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Samsung Galaxy S3 ''Hidden'' Features

Loie Favre
23

Even though the Samsung Galaxy S3 is getting to be an ‘older’ device when you consider the rate at which new devices are being pumped out of the smartphone and tablet mill, this phone still tops the charts and is one of our users' favorites, coming even before the Galaxy S4. Today we are presenting you with some cool, perhaps borderline gimmicky, but nonetheless interesting and often forgotten features found in your Galaxy S3 that you might not have know about.

galaxy s3 10 millionen
 © AndroidPIT

Record and store from FM tuner

Granted, listening to the radio isn’t so popular anymore considering you can get music streaming from Spotify or Stereomood among the many other services, but radio has less of a draining impact on your battery not to mention doesn’t use your mobile data. If you don’t have a ton of songs already saved onto your phone, radio is a good option and it won’t use up so much of your internal storage either. You can also record FM radio and store it onto your internal memory and if so desired, archive it on your computer.

samsung galaxy s3 radio
You can record songs from the radio with your Galaxy S3 and save them on your computer. © AndroidPIT

Blocking Mode

The worst is getting notifications in the middle of the night when you are just trying to get a decent night’s sleep. The Galaxy S3 has a Blocking Mode that you can switch on or off in the settings of your phone under the Device subcategory. By tapping on ‘Blocking mode’ you will be able to customize what you would like to block, whether it is incoming calls, notifications, alarms, timers or LED indicators, either for all the time or a specific period of time. You can, however, ensure that emergency calls get through to you at any point in time by choosing ‘allowed contacts’.

androidpit galaxy s3 blocking mode
To not be woken up in the middle of the night by notifications, blocking mode in will ensure you get a good night's sleep. © AndroidPIT

Face Unlock

Though this isn’t the most secure way to lock your smartphone, it could be used in addition to the swipe or PIN if you so wish and setting it up is easy to do. Under Settings, you will need to go into ‘Lock screen’ and choose ‘Screen lock’. Tapping on this will prompt you to confirm with your current screen lock choice and then give you a list of various ways of unlocking your phone as well as indicating which ones are the most safe. By going through the steps as directed and holding the device at eye level to fit your head within the form on screen, you can set it up so that your Galaxy S3 will recognize you. It might mistake a similar looking person however, so if you are worried about your content, you might want to stick with another, more secure locking method.

androidpit galaxy s3 face lock
Face Unlock isn't the most secure way of locking your phone but could be used with voice recognition. © AndroidPIT

Easy Mode for your home screen

If you are buying a Samsung Galaxy S3 for the first time, and are a beginner user, it might be a good idea to switch the user interface mode for your home screen to easy. What this will do is give you bigger, blockier icons on your home screen in order to make your apps and the other functions more visible. To get into this ‘Easy mode’, go into the settings of your phone and under the subcategory ‘Device’, choose ‘Home Screen mode’ and choose which mode you would prefer, and finally, apply. Once you feel more comfortable, you can always switch it back with the same steps.

androidpit galaxy s3 easy mode
Beginner Android users could profit from easy mode for their home screen setup. © AndroidPIT

Edit videos in Video Player

If you’ve shot a video and want to trim it down a little bit, you can do this right from the video editor, without the use of an external app from the Google Play Store. When a video is playing, tap on the menu button and choose trim. You can then choose which parts to trim out and which to keep.

androidpit samsung galaxy s3 video trim
Using a thirdparty app is not required, you can trim your own videos right in Video Player. © AndroidPIT

Video overlay

Multitasking with the Galaxy S3 can be done in many different ways, like with Multi Window for example. Another way is having a video from Video Player play in a small window over the top of your home screen, or while browsing the web, texting with friends and so on. The way to do this is to go into the video that you would like to view, then select the icon on the bottom right corner. This will launch the video on the home screen where you can start doing something else simultaneously. Tapping on the video will bring up the ‘X’ to close it.

androidpit galaxy s3 video overlay
Samsung tried to incorporate many multitasking elements into the Galaxy S3, including video overlay. © AndroidPIT

Remote wipe your phone with remote control

The Galaxy S3 is really loved, as mentioned in the intro, which may lead to more people wanting to steal it unfortunately. In order to locate the device as well as make sure that no one gets your private and personal information, you can perform a complete wipe of your phone’s data remotely. You need to have preemptively signed up for your Samsung account and set up a password, which you can do from your phone when you are initially setting it up. If your phone gets stolen or misplaced, sign on to the Samsung website www.samsungdive.com and here you will be able to locate your mobile phone, lock it, make it ring, forward messages or calls, see call logs, wipe your mobile as well as unlock your screen (the last one is handy if you have forgotten your own lock screen password). You can find the current location of your lost device and track its movement over 15 minute intervals for 12 hours, though this could cost you.

androidpit samsung galaxy s3 account
Thanks to your Samsung account, you will be able to locate your lost or stolen device and erase its contents. © AndroidPIT

Jelly Bean Surprise!

This isn’t a real feature, just something shiny and pretty to do once. Simply go into the settings of your phone, and find ‘About device’ right at the bottom of the list. In ‘About Device’ tap several times on the Android version to launch an animation of the large smiling jelly bean. Long pressing on the JB will cause it to explode, causing a whole jumble of jelly beans to erupt onto the screen which you can flick around. It’s a one-time gimmick to ‘impress’ your friends.

androidpit galaxy s3 jelly bean
Last, but not least, a nice Jelly Bean suprise to show to your friends. © AndroidPIT

Do you know of any other features on your Galaxy S3 that are fun or helpful?

Looking for more tips and tricks? Check out our tutorial for how to set a MP3 to a ringtone on the Galaxy S3 and a guide to the Galaxy S3's camera.

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Comments

Write new comment:
  • red 9 months ago Link

    this couldn't come at a better time. I was just thinking how annoying the texts going off at night need to be quieted. thank you!

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      Loie Favre 9 months ago Link

      You are welcome! It is a really useful feature that I use myself.

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      • Sheila B 9 months ago Link

        Big Red has struck again! Thanks Loie.

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  • Sheila B 9 months ago Link

    Why can't I find that feature Anywhere in my phone. I looked everywhere. Does Verizon variants not have it. I would like to disable notifications at midnight too. HELP

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      Loie Favre 9 months ago Link

      Hi Sheila! I did a little looking around and apparently Verizon got rid of that mode on their variant of the Galaxy S3, which is super strange! If you can't find this in your settings, you may need to install an app to replace the usually built-in blocking mode on the Galaxy S3. There is an app called I'm sleeping which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zapek.android.sleeping&hl=en This should also work.

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  • Gregory Quinlivan 9 months ago Link

    I'm interested in the FM Radio feature. How do I activate it on my Galaxy S3? It's quite invisible! Thanks. Greg.

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      Loie Favre 9 months ago Link

      Hi Gregory, the FM Radio is a native app that Samsung installed onto to the Galaxy S3. You should be able to find this in your App Drawer which is set up in alphabetical order. There is no way to uninstall it, so it has to be there, unless your mobile carrier decided not to include it.

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      • Gregory Quinlivan 9 months ago Link

        Hi Loie. It's not there so it must have been excluded by my carrier. Do you know another app that works offline for radio? Cheers.

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  • Katrina Ooms 9 months ago Link

    You mention an FM tuner, but give no how-to on this feature. Is this an app or is there one in the phone I haven't found? I've been wanting one for some time. Thanks for your help.

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  • Katrina Ooms 9 months ago Link

    Oops just saw you answered this question elsewhere - looks like my carrier (AT&T) also excluded it. Have been wanting an FM tuner, rats. I have a limited data plan so can't use any radio apps unless I'm on wifi. Any ideas? Thx.

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  • Katrina Ooms 9 months ago Link

    Double rats. Seems that my phone doesn't come with the chip installed. Darn AT&T. That cool jelly bean trick doesn't seem to work either, btw.

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  • Lisa Dominguez 9 months ago Link

    Nice info on apps but don't give direction on howto install the apps

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  • Lurker 9 months ago Link

    What FM Radio? I see no app, or widget for one on my GSIII I535 Verizon mobile. I checked Google Play Store for an FM Radio app, and found none for my mobile. Am I missing something?

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    • Sheila B 9 months ago Link

      Lurker I have Big Red Also. As you can see by my comment above, we seem to have different phones than everyone else. Oops I should say Big Brother.

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  • Lurker 9 months ago Link

    Sheila B If you are US based, as I am, then we have the GSIII I535, whereas theirs are the GSIII I9300/9305. I hate when carriers do that, and disable functions, only offer limited hardware as in 16gb, limited 32gb, and no 64gb devices in the GSIII & GS4 for the US market. I cannot complain too loudly, as I obtained my GSII purely through serendipity. My old original Motorola Droid finally bit the dust after 5+ years of flawless service, and was replaced by a Samsung Nexus, which I likedbut started acting up, so my extended warranty then upgraded me to the GSIII, which I desired. I'm grandfathered on big red's unlimited data plan, so upgrades are expensive. My extended warranty paid off. I highly recommend the total care coverage package.
    Have a great day!
    Michael

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  • Sheila B 9 months ago Link

    Yes Lurker, I am U.S. (East Coast). I came to Verizon through a good friend of mine as I couldn't afford $500+ through Metro PCS. So I share a plan. Thank God I was able to download the app. I needed to help me with the notifications. I hope you're able to get some satisfaction with regards to your radio problem. Good Luck!

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  • Russell White 9 months ago Link

    Looks like all of these features also work on the s2 as well

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  • Paul Ewing 9 months ago Link

    Hi Loie, I blocked a contact's cell number and now that I want to unblock the number, I am unable to find out how to do it. Can you help pls?

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    • Sheila B 9 months ago Link

      I know that one, from your keypad, left tap to call settings, call restrictions, then list.You can uncheck it from there. Hope that helps

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  • Paul Ewing 9 months ago Link

    Brilliant stuff Sheila - it worked - ta heaps........x

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  • Luis Bastidas 8 months ago Link

    hey porfavor un ayuda.,.,.,., en una captura de pantalla se ven los iconos agrupados y se ve q es del menu principal por q no tiene ningun launcher porfavor como puedo agrupar mis iconos asi

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  • LeahT 5 months ago Link

    help, is there a way of taking video, but not having incoming calls interrupt?

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  • LeahT 5 months ago Link

    help, is there a way of taking video, but not having incoming calls interrupt?

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