How to take Samsung Galaxy S5 screenshot, and other tips

I’ve just joined the Android revolution. My new work phone is the new Samsung Galaxy S5 – and I love it. But having been an iPhone user for five years, I’ve had to learn afresh how to do things that had become second nature in iOS, such as taking a screenshot. Here’s the answer to that question, and the other main lessons I’ve learned in my first week with Android.

Taking Samsung Galaxy S5 screenshot

Taking Samsung Galaxy S5 screenshot

The easiest way to take a screen shot on the Galaxy S5 is to (literally) swipe the screen with the side of your hand, as if you were wiping it.

Taking screenshot on Samsung S5 with button combination

Taking screenshot on Samsung S5 with button combination

The other option is to hold the home and power buttons. This is like the way you take a screenshot on an iPhone, but it takes longer to take the shot – wait until you hear the shutter noise before releasing the buttons.

My other top Samsung Galaxy S5 tips

Silence is golden…

I loved my S5 from the moment I turned it on. But it’s a noisy neighbour. It whistles and pings at you the whole time. After a few days of saying sorry to family and colleagues, I needed to silence it.

Silencing the Samsung Galaxy S5

Silencing the Samsung Galaxy S5

Here’s how to do it. After unlocking the phone, pull down the notifications bar from the top of the screen. Click the Sounds icon and turn it to vibrate (as shown) or mute. You can also go into settings and untick various options, such as Touch sounds and Screen lock sounds (shown) and Notifications.

Keyboard choice

I liked the Galaxy S5 keyboard at first – it was good to have the numbers and letters visible at the same time. But after a few days, I was getting frustrated by failing to find the full stop. (Bottom right, if you’re wondering.) The beauty of Android is you have a choice.

Swiftkey keyboard

Swiftkey keyboard

The SwiftKey Android keyboard is the best I’ve tried so far. It’s easy to use and predicts what you’re about to type very effectively.

Kill My Magazine

When I first got my iPad in 2010, I liked Flipboard, the app that aggregated content from various news sites. But before long I stopped looking at it. Samsung’s My Magazine is a version of Flipboard that takes up a screen of the S5. If you’re not going to use it, you can get rid of it. (The same goes for Galaxy Gifts and the pedometer.) Touch and hold the icon, and drag it to the ‘remove’ dustbin at the top of the screen.

Kill S Voice

The Galaxy S5 comes with two voice control services, Samsung’s own S Voice and Google Now. S Voice is, as you’d expect, deeply integrated in the S5 but you may want to make the phone a bit quicker by disabling it. Double clicking the phone’s home button activates S Voice, and when you press the home button the phone waits for a second press in case you want to use voice control. Disable S Voice by unlicking Open via the home key if you’re not using it regularly.

Give it the finger

Galaxy S5 fingerprint with PayPal

Galaxy S5 fingerprint with PayPal

The Galaxy S5 takes fingerprint authentication to a new level. Unlike the iPhone 5S, the S5 lets you use fingerprint authentication to do more: for example, to use your finger to shop and pay with PayPal. I found it easy to use, especially after I had stored different fingerprint angles, such as swiping from the side. Think about which fingers and thumbs you’ll find most convenient and comfortable to use on the phone when you’re out and about – and store these digits. It may take you a day or two to get used to the fingerprint technique: you need to swipe down over the trail and the home button.

Why I love my Galaxy S5 and Android

I’ve fallen in love with my Galaxy S5 over the last seven days. It’s so much nicer than the S2 I used briefly in 2012 after using it for a major media event. The combination of native Android and Samsung’s TouchWiz is much cleaner, especially if you’re moving from Apple’s iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. I was ready for a new type of device after almost four years with a barely changed iPhone and iPad interface. And the freedom that Android allows is a bit like leaving home for the first time: you realise that you can decide.

Some reviewers have criticised the S5 for feeling cheap because of its plastic back. They compare it unfavourably with the iPhone 5S and HTC One M8. They’re all great phones but I love the S5′s bigger screen. After living with the iPhone 4 since 2010, I didn’t think the slightly larger screen of the iPhone 5 was an upgrade. Maybe it just shows how unreasonable we are to expect each new generation phone to be a leap forward.

One thing I do miss with the Android phone is Photostream. I love seeing a photo I take on the iPhone appearing almost instantly on my Mac and iPad. I’ve not yet seen any real alternative, given that Dropbox doesn’t work well on my Mac.

Android KitKat

Android KitKat

Easter is a time associated with chocolate. What better time to get to grips with the latest version of Android, KitKat

 

 

Solving Daily Telegraph iPad app problems

Daily Telegraph iPad app

Daily Telegraph iPad app

I love reading newspapers on my iPad. I get them delivered to my tablet without having to go to the letterbox, never mind the newsagent. I can catch up on the news wherever I am in the world, as long as I’m online. The Daily Telegraph iPad app is one of my favourites, as it’s one of the most elegant apps.

But it’s not the most reliable. It rarely if ever downloads automatically, unlike the Guardian and Sunday Times. And recently it has stopped downloading at all: it sticks at 8% downloaded.

Time to use the app equivalent of turning a pesky computer on and off again: I deleted the app completely and downloaded it afresh. This is where I ran into difficulties. It asked me to enter my details as a subscriber. I chose ‘digital subscriber’. But it didn’t recognise me. I tried again. And again. Still no joy. It kept asking me to buy a subscription, which I already had.

At this point I called the 0800 number. A helpful man told me I needed to take a different route: click on the cogwheel on the bottom left of the app screen. Click subscriptions, then choose restore purchases. Enter Apple ID password – and you’ll not be asked to buy a new subscription.

Restore purchases

Choose restore purchases

This solved the 8% hitch. It still doesn’t download automatically though…

In praise of Penarth Pier Pavilion

Penarth Pier and Pavilion

Penarth Pier and Pavilion

Today was a glorious spring day in Penarth, near Cardiff. The newly restored pier pavilion looked magnificent, and we had a family outing to the lovely cafe at the pavilion.

Morning tea at the pavilion

Morning tea at the pavilion

I wrote three years ago about the lottery win that made possible the pavilion’s rebirth. Mum and Dad live on the seafront, and we have loved waking up to the view of the pier in all weathers and seasons. But this piece of 1930s art deco seaside architecture had fallen on hard times. A tatty bar at the end of the building closed years ago, leaving just memories and dreams of what might be. Today, we saw how successfully those dreams had been fulfilled. We loved our tea in the sunshine – and would have indulged ourselves with the delicious looking breakfasts and wraps had we not been going to Penarth Yacht Club for lunch!

Beach cycle

Beach cycle

Finally, I loved the sight of the cyclist enjoying a shingly Sunday ride.

End of the story for Richmond’s Lion & Unicorn bookshop

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The saddest chapter

Is there a sadder high street sight than an abandoned book shop?

When Karen brought Owen to see me at work in Richmond, Surrey, last week I suggested they visit the wonderful Lion & Unicorn children’s bookshop. (I bought my very first books for Owen there: books to read in the bath.) I was shocked when Karen reported that the shop had closed down.

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Memories that began at the Lion & Unicorn, Richmond

The Lion & Unicorn had been a Richmond institution for over 35 years. Roald Dahl opened it in 1977, and countless famous authors visited over the years. But soaring rents and the rise of online book selling put it out of business, owner Jenny Morris explained to the Daily Telegraph. It joins a sad list of wonderful independent bookshops that have lost the fight for life, including the famous Harbour Bookshop in Dartmouth, once run by AA Milne’s son Christopher Robin and his wife Lesley. 

The fact I hadn’t noticed the Lion & Unicorn had closed says a lot – about me. I have always loved books, but didn’t shop there enough. We live over 25 miles from Richmond, so Owen and I tend to go to Waterstone’s shop in Amersham. (We recently chose my childhood favourite, The Secret Garden, with his World Book Day token.) And I wonder if selling just children’s books was another factor in the Lion & Unicorn’s demise. When we go to a bookshop, Owen will look at the children’s titles while I look at my favourites as well. 

Richmond still has two excellent bookshops: a big Waterstone’s and The Open Book

Books and book stores create life-long memories. As a child and teenager I loved Lears in Cardiff. And I still remember visiting George’s in Bristol as an 11 year old in 1975. I bought so many cherished books in those stores: every Famous Five and Secret Seven title, along with Malcolm Saville’s marvellous Lone Pine series, set in the Wales/England borderlands, Sussex and Devon. 

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George’s bookshop, Bristol. Childhood memories

 

 

Visibility: I see a buzzword

Visibility: not what it used to be

Visibility: not what it used to be

Once upon a time, if people didn’t know the answer to a question, they’d say they didn’t know the answer. Now, if they work in a big organisation, they’re just as likely to say, “I don’t have visibility about that.” They’ll say they’re sending an email so the recipient “has visibility”.

I first heard visibility used in this way in Rebekah Brooks’ evidence to the House of Commons media select committee hearing into the News of the World phone hacking scandal in 2011:

“One of the problems of this case has been our lack of visibility and what was seized at Glenn Mulcaire’s home. We have had zero visibility.”

Where did this nonsense come from? I have no idea, but I’m sure it follows the belief that jargon and buzzwords are more impressive than plain English. The truth is the opposite. Language like this deadens the senses. People use it without thinking.

Here’s my earlier post about jargon and buzz phrases. Sadly, ‘roadmap’ and ‘granularity’ remain as common in office language today as two years ago.

Once in a blue moon at Didcot

Tornado and Sir Nigel Gresley at Didcot

Tornado and Sir Nigel Gresley at Didcot

Owen and I had a wonderful day at Didcot Railway Centre today. We were there for the Once in a Blue Moon event, bringing together three very special locomotives in the very attractive early British Railways blue livery. GWR King Edward II was joined by LNER A4 Sir Nigel Gresley and Tornado, the 21st century Peppercorn A1 pacific.

King Edward II and Tornado

King Edward II and Tornado

My association with King Edward II goes back 35 years to childhood visits to Barry scrapyard, as I explained in my blogpost about the engine’s rebirth at Didcot three years ago. We were also renewing acquaintance with Sir Nigel after our visits to the Great Gathering of the six surviving A4s in York last October. But this was our first introduction to the magnificent Tornado, an engine that amazingly is the same age as Owen, having been steamed for the first time in 2008.

Our youngest steam engine

Our youngest steam engine

Coaling Tornado

Coaling Tornado

Today was made possible by a lot of amazingly dedicated people in the railway preservation movement, including the Great Western Society, the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust and the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Preservation Trust. Thank you.

Sir Nigel Gresley and GWR gas turbine 18000

Sir Nigel Gresley and GWR gas turbine 18000

Finally, it’s remarkable to think that Tornado entered service over 60 years after the GWR ordered a gas turbine locomotive, 18000, as its first move to replace steam traction for express trains.

Dawlish delight: trains running again

Before the storm: Dawlish station, June 2011

Before the storm: Dawlish station, June 2011

It was nice to hear universal praise for Britain’s railways yesterday as trains started running through Dawlish just two months after devastating storms severed the line there.

Brunel’s decision to opt for a coastal route through Devon gave Britain one of its most gloriously scenic rail rides. But the South Devon main line has always been at the mercy of the sea. Network Rail’s engineers have worked wonders getting trains running again, but it’s hard to imagine this is the last time the sea will halt the trains.

On the sea wall, Teignmouth

On the sea wall, Teignmouth

One of my first holiday memories is visiting Teignmouth aged six in 1970. We watched the trains as they headed onto the sea wall. Owen, nearly three, was less impressed by noisy InterCity 125 high speed trains on the sea wall in June 2011. A few days later we took a local train from Teignmouth to Dawlish to savour the view, which proved a mistake. The train was so packed we barely had room to stand, never mind look at the view. A local told us this was par for the course with First Great Western. The old Great Western Railway would have been disgusted.

Brunel was a pioneer. He built the line through Devon using atmospheric trains, propelled by air. But the system proved unreliable and was replaced by steam trains after a year. It cost shareholders a fortune. But Brunel, like his contemporaries, built railways amazingly quickly. He would have been amazed at the snail like progress of 21st century railway building.

On Dawlish station June 2011

On Dawlish station June 2011

The Great Western main line, Dawlish

The Great Western main line, Dawlish

PS: you can see a surviving section of 1840s atmospheric railway at Didcot Railway Centre – below.

The surviving 1840s atmospheric railway pipe and broad gauge track, at Didcot Railway Centre

The surviving 1840s atmospheric railway pipe and broad gauge track, at Didcot Railway Centre