Samsung Galaxy S 4 software: What’s new?

With the Galaxy S 4, Samsung has adopted an Applesque policy of a tick-tock product iteration cycle. While Galaxy S III brought a new design language to the table which was adopted by almost the entire Samsung mobile portfolio, the Galaxy S 4 builds on the success of its predecessor and bring all the expected hardware iterations to the plate. That said, the real innovation Samsung is invoking is in the software of the Galaxy S 4. In fact, its adding so many features to Android that it’s now hard to call it Android as its Samsung’s custom TouchWiz experience.

To be honest it’s quite hard to keep a track of the number of new software features Samsung has added in the Galaxy S 4. Samsung has created a spec sheet monster of sorts and the moment one reads its feature list one is overwhelmed with the amount of stuff Samsung has crammed in the device.

We take a dive inside some of the signature Galaxy S 4 experiences that Samsung showcased at the press conference.

Dual-Shot - Dual shot is a feature in the camera of the Galaxy S 4 that activates both cameras and allows the users to create a picture-in-picture type result. The user can modulate the placement of the image in the small box and apply effects to them. This also works for video.

Sound Shot - The Sound Shot feature is similar to the Zoe camera feature in the HTC One. It allows the user to click an image with audio embedded in it.

Drama Shot - This feature allows the user to click 100 images in 4 seconds which in turn allows the user to create a collage.

Air Gesture - Air Gesture is a feature that allows the user to control the Galaxy S 4 with gestures. This feature comes in handy when the user is unable to touch the device, but still needs to control it.

Air View - Air View has basically been aped from the Galaxy Note II. This feature allows the user to hover his finger right above the display and control the device. Say the if one wants to modulate the playback of a movie or music. Air View on the Galaxy S 4 does not need the S-Pen and be used via the finger.

S-Translate - It allows the user to translate a spoken sentence into another language and it can also translate in text. This feature is available in 9 languages and currently Hindi is not part of the suite.

S-Health - The Galaxy S 4 is amongst the first devices to feature a thermometer and a pedometer. This comes to good use via S-Health which monitors the users movements, body temperature and daily habits. Samsung will also offer an accessory called the S-Band that will work via bluetooth with the S-Health app.

S-Travel- Samsung has tied up with Trip Advisor for an app that is pre-loaded on the Galaxy S 4. Not a lot has been revealed about the app, but presumably users will be able to book tickets from the app.

Knox - Samsung has embraced the Bring Your Own Device trend in the enterprise and it is taking BlackBerry head-on with Knox. It allows users to silo their personal content and professional content and give the phone a split personality of sorts.

Smart Scroll - Using Smart Scroll, users can scroll content on their phone without actually doing anything as the front camera is doing some face recognition antics to detect where you are actually looking and the user needs to tilt the phone to scroll.

Smart Pause - It automatically pauses content when the phone realizes the user is not looking at the display.

Group Play- Group Play allows users to share audio, video and pictorial content with fellow Galaxy S 4 users minus Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Apart from this it runs on Android 4.2 which makes it the first non-Nexus smartphone to do so. It also runs a new and cleaner version of TouchWiz, which is more configurable and easy to use.


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