While hardware is generally the key to a devices success or failure, much of its appeal lies in the software. For instance, the new Samsung Galaxy S III on a hardware standpoint isn’t anything all that spectacular. On the software side of things though is where the device truly stands out against its competition. The popup play and screen awake while it tracks if your eyes are open or not are a couple of great things to look forward too. Most all of that is software though and as soon as developers figure it all out, many of us will be able to enjoy those features and many others on various devices.

Lets turn our attention to an app that is the Play Store from developer AndroidHD. By combining some of the hardware features, in this case your sensors on the front of your device, and some clever coding, we now have Smart Screen ON. In a nutshell he makes it possible to turn your devices screen on and off simply by waiving your hand across the front of your device. Lets see see the Galaxy S III do that. Yes, I know, with this app it can do it too. Still, it is not a function or feature that is build in by default.

Some of you are thinking that is cool, but what purpose does it serve. Besides the cool factor of waving your hand or finger over the sensor, it can also help save your power button. All to often we wear out the power button on our devices from constantly pressing it to turn the screen on and off. That has long term issues later where it might not work anymore, or your button gets so old and weak that it falls out. Hey, it has happened before.

The app features much more than a convenient and cool way to turn your screen on and off though. You can change the settings for tap and swipe mode too, start at boot, disable in landscape mode and many more nifty little tweaks.

The application was originally designed for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, where physical keys on the front of the phone don’t exist. We have seen comments stating that it worked great on the Nexus S 4G, HTC Sensation 4G, HTC Droid Incredible, Samsung Galaxy Note and many others. Luckily the developer has made a lite and a PRO version. Giving you the chance to try it on your device before you buy it and get all the perks. After all, who wants to spend money on an app they hope works only to find out it doesn’t.

We think is a pretty great idea and will eventually find its way into either the main Android OS or some OEM created build. The only downside that seems to be reported is that the app has to constantly run to actually work. Seems like that would be normal operations for it to function properly. If you are on a lower end device, or already struggle with power management, this app might not be for you. We will give it a test and see if it has any negative effects on our battery during the week.

To give this puppy a try, simply click or scan our usual handy little QR code below. Please refrain from being negative if your are installing this on anything other than a Samsung Galaxy Nexus since the app was constructed specifically for that device. If it works well for you and you like it, be sure to support the developer and snag the PRO version, it is only $1.28.

Application: Smart Screen ON LITE
Developer: AndroidHD
Cost: FREE

  • http://samsung.com Guest

    > the new Samsung Galaxy S III on a hardware standpoint isn’t
    > anything all that spectacular

    The hardware specs are DEFINITELY near the top of everyone’s list….
    … except androidspin.

    • http://www.androidspin.com Stormy Beach

      I should have clarified that a bit more I suppose. It still has an 8MP camera, still a dual-core Qualcomm S4 processor, a 4.8-inch screen at 1280 x 720 (One X is 4.7-inch at the same resolution). Comparing most of the hardware specs to the HTC One X, the only big difference is the 2GB of RAM, 1.9MP front facing camera vs 1.3MP and a 2,100 mAh battery vs 1,800 mAh battery. Hardware wise there isn’t a much difference. The major selling factors of the S III over the One X is primarily software. S-Voice, Popup Play, Smart Stay, AllShare Play.. all of this is software. It really all comes down to personal preference and network availability. Is the S III a stellar device? Absolutely. Is overall hardware of the device groundbreaking and ‘NEW”, not really. Plenty of devices have close to the same specs. It is all the extras, like removable battery, sd card slot and the software that sells the device.