How to use motion features on your Samsung Galaxy S3

One of the less-documented features of Samsung's Galaxy S3 is motion control, which allows you to do various activities through tilting your handset and making use of shortcuts.

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With a host of unique features on the Galaxy S3 such as S Voice and AllShare, Samsung is looking to stand out from the rest of the Android crowd. Less documented among them is motion control, which allows you to do various activities through tilting your handset and making use of shortcuts.

To activate motion control, navigate to Settings > Motion, and toggle the switch to enable it. As there are a lot of motion features available, you can choose to use individual ones and leave others that you're less interested in disabled. Here are a few that you should look out for.

Motion controls on Samsung Galaxy S3.
Screenshot by CNET UK

1. Palm swipe to screenshot
Taking a screenshot on Android phones is an effort at the best of times. There's no built-in screenshot function in the operating system, so it's up to third-party manufacturers to implement it themselves. Samsung has chosen to do this using what it calls a hand gesture. Simply take your hand and swipe it across the screen and your phone will take a screenshot.

2. Palm touch to pause music
If you use the Galaxy S3's built-in music player, there's a really easy way to quickly pause the track you're currently listening to. Take your palm and place it on top of the screen and anything that's currently playing will stop straight away.

3. Turn over to mute incoming calls
If you're in a meeting and want to make sure that your phone is on silent, this is a great little shortcut. Simply place your phone on a surface, screen down, and all incoming calls and sounds will be muted until you turn it back over again.

4. Pan to move icon

Motion controls on Samsung Galaxy S3.
Screenshot by CNET UK

If you're cleaning up your home screen and want to move some items around, you might want to enable the "Pan to move icon" feature. With this enabled, you can tap and hold an icon and switch home screens by tilting your phone left and right.

As you can see from the picture above, there are more minor motion features available that might be useful to you, including shaking your device to check for updates or tilting the phone to zoom in or out of photos and Web pages. Take a look at the complete list on your Galaxy S3 and play around with the ones you think will regularly come in handy. If you have any favorites I haven't mentioned, let me know in the comments below.

Originally published as How to use motion features on your Samsung Galaxy S3 on CNET UK.

About the author

    John Thompson has been addicted to technology ever since he tinkered with his custom built PC when he was 10 years old. He has been the proud owner of seven Amazon Kindles, but only because he accidentally destroyed the first six. John is a freelance journalist and is not an employee of CNET.

     

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