Saturday, 18 June 2011

How to get the most from the Samsung Galaxy S2 Camera

With an 8MP auto focus still camera and an 1080p HD video camera on the phone (as well as a 2MP front facing camera for video calls) you may be astounded by just the raw numbers.So lets look at just how you can get the best pictures from the phone.

Although I'm no where near a professional photographer I'll just be giving you the quick tips to improve your photographs. These, on the whole, come from just tinkering with the phones inbuilt settings which can be found by pressing the "cog" icon on the phones "camera" screen.

The first setting you come across that you will want to learn about is is the "Scene mode". This allows you to set the phones settings to several default modes that help take pictures based on the surroundings. If you look at the image to the right you can see some of the "Scenes", and they are all suited to certain photographs. For example taking a picture of a persons face is best taken in the "Portrait" scene whilst a "Night" shot is taken in the dark and is a slower picture that can take a few seconds to take (but is extremely good quality as long as you don't shake the phone).

One of the absolute major settings is the "Resolution" setting. The best on the phone is the 8MP setting which has a resolution of 3264 x 2448 (and is the top one on the list you can see to the side) whilst the 0.3MP (640 x 480) is the lowest quality. For the best images take them on 8MP as they do look, a lot better than with the other settings.

 Another setting you will find yourself using an awful lot is the "White balance" setting. This is basically the setting for the type of lighting conditions you are in. The selection of the right setting here can turn a very good photo into an excellent one and is worth setting correctly every time.

The last key setting you will find yourself wanting to check is the "Image quality" setting. This, alongside "resolution", are arguably the two that make the biggest difference when taking images in good lighting conditions. A "Normal" image can show jagged edges at times especially when taking images that have smooth circular edges on them, "Superfine" however makes the edges of items look really well defined and is an essential setting.

As well as those mentioned above things likes "Flash", "Exposure value", "Focus mode" and a number of other settings are there for more experienced photographers to play with.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

How to delete apps from a Samsung Galaxy S2

So you've downloaded an app on to your brand new Samsung Galaxy S2 and you don't like it, it's a bit rubbish or doesn't even work and now you want rid of it, but you don't know how. This guide will walk you right through the process starting from the settings screen. If you don't know how to get to the settings screen you need to click the menu button on the phone and then click on "Settings.

 The settings screen gives you a long list of of options (as you can see on the right) and you need to access the "Applications" option (which you can see at the bottom of the list on the right.

 When you open up the Applications part of the settings menu you come to the screen to the left with a list of sub settings. From here you can see lots of information though the option you need to access is "Manage applications" (the second choice from the top). This opens up a list of the applications you've got on the phone (look the the right of this paragraph) and although you may need to click on "All" along the top to find the app you want to delete they are easy to find (and listed alphabetically). In this example I'll be deleting the poor game "Droppa Lite" which I reviewed for the sister site (and gave a mere 12/50 and an E mark)

After finding the application you want to uninstall you need to click on it and then you will open up a new screen that looks something like the screen to the left. This screen has a lot of the applications details including the storage space used and allows you to move it to the SD card or, as you can see near the top, "Uninstall". By clicking on uninstall you take one step closer to taking the application off the mobile device.

After pressing uninstall you will be taking to a new screen, this is the last chance you have to change your mind. If you still wish to uninstall the app from your Samsung Galaxy S2 (or any other android phone for that matter) you need to click "OK". If you've changed your mind however you need to click "Cancel" on the bottom of the screen. Within seconds of clicking "OK" the app will be deleted and you'll get a screen similar to the one below.

If you uninstall an application by accident then you can go back to the Android Market and download it again so it's no big worry if you do get the wrong one (though I seem to think that any save files your have for the game will also be deleted).

With other Android phones, most notably the HTC phones with small storage space you may want to know how to delete applications. The same method is applicable there too, thankfully due to the HUGE internal storage of the Samsung Galaxy S2 you will be unlikely to need to download to save space, though with the poor quality of some apps you will find a need to delete some.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Deleting pictures from the Samsung Galaxy S2 (the Gallery method)

So we've got a new Samsung Galaxy S2 and used the camera to take a few shots with the brilliant 8MP camera....except they're just not very good pictures and now we're looking through them we actually don't want to keep them. We sit there for a second or two and ask ourselves how we go about deleting them. As with most things with modern day phones there is always more than 1 method but lets just look at the most simple method.

Firstly go to the Gallery app and then click on the “Camera” option. From here we can see all the photographs on the phone and we can easily find which picture or pictures we want to delete. From the gallery mode you should press the either the menu button or hold on one of the image. After doing one of those you will see a small set of options appear at the bottom of the the screen including “Share via”, “Delete” and “More”. What you need to do is select the photographs you want to delete (placing a green tick in the corner of them) then press on delete.

After pressing delete you will be asked to confirm your choice, click on “Confirm deletions” and the selected photographs will be deleted from the handset.

Of course there is other options to delete the images using things like Kies or windows explorer (and a computer/laptop) as well as deleting directly from the Camera app (if we decide the picture needs deleting immediately) though for most occasions using the gallery app is the best, the quickest and the easiest. 

 This picture shows the menus that we see on the Gallery screen, press on the images to select them
 In this picture you can see the confirmation prompt, to delete it you need to "Confirm deletion".

How to take Screen Captures with the Samsung Galaxy S2

Although it's not a necessity for most, some phone users do ask “is it possible to take a screen shot of my phone?”

The answer is simple. Most of the time it is indeed possible to take print screens or screen captures of mobile phones. Depending on the actual phone however you may need to find yourself doing very different things. Most phones require you to download a computer program and have the phone and computer connected by a USB cable to use your computer to take the screen capture. This is how many websites take the screen captures for things like phone reviews and showing off features.

Rather than looking at the overly complex system involved in what the programs do we will look at how Samsung phones take screen captures. This feature has been in the most recent Samsung's including the Samsung Wave and now the highly acclaimed Samsung Galaxy S2. The way the Samsung phones take screen shots, or as they are known by some as "screen captures" or even "print screens",  is incredibly simple and is actually an in-built feature that seems to be lacking in almost all the other phones.

By holding the “Home” button and pressing the “lock” button at the same time you will manage to use the secret “Screen capture” function of the phone which will take a print screen of the phone exactly how it is. The quality of this is far superior to using another phone (or camera) to take a picture and for people who want to use a picture of the screen this is an almost valuable tool.

If you are successful when you try the phone will vibrate and a message will appear on the phone saying “Screen captured. Saved as image file”. These image files can be found very easily on the phone by looking in the Screen Capture folder of the phone for use later on.

Quick tips:
If at first you find your phone locking or going to the menu just try again.
Hold the "home" button for a slight moment before pressing the lock button (to stop the phone from locking)

Hopefully this guide will help you take screen captures with your Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone.

I've noticed a few people finding this place through google (hi folks) with one person googling "Screen capture directory"

The directory will be something along the lines of Computer\GT-I9100\Phone\ScreenCapture when connected to a Windows 7 computer. On the phone by it's self they can be found in Gallery\ScreenCapture. Hope that helps you with making the screen capture function of the Samsung Galaxy S2 as useful as it is for me.

For those wanting to know about the quality of image from a screen capture all the pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S2 screens have been done via this method of screen capturing.