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Hands-on with Samsung Galaxy S4's Group Play features (pictures)

The Korean electronics giant has added a few new features to its sharing app, including the ability to listen to friends' music and play games.

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CNET Reviews staff
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1 of 8 Shara Tibken/CNET

Icon see it now

Rather than navigation through kludgy settings toolbars, you launch Group Play on the Galaxy S4 by clicking an icon located among other apps.
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2 of 8 Shara Tibken/CNET

Sharing is caring

Group Play makes it easy to form groups. Clicking on "create group" sets up a Wi-Fi access point for all other devices participating. Others can take part by clicking "join group." The device will automatically search for and connect to an existing group through its Wi-Fi access point. Group leaders have the option to set up a password.
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3 of 8 Shara Tibken/CNET

Password protected

To make sure not just anyone is accessing your photos and music, Group Play has a password feature. Group leaders have to set it up and share the information with other participants.
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4 of 8 Shara Tibken/CNET

Music, gaming hit Group Play

The new-and-improved Group Play includes games and music along with photos and documents. A box in the top-right-hand corner tells you how many people are connected.
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5 of 8 Shara Tibken/CNET

Picture perfect

Photo sharing is a feature held over from Group Play on the Galaxy S3. You can select one or more photos to share, and you can also draw on the image or make notes. Each person will show up as a different color to avoid confusion.
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Loading. Still loading

After selecting what photos to share, it can take a little while for them to appear on other devices.
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7 of 8 Shara Tibken/CNET

Silent disco time

Group Play allows you to share music, synchronizing the playback so friends can have a silent disco by plugging in their headphones or set up a sort of surround-sound music concert. One phone acts as the left speaker, another the right, and so on and so forth.
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8 of 8 Shara Tibken/CNET

Wanna race?

Gaming is another feature added to Group Play for the Galaxy S4. Right now, the number of games available are pretty limited. Gun Bros 2 and Asphalt 7 are a couple that have been specifically adapted for the GS4. Samsung plans to release an SDK for other game developers to jump on board with simultaneous, social gameplay.

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