Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Galaxy S7: First 10 Things You Should Do

I know that March 11 is still over a week away and that most of you don’t have your Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge yet, but that won’t stop us from doing our best to prepare you for the day that you do. With that in mind, we think there are 10 items to consider tweaking on your phone once your S7 arrives and you complete the setup process after pulling it out of the box (or if you carrier ships your new phone early). These are the types of tweaks that can extend your storage, make your phone more convenient and secure at the same time, let you sleep easier at night, and change the look of Samsung’s TouchWiz.

Below, you’ll find the simple list of items, but if you want the full explanation for each, I highly recommend catching the video at the end of this post. Either way, here are the first 10 things to considering doing to your Galaxy S7. 

1. Toss in a microSD card

Why? Because Samsung brought back the SD slot to this year’s Galaxy line and is giving you the opportunity to up your storage by 200GB. By adding in an SD card, you can really increase the amount of photos, videos, music, and apps that your phone can handle over the next couple of years. If you are confused as to where the SD card slot is located, be sure to check out this post.

2. Switch camera storage to SD card

You will more than likely be prompted to switch over to storing photos taken to your microSD card once it has been inserted, but you may want to double check to make sure that it stuck. If you don’t switch your storage preference to the SD card, the chances of you filling up the S7’s 32GB of internal storage fairly quickly are pretty high. 12MP photos are big photos that can take up a lot of storage. Plus, if you start shooting video in 4K or taking advantage of Motion Photos, that 32GB (which is really 24GB out of the box) isn’t going to last long.

3. Make sure camera Quick Launch is on

Samsung’s double-tap-on-home shortcut to launch the camera is still one of the best quick launch camera actions around. On the Galaxy S7, it seems to be faster than ever and so you are going to want this enabled. It should be enabled out of the box, but if you perform a quick double-tap and nothing happens, head into the camera app, open settings, and find the shortcut “Quick Launch.”

4. Setup fingerprints for multiple fingers

During the S7’s setup process, it will ask you to setup a fingerprint or two to help secure your phone. My suggestion is that you setup four fingers: your two thumbs and your two index fingers. With this setup, you can quickly unlock your phone while in either hand, but also use a finger to unlock it if it’s lying on a table.

samsung galaxy s7 gold-7

5. Turn on Always-on Display

Always-on Display is one of Samsung’s new features that keeps a portion of the screen lit up at all times to show you the time, date, battery percentage, and select notifications. This is a feature that all phones should have, because it allows us the freedom to not have to touch our phone the dozens of times per day that we currently do to do something as simple as check the time.

On my S7 it was disabled out of the box. In order to enable it, head into your phone’s Display settings and look for “Always-on Display.”

6. Disable all the bloatware you don’t need

Depending on the carrier model of your Galaxy S7, you may have more bloatware (pre-installed apps) than others. The T-Mobile variants of the S7 and S7 Edge do not come with much, but expect the AT&T and Verizon versions to include upwards of 20 apps that you want no part of. The quickest way to disable or uninstall these is to open the app drawer, hit the “Edit” button in the top right corner, and then start tapping on the “-” icons over each app.

7. Clean-up home screens

Similar to the bloatware situation, there is a good chance your home screen setup out of the box will be full of garbage you’d rather not see. A simple long press on your home screens takes you into a zoomed out view where you can delete full pages if you want, or you can zoom it back in to grab individual items. That zoomed-out view also lets you quickly turn off the Flipboard panel to your home screen’s far left.

samsung galaxy s7 gold

8. Customize your favorite settings

In the settings menu, Samsung allows you to pin up to 9 of your most-used settings for quick access. This is one of my favorite TouchWiz features, as I’m the type to jump into various system settings (Battery, Display, Storage, Applications Manager, etc.) throughout a day. All you need to do is open your settings, tap the “Edit” button in the top right, and then go about selecting your favorites.

9. Setup Do Not Disturb mode

I’m a huge fan of Do Not Disturb mode. I’d recommend setting it up, if anything, for night time, when you probably want a good night’s rest without being interrupted by notifications. Mine is setup to kick on at 11:45PM every night and turn off at 6:00AM the following morning. I allow calls from my favorites list to sneak through, along with alarms, but not much else. You can customize all of this of course, through the “Sounds and vibration” menu in settings.

10. Checkout some themes

With last year’s Galaxy line, Samsung opened up TouchWiz to themers, which gave its customers the opportunity to really change the overall look of the software experience. If you aren’t a fan of Samsung’s stock TouchWiz color scheme or icon set, a theme could really freshen things up. There are free and paid themes, and they all seem to tweak items including the notification shade, dialer, settings menu, etc.

To access themes, you’ll find an option in the settings menu, but also as a shortcut after long-pressing on your home screen. Let us know if you find any good ones!

Galaxy S7: First 10 Things You Should Do is a post from: Droid Life

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No Hands, Ma: Google Intros Hands Free Mobile Payment App, Piloting in South Bay

Google is launching a pilot program for a new mobile payments solution, separate from Android Pay, called Hands Free. Available to residents of the South Bay (Bay Area, California), Hands Free allows you to pay for goods at select retailers without ever touching your phone.

The process is quite easy. In a store or restaurant you will get your goods, walk up to the cashier, then state to the person behind the counter, “I’ll pay with Google.” At that time, the cashier will confirm your identity via photograph and name initials thanks to a connection over Bluetooth to your smartphone and the Hands Free app, then you are on your way. A receipt will be sent to your phone to help you keep track of your transactions. 

To make things even more Minority Report-like, get a load of what Google claims in its blog post for Hands Free.

At select stores, we’re also in the early stages of experimenting with visual identification so that you can breeze through checkout even faster. This process uses an in-store camera to automatically confirm your identity based on your Hands Free profile picture. All images captured by the Hands Free camera are deleted immediately.

Borderline creepy, yet awesome, right?

Even though the pilot is extremely limited at this time, anyone can download the app and setup their account. You will need to have a credit card on file from Android Pay or Google Wallet, and you will also need to provide a photograph of yourself. You can also request the service in your area, but who knows how long that will take.

Usually, another mobile payment solution is the last thing I’d say the world needs, but this sounds pretty sweet and futuristic.

Play Link

Hands Free 2 Hands Free 3 Hands Free 4 Hands Free 1 Hands Free

Via: Google Commerce

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Latest HTC One M10 Teaser Talks Good Kind of Obsession

HTC posted a new teaser for the #powerof10 campaign, which we are assuming is the company’s hype machine for the upcoming One M10. In the teaser, the company states they are obsessed with what they are working on, staying up till the wee hours of the night to make it just right for everyone. 

While there is no shot of the device or anything like that, do know that it is reported HTC will launch the device in May. Even though HTC has yet to give us anything solid, we have seen various leaked photos of the phone.

Take a look, then share your reaction below.

Latest HTC One M10 Teaser Talks Good Kind of Obsession is a post from: Droid Life

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Google Photos Update Includes Bottom Navigation Bar, Collections Renamed to Albums

An incoming update for Google Photos should bring better navigation, as well as a slightly different look for Android users. Once updated, users will notice a navigation bar on the bottom side of the app, with shortcuts for Albums, Assistant, and Photos. This bar should allow for quicker discovery of what you are looking for. 

Also, the Collections feature is being renamed to Albums, featuring a new scrolling carousel on top with easy access to your shared albums, people, places, things, animations, collages, movies, and device folders.

Google Photos version 1.15 is hitting Google Plat starting today, so grab the update when you see it. For iOS users, Google states that this update will be coming soon.

Play Link

Via: Google Photos

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This Icon Pack is Hot: Glim

It’s a new year full of new phones, which means you need new hotness in your life. Trust me on this. To piggy back on the Nova Launcher Prime sale going on, I want to introduce you to Glim. I saw a few comments on the Nova sale post asking which icon pack I was using, so here you go.

Glim is a great take on flat icons, but still delivers a colorful punch and unique twist to app icons. The pack, which costs $2.79 on Google Play, features 2,500+ icons to choose from, with tons of alternative colors for those who have a certain theme in mind. The pack features dynamic Calendar support, a “smart” icon request tool, as well as cloud-based wallpapers that support Muzei. 

For the most part, a few of the popular app icons appear to be the same, but when looking closely, each has a flat and minimal feel. When using Nova, I disable the app icon labels, then increase the size which really makes them pop on my home screen. The Glim app, where you can browse through all of the icons, is built very well. Upon opening, you can slide through tabs, check the app’s changelog for what icons have been added, and view all of the wallpapers that come with the pack.

Check out a few of the screenshots below, then follow the Google Play link to get the latest hotness.

Play Link ($2.79)


This Icon Pack is Hot: Glim is a post from: Droid Life

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Quick Look: Galaxy S7 Motion Photo, a Simpler Take on Apple’s Live Photos

We’re not even 24 hours into our full Samsung Galaxy S7 coverage, yet we’ve already unboxed it, talked about how it handles app storage with SD cards, and showed you just how careful you need to be when inserting your nano SIM and expandable storage. Up next, we’re taking a look at the phone’s Motion Photo feature, which Samsung hasn’t exactly been bragging about, likely because everyone in the media will refer to it as a copy of Apple’s Live Photos. Is it? No. Let’s not forget that HTC was doing a Live Photo experience years before Apple sniffed it, so I’d just say that this is Samsung’s take on that whole idea. 

What is Galaxy S7 Motion Photo? It’s a pretty simple idea that could extend the photo taking experience for you not only in the moment, but by creating better memories going forward. A Motion Photo is a photo that includes a few seconds of video taken before you press the shutter button. What you get is a short clip that encapsulates the before-footage leading right up until the photo is taken. Motion Photos give you the opportunity to catch those funny faces or other candid moments that a still frame can’t.

How does it differ from Apple’s Live Photos? For one, it only captures a few seconds of video before, whereas Live Photos captures footage both before and after. With Live Photos, you view them by using the iPhone 6s’s 3D Touch, while Samsung just gives you a shortcut to the Motion Photo. Apple even allows you to put Live Photos on the iPhone’s lock screen. They aren’t opposites by any means, but they certainly aren’t identical either.

galaxy s7 motion photo

In order to turn on Motion Photo, you’ll find an option in the phone’s camera app under settings. Mine was turned off out of the box, so if you want to use Motion Photo, be sure to double check that it’s enabled. Just keep in mind that when you capture a few seconds of video footage with every photo you take, you are going to use up a lot of storage space in a short amount of time. You may want to use this in non-everyday situations or at the very least, make sure you are storing photos on a big ol’ microSD card.

To find out more about Motion Photo and see in action, check out the clip below.

Quick Look: Galaxy S7 Motion Photo, a Simpler Take on Apple’s Live Photos is a post from: Droid Life

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Deal: Moto X Pure Edition 64GB for $399, Plus $25 B&H Gift Card

B&H Photo and Video is offering a deal on the Moto X Pure Edition, by taking $100 off of the 64GB model and bringing the price down to $399. In addition to the $100 off, B&H is also throwing in a gift card to its site to the tune of $25. 

Three models of the Moto X Pure Edition are available to purchase – Black back with Black accents, White with Gold accents, and White with Bamboo back. Each is priced at $399, and each is 64GB. And to be clear, these are brand new phones, not refurbished or anything like that.

If the MXPE suits your fancy, with its stock Android experience and solid camera performance, hit that link below.

B&H Link

Deal: Moto X Pure Edition 64GB for $399, Plus $25 B&H Gift Card is a post from: Droid Life

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Sale: Grab Nova Launcher Prime for Only $0.99 Right Now

A sale on Google Play can net you Nova Launcher Prime at a largely discounted price of only $0.99. Usually priced at $4.99, Nova Launcher Prime unlocks certain features in the Nova Launcher app, bringing additional customization and feature enhancements straight to your Home screen. 

If you take a poll here on DL or go to any Android forum, you will find that many folks enjoy Nova’s level of customization, and to this day, it still receives timely updates bringing new features. Anytime you see a Show Off Your Home Screen post, you better believe there is plenty of Nova action taking place.

If you have yet to try Nova, now is a good time to do so. Simply follow the Google Play link below, purchase Prime, then also download the Nova Launcher app. From there, it’s up to you to customize it how you see fit.

Who here is already using Nova?

Play Link

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Inserting SIM and MicroSD Card in Your Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge

With the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung brought back the microSD card slot to much delight. While they may have skipped on Android 6.0’s Adoptable Storage, there may not be that big of an issue, because they are still allowing you to move apps over to an inserted SD card and take advantage of cards up to 200GB. Since many of you may be coming to the S7 or S7 Edge from a previous Galaxy device and haven’t seen Samsung’s newest implementation of an SD card slot, we thought we’d share that with you today. 

If you are coming from a Moto X Pure Edition, you’ll know how this works, but what Samsung has done here is turn the SIM tray of the phone into a microSD tray as well. The SIM tray (and the S7 takes a nano SIM) is located at the top of the phone and can be ejected by using the included SIM tool that Samsung left in the box with all of the phone’s guides. All you have to do is slot the tool into the pin-hole for the tray, apply a bit of pressure, and it will pop right out.

Now, once you have the SIM tray out, you’ll notice there are two slots: one is for your nano SIM and the other is for a microSD card. In the video below, you’ll see exactly where to put each, but you’ll also see how delicate and careful you need to be when doing so, especially as you slide the tray back into the phone.

This isn’t a difficult process, but again, just be careful.

Inserting SIM and MicroSD Card in Your Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge is a post from: Droid Life

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Samsung Pay Adds Wells Fargo Debit and Credit Cards

Yes, I know that the picture above shows Samsung Pay open on a Galaxy Note 5 with a US Bank card ready for use and that this post is about Wells Fargo. I’m sorry, I don’t bank with Wells Fargo and can’t provide you with that level of an experience here. But still, this is big news, so ignore that image! Wells Fargo is now on Samsung Pay! 

Samsung pinged us this morning with the news, noting that by adding Wells Fargo to Samsung Pay, the mobile payment service supports debit and credit cards from 70 banks and credit unions, which they say covers “70 percent of the US credit and debit card market.”

I think it’s still safe to say that Samsung Pay is by far the best mobile payment system available today, even if it is limited to Samsung’s phones. By adding Wells Fargo, I can’t even imagine how many new users will now sign-up and start using it.

For a list of supported banks, head over to Samsung’s site here.

Is your bank or credit card supported?

Via:  Samsung

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