Monday, 1 October 2012

Why does my Samsung Galaxy S3 have an "i" ina circle?

Since using your Samsung Galaxy S3 you may have noticed an "i" in a circle with a line through it in the notification bar (as you can see in the screen shot on the left). You may be wondering why it's there, or what happened to make it appear, the answer is simple.

The symbol is the symbol for "no notifications" meaning that at some point you've turned off the notifications on your phone (probably by accident in all honest). To do this you'll have likely pulled down the menu (see the pictures below) and turned off the notifications.

 To get rid of the "i" and turn your notifications back on you need to again pull the menu bar down and click on the "Notification" icon. After pressing this icon, you'll see it light up and your notifications will return to the bar.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Connecting a Samsung Galaxy S3 Smartphone to Wifi

One of the greatest features of modern smartphones is the fact the phones can be connected to Wi-Fi effectively giving you unlimited internet on your phone. Whether you're at work, at home or in somewhere like a Café you tend to be able to get access to a Wi-Fi system somewhere. So it seems to make sense to do a guide to show you how to connect to a Wi-Fi system on a Samsung Galaxy S3.

Firstly you need to go to the phones home screen then press the menu button. This will open up a menu like the one in the screenshot on the left. From this menu you need to select the bottom option "Settings".

After clicking on "Settings" you will see a huge list of options allowing you to change almost anything to do with the phone. Rather than scrolling up and down all the options you need to click on the "Wi-Fi". You will then be told to "Turn on the Wi-Fi". To do this you need to drag the grey circle beside "Wi-Fi" across until it turns into a green block.

After turning on your Wi-Fi you again need to click "Wi-Fi" which should do an automatic scan of the area and give you a list of available Wi-Fi connections (as well as storing any you may have previously used). If the phone doesn't do an automatic scan you will need to to select scan from the bottom of the screen to prompt the phone into doing a scan.

Hopefully when you were doing your scan you found the connection that you
are wishing to use, in my case the connection is the "SKYE18EB" connection, then click on that connection. If the connection then requires a password you will need to enter the password (see the screen shot on the right) an then click "connect".

After clicking on connect the connection should authenticate (if you enter the correct password) and then obtain an IP Address. After this has been done you should be able to connect to that connection at will (as long as it's in range). With your Wi-Fi connected you will be able to surf the net, watch videos, use facebook/twitter and anything else you would want to do online, often with a faster connection than the one you'd have via mobile internet.

Note-This guide should work with pretty much all phones running Android 4.0.4.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

How to delete icons from a homescreen on a Samsung Galaxy S3

 I recently showed you how to personalise your phone by moving the icons around on the home screens of your your Android Smartphone, specifically the Samsung Galaxy S3. Now I'll show you how to delete icons from your home screens allowing you to tidy up mistakes (i.e. having the same icons on home screens twice), get rid of icons for apps that you no longer use or just create some extra space.

For this example I will be deleting the "ESPN Cricinfo" incon that sits in the middle of the 4th home screen. I accidentally placed it on the same screen as an existing icon for the same app.

Firstly you need to select the icon you wish to delete. To do this you need to hold your finger on the icon for a few seconds until the screen looks like the image on the right with the icon you selected looking a little bit "ghostly".  After selecting the icon you will notice that the "Apps" icon from the bottom right hand corner has now turned into a bin with the word "Delete" underneath it.
You need to drag the icon from where it is down to the bin. After doing this the icon will be gone from the home screen, however the app will not be uninstalled from the phone and you will be able to replace it on the home screen easily if you wish, or if you delete the wrong icon by mistake.

How to move Icons on a Samsung Galaxy S3

One of the great things about modern day smart phones is the ability to customise your phone exactly how you want it. You're not limited by just changing the background or the ringtone but you can change literally everything about the phone. This guide hopes to show you have to move icons as further customise how your phone looks. Whilst this guide was done with screenshots from a Samsung Galaxy S3, the same method applies with pretty much every phone running Android.

Firstly you need to open up your home screens and find an icon you want to move. For this example I will be selecting the icon for "Ebuddy XMS", which is sat on the bottom left corner of the 3rd home screen (See top left). To select the icon you need to hold your finger on the icon for a few seconds and this will then allow you to drag the icon around the screen.

You can not only drag the icon around the same screen as it started on (see the picture on the right) but also place it on other screens by dragging the icon to edge of one of the screens. This allows you to drag the icon to any of the phone's home screens as you perhaps choose to put your most regularly used icons to the first screen whilst your lesser used icons can be put to the most distant homes screens.

How to Paste Text on a Samsung Galaxy S3

In a recent guide I showed you how to "copy on a Samsung Galaxy S3" it now makes sense to show you how to use the copied text to paste it in an e-mail, a text or even a forum post.

The first part is to go to the place where you want to past it. For this example I've decided to use an E-mail though you can genuinely use it pretty much that everywhere where you can find an input screen (the white screen you type into).

After finding where you want to post it you hold your finger in to the input
area (as you can see in the screenshot on the right). After holding your finger there for a second or two you will be given two options you can either "Paste" or "Clipboard". If you click "Paste" it will paste the last thing you selected to copy, if however you selected Clipboard you will be shown number of options from which to select.

As you can see in the image to the left you can select any of the items from the clipboard, this allows you, for example, to copy and paste several different things easily and when you want.

How to copy text from the web on a Samsung Galaxy S3

With mobile phones now becoming full blown mini computers we've found new uses for our portable gadgets include surfing the whole internet. Whilst on the internet however we are almost always bound to find something that we want to to quote, send to someone one or share in someway (i.e. E-mail) as a result we want to copy and paste things. This guide shows you how to do the copying part of that on a Samsung Galaxy S3 whilst using Opera Mini (though other browsers work in a similar method).

The first thing you need to do is find what you want to copy, in this case I'm wanting to copy part of a guide on this site. To do this I go on to the page I want to copy from (see top left) and find the specific text that I want. At the edge of that text I hold my finger on the phone and get 2 little blue markers which I can move to where I want by dragging them.

When I have all the text I want inside the blue markers I left my finger off the screen and get a new on the screen allowing me to "Copy", "Search" or "Search With..." from these options I obviously want to "Copy" the text. After clicking on "Copy" this text will be moved on to your clipboard allowing you to paste it elsewhere.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

How to set an MP3 as a ringtone on a Samsung Galaxy S3

 We all love to personalise our own phones in various ways, and one of the most common ways to personalise our phones is select our own ringtones. Sadly if you're using an Android phone, such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 things aren't always as easy as you'd wish them to be. For that reason I've decided to put this guide on here to explain how to select your MP3's as a ringtone on a Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone.

The first step is to open the "Music" application, the in-built music playing application, from here you need to find the song you wish to use. For this example I'll be using Our Lady Peace's track "All You Did Was Save My Life" (see the screen shot on the left). After finding the song select it to play and then press the phones "Menu" button to open up a contextual menu.

After pressing the "Menu" button on the phone you will see a menu that pops up over the album image of the track you've chosen to use (see the image to the right). This menu will have a number of options but the one you need to select is "Set as" which will be in the lower half of the list.

After selecting "Set as" you will be given 3 new options. Yo will be able to select the track as a a "Phone ringtone", a "Caller ringtone" or an "Alarm ringtone". From this menu you should select "Phone ringtone" to select the track as your phone's ring tone.

After selecting an option in the previous menu you will be taken back to the music playing screen. The music playing screen will have a swift message near the bottom telling you that the ringtone has been added (see the image on the right).

How to uninstall apps from a Samsung Galaxy S3

We all download apps at some point that we realise weren't what we really thought they were and so for this guide I'm going to explain how to uninstall apps from Samsung Galaxy S3. Whilst this guide has been written with the Samsung Galaxy S3 specifically in mind we expect it should work with any phone running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

Firstly you need to open the settings screen of the phone. To do this you need to press the "Menu" button on the home screen and then press on the "Settings" option. This will open a screen like the image on the left hand side with a list of all the settings you can look at. Scroll down this list until you see "Application manager" and then select that option.

After selecting "Application manager" you will see a list of all the Apps that you've

downloaded on to your phone. From this list you need to scroll down to the app that you want to delete and then select it. For this example I'll be using the "Sporty Trader" app.

After clicking on the app you will see a screen like the one on the left which features the app's name and icon along the top as well as some of the apps information in the middle of the screen. From this screen you need to select the "Uninstall" option from top right of the screen.

After clicking "Uninstall" you will then be taken to another screen that will offer two options along with a question. You can choose to "Cancel" the install, meaning that you won't uninstall the app (press this if you're about to delete an app by accident) or press "OK" to delete the app.

After pressing "OK" the phone will delete the app (this may take a while if the app is a large one) before the screen changes to tell you the app has been uninstalled successfully.

After deleting App the relevant icon will disappear from any homescreens that you have it on and the the space (memory) the app was taking up will become open allowing you to install an app in the same space as was previously being used.

Friday, 10 August 2012

How to reject a call on a Samsung Galaxy S3 with a message

In a recent guide I showed you how to answer a call with a Samsung Galaxy S3 Android powered Smartphone and I also explained how to reject the call. Now however I'm going to explain how you can take a 3rd option of rejecting a call whilst also sending a message, that may be able to explain why you didn't answer the call.

As with the guide explaining how to answer calls with the phone we start at the receiving a call (see the image on the left) which features a red phone a green phone
and, more importantly for this guide, an option at the bottom. If you look carefully you will see the option at the bottom says "Reject call with message". If you click the option at the bottom you will notice that a short list opens up over the call screen with a number of relatively often used excuses for not answering the phone. If you press on one, the call will be rejected whilst the caller will be automatically sent the corresponding message.

So for example imagine if Dave rings whilst you're driving. Instead of rejecting the call (which Dave may find as you being rude) you instead click the "Reject call with message" option then select "I'm driving" so Dave gets the message. It's easy and it's quick, an excellent little feature that may well help you avoid annoying your friends whilst also not getting you into trouble elsewhere.

How to answer a call on a Samsung Galaxy S3

 Although we all like to think we know what we're doing when we get a new phone the sad truth of the matter is that we aren't all technologically able. So in this guide we're going to show you how to do the most basic of things with your Samsung Galaxy S3, how to answer calls. After all what's the point in having a phone if your not going to answer it?

When somebody calls you, you will see a screen like the one in the screenshot to the left. The screen will show a number (or name if you've saved the number and given them a name), an image in the middle (if it's a contact it will show the picture you've saved for the contact), two different icons-a green phone and a red phone, as well as the "Reject call message" (click here for more on that option) option at the other. From here answering a call is really easy.

When you receive a call you can either decline it, answer it, or decline it and send a message. To decline the call you pull the red phone to the centre of the screen, if you do this you will be taken straight back to the screen you were on prior to the call. If however you want to answer the call, you pull the green icon into the centre.

If you answer the call you will be taken to a screen like the one on the right handside. Again all the call details are at the top of the screen (the person's number, the country and even the length of the call) and at the bottom you have various options such as ending the call, using speaker phone and even using the keypad (in cases where you may need to use a dial tone).

Hopefully, this guide aimed at the newest owners of the Samsung Galaxy S3 will help you take those vital calls!

How to find the Android Easter Egg on a Samsung Galaxy S3

As we all know Google like to add a lot of secret little Easter eggs to what they do and Android has, so far, not been any different with a number of little secrets tucked away. One of those has been the Android Easter Eggs that we first noticed back when the Samsung Galaxy S2 came out with the Gimgerbread version of Android. Thankfully for Easter egg hunters they've kept the same type of secret in the Samsung Galaxy S3 (and presumably all Android phones running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3).

To find the Android Easter egg you need to start by opening up the Settings screen
(see the screenshot on the left) and then scrolling all the way to the bottom where an option entitled "About device" appears. If you click on "About device" you will be taken to a pretty boring looking screen with a lot of options greyed out (see the screen shot on the right). For technophiles the information on this screen this is probably very interesting, for the rest of us however it's rather boring and/or confusing so ignore it all except the "Android Version" part. Instead tap where the phone says "Android version" a few times in quick succession.

After pressing on the "Android version" option a few times you will see the Android Ice Cream Sandwich icon/mascot on what looks to be a lake. If you press on him a few times he will come "closer" to you, almost skipping to the foreground. After a few presses the screen then changes to show an army of the mascot's flying across the screen from left to right.

There appears to  be no real reason for this to have been put on to the phone though it's again a nice treat from Google who have slowly developed what was once a still picture Easter egg, into a very interesting little bonus.

Please note-This has only been tried on a Samsung Galaxy S3, it will presumably however work on all phones running Android 4.0.3.

How to reveal hidden folders on a Samsung Galaxy S3

 In a recent guide I looked at hiding files on a Samsung Galaxy S3, now however I will show you how to reveal those files, allowing you easy access to whatever pictures, videos, songs or other files you felt the need to hide.

Firstly you need to open up the "My files" app which will leave you with a list of your visible folders (as you can see in the image on the left of the screen). On this screen you need to press the phone's "menu" button and scroll down the options menu until you come across a option called "Settings".

After clicking on "Settings" you will see a new screen with just 3 options. From this screen you need to put a tick in the box of the top option so that the "My files" app will start to show "Hidden" files. Remember all hidden folders begin with a "." in front of them and this will include the ones built into the phone as well as the ones you've added yourself.

After ticking the box to "Show hidden files" you need to press on the phones "back" button which will take you to the list of folders on your phone, which now includes ALL the hidden folders. As you can see in the screenshot on the right, my phone doesn't currently include many hidden folders (or files) though you can make as many hidden folders and files as you wish (though ALL will be shown when you tell the phone to show them).

How to access the test menu on a Samsung Galaxy S3

Despite the Samsung Galaxy S3 being a brand new piece of kit which has only been out for a matter of months, some people will have had issues with it. Thankfully Samsung have given us, the users, a chance to test the various features of our phones via their in built "Test menu", a feature that allows us to check that pretty much every part of our phone works in the correct manner.

 To access the test menu on the Samsung Galaxy S3 you need to open "Phone" app and dial "*#0*#". As soon as you dial the second "#" you will be taken to the Test menu (see the screenshot on the right) which allows you to test many of the features of the phone (as you can see on the right hand side).

Whilst many of the tests are rather complex, or boring a few of them are very interesting and useful. For example the "Touch" test gives you a chance to test that the touch screen works thoroughly, in fact even allows you to "pass" the test.

Despite some of the test being useful, I am a little bit perplexed as to how the "Sensor" test manages to, once again, feature this rather horrifying dog (which was also used in the Samsung Galaxy S3 in a similar manner). Despite it's haunting eyes the dog seems to serve little real purpose.

Whilst I hope no one needs to test their Samsung Galaxy S3 I assume that many will. This allows users to check if the fault is a hardware fault (for example an area of the screen that might be dead) or just an app that isn't working properly, so make sure to test the phone via the menu before taking it to the store.

How to access the Task manager on a Samsung Galaxy S3

Modern day smartphones, including the excellent Samsung Galaxy S3 run a huge variety of apps ranging from games to media players and sometimes we need to close apps that aren't running properly. The easiest and quickest way to close apps is via the phones inbuilt "Task manager", which allows you to see what tasks (apps) are open, how much of the processor they are using and how much memory they are needing as well as "Force closing" apps.

To get to the "Task manager" on the Samsung Galaxy S3 (and most modern Android phones) you start by holding the phones "Home" button until you see a screen like the
one in the screenshot on the left. This screen will show the most recently used apps (allowing you to swiftly close or access those apps) as well 2 options at the bottom of the screen-"Task manager" and "Remove all".

If you click on the "Task manager" option you get to open the Task manager" which looks like the image on the right, with a dark screen and a list of currently active Apps (not just the recently opened apps). If you click on "Exit" you get given the chance to "Exit" (or force close) the app, or keep the app running (by clicking on "OK").

Whilst most current apps should run perfectly well on a Samsung Galaxy S3 some will end up crashing and need to be force closed before they operate properly. As a result I'd advice knowing how to force close apps and how to get to the task manager.

How to hide folders and files on a Samsung Galaxy S3

In today's world we all have things we want to hide, be it dirty pictures or music we're ashamed of, thankfully if you have a Samsung Galaxy S3 your phone has an easy to use method of hiding files. Firstly we need to open up the "My Files" part of the phone, you might need to go through the Apps screen to find this app, which has a folder type icon.

In side the "My Files" app you will see a list of all the folders on your phone. At this screen press the phones "Menu" button to get the contextual menu. In the menu you will see a list of options (see the screenshot on the right) including "Create folder", click on that one.

After clicking on "Create folder" option you will be able to name the folder, make sure to start the folder's name with a ".", as you can see in the example on the left (where I've named the folder ".hidden"). The "." at the beginning of the name will hide the folder from the phones default visible folder list. You can move any files you want into a hidden folder to hide those files as well as the folders.

Despite being hidden by default you can make the phone show these folders allowing you to find the folders (and files inside them) with out too much hassle, but that's for a different guide...

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

How to change the lock screen shortcuts on a Samsung Galaxy S3?

Yesterday we looked at using the shortcuts on the lock screen of the Samsung Galaxy S3, now we will look at changing what shortcuts show on the lock screen.

The first stage is to open up your home screen and then press the phone's "menu" button (the button that is next to the home button). This will open up the home screen menu which should look something like the small list on the image on the left. The list will feature "Edit", "Create folder", "Search" and "Settings", from here you need to select "Settings".

After entering the "Settings" screen you will see a screen like the one on the right with a list of various settings that you can tinker with. From the list you need to scroll down to the "Security" setting which you can see in the image on the right hand side.

After opening the "Security" settings you will see a new list of items. From this screen you need to select the second option down entitled "Lock screen options".

 Inside the "Lock screen options" screen you will see another list
of options with the top one being "Shortcuts" being the top one.
Beside "Shortcuts" you will see a green icon, leave the green icon alone (or if it's not there then slide the grey icon over so it becomes green). This will simply mean that shortcuts are actually on your home screen. After making sure that shortcuts are on, click on the word "Shortcuts".

After clicking on "Shortcuts" you should see a screen like the one on the left with the icons you currently have as shortcuts showing. From here you need to select the shortcut you would like to replace. For this example I'm going to replace the "S Voice" icon with the "Music player" icon, allowing me to go straight to my music player from the lock screen, though you can select any app on your phone. So at this point select (or press on) the icon that relates to the app you would like to replace.

After clicking on the app you want to replace you will be given a list of all the apps on your phone. From here you select the app icon you wish to have a shortcut too.  What you need to remember at this screen is that they are in alphabetic order so you may need to scroll through a lot of apps before finding the one you want to use. After finding the app you want to use click on the icon.

After clicking the icon of the app you want to use you will be taken back to the previous screen though now the app you wish to use will replace the app that you wanted replace. As you can see in our screen shot, the "S Voice" has been replaced by the "Music player" icon.

Now you are effectively done and can either go back to fiddle with other settings that you may want to change or you can go back to the home screen (or do whatever else you wish to do with the handset). Just remember the next time you lock the phone you will see the new icon where the other one was. As you can see in this final picture, the "Music player" app is now on the lock screen as a shortcut.