Tag Archives: Galaxy S3

How to Opt Out Of SMS Emergency Alerts

SMS Emergency Alerts

A couple of weeks ago I was at work, and out of nowhere one of the most obnoxious sounds ever blared through the entire building.  I actually thought it was a fire alarm at first but soon realized it was coming from the mobile phones of every single person in the room in unison.  There had to have been at least 30+ people present.  You see, it is now not only the latest episode of American Idol that’s being interrupted by these pesky Emergency Alerts, because  times they are a changing.

This all started in June of 2012 when the federal government and wireless service providers built a system called the  Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) also known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).  This system sends text-like messages to wireless phones that are in the vicinity of an impacted area.  Standard text messaging charges do not apply.  I repeat standard text messaging charges do not apply, so you don’t have to worry about being charged for them if you are not subscribed to a texting package.  Even so, many people find these rather annoying.  The good news is that you can opt out of MOST of them.

There are 3 different types of messages that are sent:

  1. Presidential Alerts – Alerts issued by the President of the United States or someone with similar authority
  2. Imminent Threat Alerts – Alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, including tornados, hurricanes, tsunami or other even where there is an imminent threat to life or property
  3. AMBER Alerts – Alerts to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child

*Presidential alerts are the only ones that you can not opt out of receiving*

If you wish to be excluded from these audio bundles of joy, the setting to turn them off is located within the messaging app of your device (most phones but not all).  If it is not located there, you can check under the standalone settings app.  The following is an example provided from the Galaxy S3/S4/Note 2 series.

On your phone FIRST go into your MESSAGING application where you can see your text message threads then press the MENU key and choose SETTINGS.

From here you will see this:

SMS Emergency Alerts

SMS Emergency Alerts

If you really wanna have some fun with this then you can click on “Emergency notification preview” in the company of someone else.  The most opportune time would be in the following scenarios:

When they are either:

Sleeping, Reading a book, or Deep in thought studying for finals

SMS Emergency Alerts

At this point you should probably be prepared for bodily harm and/or flying objects.

Help! Why is my Samsung Galaxy S3 Talking To Me!?!

Why is my Galaxy s3 talking to me?

First thing’s first…if my phone addressed me in the way depicted in the picture above, I would let it talk to me as much as it wanted to.  However, this is probably not the case.  My guess is that you are here, because you are probably being driven nuts trying to find a way to stop that little bugger from telling you every time you have “ONE NEW EMAIL!”

The first time I experienced this was after a rather loooooooooong night in AC.  Long story short, my phone found its way into one of the many of Harrah’s porcelain thrones that evening.  Don’t judge me.  Seriously, you think you are annoyed now!  Try having your phone talk to you non-stop after one too many Jager Bombs.  Now multiply that by 50, add in a nominal amount sleep, and while you’re at it let’s have an easter egg hunt for Advil LiquiGels when you can hardly think straight.

::FLASHBACK:: Ahhhh the room is spinning!  One foot on the floor.  You can do this.  You’re not a rookie.  Hmmm…I’ll just deal with the mindless annoyance for now.  Yup, this is how it happened.  No shame folks.

Fast forward 1 hour and 45 minutes later…

STOP!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!! PLEASE!! MY HEAD IS THROBBING! WHERE AM I?  WHAT DID I DO LAST NIGHT?  WHY IS MY PHONE TALKING TO ME?  WHY ARE MY LIQUID INDICATORS RED?  OOOOooooo That’s why.  I remember now.  Well, I hope I used hand sanitizer.

Well, at first I thought my phone’s new found speech capabilities were just a side effect of the water damage.  Not so.  That little guy held up like a submarine.  You can imagine my relief when I realized it was just a setting that I turned on accidentally in my drunken stupor.

So, your phone is talking to you because:

  1. You have DRIVING MODE turned ON     OR     2.  You have TALKBACK ENABLED

In the event that DRIVING MODE is on, you will need to swipe your notification bar down and scroll from right to left to find driving mode.  Make sure it is not highlighted in green.  See photos below.

BAD

BAD

GOOD

GOOD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If TALKBACK (for the visually impaired) is enabled, you will have to go to SETTINGS > ACCESSIBILITY > TALKBACK > OFF

My Galaxy s3 is talking to me My Galaxy s3 is talking to me My Galaxy s3 is talking to me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and…SILENCE! FINALLY!  Just think, you didn’t even have to deal with this in a drunken and/or hungover state.  Doesn’t that make you feel so much better?

Now if only I could get back all of my dignity and self respect that I lost that night.  Who am I kidding?!  As I sit here typing this, I’m looking up comp rooms at Borgata for this Memorial Day weekend.  Oh, and by the way, I did eventually find some Advil.   = )

Android Universal Search Application for Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 2

vtap universal search

A few days ago, I was assisting someone who was set on returning their newly purchased Samsung Galaxy S3, because despite all of its bells and whistles, still managed to lack one feature in particular – a universal search function.  This happened to be a deal breaker for him, so he was ready to pay a restocking fee and reactivate his prehistoric blackberry back onto his phone number.  Apparently dealing with its slower than slow browser capabilities were more than worth it if he was able to search his entire phone contents with a couple clicks of his qwerty keyboard.  For some reason, this didn’t sit well with me.  I mean to each their own, but his new phone was light years ahead of what he was about to go back to.  It’s like he had a Maserati for a day, but was about to turn the keys in and pull out of the lot with his Ford Tempo that he traded in only a day earlier.

I was not about to let the sheer awesomeness of this device slip through this guy’s hands, all because of one measly little universal search function.  No.  Not happening on my watch.

When the S3 came out, it actually did have this function built into the operating system, but because of Apple’s lawsuit regarding infringement Samsung removed this ability from the phone, essentially “dumbing down” its flagship device.  Don’t even get me started with this, cause I would like to keep this post to a relatively easy read.  That being said…

I had about 2 minutes while I was processing the return, to save this guy from making a huge mistake.  Thank you 4GLTE, because within no time I was able to search the Google Play store and find  and download Vtap by Veveo onto my own phone to test it out.  It’s a 3rd party universal search function, and within seconds I was hooked, and I was sure the guy standing across from me would be too as soon as I showed him this needle in a haystack.  Seriously, I felt like Christopher Columbus, except for the fact that Vtap isn’t exactly America.  After the initial setup it worked flawlessly!  I was able to find contacts, apps, music, text messages, emails, utilities and other essential things on my phone quickly and easily.  For a full description of what the app is capable of, click on the link above, which will take you to Google Play Store.

As if this awesome app isn’t enough…wait for it…

vtap universal search by veveo

After, you download the application, you can go into your widgets and you now have a Vtap universal search widget that you can put on one of your customizable screens.  It’s the little things that make me happy.  I swear.

Long story short, remember the gentlemen I was talking about earlier, well after I showed him Vtap, he kept the Maserati = )

Turn Your Phone Into a Free WiFi Tethering Hotspot With FoxFi (No Root)

FoxFi WiFi Tether (No Root)

UPDATE: If you have already been using FoxFi/PDANet+, and it stopped working after you upgraded your phone, please click here.

Ready…Set…Take #2 (This is my 2nd time around writing this post, because I fell asleep in the middle of writing it the first time and for some reason it never autosaved) Can you say FRUSTRATING!?!  Anyway, I’m hoping I can do my original justice, so here goes nothing.

For a small endangered species of smartphone users (those with unlimited data), coming across a free wi-fi tethering app that actually works is like finding the Holy Grail of smartphone apps.  To top it off, it’s even more exciting when you don’t have to root your phone to use it.  If you have no idea what the word “root” refers to, you can either A. click the little grey link above to find out or B.  Ignore it, and keep reading on, because it’s probably something you would not be interested in doing anyway.  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say you’re going with option B.

Personally, I have searched high and low for a reliable tethering app, and the one that I keep coming back to is FoxFi.  No, I am not being paid to promote this application in any way by its developers in case you are wondering.  I like it so much, I paid for the premium version.  Here are some advantages of FoxFi, as taken from the developer’s site:

  • No rooting required, avoid hassle and risk of bricking
  • No need to install anything on the computer
  • Supports connection from any tablets including iPad, Kindle, Nook etc.
  • Supports connection from PS3, XBox, WII etc.
  • Supports multiple connections at the same time
  • Secured with WPA2. Avoids the security risk of enabling USB debugging.

FoxFi usage is covered under the same phone data plan you have and no tethering plan is actually needed.  So you can see why the unlimited data feature coupled with this app make for a grand old-time.  Currently WiFi mode may not support some phone models, and the developers are working to expand the supported list. However Bluetooth/USB mode will work for all phones. To check and see if WiFi mode can be supported on your phone visit http://foxfi.com/devices.

The app is completely free, but currently it has a usage limit that requires you to restart FoxFi to continue using free mode. I found this annoying and well worth the $7.95 that the full version costs, which has no usage limits.  You can also rename your network to something really uncool like “iheartJustinBieber4Ever” (I just threw up a tad in my mouth typing that) and then go on to create a security password to keep your pesky neighbors from hijacking your data connection.  Everyone has neighbors that get their electric, water, and cable turned off on a regular basis right?  No? Then again, maybe that’s just me.

Please note that some model phones running Jelly Bean have locked-down the WiFi hotspot feature, and because of this FoxFi will ask you to install a user certificate on those phones. The side effect is that the Android system will require you to set a screen lock first (and only allows Pattern, PIN or Password) when you install any user certificates. If you are 100% opposed to having to have a sreen lock on your phone, then use the app in USB mode.  To undo the screen lock you have to remove the FoxFi certificate first (simply click “clear credentials” in security settings).  Also, on HTC phones, you may require to use the app via bluetooth.

In case you are wondering, yes this app currently works for the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2.  I’m actually using it right now to write this blog post, because maybe just maybe, I’m speaking from personal experience when I talk about those “neighbors” who periodically get their utilities turned off.  Don’t judge me.

 

How To Turn Off Keyboard Clicks on Samsung Galaxy S3 & Note 2

How to stop annoying keyboard clicks Galaxy S3

After going through with the latest operating system update Android 4.1.2 Jellybean, you may have noticed that SOME of your settings may have been set back to factory defaults.  I found one in particular to be extreeeeeeemely annoying – the keyboard clicks.  I don’t know about you, but physiologically speaking, my brain tells my thumbs to move to select a character.  Thus, I am fully aware that I am tapping the touch screen on my device.  So why in the world do I need to HEAR myself performing this action?!  Even more daunting is the question of why I would ever feel the need to put those within a 10 foot radius through this audible torture?  Seriously, If you have an answer to this question, please email me, because I would love to know why anyone would want their keyboard to make a noise EVERY SINGLE TIME they touch it.  That being said…

I went crazy trying to figure out how to get this to stop.  On the previous operating system version, you can to toggle this on and off by going to your Settings App and then to Sounds.  Well I tried this…..over and over and over and over.  Nope!  Those clicking noises remained in all their tedious glory.  Back to the drawing board.  I was determined.

::Royal Trumpet Fanfare::

Here’s how it’s done boys and girls…

1.  Under your SETTINGS app, click on LANGUAGE AND INPUT.

How to stop annoying keyboard clicks Galaxy S3

2.  Click on the Gear icon to the right of SAMSUNG KEYBOARD.

How to stop annoying keyboard clicks Galaxy S3

3.  Choose ADVANCED.

How to stop annoying keyboard clicks Galaxy S3

4.  UNCHECK the box next to KEY-TAP SOUND.

How to stop annoying keyboard clicks Galaxy S3

Casey 1 Samsung Keyboard 0   Muhahahaha <—-Evil Laugh

Android 4.1.2 JELLYBEAN

Photo Courtesy of Goodereader.com

Photo Courtesy of Goodereader.com

How stinking cute is this picture above!?  I kinda want it painted on my wall, but the only problem is that in a couple months it will be outdated, and I’ll have to add on another race participant.  Eventually, I will run out of wall space.  I get sidetracked easily.  Can you tell?  Ok, back to the purpose of this post…

I know 4.1.2 has been out for quite some time now, so I’m am a little late with my timing, but I have ran into a lot of people lately asking me about whether or not they should do this update on their Galaxy S3’s and Note 2’s.  I’m guessing they haven’t yet, because they have either 1. Been deferring it or 2. Have recently received replacement devices without the upgraded software version.

JellyBean 4.1.2 brings a ton of new features to the Galaxy S3 (most of which came standard on the Note 2 out of box).  Some of these enhancements include:

  • Multi-View (Multi-Windows Multitasking, Same as Note 2)

    Photo courtesy of www.android.com

    Photo courtesy of http://www.android.com

  • Page Buddy
  • New Gallery App (Same as Note 2)
  • Brightness Slider In Notification Panel Can Now Be Disabled
  • Notification Panel Can Now Be Customized
  • Smart Rotation (Screen Display Auto Adjusts To Your Angle of Sight)
  • Continues Input in Samsung Keyboard (Like Swype or Android 4.2 Keyboard)
  • Paper Artist App
  • Group Cast App

If you have the Note 2, by performing this update, you will be able to use more apps in the Multi-Window function.  This Rocks!

If you haven’t gotten a pop up message alerting you to download the software update, you can always check by navigating to:

  1. Settings
  2. About Phone
  3. Software Update
  4. Check New

How to Factory Reset Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2

I’m plan on keeping this precise and to the point without all the fluff…only some visuals to help you along the way…

PREFERRED METHOD

1.  From the home screen, select the Menu soft key (lower left).

menuGS3

2.  Select Settings.

SettingsGS3

3.  Select Backup and Reset.

BackupandResetGS3

4.  Select Factory Data Reset.  You have the option to choose to put a check mark next to the boxes titled Backup My Data and Automatic Restore.  If I were in your shoes, I would for the sake of restoring your phone and making it just a tad easier, but that’s just me.  You also should already have an account listed under Backup Account (Also known as your Google Account.

FactoryDataResetGS3

5.  Select Reset Device.

ResetDevice

6.  Select Delete All.

DeleteAll

At this point, your device will shut down, and the Android Recovery screen will be displayed for several seconds.  It looks like this:

DroidRecoveryScreen

Please allow several minutes for the device to reset itself  Once it is finished, it will restart and direct you through the setup and restore process.

ALTERNATE METHOD (When you are unable to get to factory reset screen)

1.  Ensure that the device is powered off.  To power off, press ad hold the power button and then select power off and then OK.

s3 Hard Reset

2.  After the device is off, Simultaneously press and hold the Power button+Volume up key+Home key until the Samsung logo appears then release.

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 12.21.45 AM

3.  From the Android system recovery screen, select Wipe Data/Factory Reset. Use the Volume Up/Down keys to highlight and the Power button to select.

android_system_recovery-02

4.  Choose Yes — delete all user data. The factory reset may take  minute or so to complete.

android_system_recovery-03

5.  Select Reboot System Now.  Allow several minutes for the reboot process to complete.

android_system_recovery-04

ALL DONE!!  Give yourself a High Five!  Now just go through with the setup process.