Samsung Galaxy S4: Health Tracker, Translator and Controlled Without Touch

Samsung Galaxy S4: Health Tracker, Translator and Controlled Without Touch

It appears software is now king in the smartphone world, with Samsung setting its new addition to the Galaxy smartphone range, the Galaxy S4, apart from the competition with a host of exciting software features.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Source: AFP PHOTO / Don EMMERT

Launching its new flagship phone, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S4 in an event in New York City last Thursday. At first glance, it looks very similar to the S3. However, while it is roughly the same size, and is made using a similar polycarbonate construction as the S3, the S4 boasts an enormous 4.99inch full HD (1080p)  Super AMOLED Display (with 441 ppi) and a 13 megapixel rear-facing camera .

Samsung describes the phone as “slimmer, lighter and more solid” than the Galaxy S III.

Other hardware specs include:

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  • 1.8GHz Samsung Exynos 8-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB internal memory (32GB and 64GB models will be available in certain markets), expandable via microSD
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean OS plus Samsung’s TouchWiz UI overlay.

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Software Features

While the hardware is pretty impressive, the real defining feature for the S4 is the software.

Samsung have worked hard to differentiate their phone from the competition by introducing a host of new features to its TouchWiz UI overlay, which brings software enhancements for the camera, screen and a bunch of native apps that do away with the need for third party apps.

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Smart Scroll and Smart Pause

Samsung galaxy S4 Smart Scroll

Source: CNET

Among the most impressive software features Samsung have included in the S4, is the Smart Pause and Smart Scroll features.

Smart Scroll allows users to scroll a page of text using only their eyes. A green indicator signals that the smartphone knows that the user’s face is looking at the screen (via the front-facing camera), and depending on the user’s facial movement, will scroll the page up or down. Samsung have also included automatic scrolling via tilting the device, which may appeal to more users.

Smart Pause works much the same way. When watching a video on the S4, if the phone detects you have looked away from the screen, it will automatically pause the video.

“It understands that you are looking at the phone, and when it sees you looking away, it will pause,” said Drew Blackard, director of product planning at Samsung.

However, the Smart Pause feature is only available for videos watched in the Samsung Video Player application, which includes titles from Samsung’s Media Hub.

 

Air Gesture & Air View: Gesture Recognition Technology

Samsung Galaxy S4 Air gesture

Source: CNET

Not only can the phone detect whether you are looking at the screen, but Samsung have included gesture recognition technologies that allows users to interact with their phone- without touching it.

Air Gesture allows you to swipe through emails, photos, files and information in calendars simply by hovering your hand over the screen. Gestures can also be used to scroll in browser windows, switch between browser tabs or even accept phone calls.

If you’re only after a preview of information, that’s where Air View comes in. Just by hovering your hand over the required information, you get a quick snapshot of the record (such as contacts, calendar information etc).

Camera

Digital cameras are becoming a thing of the past, and Samsung hopes to accelerate this phenomenon by extending the capabilities of the S4’s camera.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Dual Photo

Source: Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson

Dual Shot allows users to take a photo with the front and rear cameras simultaneously using selected templates, while the Drama Shot takes 100 shots in four seconds. The Cinema Photo is similar to Nokia’s Cinemagram feature picking one part of the photo to move while the rest of the photo stays still.

S Translator, S Health, Group Play

Samsung have also included an expanded range of native apps bringing a whole range of functions right out of the box.

Galaxy S4 S Translator

S Translator Source: Pc Mag

For those of you frequently finding yourself lost for words when in another country, the S Translator app can translate nine different languages using both text to speech and speech to text. S Translate helps you with anything from reading menus to communicating with others in text or speech.

The app works by either speaking in the relevant language, what you have typed into the phone, or by translating whatever is being said into text on your phone in the language you require. While the app can offer conversational translations, it does require an Internet connection, which for many may be an issue when travelling abroad. The phone does, however, store pre-generated phrases in all nine languages with categories based on your location (e.g. airport) and they work even if offline.

The Group Play feature allows users to send music, photos and documents to multiple devices, as well as allowing for content and entertainment to be played and co-created instantly. Its ‘ Share music’  option means you can have the same song playing on multiple phones, with each phone acting as a speaker. You can touch the phones to each other and the sound spreads out, with a large group creating a surround sound effect.

Samsung Galaxy S4 S Health

S Health Source: ZDNET

The S Health app aims to replace fitness tracking accessories such as FitBit. The phone has in built sensors designed to measure the temperature and humidity of your location, which is then sent to the S Health app.

“The combination of sensors built within the device systematically and automatically monitors your health, surroundings and so much more to help improve your quality of life” according to Samsung.

A body scale and a heart rate monitor will be available as accessories, which can send data to the phone via Bluetooth, while the app will also be able to work with third party devices such as glucose meters and blood pressure monitors. In addition to S Health, the S4 includes a built in pedometer, which will track your steps, potentially doing away with third party fitness applications.

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