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Communicate Across the Globe with Samsung ChatON

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Samsung pre-installs the ChatON app on the Galaxy Tab 2 so you can chat in real time with other ChatON users by sending and receiving text messages. In this article, Eric Butow, author of My Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, shows you how to set up and use the ChatON service to chat with your buddies.

Samsung's ChatON service is an instant messaging app for the web and mobile platforms. Instant messaging, better known by its acronym IM, is a category of apps that allow you to chat with one or more people in real time by typing text messages and/or using your webcam to talk with each other. Some IM apps are available on the web only, such as Google+ Hangouts. Others are proprietary apps such as Microsoft's Skype and Samsung's ChatON.

The ChatON app comes pre-installed on your Galaxy Tab 2 so you can start using it. Open the ChatON app by tapping the Apps icon on the home screen and then tapping ChatON in the Apps screen, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 The ChatON icon appears at the left side of the second row in the Apps screen.

In the opening screen, ChatON will ask you to sync the app with your Samsung account. (If you don't have a Samsung account, you can get one at http://www.samsung.com.) Tap the Next button to have the app see if you're currently logged in.

If you're not logged in, then tap the clock in the Notification bar in Android 4.0x, Ice Cream Sandwich, or drag down the status bar in Android 4.1x or 4.2x, Jelly Bean, and then tap the Samsung notification in the Status window. After you sign in to your Samsung account successfully, tap the Next button in the ChatON opening screen again.

The Registration screen opens (as shown in Figure 2) so you can type in your real name in the Enter Name box. You're not required to enter your real name, but if you want your other ChatON friends to recognize you easily, it's a good idea to type your real name. When you finish typing your name, tap the Done key in the keyboard.

Figure 2 Type your name in the Enter Name box and then tap the Done key to continue.

After a few seconds, the ChatON app synchronizes your Samsung account information with the app, and then displays the ChatON home screen, as shown in Figure 3. The orange menu bar appears at the top of the screen with your name below it.

Figure 3 The ChatON app home screen includes four options in the orange menu bar at the top of the screen.

If you don't have any buddies with whom you can chat, you can add a buddy by tapping the Contact Sync button at the bottom of the screen. The Contact Sync screen appears (as shown in Figure 4) so you can type the phone number of the person with whom you want to be buddies.

Figure 4 Type the phone number for the buddy with whom you want to sync so ChatON can verify that the potential buddy exists.

After you type the phone number, tap the Done key in the keyboard. Next, tap either the Voice or SMS button, depending on if your buddy wants to get the four-digit verification code in a voice call or wants the verification code in an SMS text message. (SMS is an acronym for Short Message Service.) After you tap the appropriate button and your buddy receives and tells you the verification code, type the verification code in the Enter Verification Code box and then tap the Next button.

A window pops up that informs you that all contacts, including contacts stored on your buddy's mobile phone SIM (Subscriber Identity Module), will be imported into the ChatON app. If you don't want to add SIM contacts from your buddy's mobile phone, tap the Include SIM Contacts checkbox to deselect this option. When you're ready to import contacts, tap the OK button.

The list of the buddies ChatON found appears in the Buddies screen, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 The Add Buddy button appears to the right of the Search box below the orange menu bar.

You can get more information and change the status of the user by tapping and holding on the user name in the list. A menu window appears that allows you to view the user's profile, add the user to your favorites, add a shortcut on the Tab 2 home screen so you can communicate with your buddy quickly, or block the buddy so that person won't appear in your buddies list.

If you want to add another buddy, tap the Add Buddy button to the right of the Search box. In the Add Buddy screen shown in Figure 6, you'll see four options in the menu bar at the top of the screen:

  • The Suggestions option is selected by default. If there are users in your Contacts list on your Tab 2 that the ChatON app thinks would be good additions to your buddy list, the list of suggested buddies appears on the screen. Tap the user in the list to invite your buddy to ChatON.
  • If there aren't any suggested buddies, tap Tell Friends so you can send a link to your friends on Facebook or Twitter so they can download the ChatON app and chat with you. If you're connecting to friends in China, you can also send a link to them on Weibo.
  • Tap Phone Number to search for a user on the ChatON service by their phone number.
  • Tap Search by ID if you know the user's Samsung account email address and want to search for it within the ChatON service.

Figure 6 The Add Buddy screen allows you to search by suggested contacts, contact potential buddies, search by phone number, and search by Samsung email account.

Tap the back icon at the left side of the orange Add Buddy title bar at the top of the screen to return to the home screen. You can start a chat by tapping the Chats icon in the menu bar and then tapping the Start Chat button underneath the menu bar.

Tap and hold on the buddy name in the list to open a window that allows you to view and change information about your buddy.

In the Start Chat window, tap the person with whom you want to chat. You can chat with as many as five buddies at the same time. When you finish selecting your friend(s) for the chat, tap the checkmark at the right side of the orange Start Chat bar at the top of the screen. Then you can start to chat with your buddy in the Chat screen, shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7 The keyboard appears on the screen so you can start typing your message right away.

The cursor appears in the Enter Message box so you can start typing your message. The name of your buddy (or buddies) in the chat appears in the orange bar at the top of the screen. At the right side of the bar, tap on one of the following icons that appear from left to right:

  • Tap the Trunk icon to view any objects that you've attached to your chat such as an image or video. You can attach an object to a chat message by tapping the object in the Trunk screen. You'll learn how to attach an object next.
  • Tap the menu icon to perform different tasks including inviting more buddies to the chat, forwarding a message to another buddy, and closing the chat.

On the left side of the Enter message box, you'll see two buttons that appear from left to right:

  • Tap the blue Attach button to attach an object with your message. The Attach window appears so you can tap the icon that corresponds to the type of object you want to add, such as a picture you take within the Camera app. The next window that opens will differ depending on the icon you tapped in the Attach window.
  • Tap the orange Emoticon button to view the list of available emoticons that helps communicate how you're feeling. Emoticons not only include a variety of faces but also include hand gestures and objects.

On the right side of the Enter message box, tap the orange walkie-talkie button to speak your message and have all buddies in the chat receive the audio message on their devices.

When you complete your message, type the Enter button in the keyboard to send your message. If you decide not to start the chat, tap the back button (the left arrow) on the left side of the orange bar at the top of the screen.

In the ChatON home screen, tap My Page in the orange menu bar to open the My Page screen so you can share posts with all your buddies and view information in your Samsung profile (see Figure 8).

Figure 8 The My Page screen shows a placeholder for your photo if you don't have a photo contained within your Samsung account.

The PostON button at the bottom of the screen is highlighted so you can broadcast a message to all buddies in your buddies list. Swipe down the screen until you see a Write a Message box. Write your message in the box, and then tap the Send button to the right of the box. You'll see responses as they are transmitted from your various buddies underneath the box, and those responses are also transmitted to all your other buddies. You can type responses to broadcast to all your buddies in the Write a Message box as you did with your initial message.

Tap the Info button to the right of the PostON button to view your Samsung profile information such as your phone number and email address. Swipe upward on the screen to scroll down and view your profile information as well as a summary of your ChatON activity for the current week.

In the orange menu bar, tap More to view a menu screen with more options:

  • Tap Settings to change your settings.
  • Tap Download to download add-ons for use with ChatON, such as message screen background images.
  • Tap Special Buddy to view a list of users you've added to your favorites list. Tap a user name in the list to view the user's profile.
  • Tap Support to get information about the ChatON app, get help online, or contact Samsung about an issue with the app.

When you tap Settings, the Settings screen appears, as shown in Figure 9. You can swipe up and down the screen to view all the Settings options and tap an option to get more information on the screen. For example, tap Connected Devices to view all your connected devices, such as your Tab 2 and the ChatON website account you can access on your laptop computer, within the Connected Devices screen.

Figure 9 Swipe up on the screen to view the Deregister Device button, which you can tap to disable ChatON on your Tab 2.

Tap the left arrow button at the left side of the orange menu bar at the top of the screen to return to the Settings screen. You can return to the More screen by tapping the left arrow button at the left side of the orange Settings menu bar.

Conclusion

Now that you've had a grand tour of ChatON, invite your friends to download the ChatON app and enjoy chatting with them wherever you are with your Tab 2.

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