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back to article Samsung Galaxy S 4: A slim stripper with palms hovering over its body

Modern smartphones are little more than promotional vehicles for manufacturer services, and the Galaxy S4 is a perfect example, arriving heavily laden with all the things Samsung thinks we should be doing with them. Like a respectable lapdancer, the Galaxy S4 responds to a roving eye and fingertips hovering over its slim body. …

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Unhappy

My note 1 has an in the air hover with the s pen working well.

eg, javascript running in chrome gets the onhover event when you hover with the pen fine.

Not a finger though.

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Build it and they will come

Good to see Samsung doing this - far better than waiting for others to come up with something and doing a "me too". It might not have the feature I personally want, but all the same - I'm glad they did it.

In today's climate (across all industries), it appears the ones making headway are the ones willing to take risks rather than play safe. Non-IT example: Ducati.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Build it and they will come

I'd much prefer open services that anyone can use, not just brand specific tosh that they are purposely limiting to their devices.

So much for open source and freedoms.

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Re: Build it and they will come

The IR transmitter wasn't mentioned here but for me, of the new/unique features in the S4 that is the most interesting for me.

A universal remote app that can control any TV in the house regardless of the little ones throwing the actual remote in the toybox/kitchen cabinet/under the couch/etc... not to mention the fun that could be had remote controlling devices in other circumstances.

Much easier than setting up a Pi as a web enabled IR blaster....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Build it and they will come

I'd much prefer free beer. Unfortunately somebody has to pay for all this R&D. If the price of that is vendor lock-in then that's their prerogative. The fact something isn't available for free doesn't make it tosh. Often quite the opposite.

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Re: Build it and they will come

Much easier than setting up a Pi as a web enabled IR blaster....

But less fun doing so...?

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Re: Build it and they will come

I guess Samsung is hoping that some developers will not realize (or care) which APIs are Samsung-specific (i.e. proprietary) and which will work across all of Android. Tall order - for now. But already Samsung represents a huge chunk of Android handsets. At some point, developers will just say f#c% it and write to those APIs hoping to differentiate themselves from other apps - even if they forego the ever shrinking non-Samsung Android market.

When a recent article reported that Google is worried about the increasing importance of Samsung in the Android market and that GOOG had discussions with other Android vendors on how to counter that, it showed that this is definitely a possibility.

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Re: Build it and they will come

In what way are Ducati taking risks that pay off?

Their previous MotoGP bikes were risks that didn't pay off. Their current MotoGP bike is a complete lack of risk and is still not paying off. Unless you want to consider using the same pos bike as last year a risk? Their current WSB / Superstock bike is based on the previous MotoGP bike concept and so far isn't looking all that clever.

Their actual retail range? Most of them are larger bore / updated versions of bikes they have been building for years. Admitedly they sell very successfully but I fail to see the risk taking.

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Re: Build it and they will come

If I were Google Id be worried by this (Samsung have too small a share on WP8 for MS to worry). Samsung is seeming to put a lot of effort into an OS agnostic ecosystem that they could easily port to Tizen which coupled with the fact surveys show consumers buy Galaxy phones because of the Galaxy brand, not because they are Android phones and Samsung is Google's biggest phone seller it looks like Samsung might just kick the leg away from Google's dinner table.

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Re: Build it and they will come @Thomas Wolfe

I saw a similar article... The one I read was parroting information from an interview conducted with Gene Munster (A senior analyst apparently) by a clearly Apple biased reporter from Bloomburg who actually said that he normally only covers Apple. At no point was there any mention of Google being worried Gene Munster mentioned that he thought Google might feel this way later down the line.

I took it as FUD in the same way that the claims of Android fragmentation becoming a serious issue are periodically trotted out.

Why would Google care that one vendor has the majority of the market anyway? We'll all still be using Google's services regardless of the vendor/manufacturer. If Samsung make the decision to fork android and try to lock everyone into their own services then I think many people would stop buying Samsung phones.

If Google were really worried then they would be using Motorola's hardware division to flood the market with Nexus devices to counter Samsung.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Build it and they will come

It doesn't seem to work for the mobile networks. All of their offerings are bad and nobody wants or uses them.

Imagine if the WWW had been limited to the computer it was developed on, everyone would have needed to buy a NeXT workstation and server to use it.

The reason email, www, usenet and other things are so widespread and useful is because they were Internet standards.

We need more open Internet standards, too much proprietary crap is being invented and then shelved.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Build it and they will come

Embrace, extend, extinguish. Who made a lot of money from that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Build it and they will come @Thomas Wolfe

Google could not afford to flood the market. Compared to Samsung they are a tiddler. As for forking Android, Apple already forked BSD to make iOS, and it did them no harm. Big enough market share and you can get away with a lot, Windows for instance.

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Stop

Re: Build it and they will come

Yes that's all very nice but that's not how intellectual property works. It's made by people who need to have to have things to sell so they can buy things so they can eat them so they won't die.

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FAIL

Re: Build it and they will come

No, but I have discovered to my dismay that the fact that something is proprietary does make it absolute tosh.

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Pint

@PikeyDawg

The IR transmitter is why I bought the original Sony Tablet S

Unfortunately it hasn't quite got the range to switch off the tv in the pub...

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Pint

Looking good.

This is a good way forward, as long as I can:

* Turn these experimental features off if I don't like them

* Override Samsung's apps and app store if I don't like them

* Install a custom ROM

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Re: Looking good.

Well said

Best thing I ever did to my S3 was flash a custom ROM (cyanogenmod) on to it.

It's now more stable and hasn't got a whole pile of samsung (crap) I never use on it

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Re: Looking good.

Cyanogenmod is excellent (running on Galaxy S2 Skyrocket for me)

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Re: Looking good.

@AceRimmer and you've lost MHL (which is the main reason I haven't switched to cyanogenmod on the i9300 S3) and the ability to touch focus with the flashlight on, among other issues.

You can turn off most of the Samsung specific additions on their phones by tweaking the settings, installing a new launcher, etc. but it won't turn it in to a Nexus. Certain parts of the system (notification drawer, appearance of dialogue boxes, etc.) are hardcoded and only changing ROM will change them.

Unfortunately, the Exynos drivers are closed-source and so certain features are less than optimal on open source ROMs. The US versions on Qualcomm chipsets tend to have better support.

Samsung have been good (read: better than a lot of the rest) at supporting their older phones though, with the S2 getting Jellybean updates and the S3 is meant to be getting a lot of the S4 software ported to it, where the specific S4 hardware isn't required.

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Re: Looking good.

@Argh

I don't even know what MHL is

I might have lost the ability to touch focus with the flashlight on but I don't miss it (never used it to be honest)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looking good.

Group play!

Does this include orgies?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Looking good.

But can someone please enlighten me

What is the UK's average screen size for a smart phone?

Will the mine is bigger than yours become a male obsession?

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Time

'Like a stripper with palms hovering over its body'

Great, now I have to wait 4 hours before I can do anything about that mental image. Luckily I pass a strip club on the way home.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Time

I really should object to these sexist, objectifying headlines, which reinforce IT industry gender stereotypes, but they're part of what makes us British.

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Devil

Re: Time

It is a red top after all

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Re: ribosome

Could be a male stripper...

...yeah I don't believe that either.

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Trollface

@ribosome

Thanks for making my head assplode ;)

I can't decide whether to downvote you for raising the political correctness or upvote you for taking the piss out of it!

I'll assume from the tenor of your post that you're opposed to that brand of anti-sexual PC tripe and give you an upvote along with the benefit of the doubt...

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Personally the biggest problem I have with Samsung handsets at the moment is them apparently cramming their unlocked handsets with apps that I have no interest in - especially since they seem for the most part aimed at German users (presumably when I bought my handset from Expansys it came from there - it was labeled as the European version but with a UK plug if memory serves).

The problem is these apps get re-installed with each update, even if I had previously uninstalled them. Add to this the broad nature of the permissions* coupled with the lack of any opportunity to not install them beyond refusing the update and I end up with the sort of situation I try to avoid by not buying operator provided handsets.

Oh well...

(*) One of the apps for example has the following assigned to it: PRECISE LOCATION (GPS AND NETWORK-BASED), FULL NETWORK ACCESS, READ YOUR CONTACTS, READ PHONE, STATUS AND IDENTITY, VIEW NETWORK CONNECTIONS, VIEW WI-FI CONNECTIONS, RECEIVE DATA FROM INTERNET, READ CALL LOG - and also starts automatically when the handset is switched on and can modify USB storage.

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"...the broad nature of the permissions..."

That seems to be the rule rather than the exception these days. I'm wondering how much of this is due to the app itself and how much is the result of the GooCruft (tm) 1.0 (beta) shiteware that always seems to be embedded, even on the non ad-supported stuff.

I was fairly surprised to see that the current version of Chrome now requires full access to the phone side of things (WTF for?). Back using the stock browser now.

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Good to know. For a brief time (for 9 months) I switched from iPhone to Android (Samsung Galaxy S2) and could not stand all the preloaded stuff - especially since some of it actually seemed to consume my most precious resource at the time: battery (presumably because these apps used the cell network to report back to home base :-(

When ICS came out I was at least able to disable these apps. I had no idea that you could not remove any of these apps with an unlocked phone (I guess Samsung considers them "built-in" apps - in iOS there are less than a handful of these - e.g. "Weather" - so it's not as annoying, I guess).

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"Add to this the broad nature of the permissions* coupled with the lack of any opportunity to not install them beyond refusing the update"

Go into settings -> applications -> <insert name of app here> select "disable" - app no longer runs and the setting persists as long as you don't do a factory reset.

For permissions management get a free privacy app like LBE Privacy Guard - it lets you turn on and off all permissions individually for each app, including system apps.

Its nice to have options :-)

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Ooo matron

Yes, please do keep the tiresome sex puns coming. They are very funny and don't make you sound immature or perverted.

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jai
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Re: Ooo matron

welcome to El Reg, you're new here are you?

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@Ali on the Reg

Yes, please do keep the tiresome political correctness coming. It is very funny and doesn't make you sound sanctimonious or judgmental.

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Anonymous Coward

But

Does it make phone calls? Its a phone, first, isnt it ?

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Re: But

I don't know what your lifestyle is like but for me the phone is definitely a minor part of the functionality, something I use < 5%. I guess this is where they get the 'Life Companion' from, trying to break away from the 'Smar tPHONE' moniker and trying to avoid the old acronyms like PDA etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But

My phone does Gbytes a month on wifi, hundreds of Mbytes of data, hundreds of texts and I've never got near my minutes allowance.

I once read an article in Wireless World about how we missed the chance after WW2 to build a data rather than a voice network because the Post Office didn't grasp the opportunity that Colossus, Typex and the like had created. Well, now we've done it. And messaging is just so much less intrusive than voice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But

If you are not using your phone to make calls you need to get out more and make friends.

We have a social circle and team policy, no emails, no texting, making phone calls is the only acceptable way to arrange events.

It makes you feel you are still human and has none of the ambiguities of a poorly worded emal or text.

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No good...

Manufacturer-provided pre-loaded apps are usually horrible. Unless Samsung are foresighted enough to make APIs available that are generic enough so that other manufacturers can include them as part of their Android distributions on phones which have similar features and which any developer can use to build apps with, these new shiny ideas will never catch on.

Not forgetting that the chances of Google letting any manufacturer include their stuff in Android are between remote and non-existent. Google's always called the tune and that's not going to change. In a couple of years time you could even imagine online tech rags calling on Google to let Android go from its stifling clutches.

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Re: No good...

"Unless Samsung are foresighted enough to make APIs available that are generic enough so that other manufacturers can include them as part of their Android distributions on phones which have similar features and which any developer can use to build apps with, these new shiny ideas will never catch on."

No one seems to think Apple restricting everything from other manufacturers is a problem, and Samsung sell more phones than Apple, so there's plenty of Samsung only potential customers for developers to chase.

Its up to other manufacturers to match those and come up with innovations of their own to pass Samsung feature-wise - isn't competition great?

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Windows

Re: No good...

I'm not denying competition is great, but remember when there were several TCP/IP stacks for Windows 3.1? Innovation on the application side consisted in making your application work with all of them.

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Anonymous Coward

sick of it

Appalling re-shapes an existing idea and the unwashed sing and dance and cheer “Oh Appalling, you’re so good, great and true. No one can innovate like thee.” Typical dumb ‘cains.

Samsung innovates and the unwashed cry out that their innovations are rubbish, until they realise what can be done (i.e. waiting for a killer application of said innovation, instead of finding out for themselves).

Why is it the same old story day in and day out?

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Devil

Re: sick of it

@ Obviously!

"Why is it the same old story day in and day out?"

Just to piss you off...

...Obviously!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: sick of it

There does seem to be a lot of patriotic South Koreans posting on the Internet at the moment, but I suppose it's a change from all the Californians. And the Canadian who must spend his entire waking life trying to boost BlackBerry.

It's a pity we pissed away all our phone makers, isn't it? Designing the processors and the graphics isn't quite the same.

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Ooooh, an IR port

Just like I had on Pocket PC 2002.

And Windows Mobile 2003.

And 5.

And 6.

And Maemo.

Well done for bringing us this revolutionary new tech, Samsung! I shall sit here and watch with the bemusement I normally reserve for Apple, as everyone praises you for inventing decades-old technology.

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Coffee/keyboard

Video Clip

... or you haven't seen it!

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Anonymous Coward

Whelp, here we are

Android fans have been holding up Samsung as the gold standard of innovation and constantly criticize Apple for not having done anything new since the iPhone 4.

And now we see the results of a year's worth of innovation at Samsung: a screen that's a tiny fraction of an inch bigger, with an increase in pixel density that literally can't be seen by human eyeballs. The rear camera gets a huge increase in resolution that likely only makes it worse, at least in low-light situations. Oh, and it has a barometer sensor. Breathtaking indeed.

But I don't mean this as criticism. Frankly I'm glad companies have all but announced that there will only be incremental improvements from now on so we can finally skip all the flame wars about which phone company "innovates" the most.

(Although I would really like somebody to FINALLY "innovate" a good electronic wallet, to pay for things, store coupons and tickets, store ID/membership cards, store business cards, store receipts, etc. Apple's Passbook app is a farce and I assume Google's attempt is too, since I never see anybody using it.

I would also like to see somebody make a good fingerprint scanner because pressing the home button, swiping, and entering a passcode takes up a significant amount of my day that I would like back, please.)

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Re: Whelp, here we are

Wow.. comparing "an extra row of icons and wallpapers" to "IR, wallet, video conferencing, gallery creations, a kick ass processor, eye sensors, NFC wallet, more sensors than you can shake a leg at and a bunch of other innovations".

No wonder you post anonymously.

Change the wallpaper in your iPhone to something less green..

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