Samsung has revealed an update to make your Samsung Galaxy S3 even smarter. While not Android 4.2, there are indeed some useful and innovative features within that I look forward to. Only part 1 has been released so there should be more interesting features yet to come.
Multi Window was a feature originally introduced on the Galaxy Note 2, letting you use two apps at the same time. The multi-window function is useful in that both apps are fully functioning; one isn’t suspended while the other is active for example. That means you can be watching an active Twitter timeline on one side of the screen while browsing the web, watching a video or updating your Facebook status on the other, etc.
Facebook Lock Ticker
You can now add Facebook ticker to the Galaxy S III lock screen. Perfect for Facebook junkies! Unlike some Facebook Widgets, it is also not limited to one update at a time and allows you to quickly check up on the ongoings in Facebook.
The new Reader mode looks to show content on a web page without ads or other non-relevant information while also supporting customized font sizes. This would be a good introduction to the default browser. It is somewhat similar to current apps like ReadItLater (Pocket), but would be useful for those who are still using the default browser, which for the techie folks, I would assume most are instead using Google Chrome.
From time to time, we might look back at some photos and wonder where it was taken. This is a quick way to tag photos with date, GPS location, weather data, and the people in the photo. Quite useful, though I wonder what’s the weather included for?! Anyway, it would be better if it synchronises well with Google Photos but we would have to wait till the feature is released.
Well, plug-in your earphones and Samsung brings up a Music player for a one click process to listen to your music playlist. Not too bad! But what about when times I am using the earphones for gaming or for videos? Hmm… a new page pop up might be irritating.
Based on your frequency of usage, Samsung would automatically rank them in order and suggest the most frequently used application for sharing or like selecting file attachments. It will also inform you on applications frequency of use if you decide to uninstall them. I thought the default Android had something similar already and I ain’t too keen on this feature.
Auto Share Shot Paring using NFC
Er… I thought the easiest way of sharing photos now is just to send it via email or Whatsapp. Samsung is pushing to use NFC to share photos but the demonstration looks too troublesome for it to be actually useful. You have to pair the phone first before sending the photo over? Wouldn’t it be easier to just beam the photo which was a feature already included in the S3.
Overall, there are some interesting features to look forward to. However, Samsung hasn’t said when it’ll start rolling out its upgrade and it could be a couple of months before we see it appears on the telco carriers. The company says that “availability and timing” of the update will “vary depending on country and mobile carrier.” Singapore (Singtel / M1 / Starhub) ain’t too fast in this aspect either. Well, it ain’t ground-breaking but some of the innovative features are worth looking forward to, and Samsung adds that the updates outlined in its blog post are just part 1, and there will be more goodies in part 2.