This post is a Tips archive for Samsung Galaxy S II or Samsung Android phones having the latest Touchwiz UI.
1. Quick and simple soft reset
2. Task Switcher/Manager Shortcut
3. Swipe to call or message
4. Scientific Calculator
5. Download Manager
6. Modify Vibration Intensity
7. Power Saving Mode
8. Desktop Clock Mode
9. Change the default App Drawer icons
10. My File Manager/Browser
11. Adjust display brightness
12. Instantly check the date
13. How to pick up or hang up a call with power button
14. How to activiate text-to-speech driving mode
15. How to make your phone vibrate when the called party answers the call
16. How to hide a folder or file in the memory
17. Browser magnifier function
18. How to transfer files via USB Mass Storage Mode
19. Utilize Samsung Galaxy S II power saving mode
20. Quick scroll using 3 fingers
21. 3 ways to get the Samsung Galaxy S II camera in focus
22. What is 5.1 SRS and how to use it
23. How to use auto-redial
24. How to lock camera screen
25. Cleaning up Google contacts
26. How to put GPS tag on pictures
27. How to simply put the Galaxy S II in silent mode
28. How to quickly view all open windows in the browser
29. How To: Register your Samsung phone to play DivX protected content
30. How to take a screen shot
31. Pinch-to-zoom out of TouchWiz AppDrawer
32. Change your Galaxy S Font
33. Galaxy S II, Samsung Keyboard Setting Explained
34. Assign custom ringtones to your contacts on your Galaxy S II
35. Transfer your iTunes music to your Galaxy S II with Kies
36. Importing and exporting [backing up] contacts with Kies on Galaxy S II
37. Top 5 Samsung Galaxy S II Camera Tips
38. 2 ways to hard reset your Galaxy S II
39. Text messaging inbox viewing mode
40. Turn on or off text notifications during calls on the Galaxy S II
41. Monitor Samsung Galaxy S II Internal Memory with Disk Usage App
42. What does the Samsung Galaxy S II Auto Adjust Screen Power setting do?
43. Extend/change the length of your Galaxy S II ring duration before voicemail
44. Top 10 must have Samsung Galaxy S II Widgets
45. Turn off Automatic Brightness for Android Games on your Galaxy S II
46. Upgrade your T-Mobile Galaxy S 4G to Android 2.3 Gingerbread
47. Download the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich keyboard for your Galaxy S II without root
48. Install a charm on your Galaxy S II lanyard loop
49. View Desktop Version Websites by default on your Galaxy S II [changing useragent]
50. Use a computer keyboard to type on the Galaxy S II
51. Galaxy S II Notification icon guide
52. How to transfer files using bluetooth
53. How to read a QR code
54. Play your Galaxy S II on an iPod/iPhone dock with a Male micro USB to
55. What is Side Loading and how to do it
56. How to fix Samsung Galaxy S II WiFi Connection Problems
57. How to Backup and Restore your Galaxy S II Contacts, Texts and Photos using Kies
58. How To: Install and Activate Keyboards on the Samsung Galaxy S II
59. How To: Sync your Galaxy S II Email with your Microsoft Exchange Server
60. How To: Clear your default TouchWiz launcher settings on the Galaxy S II
61. How To: Use your Samsung Galaxy S II FM Radio Tuner
62. Tip: Solution for Samsung Galaxy S II Android 2.3.5 Update Causing Swype Problems
63. Tip: Fastest way to add a contact on your Galaxy S II
Is your phone hanging on a process, or you wanna power cycle the device but don’t want hold power > wait for device to shutdown > hold power again? Well instead of popping out the battery, simply hold down the power and volume-up buttons for about 8~ seconds and your device will turn of and on automatically:
To quickly switch between recent applications, hold down the home button to bring up the recent tasks menu; select task manager to close out of running apps.
This one’s and oldie but a goodie. From the contacts list, you can call or text any contact by swiping to the right or left, respectively:
The default calculator can be transformed into an scientific calculator with trigonometric functions by turning the phone into landscape view:
The Galaxy S II comes pre-loaded with a Downloads application that shows your download history. Great for finding past downloads without digging through the phone’s file directory.
If your phone virabtes too louadly, you can change the intesnity by going to Settings > Sound > Vibration Intensity. In-depth directions
The Galaxy S II’s Power saving mode is a useful fail-safe tool to protect your phone from dying a slow and painful battery-draining death.
Activate Power saving mode via Menu > Settings >Power saving mode > On. Visit our article for more information!
The Galaxy S II has a beautiful display, and some nice desktop docking options so it makes sense that Samsung has included a handy Desktop clock mode. Access it buy going to Applications > Clock > Scroll the top bar over to Desk Clock.
This mode will disable screen timeout and adds a new quick menu bar at the bottom:
You can change 3 of the default 4 apps in the dock by going to Applications > Menu > View type > Customizable grid. And then go back to Applications > Menu > Edit > Drag and drop new apps into the dock!
The Galaxy S II comes pre-installed with a file manager which you can find in Applications > My files. Use it to explore your internal storage as well as expandable microSD storage space.
Setting > Display > Brightness and adjust brightness or
Drag the top of the screen (Notification area) to adjust the display brightness. Right to bright and left to dark.
Touch the notification bar, the top of the screen, then the date will show up. Otherwise find a calendar app to check it.
Setting > Call settings > Call answering/ending > Check on Answering Key.
‘Accept incoming calls by pressing the home key’
Setting > Call settings > Call answering/ending > Check on The Power key ends calls.
‘Press the power key to end calls. However, this will not turn off the screen.’
Setting > Voice input and output > Text-to-speech settings > Driving mode > Driving mode settings
Menu > Setting > Call > Call alert > check on ‘Answer vibration’
‘The caller’s phone vibrates when the calle party answers the call.”
You can make photos private.
By using My Files, change folder of file name starting with .(dot).
Long press anywhere on a web browsing screen and the section will be magnified.
a. Method 1: USB Debugging Mode
Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging
Connect your phone via USB to your computer: pull down the notification bar > select ‘USB connected’ to copy files to/from your computer > hit ‘Connect USB storage’
b. Method 2: Sans USB debugging mode
Settings > Wireless network > USB utilities > Connect storage to PC
Settings > Power saving mode > Use power saving mode
From here you can choose at which intervals (70/50/30/10% battery life) that power savings mode activates.
When scrolling through a UI list, use three fingers to swipe from top-to-bottom (or vice versa), in one stroke:
1. Aim object and simply touch shutter button.
2. Aim object and touch preview window to get in focus, and then touch shutter button.
3. Press/hold the shutter button and aim object. Then release the button to take a picture.
In the music player, click the 5.1ch button to enjoy 5.1 Virtual Surround Sound. It is only available when you are using earphone.
‘Enable redial automatically if call is unable to connect or is cut off’
Setting > Call Settings > Voice call > Auto redial
If you press power button while camera is running, the touch screen is locked to prevent unintentional manipulation or re-loading time.
This feature is useful for the touch sensitive camera phone. You can toggle by power button and use the back key to close the camera program.
Are you annoying with contacts because all the google contacts synced to the device? You can display only contacts that have phone numbers. The contacts from google not having phone number won’t been shown anymore. (It’s very important tip!!)
Contact > More, Display option > Check on ‘Only contacts with phonenumber
In the camera setting, you can enable the GPS on and to show the GPS tag on map through the gallery
Press and hold the volume down button; this will set the phone to vibrate.
While viewing a website, pinch to zoom once to zoom all the way out and then once more to zoom out to the window viewer
Much like Samsung’s Media Hub (read our review here), DivX VOD associates a content’s license with an account rather than a device. This means that you can play your media on any compatible device that is registered to your DivX account. Enough chit chat, here’s how to get DivX VOD on your Samsung Galaxy S 2 :
1. Download the latest version of DivX
2. Find your registration code
Hit Menu > Settings > About phone > Legal information > License settings > DivX VOD > Register
3. Create a DivX VOD Account
Run the DivX Player and goto VOD tab and select ‘Create a DivX Account.’
You will need to confirm via Email.
4. Register your device, create registration video
Using the same menu above, select ‘Register a DivX Certified Device’ and input the aforementioned reg code; this will create the video file which will activate your device when played
5. Move the registration video to your phone
Connect your phone to your computer via USB and goto your notification bar and select the option to copy files from your computer. Save it to a directory you can navigate to.
Made two on accident. Derp
6. Play the video
Go to Applications > My Files > Directory you saved the video in. Press play; if the video plays, you have successfully registered your device!
Hold the home button and press the power button and a screen capture will be saved to your gallery in a folder called ScreenCapture.
If you go to the app drawer, you can pinch-to-zoom out and all of your app pages will be viewable at once. You can change their order by long-pressing them and moving them around.
Go to Menu > Settings > Display > Screen display > Font style > Choose your font!
Although Android has a ton of different keyboards out there (we’ve even reviewed 14 of them) the default Samsung keyboard aint too shabby. I still use it; found out more about the settings in our Samsung keyboard settings guide.
To assign a custom ringtone to your contact, hit Contacts > *name of contact* > scroll down > Default ringtone > Custom ringtone
The default ringtone choice assigns the contact to the default chosen in settings. Selecting a sound from your files allows you to hand pick an audio clip as the ringtone and Phone ringtone allows you to choose from the set of pre-configured ringtones in the phone.
So you’ve decided to make the switch from iPhone to Android and you would like to move your massive library over to your Galaxy S II? Fear not, the process is really quite simple!
- The first step is to find out where your iTunes music library is located. To do this, fire up iTunes and hit Edit > Preferences or Ctrl +
- Download Samsung Kies–it is essentially to Samsung smartphones what iTunes is to iPhones. Download and install it like you normally would any software.
- Now connect your phone via USB to your computer and start up Kies–navigate to the Library > Music category
- 4. Hit the “Add music folder” button and navigate to the directory we found in step 1. Congratulations, you should now have a populated Kies Music Library
- The next step is to transfer the music to your phone. Check the boxes of the songs you would like to transfer, then select “Transfer to device” and select whether you want to move them to the internal memory or the microSD memory on your Galaxy S II:
- Now disconnect your phone and play your songs!
For illustrated instructions check out our guide.
If you guys haven’t yet used Samsung’s Kies software, it’s a good idea to get started as it can easily backup, import and export your contacts–no more making Facebook events named “I dropped my phone in the toilet, text me your numbers!”
Just like in our how to transfer your iTunes music to your Galaxy S II using Kies guide, importing/exporting/backing up your contacts with Kies is very simple.
- First off, you need to download Samsung’s Kies Software. Actually the first step is to accumulate a contact list
- Install the software and connect your phone via USB; hit the contact tabs and load your contacts list
- Once you have loaded your contacts, select which contacts you would like to move to your computer and click “Save to PC”
- Congratulations, you have successfully created a .spb file containing the contacts you select above. Let’s move on to importing these contacts to your library
- [.spb import] Now navigate to the contacts category under library, and open the .spb file:
- Congratulations! You have successfully backed up your phone’s contacts to your Kies library
- [restore contacts] If you want to reverse the process, click the “Transfer to device” button in your contacts library. Or you can manually import the contacts from the .spb file by hitting the “Import from PC” tab in the device section of Kies
Visit the guide for illustrated directions!
If you’ve been looking for your Galaxy S II’s camera settings in the Android settings menu, you would be hard pressed to find it. All of the camera’s settings need to be accessed via the camera application itself. There are plenty of tweaks and settings changed that can be made here–let’s take a look at what neat things we can do!
1. Camera Quick Controls/HUD guide
There are 6 main controls in the Galaxy S II’s Camera application’s interface.
1. Switch between the rear and front-facing cameras
2. Switch flash modes: on, off and automatic
3. Settings for the camera, more details below
4. Switch between camera and video recording modes
5. Shutter-release button (capture picture)
6. Photo gallery
For more tips, check out our guide!
If you ever find yourself needing to restore your Galaxy S II to its factory default settings, there are two ways to to do so.
If you are running the international version of the Galaxy S II (GT-I9000) with a physical home key, follow these steps:
- Turn off your phone
- Press and hold the volume up, power/lock and home buttons all together for 10 seconds
For the U.S. version instruction, check out the article.
Like in tip #4 Scientific Calculator, this tip is another semi-hidden tool:
When is using the text messaging composer, you can activate dual view (inbox/composer) by turning the phone sideways.
Isn’t it really annoying when you are mid-phone conversation and you hear a beep-beep notification for a text? Is it really annoying when it doesn’t notify you? Well whichever boat you are in, we’ve got a solution for you!
You can find the mid-call, text notification toggle option in Menu > Settings > Call > Call alert > Alerts on call on/off
First of all let’s get the basic down. The Galaxy S II comes equipped with 16GB of internal ROM storage and 1024MB of RAM. The ROM can be augmented via the microSD slot which is capable of handling up to an additional 32GB of memory.
That 16GB of internal memory is partitioned into two parts; USB storage and System storage. As you can see, only 13GB (11.25+1.24) of the 16GB is actually usable. What are each partition used for? If you navigate to Menu > Settings > Applications > Manage Applications you will see this:
Most of you are probably familiar with the “Automatic Brightness” but have you ever really noticed the Auto adjust screen power option?
Menu > Settings > Display
If you go into the Galaxy S II’s display settings you will find an option to have the phone automatically adjust screen power, which can “Save power by analyzing image and adjusting LCD brightness.” After some research I stumbled upon XDA user puremind’s results after extensive testing of the Samsung Super AMOLED Plus display. Although it wasn’t clear exaclty how the measurements were taken, puremind measured the display’s maximum brightness (in candela per square meter) in film, standard and dynamic mode with the Auto adjust screen power on and off.
He notes that all measurements were made with auto-brightness off and the screen on max brightness. Auto adjust screen power engaged: 443
- Film Mode: 147cd/m²
- Standard Mode:149cd/m²
- Dynamic Mode: 147cd/m²
Auto adjust screen power disengaged: 844
- Film Mode: 276 cd/m²
- Standard Mode:285 cd/m²
- Dynamic Mode: 283 cd/m²
Wowza–that is a pretty significant increase in brightness! Thats a 90% average increase in screen brightness which should correlate to about a 90% increase in battery consumption. Although deactivating this feature can nearly double your brightness, it also kills your battery life. However, I should note that this will also be affected by what is being displayed on the screen. We recommend leaving this feature on unless you are reading in the sun.
Is the time to answer a call on your phone so short you can’t answer the call in time? Searched all around your phone settings but can’t find where you can increase the ring duration before your caller is direct to your voicemail? Here is the solution to your problem!
1. To modify the ring duration, go to your Phone and dial *#67# and hit the call button–record the “Voice” number:
2. Now enter the following code:
**61*the number you recorded from step 1**30#
3. Congratulations, you have just increased your ring duration to 30 seconds. The “**30#” at the end of step 2 has instructed your carrier to allow your phone to ring for 30 seconds before sending the caller to voicemail. You can change this number to whatever you would like the duration to be although it cannot exceed 30 seconds.
One of Android’s #1 features is the ability to place widgets on the desktop. In case you aren’t familiar with widgets, they look like app icons, but can dynamically display information and/or perform actions–they can also occupy more than one tile of space.
See the full article here!
Ever find it really annoying when you fire up your favorite game, only to cover up your brightness sensor as you hold your Galaxy S II in landscape view, turning the screen brightness down to near unusable?
Hate it when your hand covers the light sensor?
Find the directions in the full article!
T-Mobile’s 4G variant of the venerable Galaxy S is finally getting updated to Andoid 2.3, Gingerbread. Although the update is long overdue, Galaxy S 4G users will be happy to hear that wait is finally over.
According to T-Mobile’s support site, the software update will be available beginning November 15th (today) and will update the Galaxy S 4G to Android 2.3, version T959VUVKJ6. Although T-Mobile notes that the updates is optional, in addition to Android 2.3′s benefits, the Galaxy S 4G will be receiving a Google security patch as well as WiFi and camera enhancements.
Since this device will not be broadcasted over the air (OTA) users will need to install the software using Samsung’s Kies Mini, syncing software. An upgrade can also be performed using the standard version of Kies.
Follow these directions to upfrade your Galaxy S 4G to Gingerbread:
Installing Kies Mini
- Download the most recent version of Kies Mini by visiting http://tinyurl.com/KiesMini1
- Note: Save the file to a desired location – the Desktop is recommended for easy access.
- Double click the Kies Mini file. The program will self extract, no action is required.
- Select the desired Language and Location, then click Next.
- Read the license agreement, check the box for “I accept…” and click Next.
- Kies Mini will begin the installation. No action is required.
- When the process is complete, click Finish.
Prepare the Samsung Galaxy S 4G
- From the Android home screen, press the Menu key and tap Settings.
- Tap Applications.
- Tap USB settings.
- Tap Ask on connection.
- Tap the Escape key once to go back to the Applications menu.
- Tap Development.
- Tap USB Debugging.
- Tap the Home key to exit the settings menu.
- Insert the USB data cable into the phone and then into an available port on the computer.
- Select Samsung Kies at the phone prompt. The PC should recognize several devices and begin installation. This is normal and may take a few minutes. Unplug the data cable when completed.
Upgrade the device to KJ6
Important: Verify that you have backed up all of your data, including the contents of the internal (non-removable) SD card, to prevent unnecessary data loss.
- On the PC, open the Kies Mini application.
- Connect the Galaxy S 4G to the PC using the USB cable, select Samsung Kies at the phone prompt.
- Important: If the Galaxy S 4G was recently rebooted, allow the device to finish Media Scanning before attempting to connect the device to the PC.
- After a few moments, Kies Mini should indicate that a software update is available.
- Click Phone Upgrade.
- Read the Caution statements, click the checkbox for “I have read and understood…”, and click the Upgrade button.
- Kies Mini will contact the server and download the upgrade. Depending on the customer’s network conditions and connection speed, this could take several minutes.
- Kies Mini will begin upgrading the device.
- Important: The phone’s screen may change state or appear to reboot during the process. DO NOT remove the device from the USB cable or reboot the PC until the update is complete. Doing so can permanently damage the device (“brick” the phone).
- When the installation is complete, click Ok to finish. Wait until the phone is finished rebooting and the Android Home screen displays before disconnecting the device.
Now I know a lot of you out there are anxiously waiting for the Galaxy Nexus to finally hit U.S. shores, but in the meantime, you can get a preview of what it feels like to type on Samsung and Google’s latest offspring. The new keyboard has improved targetting, simpler suggestion bar and some handy shortcuts and settings that are sure to improve your typing experience. If you are a dedicated OEM keyboard user you should be sure to check this keyboard out.
The keyboard can currently be found on the Android Market but since it is’t an official Google release, we don’t expect it to stay up there for too long–here is a mirror of the apk. If you are concerenedabout the apk’s security, a Reddit user has kindly extracted the apk’s manifest revealing the following permissions:
Now that you are ready to use this keyboard, simply download and run the apk (read our guide on installing non-market .apks), activate the keybaord in you settings and select it as your input method–good to go!
The international version of the Samsung Galaxy S II has a nifty little feature that you might not have known about. That little hole in the top left of your phone is an attachment point for lanyards and phone charms!
Installing your phone charm is quite simple. All you need are your Galaxy S II, the phone charm, and a paperclip (or anything thin and rigid for that matter).
1. Remove the battery cover and insert the end of the charm into the lanyard loop cavity:
2. Pull the charm loop through using a paper clip:
3. Push the loop down and around the post in the cavity:
4. Make sure the charm’s loop is seated firmly at the base of the post so that it may not come loose:
5. Replace the battery cover an enjoy!
To remove the charm, reverse the process–when trying to pull the loop off from the base of the post, trying pushing the loop through from the outside to add extra slack.
Although having mobile versions of websites was once a godsend, with today’s high performance smartphones and large displays, they are no longer a necessity and can in fact be a nuisance.
If you find yourself having to constantly scroll down to the “View Desktop Version” link on your Galaxy S II, fear not we have a solution and it’s really quite simple. By editing your browser’s User Agent, your phone can identify itself as a desktop to the website you are trying to reach, which will in turn serve you the appropriate web page.
To change your user agent, navigate to the web browser and type in “about:useragent” in the URL bar. Finish by selecting Desktop or your desired User Agent:
Now you can immediately view full webpages!
Have you ever had those days where you felt like your thumbs were burnt out from sending out text messages all day? Wouldn’t it have been nice to just connect a keyboard to your phone? Well… if you had a bluetooth keyboard you could, but chances are that you don’t. But fear not! I’m sure you still have a laptop… or at least a computer with a WiFi connection? Great! Well now we can get working!
If you want to connect your computer’s keyboard to your Galaxy S II, all you need are:
- A laptop or WiFi connected desktop
- Your Galaxy S II connected to the same network
- The WiFi Keyboard application by Ivan Volosyuk
1. After you download and install the application, activate the keyboard going to Menu > Settings> Language and keyboard > Enable WiFi Keyboard. Now longpress a text box and change the input method to WiFi Keyboard.
Now that your WiFi keyboard is activated, head to your notification bar and pull down the info for the IP address you will type into your computer. Open up a browser and type in that IP address–this will fire up the computer-side keyboard interface.
From here you can type your heart away as well as copy and paste large chunks of text. The interface is very simple and their is no noticeable latency between the keyboard and the Android device although your connection strength may affect this. The developer recommends using Google Chrome rather than Internet Explorer due to stability issues.
If the Galaxy S II is your first smart/Android phone, it might be a bit overwhelming the amount of information that is presented to you at once. Although some of the status bar notifications are explained when you drag down the notification bar, many of the icons are not accompanied with an explanation–but not anymore:
Although it might make more sense to transfer files using Kies–via WiFi or USB–what should you do if you are stranded in a location with no WiFi and you happened to forget your USB transfer cable as well? Fear not, their is another option!
Connecting your phone via Bluetooth takes a little bit of work, so bear with me as I show you how to go about setting things up:
1. Make sure your computer is has Bluetooth enabled. Navigate to Start > Control Pantel > Network and Sharing Center > Change adapter settings:
2. Now right click Bluetooth Network Connection and select Properties. Select the Bluetooth tab and click on Bluetooth Settings:
3. Check the box to allow your computer to be discovered:
4. Meanwhile on your Galaxy S II, bring down the notification bar and switch on Bluetooth. This will activate a notification stating that there are Bluetooth devices available–select that notification and check Visible
5. Select the device you want to pair with and you will be prompted on both ends to verify the connection request–confirm them.
6. Now that you’re devices are paired, you can send files via Bluetooth. From your computer, right click to the file and select Sent to Bluetooth Device, and from your phone, select a file and choose Send via Bluetooth.
Computer to Phone
Phone to Computer
Hey guys, you’ve probably seen me put up little pixelated squares like this before–wait–you don’t know what these are? Well how rude of me to shove these in your face without telling you what they mean. No no, they aren’t pretty little pieces of digital art, they are QR codes!
QR code on the back of a book
The popularity of QR codes as a 2D barcode has been rising and it’s time for you to learn how to use them! Each little box can be encoded with various text information, usually links which can be directly navigated to without having to manually input a standard URL–very useful for quickly finding out information regarding a product. The link I placed in the first sentence goes to our newsletter subscription form; here’s how you can sign up for helpful tips and tricks using that QR code:
2. Find something with a QR code on it… like this article.
3. Fire up the application and aim your phone’s camera on the QR code to scan it
4. Now you can search the retrieved data on the web, or use your browser to navigate the webpage if the data was a URL. Now go subscribe to our newsletter for more helpful hints like this!
54. Play your Galaxy S II on an iPod/iPhone dock with a Male micro USB to female Apple 30 pin adapter
It seems like multiple times I’ve found myself at a social gathering where we need a DJ to play some tunes, but the only set of speakers in the house are Apple iPod docking station. If it weren’t for Apple’s pesky, proprietary 30 pin connector, we could simply hook up our Android devices to all those iHomes out there. Luckily, I’ve found the solution for you (and me):
After combing through numerous forums (both Android and Apple), I finally stumbled upon thedockBoss+ by CableJive. This cable system allows you to finally hook up your Android device tho all those iHomes that you or your friends already have–no need to buy a separate docking/speaker station specifically for your Android device.
The dockBoss+ is composed of a male micro USB and 3.5mm stereo plug for your Android phone, leading down to to female Apple 30 pin connector that hooks up to your docking station. This setup will allow you to charge your phone while simultaneously playing music. The setup will set you back a cool $30, but its definitely cheaper than replacing your iHome.
If you fancy yourself a DIYer, take a look at Chris Moor’s guide on creating your very own iPod dock adapter. Using an iPod dock connector, 3.5mm stereo plug, micro USB connector and some Polymorph (the white molding you see holding everything together). Although it helps to have a little electrical engineering know how, Mr. Moor has nicely diagrammed all the necessary wiring/soldering and the end result (with a Motorola Droid) looks quite spiffy:
I hope one of these two solutions can do the trick for all you Apple to Android converts! If you guys know of any other ways to hook up your Android phone to an Apple docking station, please let us know in the comments below!
Hey there guys and gals, often times we see ourselves using terms and methodologies that might not be all too familiar for the genera Android user, so today we will be going over one of our most frequentlyused and asked terms: Side Loading.
What is Side Loading?
Wikipedia defines sideloading as the practice of
Transferring data between two local devices, in particular between a computer and a mobile device such as a cellphone, smartphone, PDA, or portable media player.
In practice this is used regarding loading and installing Android applications to your smartphone while circumventing conventional methods such as the Android market. The process is as follows:
- Find and download .apk file on your computer
- Load .apk to phone
- Run .apk and install the application onto your phone
Simple right? Well, there are some small steps in between, and even an automated option that can make the process easier.
Side Load: Standard Method
If you already have the .apk file on your smartphone you can skip to step _____
1. Download the .apk file on your computer (You can practice with this Galaxy Nexus Wallpaper .apk)
2. Now the hard part–getting the .apk onto your phone. There are numerous ways to get the .apk on your phone:
- USB file transfer [Easiest]: Hook up your your phone to your computer via USB and drag and drop the file into an appropriate directory (make sure USB debugging mode is off [Menu > Settings > Applications > Development])
- Bluetooth file transfer: Read our full guide
- Kies: Download and install Kies, then follow the steps for the USB transfer.
- Kies Air: Read our full guide
- Email the .apk to yourself as an attachment
3. Navigate to your .apk’s location using my files
4. Install the .apk
Side Load using Side Load Wonder Machine:
-Your Android phone
-Computer running Windows XP or newer
-Microsoft .Net 40 Framework
-Device USB drivers
Enable USB debugging by going to Menu > Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging:
Download and install Android Central’s Sideload Wonder Machine.
For this example I will be installing the Galaxy S II wind farm Live Wallpaper, ff you would like to install the windmill.apk as well, here is the download. Let’s begin:
1. Download the .apk to a location you can find later
2. Connect your phone and computer via USB cable
3. Launch the Sideload Wonder Machine
4. Select ‘Choose APK’ and navigate to and choose your .apk
5. Now it will remind you to hit the ‘Update existing app’ check box if that applies; hit OK.
6. Hit ‘Install’ and wait for the CMD to successfully install the .apk
Congratulations, you have successfully sideloaded the Galaxy S II wind farm wallpaper. For installation instructions, visit out ‘how to’ article here.
It’s come to our attention that there are a fair amount of Galaxy S II owners who are having some difficulty getting their phones to connect to their WiFi routers reliably or at all. There has been quite a lot of discussion across the interwebs about whether the problem is a hardware vs. software, or a router vs. phone issue. Depending on which of the aforementioned is causing the problem, you will have to try out a few different solutions in order to fix it. We won’t go into the specifics of why each method can solve the WiFi connectivity issue, but at least one of these methods should remedy your connectivity problem:
1. Static IP (DHCP bypass) workaround
It looks like certain routers don’t play nice with the Galaxy S II so bypassing DHCP seems to improve the router-to-phone feng shui.
- Turn off WiFi
- Go to Menu > Settings > Wireless and networks > WiFi settings > Menu > Advanced > Select “Use static IP”
- Fill in all of the fields with valid input aking sure to use two unique DNS addresses (220.127.116.11 and/or 18.104.22.168)
- Turn on Wifi
- Repeat step 2 but turn off static IP
2. Change Security to WPA2
This will be different based on what type of router you have but can be accessed by using the admin panel and changing the encryption key settings. You don’t need to do anything on your Galaxy S II except type in the new password.
3. Toggle Flight Mode
Simply try toggling flight mode on/off and check if that helps the connection. To do this, hold down the power button and “Flight mode.”
4. AllShare Workaround
Try opening your Samsung AllShare application–it will prompt you to connect to a WiFi network. Selecting a network from this menu should allow you to connect to a network.
5. Disable WiFi sleep policy
Disable the policy that switches when mobile data switches to WiFi. To do this go to Menu > Settings > Wireless and network > WiFi Settings > Menu > Advanced > Wi-Fi sleep policy > Select “Never”
6. Update to the latest firmware
You can use Samsung’s Kies software to update your Galaxy S II to the latest build of Android.
- Download and install Samsung Kies
- Making sure debug mode is OFF (Menu > Settings > Application > Development > Debug OFF), hook your SGS2 to your computer
- Upon opening Kies, the homescreen will display which firmware you are running and whether or not you require and update
WiFi Fixer is an application that can be downloaded for free on the Android Market–it is a “low-resource background Service that maintains your wifi connection automatically and works around several bugs in Android wifi.”
8. Reset Modem
This might be a bit of a hassle, but it is definitely worth trying out. First try power-cyclin the router or modem by unplugging it and plugging it back in. If that doesn’t fix the problem, do a hard reset (resets the router to factory settings)–there is usually a small button on the back you have to hold down for 5-10 seconds.
9. Reset Phone
I would save this solution as a last resort, DEFCON 1 emergency measure. Remember this deletes all your data and restores your phone to its factory settings!
- Go to Menu > Settings > Privacy > Factory data reset
- Hit “Reset phone”
We’ve done plenty an article on Samsung’s very own Kies syncing software, but we haven’t quite shown you the low down on how you can use its built in backup and restore feature.
It’s really quite simple–Kies has a built in backup and restore function that allows you to save your:
- To do
- Mini diary
- Call log
- Miscellaneous content files
- Preferences and ringtones
- Network settings an bookmarks
- Email account information
1. First off, you need to download Samsung’s Kies Software.
2. Next, make sure you have debug mode off (Menu > Settings > Applications > Development > Uncheck Debug)
3. Now you can connect your Galaxy S II to your computer–select the “Back up/Restore” tab. Select the items you would like to backup:
3. Now hit the “Back up” button:
4. Now your files should be backed up to the directory shown in the first screen shot. You can change the default location by going to Tools > Preferences > Folder Location > Edit
5. You can access the restore function by scrolling down in the Back up/Restore section and hitting “Restore.”
6. Now you can choose which backup file to use, and which portions of content you would like to restore:
7. Now that your phone’s precious data is safe and sound, you can put your mind at ease!
If you’ve taken a look at our 2011-2012, Android Keyboard Power Ranking, you probably know your way around Android input methods. However, if you have not had this experience, I would be happy to demonstrate how to change your default stock keyboard to one of the fancy ones from the Android Market.
1. Take a look at our Top 10 Keyboards–download and install one that you like
2. Activate the keyboard buy hitting Menu > Settings > Language and keyboard > Check keyboard you want to activate
3. To use the newly activated keyboard: from the same menu, hit input method > select keyboard
4. In the future you can change your keyboard quickly by long-pressing any text field and selecting your input method of choice
Check out our video guide:
The Samsung Galaxy S II is a great piece of hardware for gaming and entertainment, but did you know it’s also a productivity power house?
That’s right, Samsung’s built in email app is a wonderful way to manage your Microsoft Exchange account, allowing you to sync your contacts, calendar and tasks. Here are the easy steps to setup your Exchange account on your Galaxy S II:
1. Gather your account credentials and server settings
2. Navigate to your Galaxy S II email application, and it will prompt you to setup and email account–type in your email and password and hit manual setup
3. Select Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync as the account type, and input your server settings:
4. Now you will be greeted with some security clearance messages–click OK
5. Change the account options to your liking and activate the application as a device administrator
6. Now you can manage your Exchange account email, tasks and calendar all from your phone! You can change all your settings by hitting Menu > More > Account settings. Happy workin’!
So you just got that sweet new launcher that we wrote about, but oops, you accidentally set TouchWiz as your default launcher?
Well, if you are trying to reach the above pictured screen, here’s how:
1. Hit Menu > Settings > Applications:
2. Now select Manage Applications > Tab over to “All” > and scroll down to TwLauncher and select it:
3. Scroll down and select clear defaults > press the home button and choose which launcher to use from now on:
4. Rock out with your new launcher! If you switch launchers often, I would suggest using theHome Switcher App from Android Market
Did you know that your Samsung Galaxy S II has a built in FM radio tuner? Well, it does, and the best part is that it has a ton of features that will have radio junkies smiling!
If you navigate to your apps and look for “FM radio,” you will find a little tuner icon that launches the FM radio app on your Galaxy S II. To activate the radio you will need to turn it on using the power button in the top left corner, but before you can do this you have to plug in a pair of headphones. This is because the headphone wire acts as an antenna for the FM tuner.
From here you can use the knob to scan through each frequency, or you can use the arrow keys to seek between active channels. You can save stations by clicking the “+” icons along the bottom of the interface–you can store up to 8 preset stations which are shown 4 at a time and can be accessed by swiping left or right.
You can access the radio options by hitting the menu button:
- Via Speaker allows you to play the FM radio through your speaker rather than your headphones
- Alternative Frequency is an option that allows the receiver to re-tune to a different frequency (same station) in case the original signal becomes weak
- All Channels allows you to view a vertical scrolling list of your favorite stations
- Scan as the name implies, scans the radio waves for broadcasting stations
The settings panel allows you to toggle alternative frequency options, background running and display of station ID (song info, station name). There is also an option to activate a sleep mode by setting an auto-off timer.
I was browsing the interwebs looking for some interesting Galaxy S II tips when I came across a thread relating to the latest Android 2.3.5 update causing problems with the default Swype keyboard.
According to the OP (original poster), it looks like the update causes Swype to auto-insert words even when it is not intended:
Ever since the upgrade to 2.3.5 on my SII, swype has been acting strangely in some applications (or rather all other than Messaging, I think). Often when I try to delete something longer than two letters, the suggested word becomes inserted again directly after! For example, if I write “test” and try to delete from the end of the word, the text becomes “testest”, press delete again and it becomes “testestest” and so on.
Based on the user replies, it looks like the update has messed up Skype in some way causing it to fail as an input method for all sorts of apps however it looks like there seems to be a fix. Although clearing the cache for Swype didn’t seem to help, but simply switching the language settings from French to English fixed the issue. It appears that even users of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 who are facing this same problem have been able to fix the issue by toggling the language:
Thank you so much! I changed my samsung (tablet 8.9) to french opened swype and it worked fine, changed it back to english and it now behaves. My sanity is restored!
To switch the language settings, go to Menu > Settings > Language and keyboard
Select Swype settings > Language > Toggle between English and French
Hey guys, have you ever been in that situation where you want to add a new contact to your phone but dont have time to open up your address book, create a new contact, input their name, etc.? Let me show you how to quickly add that business contact (or guy/girl’s ;D) number without fumbling through a bunch of menus!
1. First you will need to have the contacts phone number. Next, open up your phone app (not contacts) and dial in the number–push the “Add to contacts” button that appears:
2. Select “Create contact,” save your contact to an appropriate location (use your Google account if you want the contact to sync in the future), add their name and presto! You are all done: