Ethereal Landscape: The Perk of Outdoor Exercise

Ethereal moments like this are neither rare nor common in Brunei but it helps to be camera-equipped when they do  appear. Which is why I make sure my Samsung Galaxy S3 is within reach whenever I would go hiking at the Sungai Liang forestry park. This evening rolled like any other day — wife got home from work, changed and off we went — a twenty five minute drive — to where we regularly hike. As soon as we got out in the open, a short uphill climb revealed this magnificent landscape: combination of rays of light, heavy silhouetted trees and a fiery horizon so awesome I would kick myself silly if for any reason I did not have my phone with me or that battery was so low camera use was disabled. That would suck but maybe some day, just not today.
shimworld-sungai-liang-ethereal

8% Battery Life Left on Samsung Galaxy S3 After 48 Hours

The Samsung Galaxy S3 has incredible battery life — it’s ability to charge fast and lasts an entire day (well, at least for me) is unprecedented especially when everyone around you who uses an iPhone is charging theirs several times a day (to be fair, they use their phones a lot more than I do on a day to day basis, maybe even hourly to hourly). I have very few apps installed, namely Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Snapseed, Instagram, AirDroid, Google Keep, Whatsapp, and zero games. Along with those, I have a long list of bundled apps and services disabled (screenshots below).

S3-Homescreen

Then came this piece of news about Facebook draining iPhone battery life I couldn’t help but suspect that the app is also doing the same on Android. So I did a test and monitored my phone’s battery over not 24 hour but 48 hour period to see just how far it would go on a single charge. Cutting a long story short, the screenshot below shows 8% battery life after 2 full days of normal use (emails, Whatsapp, camera, AirDroid to transfer pictures wirelessly to desktop PC). It should be noted that I’m not running any battery saving app nor is the phone set to Power Saving Mode.

Having concluded this test, it was time to have Facebook back on the phone but not the app. I now run Facebook via stock web browser with a launch shortcut added to the Home screen. There are upsides to running Facebook web, one of which is the ability to edit comments. If your S3 has miserable battery life, I hope this helps.

Caution: Take care when disabling apps or services. For instance, I have found when apps such as S-Voice is disabled and no lock screen is configured, pressing the Home button to wake the phone closes the last app window and returns to the Home screen. In the event that happens to you, see if this helps and and also this.

S3-1 S3-2 S3-3 S3-4

Stream Video, Music and Photos from Samsung Galaxy S3 to Your Computer

Yes, you read that right. Your Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone just got smarter with the help of a free app called AirDroid. You can now very easily download large number of high resolution images stored on the phone, stream MP3 and HD videos to your Windows PC browser. I’ll spare you the introduction to the App itself and jump right into the app’s screenshots — nothing more convincing than a visual tease.

“The AirDroid Android app should be compatible with most Android devices running Android 2.1 or later. The Web Desktop should be compatible with most modern web browsers, including IE 8 or later, Chrome 12 or later, Firefox 3.6 or later, Safari 5.0 or later. Support for mobile browsers, like Safari on iPad, is experimental.” — AirDroid

AirDroid-S3-WP2

Along with some nice configurable settings, I particularly like how you can predefine a password instead of having to enter a randomly generated especially if you’re going to use this app several times a day.

AirDroid-S3-WP3

You can use AirDroid to send/receive SMS (text messages, if supported by the device), install/uninstall apps, transfer files between Android device and computer/tablet, and manage contacts, photos, music, videos, and ringtones, etc., all in a web browser.

AirDroid-S3-WP

Here’s a actual screenshot of my desktop with user friendly interface to manage my phone’s picture Gallery – choose a single image or batch download many (multiple images are automatically zipped)

AirDroid-S3-WP4A

Just for kicks, I streamed a HD Gangnam Style Live Concert video from the phone to my Dell 27-inch LCD and the QuickTime playback was buttery smooth. While the video was playing I attempted to multi-task by playing an MP3 track and viewing the photo gallery simultaneously – all possible.