Samsung unveils the Galaxy S 4's software tricks: camera modes, Story Album, S Voice Drive and more

Samsung is revealing what Smart software additions the Galaxy S 4 will bring to the table, and they're well beyond what's been rumored. The camera is one of the biggest focuses, borrowing much from the Galaxy Camera: Cinema Photo captures still images with moving backgrounds, a Drama Shot burst mode that creates animated GIFs, an Eraser mode to remove unwanted background subjects, and a Sound & Shot mode that puts audio in the background of still images. A Story Album automatically creates photo albums (including ones you can print via Blurb) based on common details such as location and time. And did we mention that it can shoot photos and video from both the front and back cameras at the same time?

That's just the start. AirView now works with your finger, rather than a pen, and is effective right from the lock screen. Adapt Display and Adapt Sound automatically tune the picture and speakers for varying viewing conditions, and WatchOn uses a built-in IR blaster to tune your TV. S Translator, meanwhile, will take both spoken and written words and translate them through several languages, inside of multiple apps. S Voice has been upgraded to S Voice Drive to let drivers get navigation, find points of interest and otherwise interact with the phone without having to take any hands off the wheel. S Health, which Samsung initially mentioned last year, is around to track calories and steps through accessories such as S band, a body scale and a heart rate monitor.

Like to do things that involve more than one person? There's more still. ChatOn has been upgraded to support video chat, and Group Play both allows for sharing songs in a surround mode or playing local multiplayer games -- when it's supported, that is. All told, there's a small deluge of new features that could amount to a lot, even excluding new hands-free elements like Smart Scroll. Check after the break for a quick preview video and the press release.


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Samsung Previews Samsung Hub and New Content Services on GALAXY S 4 at Unpacked

Samsung Hub, an integrated multimedia content store, will provide consumers with a sophisticated magazine-style viewing experience

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today at GALAXY S 4 Unpacked, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. unveiled a suite of exciting new content services including Samsung Hub, an integrated multimedia content store offering a comprehensive media experience, providing music, videos, books, games and learning content within a stunning magazine-style display.

Samsung Hub will provide a single entry for Samsung's five content services, making it incredibly easy and convenient to use. You can browse through a variety of content across services, as well as purchase and manage content easily, from a single Samsung Account. Samsung Hub features an integrated search -- when you browse a keyword, the results will show related content from all of the five services at once. Always seeking to provide a unique and fun experience for users, Samsung will also be introducing various promotional events on a regular basis.

Samsung WatchON, introduced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, is Samsung's 'Video Discovery' service, aimed at providing a faster and easier way to watch live TV programs and on demand video content while using a mobile device. One of the unique features of Samsung WatchON is that it can transform a connected mobile device into a universal remote control, allowing users to search for live TV programs through a guide and then view those selections on their connected Samsung SMART TVs. Samsung WatchON also provides multi-screen capabilities, recommendations, one-stop search functionality, and social sharing functionality.

Samsung Apps is a newly updated service that provides search functionality for applications in Samsung Apps, which are specialized for Samsung devices, and Google Play, as well.

Samsung ChatON for GALAXY S 4 offers a holistic communication experience by combining fun and creative text messaging with a high quality mVoIP/Video Chatting service. You can enjoy high quality video and voice chat with up to two friends on a WiFi and mobile network, as well as easily switching from text chat to video/voice chat and vice versa. The 'Dual Camera' feature, which allows both rear and front cameras to take simultaneous photos and videos, means you can now also share both images during a video call. And for the ultimate sharing experience, the 'Share Screen' feature enables you to share your phone screen and the ability to control this with a friend during a one-to-one call, without having to download and upload files to their device. In addition, translation in ChatON, called 'S Translator,' supports you to enjoy the 1:1 chat with friends using different languages. Received messages from buddies can be translated automatically and manually into your language and also translation is possible when you send messages to your buddies. This translation function in ChatON is available only in the GALAXY S 4.

Group Play enables users to experience sharing photos, music, documents and games with their friends wherever they are, without the need for a network environment. Preloaded game content will be provided on the GALAXY S 4. Samsung is opening its SDK to the public, encouraging more partner development companies to develop various types of games in the future, further embracing its philosophy of innovation conceived by people in order to inspire them in return.

The GALAXY S 4 is the world's first device to preload Visa's payWave function into the embedded secure element, which can be used by both MNOs and banks; more payment applets from multiple brands are planned to be preloaded into the embedded secure element in the coming months. NFC payments will be commercially available on the GALAXY S 4 on a global basis using the embedded secure element, in addition to using the SIM-based secure element.

"These exciting new content services are designed to offer our users the best content usage experience of our industry today. Our focus is on continually innovating across a diverse range of products and services that meet the expectation of users," said Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, President and Head of Samsung Media Solution Center.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in technology, opening new possibilities for people everywhere. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, LTE systems, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 236,000 people across 79 countries with annual sales exceeding KRW 201 trillion. To discover more, please visit

Blurb announces a global partnership with Samsung for auto-creating stunning photo books and magazines

Samsung GALAXY S 4 users can now instantly convert their digital photos into rich print memories that last a lifetime

SAN FRANCISCO, March 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Blurb, the global creative publishing platform, today announces its partnership with Samsung Electronics to power worldwide book and magazine print production and fulfillment within Story Album for Samsung GALAXY S 4, Samsung's newly announced flagship smartphone. Users of Samsung GALAXY S 4 will be able to automatically create professional quality print photo books and magazines quickly and seamlessly from their camera phone images.

"People love the convenience and immediacy of camera phone imagery, but they also prize the beauty and permanence of print media," said Eileen Gittins , Blurb's CEO and Founder. "As our lives become increasingly digital, people are genuinely appreciating the value of physical artifacts," Gittins continued. "By combining the remarkable image quality that the GALAXY S 4 offers with the easy production of books and magazines that Blurb brings, everyone gets the best of digital and analog."

Until now, there has not been a simple and elegant way to curate and design, and then order a book or magazine directly from the smartphone itself. Samsung and Blurb teamed up to solve this problem via the pre-installed Story Album and its auto-generated layouts that instantly convert into print-worthy publications.

"The Samsung GALAXY S 4 is equipped with the superb quality camera and unique, sophisticated features maximizing the usage of photography experiences," said Chan-Woo Park , Vice President of Product Strategy Team at Samsung. "We expect our customers will want to output their beautiful images into equally beautiful books and magazines. Our partnership with Blurb will provide the top-of-the-class experience for our customers."

Blurb brings Samsung massive capacity and redundancy via its six print locations on three continents, support for the world's major currencies and languages, and deep shipping and logistics expertise. Blurb is already a global company having delivered more than 6.5 million books to 70 countries to date, with half of its revenues currently generated outside the United States.

Like Blurb on Facebook, and follow on Twitter. For more information on how you can get started creating your own Blurb book or magazine, please visit