy Nexus (the Nexus 7 doesn't have a rear camera), the Jelly Bean camera app adds a new animation when photos are being taken, which acts as a visual hint at a new swipe gesture that's been added. Flick to the left at any time, and you'll be able to scroll through all the photos you've taken. From there, you can crop, rotate or share, just like in the gallery app. Alternatively, pinch to zoom out, and there's an expanded view from which you can swipe upwards to discard unwanted photos. And at the front of this photo stream is the live feed from your camera, which can be tapped to go back to shooting stills.

We're not going to pretend the Galaxy Nexus has the best smartphone camera out there -- indeed, that 5MP sensor is looking a little long in the tooth when compared to the latest HTC and Samsung offerings. But nevertheless, it's good to see Google addressing one of the main problems caused by shooting images in rapid succession -- the sheer volume of photos you can quickly find yourself with. Check out our video above for a walkthrough of all these new features, or hit the link below to check out our other Jelly Bean feature articles.

More: Check out more Jelly Bean features

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2 years ago

Jelly Bean feature: Sending photos and videos over Android Beam

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In Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android Beam -- that's the NFC-based device-to-device transfer service -- has been augmented to support sending photo and video content. This is done from within the Gallery app, and can be activated by holding two NFC (Near-Field Communication)-supporting Jelly Bean devices back-to-back while one has an image or video open. Then, when prompted, tap the screen to send, just like earlier Android Beam incarnations. File transfers themselves are handled by Bluetooth, so depending on your device's Bluetooth version support, your transfer speeds may vary. However, it is nice to see the hassle associated with Bluetooth file transfers all but eliminated thanks to NFC and Android Beam.

Android Beam's latest upgrade also means it can support transferring multiple files. Simply long press on a photo or video in the Gallery app, select as many items as you like, then hold the devices back-to-back to send. Like we said, though, the fact that Bluetooth is used for all the heavy lifting means that you probably won't want to send too much stuff over Android Beam if you can help it. In our experience, though, it's worked out pretty well for smaller stuff.

We should note, however, that while the new Android Beam shares a lot in common with the Samsung Galaxy S III's S Beam, the two technologies aren't compatible. Samsung's uses Wifi Direct for file transfers after an NFC connection has been established, compared to Android Beam's Bluetooth. So sending photos from a Jelly Bean-equipped Galaxy Nexus to an ICS-running Galaxy S III won't be possible. (And actually, this may present something of a technical headache when the S III eventually gets Jelly Bean.)

In any case, if you want to check out how this all works in more detail, you can find out hands-on video of photo and video transfers over Android Beam after the break.

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2 years ago

How to get a refund on an app from Google Play beyond the 15 minute time window

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See, sometimes there is method to my madness! After being a little lot stupid and buying a crappy $200 Vuvuzela app from the Google Play store on Sunday (see video above), I thought I kissed that money goodbye. I failed to remember you can easily get refunds out of the Googe Play store within 15 minutes of purchase just by going back to the app and tapping the Refund button. D'oh! By the time Phil reminded me about this later in the day, hours had already passed, so we both assumed I was out of luck.

Turns out that's not the case though. While the 15 minute refund is a no-hassle, no-questions asked refund policy, you can actually request an app refund beyond the 15 minute time window. As I type this it's almost 30 hours after I bought the Vuvuzela app, and I just requested the refund and was issued it within minutes. I'm sure many of you out there are familiar with this process already, but for those who are not keep reading for the details!

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2 years ago

From the Android Forums: What is Kies?

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delldude405 asks in the Samsung Galaxy S III forums,

Being new to the Samsung community, I notice that Samsung is doing their updates through Kies.

Could someone explain what this is, is it safe, and all that other jazz. I'm not one who can root because of security concerns but, is this like the Motorola feedback community (soak testers)?

Kies is a lot of things. It's a way to sync and backup your contacts and device data, it's a front end for transferring media like music and video between your computer and your phone, and as you've noticed, it's a method to update the device firmware on Samsung phones.

Using it is pretty easy. Install it on your computer (Windows or Mac), then plug your phone in with the provided USB data cable. Kies will find it, and present you with a fairly simple user interface full of things you can do with it. On Windows computers, Kies includes a set of universal device drivers so you don't have to fool with that, and it will automatically recognize your phone in case you have more than one. 

Most power users only use Kies for firmware updates, and even then only when it's required. Because all the features are available without Samsung's fancy front end, there's no real reason to install yet another software suite to your computer if you don't mind doing things the manual way. We're just glad users have a choice to use it or not to use it.

For an in-depth look at Kies, hit the break for a video from Samsung.

Have a question you need answered? (Preferably about Android, but we're flexible.) Hit up our Contact Page to get in touch!

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2 years ago

Top 10 things you need to know about your Galaxy S3

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III USB host video walkthrough

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​How to connect flash drives, hard drives, keyboards and mice to the Samsung Galaxy S III using USB host

Here's a lesser-known feature of the new Galaxy S III -- the ability to connect all manner of USB peripherals to Samsung's latest flagship phone, from mass storage to input devices. You'll need a USB OTG (on-the-go) cable to be able to connect all this stuff into the Galaxy S III or any other USB host-supporting phone.

Like the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note before it, the S III supports full USB host capabilities, meaning if you've got the right connector you can go completely nuts and plug all sorts of stuff into the phone. In our video, we tried USB memory sticks, full-sized SD card readers, USB hubs, hard drives, keyboards and mice. All of them worked. At one point we even had a hub plugged into the S III, allowing keyboard and mouse support simultaneously.

While we don't imagine many people will be using this feature every day, it's certainly impressive to see a smartphone able to handle such a wide range of USB gadgets, including full-sized desktop peripherals. Check out our video demo of USB host on the Samsung Galaxy S III above, and be sure to share your own experiences down in the comments if you've tinkered with this sort of thing yourself.

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2 years ago

How to disable the water droplet sound on the Samsung Galaxy S3

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Samsung's marketing campaign for the new Samsung Galaxy S III (S3) focuses heavily on how the visuals and sounds in its software are "inspired by nature." But one of the less welcome results of this is the water droplet sound that plays every time you press an on-screen button, menu or widget. Thankfully there's an easy way to make this quieter -- or completely silence it -- if it's not your cup of tea. Check out the video above for a quick walkthrough.

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