How to use motion features on your Samsung Galaxy S3

From muting incoming calls by turning your S3 over to grabbing screenshots, try exploring the new Samsung Galaxy's nifty motion settings.

John Thompson
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.
John Thompson
2 min read

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.

1. Palm swipe to screenshot

Samsung Galaxy S3 motion settings 2

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

Samsung Galaxy S3 motion settings 1

If you're spring cleaning 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 pic above, there are lots more minor motion features available that may or may not be useful to you -- 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 favourites I haven't mentioned, let me know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.