Introduction - Samsung Galaxy S7 For Dummies (2016)

Samsung Galaxy S7 For Dummies (2016)


The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are powerful smartphones, perhaps the most powerful mobile phones ever sold. As of the publication of this book, the Galaxy S7s are the standard against which all other Android-based phones are measured.

Each cellular carrier offers a slightly customized version of the Galaxy S7 line-up. Some phones from cellular carriers come out of the box with preloaded applications, games, or files. Some come with accessories, such as a corded headset; others don’t. This book doesn’t dwell on these kinds of differences.

The name for each network is different, these phones are largely the same. (At least one marketing person at each cellular carrier is cringing as you read this.) This similarity allows me to write this book in a way that covers the common capabilities.

At a more core level, these phones are built for high-speed wireless communications. The cellular carriers have spent kajillions upgrading their networks to offer more coverage and better data speeds than their competition. Again, this book doesn’t dwell on these differences in network technology because they don’t really make much difference. (Again, at least one engineering person at each cellular carrier is cringing as you read this.)

Similarly, most of the capabilities of the Galaxy S7 Edge, with the cool curved screen, and the Galaxy S7 with the cool flat screen, are identical. Some apps take advantage of the S7 Edge’s ability to display content when the phone is lying flat. Most apps do not. When there is an important distinction between the S7 and the S7 Edge, I will mention it. Otherwise, I will just call the phone the Galaxy S7.

I assume that you already have a Galaxy S7, and I just hope that you have good coverage where you spend more of your time with your phone. If so, you’ll be fine. If not, you need to switch to another network; otherwise, the experience with your phone will be frustrating. I would advise you to return your phone to that carrier and buy your Galaxy S7 at another cellular carrier. As long as you have good cellular data coverage, owning a Samsung Galaxy S7 will be an exciting experience!

First, in much the same way that different brands of PCs are all based on the Microsoft Windows operating system, all Galaxy S phones use the Google Android platform. The good news is that the Android platform has proven to be widely popular, even more successful than Google originally expected when it first announced Android in November 2007. More people are using Android-based phones, and more third parties are writing applications. This is good news because it offers you more options for applications (more on this in Chapter 8 on the Play Store, where you buy applications).

In addition, all Galaxy S7 phones use a powerful graphics processor, employ Samsung’s Super AMOLED touchscreen, and are covered in Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The superior screen experience differentiates this product line from other Android phones. Because of these enhanced capabilities, you can navigate around the screen with multi-touch screen gestures instead of the hierarchical menus found on lesser Android phones. Plus, the videos look stunning from many angles.

Smartphones are getting smarter all the time, and the Galaxy S7 is one of the smartest. However, just because you’ve used a smartphone in the past doesn’t mean you should expect to use your new Galaxy S7 without a bit of guidance.

You may not be familiar with using a multi-touch screen, and your new phone offers a lot of capabilities that you may or may not be familiar with. It would be unfortunate to find out from a kid in the neighborhood that the phone you’ve been carrying around for several months could solve a problem you’ve been having because you were never told that the solution was in your pocket the whole time.

In fact, Samsung is proud of the usability of its entire Galaxy line-up — and proud that the user’s manual is really just a quick start guide. You can find lots of instructions on the web. However, you have to know what you don’t know to get what you want unless you plan to view every tutorial.

That’s where this book comes in. This book is a hands-on guide to getting the most out of your Galaxy S7.

About This Book

This book is a reference — you don’t have to read it from beginning to end to get all you need out of it. The information is clearly organized and easy to access. You don’t need thick glasses to understand this book. This book helps you figure out what you want to do — and then tells you how to do it in plain English.

I don’t use many conventions in this book, but here are a few you should know about:

· Whenever I introduce a new term, I put it in italics and define it shortly thereafter.

· I use bold for the action parts of numbered steps, so you can easily see what you’re supposed to do.

· I use monofont for web addresses and email addresses, so they stand out from the surrounding text. If you’re reading this as an e-book, these links are live and clickable. Note: When this book was printed, some web addresses may have needed to break across two lines of text. If that happened, rest assured that we haven’t put in any extra characters (such as hyphens) to indicate the break. So, when using one of these web addresses, just type exactly what you see in this book, pretending that the line break doesn’t exist.

What You’re Not to Read

I think you’ll find every last word of this book scintillating, but I may be a little biased. The truth is, you don’t have to read

· Sidebars: Sidebars are those gray boxes throughout the book. They’re interesting, but not essential to the topic at hand, so if you’re short on time (or you want only the information you absolutely need), you can skip them.

· Text marked with the Technical Stuff icon: For more on this icon, see the “Icons Used in This Book” section, later in this Introduction.

Foolish Assumptions

You know what they say about assuming, so I don’t do much of it in this book. But I do make a few assumptions about you:

· You have a Galaxy S7 phone. You may be thinking about buying a Galaxy S7 phone, but my money’s on your already owning one. After all, getting your hands on the phone is the best part!

· You’re not totally new to mobile phones. You know that your Galaxy S7 phone is capable of doing more than the average phone, and you’re eager to find out what your phone can do.

· You’ve used a computer. You don’t have to be a computer expert, but you at least know how to check your email and surf the web.

How This Book Is Organized

The 18 chapters in this book are divided into six parts. Here’s what you can find in each part.

Part 1: Getting Started with the Samsung Galaxy S7

The first part of this book gets you familiar with the basic capabilities of your Galaxy S7 phone. Chapters 1 and 2 are an introduction to everything from turning it on and off to managing battery life.

Part 2: Communications

In this part, I walk you through the basic capabilities of the Galaxy S7 for communicating with voice, texts, and email. Chapter 3 is about making calls. Chapter 4 covers what you need to know about texting. Chapter 5 covers emailing, and Chapter 6 explores how the phone works with your Contacts database.

Part 3: Live on the Internet: Going Mobile

This part is all about the Internet — how to access it from your Galaxy S7 phone. I also introduce you to the Play Store, where you can trick out your phone with more apps.

Part 4: Entertainment Applications

An important use for many smartphone owners involves entertainment. Chapter 9 covers the impressive picture-taking capabilities of your phone, but really covers only some of the capabilities. Chapter 10 looks at the impressive gaming capabilities; Chapter 11 explores navigating to all the fun places you can go in the real world; and Chapter 12 walks you through playing music and video on your phone.

Part 5: Productivity Applications

In this part, I cover the capabilities of the Galaxy S7 smartphone that make you more productive at home and work.

Part 6: The Part of Tens

This wouldn’t be a For Dummies book without a Part of Tens. In this book, the Part of Tens covers ten ways to customize the phone to make it truly your own, how to keep your information safe, and ten capabilities to look for in future releases.

Icons Used in This Book

Throughout this book, I used icons (little pictures in the margin) to draw your attention to various types of information. Here’s a key to what those icons mean:

tip This whole book is like one big series of tips. When I share especially useful tips and tricks, I mark them with the Tip icon.

remember This book is a reference, which means you don’t have to commit it to memory — there is no test at the end. But once in a while, I do tell you things that are so important that I think you should remember them, and when I do, I mark them with the Remember icon.

warning Whenever you may do something that could cause a major headache, I warn you with the, er, Warning icon.

technicalstuff These sections provide a little more information than is necessary to use your phone. The hope is that these sections convey extra knowledge to help you understand what is going on when things go wrong, or at least differently than you might have expected.

Beyond the Book

In addition to what you’re reading right now, this product also comes with a free access-anywhere Cheat Sheet. To get to this Cheat Sheet, simply go to and search for “Samsung Galaxy S7 Cheat Sheet” in the Search box.

Where to Go from Here

You don’t have to read this book from cover to cover. You can skip around as you like. For example, if you need the basics on calling, texting, and emailing, turn to Part 2. To discover more about photos, games, and apps, go to Part 4. To find out about the phone’s calendar functions or about using the Microsoft Office, turn to Part 5.

remember Many readers are already somewhat familiar with smartphones and won’t need the basic information found in Parts 1 and 2. A reasonably astute mobile phone user can figure out how to use the phone, text, and data capabilities. Parts 1 and 2 are not for those readers. For them, I recommend skipping ahead to the chapters in Parts 3 through 6.

Former iPhone users, on the other hand, are a special case. (First, welcome to the world of Android!) The reality is that the iPhone and Galaxy S series have very similar capabilities, but these functions are just done in slightly different ways and emphasize different approaches to the similar problems. iPhone users, don’t worry if you find that this book spends a fair amount of time explaining capabilities with which you’re familiar. You can read through those chapters quickly, focus on the how instead of the description of what, and bypass potential frustration.

Current Samsung Galaxy S6 users are also a special case. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is very similar to the Galaxy S6 in many ways. Galaxy S7 operates mostly like the S6, but has improvements in usability, power consumption, and performance. If you’re comfortable with the Galaxy S6 and now have a Galaxy S7, Chapters 15 and beyond would be of interest to you.

warning The majority of readers of this book are actually very astute and get the fact that this book covers the basics of using the Samsung Galaxy S7. A subset of readers complain in Internet reviews that a For Dummies book is too basic. If you do this, people will know that you did not read the title. Be sure to read the title and avoid public embarrassment.