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Listener emails From Ian:
Hey guys, I managed to get hold of a Galaxy S4 pretty soon after launch day (got it on Monday – launch was pushed back a day to Saturday in the UK, although some people got theirs on Friday), and thought you’d be interested in my take on the new Samsung flagship. I was upgrading from a Galaxy S2, and the wife has a Galaxy S3, so this wasn’t the same sort of groundshaking change as my last upgrade (from an iPhone 3GS to the Galaxy S2), but my initial impressions have been extremely positive.
I had upgraded my GS2 to Jelly Bean weeks before getting this handset, so was familiar with plenty of the features that I hadn’t used as much. You’re familiar with Google Now, which is surprisingly useful in London (especially when the Underground breaks, knowing which buses to get and where will end up being a lifesaver).
Touchwiz is the same as before; not too overbearing, but the omission of weather notifications on the lock screen is puzzling, given that the GS2 and GS3 had this. A job for DashClock, then! The settings screen has been redesigned, but some of the new additions, such as Air Gesture are hit and miss – Smart Scroll doesn’t like people who wear glasses, it seems, whilst Air View is like the pop-out video gimmick from the S3, in that it only works in certain applications.
One of the coolest features is one of the least hyped in my mind. If you’ve ever gone through the hassle of editing a certain part of a song to use as a ringtone or alarm tone, then those days are gone. “Auto recommendation” automatically selects the best part of a music file if you want to use it as a ringtone – with a pretty good success rate. No more will you have to wrestle with Audacity. Unless you want to.
In terms of an upgrade, I’d say the screen is the only major difference between the S3 and S4, with the processor and memory being a slight bump, but if you’re upgrading from any older handsets, you’d be a fool not to pick this, unless you happen to be a fan of HTC’s Sense overlays.
You can quit here, but longer explanations follow…
TouchWiz hasn’t changed too much from previous devices – one main change is in the settings screen, where things are split into four sections – “Connections” (for Wifi connections, Bluetooth, NFC, etc), “My device” (customise lock screen, notification sounds, power saving), “Accounts” (to manage sync options) and “More” (location services, app manager, battery, etc). For a novice, this seems to be a good idea for helping people not get lost in a sea of options.
Part of the distinguishing features are the Samsung “S apps” – stuff like S Voice, S Health, S Translator, S Memo. I’ve hardly used these before (S Memo seems to be best for keeping notes of things, like a large food/drink order at a bar when watching the game). S Translate seems like it would come in useful when you’re abroad, especially if you’re nowhere near a Wifi hotspot and don’t want to get hit by data fees (the S apps don’t use any data whatsoever), but this is very limited by the voice recognition aspect of it. Unless you fancy spending a lot of time typing out stuff, you’d better hope that the Samsung “gets” your accent. For people from the north east of England like myself (and Chris Oldroyd, for example), this will be a struggle. This technology is used again the Optical Reader app, which will translate individual words based on what the camera sees, but it’s not great at huge chunks of text, so translating, say, a menu will be strictly a word-for-word experience.
Overall, I’d say the S4 is a worthy upgrade for just about anyone – and the fact that the UK model is 4G ready (only one network in the UK, called EE, currently offers it, but Vodafone and O2 will be rolling theirs out later this year) means that you’re not upgrading to a handset that’ll be out of date by the end of the year.
Listener voicemails Chris Oldroyd
New Nexus 4 – app recommendations? Google calendar sharing?
Casting Couch Bill – UFC 159, The Following
Geoff – The Following, UFC 159, Defiance PC, Alan Wake’s American Nightmare, Defiance TV
Patrick – Iron Man 3!, Lego Lord of the Rings
Picks of the week Bill – Glow Hockey 2
Geoff – Beans ROM 14 for VZW Note 2
Patrick – Stargate SG-1 Unleashed (iOS)
1. Michelle. Or the one with the gun. Which is probably all of them.
2. Uh VIC hands down
4. Least favorite is Nic Ballious!
5. Definitely Vic. No more cownsoles. Sent from my iPhone
6. Definitely Vic Webb. Nobody cares about his zero inbox, his retweets of the most obvious tech stories, windows phone or anything else that he rambles on about. Thanks, “The lets keep this anonymous Guru”
7. It’s a hard call between Nic and Vic, but I’m gonna have to say Vic just for the simple fact that for the longest time he would never shut up about windows.
We are now on Google Currents, and the Windows Phone Store!
You can also email us email@example.com
Call us 203-903-CAST
Listener emails Dear Simulcast(ers?)
Been away for a while, but back now to torment you with long winded mails again. Recently bought an Asus u38n laptop and a Samsung ssd and thought I’d let the recovery function reinstall win8 to the ssd while mounted through a USB case, but here’s the problem:
There’s no option to reinstall…Only reset, as if it is some kind of cell phone. And no optical disks either. It’s been almost two years now since I last owned a pc, so I’m out of practice. Is it possible to copy the original drive on to the ssd? How, and through which program? And will i get everything copied so the system sees no difference from the old disk?
Still a faithful listener of your show, so keep up the good work and I hope you can help me here.
Kind regards, Arne, somewhere in the Mediterranean
Ps. The e in my name is pronounced the same way as in “the”. Just think “the long winded one”…
Tweets @clayrussell: @TheSimulcast Roundtable question for show tomorrow night. Your launcher of choice and why. Thanks guys. So many options.
Casting Couch Bill – UFC Patrick – Game of Thrones, Duck Dynasty, Vikings, Wreck-It-Ralph Dave – Jurassic Park 1 and 2, Hannibal, Spartacus Series Finale, Game of thrones Geoff – The Following, Defiance, Dishonored, Alan Wake American Nightmare
Picks of the week Bill -RoundR Patrick – Wreck-It-Ralph Dave – Ember Media Manager,Remote System Monitor Geoff – Defiance
Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of who is your least favorite Gadget Guru. If we get a healthy response, we’ll chime in with ours too!
Bill – Django, The Girl Next Door Patrick – Wreck It Ralph, Lego Lord of the Rings, Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase One Dave – Vikings,Game of thrones, Battlefield 3 Geoff – The Walking Dead Game, The Following, The Americans
Picks of the week
Bill - PushBullet, RavPower 10400 mAh external battery pack Patrick – Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Sneak Peek Video Dave – ShowRSS Geoff -Steam App
Casting Couch Bill – Wreck-It Ralph Patrick – Lego: Harry Potter Yrs 5-7, Gi Joe: Retaliation, Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase One Dave – This is 40 , Vikings Geoff – The Following, Shoot Many Robots, Arma III