This week has been full of system updates. Now, Verizon and US Cellular customers that have the Galaxy S 4 can join the fun. The Galaxy S 4 on those two carriers is now receiving the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update. Samsung has certainly been doing a great job making sure they move many of their devices to the latest version of Android. Earlier today, we found out that the international Galaxy Note II was starting to receive the KitKat update.
Let us know if you have the update!
Source: Verizon (PDF), US Cellular
Owners of the international variant of the Galaxy Note II should be preparing for a software update. Samsung has issued the Android 4.4 update to the device in France and other locations are likely to join as well. The usual KitKat improvements and additions are expected and it should breathe new life to Samsung’s second generation phablet.
We will let you know when carriers in the United States start rolling out the update.
The Bokeh effect has become a big thing in smartphones over the last few months. If you’re not familiar with the Bokeh effect, it is the process of de-focusing certain areas of a picture, usually the background. HTC went as far as adding a second lens for this effect and Google just added it to their stock Camera app. Now, Samsung has added “Selective Focus” and “Out of Focus” options to the Galaxy S 5. They both do the same thing, but act completely different.
“Selective Focus” is for when you know in advance of taking your shot that you want to apply this effect, and “Out of Focus” is for those times when you didn’t know. You can make changes after the fact with both methods, but they can be a little confusing in how they save the images as well as exactly when they work.
In this video, I will walk you through both options and how they work. Hit the break for the video and be sure to check out all our other Galaxy S 5 guides.
Samsung condensed a few of the camera modes into “Shot & More” with the Galaxy S 5. This makes it a lot easier as all you have to do is press the shutter button, and it will take a series of burst shots. Soon after, the device will tell you what editing modes are available based on what happened in the shot. You will have your choice of Best Shot, Best Face, Drama Shot, Eraser, and Panning Shot. All options were available last year as separate modes other than Panning Shot, which is brand new. The best part of all of this is that you can make as many edits as you want after the fact, which is something you couldn’t do on the Galaxy S 4.
In this video, I walk you through how to get into the “Shot & More” mode as well as how to make your edits and save your images. Check it out after the break, and be sure to hit up all our Galaxy S 5 guides.
Samsung made some changes to the Camera app with the Galaxy S 5. It still offers a lot of different modes, but they simplified things and added the ability to further edit after the fact.
The Mode button is still the heart of everything, but you will find fewer choices. Drama Shot, Best Face, Best Shot, Eraser Mode, and Panning Shot (new) are now part of “Shot & More.” When using this mode, you will be able to choose which effect you want to apply to the photo, and you don’t have to do it right away. You will also find a “Download” option for installing more modes from Samsung Apps. This makes perfect sense since you don’t need to clutter your phone with modes that you don’t plan on ever using. Lastly, HDR mode adds real-time previews for both images and videos.
The Galaxy S 5 sure has a lot of features on it, but do consumers really care? Samsung seems to think so. In their latest commercial, they detail some of these features such as Selective Focus, enhancing photos before you take the shot, how S Health helps you with your overall fitness, and how you don’t have to worry about spilling a drink on it. Of course a Samsung commercial isn’t a Samsung commercial without a dig at Apple. The iPhone isn’t the focal point in this spot, but they do mention that the GS5 has double the megapixels. Hit the break for the 60 second spot.
Samsung introduced S Health last year on the Galaxy S 4. so it’s no surprise that it showed up on the Galaxy S 5. The difference this year isn’t so much the app, but the marketing behind it. This year, health and fitness is a big part of the Galaxy S 5 since it also works in conjunction with the Gear devices. However, you don’t need those devices to use S Health.
Just like last year, S Health can track diet and workouts pretty easily. You can use it as a simple pedometer to track all your steps throughout the day and/or track specific workouts. New for this year is a “coach” to help you achieve your goals. The “coach” isn’t limited to just diets and workouts, it will also assist you in controlling your stress and getting a better night’s sleep.
In this video, I will walk you through the basics of S Health and how to get the most out of it, so hit the break to get started. Also be sure to check out our other Galaxy S 5 guides.
According to Chinese web site LED Wealth Network, Samsung has started work to scale up capacity at their A3 plant producing flexible displays. Samsung appears to be investing at least 2 Trillion won ($1.9B USD) in the current phase with a possible expansion to a total 6 Trillion won ($5.7B USD) investment on additional phases. According to the reports, Samsung hopes to have the plant operating at new capacity before the end of 2014, pointing the way toward flexible displays possibly being incorporated into the Galaxy S 6 or Galaxy Note 5 during 2015. Read more
With Samsung’s Tizen-powered Gear 2 smartwatch now on the market, Samsung is scurrying to have as many apps as possible available for users. They have launched an “app challenge” for developers. Beginning May 8, Galaxy Gear 2 app developers can register their creations on Samsung Apps to participate in the challenge, with a prize pool of $1.25 million and a chance to win the grand prize of $100,000.
In addition, Samsung is planning on hosting various events globally to help developers better understand the SDK for the Samsung Gear 2. The company will meet developers around the world through the Samsung Gear Hackathon and Developer Day.
Source: Samsung Tomorrow
Thanks to a leak last month we already know that Samsung is working on another Galaxy Beam device. Today Samsung posted information on the successor to the original Beam, confirming the specs we already know. The model number is SM-G3858. The smartphone will come with a 4.66 WVGA screen with a 480×800 resolution. It will also pack in a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, a 5MP camera, Bluetooth 4.0, and a microSD card. We’re not sure how much RAM and internal storage the device will have, as those haven’t been listed.
The Beam 2 will feature a built-in projector like its predecessor. The projector itself also features a WVGA resolution and will have a background color correction. As for availability, it looks like China’s about the only market we’re sure of. Considering the original Beam had little market traction in other areas it may not make it out of China. Pricing is unknown at this point and there isn’t a release date in sight. We’ll update you when we know.
source: Samsung China