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Enabling and Managing Your Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Screen Saver

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 comes with its own screensaver called Daydream that you can turn on when the Tab 3 is docked or inactive. You can also download and install a screensaver from the Google Play Store to run when your Tab 3 is inactive. Eric Butow, author of My Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, shares all the details.
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By default, your Tab 3 turns the screen off after 10 minutes of inactivity, which is what Samsung calls sleep mode. This mode keeps your screen from becoming damaged when one image that displays continuously causes permanent discoloration of areas on a screen, which is called ghosting or screen burn-in. However, you may not want the Tab 3 to turn off its screen constantly, especially if you switch between the Tab 3 and other devices often. One way to keep your Tab 3 screen on but also prevent ghosting is to use the Tab 3 screensaver called Daydream.

Adjusting Daydream Settings

You can view and change Daydream settings by tapping the Settings icon on the Home screen; within the Settings screen that appears, tap Device in the settings list on the left side of the screen. In the Display settings list on the right side of the screen, the Daydream option appears within the Screen section, shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 The Daydream screen setting is off by default

You can turn the Daydream feature on either by sliding the slider button from Off to On within the Daydream setting in the list, or tap Daydream in the list. When you tap Daydream, the Daydream settings list appears on the right side of the screen, as shown in Figure 2. You can then turn Daydream on by sliding the slider button in the menu bar from Off to On.

Figure 2 The Off/On slider button appears in the blue menu bar at the top of the screen

When you turn on Daydream, a list of five screensaver categories appears at the right side of the screen, as shown in Figure 3, with the Colors screensaver selected by default at the top of the list.

Figure 3 The Colors screensaver is selected by default

You can change to one of four other Daydream screensavers:

  • Flipboard: The latest news and updates from the Flipboard app.
  • Google Photos: Photos you have selected within the Google+ app.
  • Photo Table: Photos stored on the Tab 3 that you can display in a table format; that is, photos that appear on the screen as if they were print photos being dropped on a table.
  • Photo Frame: Photos that appear on the screen as if they were seen in a picture frame.

When you tap one of the other four screensavers, the button to the right of the screensaver name turns green. If there is a Settings icon (it looks like a gear) to the right of the green button, as you see in Figure 4 next to the selected Flipboard screensaver, it means you can change the settings for that screensaver. Note that if you haven’t selected a screensaver, the Settings icon for that screensaver is disabled.

Figure 4 The Settings button is active to the right of the Flipboard button

In this example, there is one setting available for the screensaver: to download new items automatically. By default, the Flipboard screensaver downloads new items automatically when you’re only connected to Wi-Fi. You can also access the Flipboard app by tapping the left arrow icon in the window, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 Open the Flipboard app by tapping the left arrow icon

You can change how new Flipboard items such as news updates are downloaded to your Tab 3 by tapping Download New Items Automatically in the window, as you saw in Figure 5, so you can change how the app downloads items to your screensaver. The default is Only On WiFi, but you can also download updates no matter how you’re connected to the Internet by tapping Always, or never download updates (and thus view updates you already downloaded to the Tab 3) by tapping Never. When you’re finished changing the Flipboard screensaver settings, press the Back button.

If you select the Photo Table screensaver, tap the Settings icon to view settings in the Photo Table screen, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 The Photo Table screen allows you to view photos from screenshots and/or your camera

You can choose to add photos from screenshots taken on your Tab 3, as well as photos from your camera, both on the Tab 3 and the MicroSD card (if one is installed) by tapping the checkbox to the right of the Screensaver and/or Camera setting. Selected settings have a green checkmark in the checkbox. When you’re finished changing settings, press the Back button. The next time Daydream starts, which you’ll learn about later in this article, you’ll see screenshots and/or photos.

If you want to display photos in the screensaver as photos within a frame, you can change the Photo Frame screensaver settings much as you do with the Photo Table screensaver. Select the Photo Frame screensaver by tapping on it in the Daydream settings list and then tap the Settings icon to the right of the green Photo Frame button.

The Photo Frame screen appears, as shown in Figure 7. Like the Photo Table screen, you can tap the checkbox to the right of the Screenshots and Camera settings to view screenshots on your Tab 3 and photos on your Tab 3 and MicroSD card (if one is installed), respectively.

Figure 7 Like the Photo Table screen, the Photo Frame screen allows you to view photos from screenshots and/or your camera

After you tap on one or both checkboxes, return to the Daydream settings list by pressing the Back button.

Once you have selected your Daydream screensaver and you’ve made any changes to the settings, the Daydream screensaver will start the next time your screen times out, which is after 10 minutes of inactivity by default. You can change the timeout interval by tapping Screen Timeout in the Display Settings list and then changing the interval time from 15 seconds to 30 minutes. Learn more about changing display settings in the online article “Changing Your Galaxy Tab 3 Display Settings” on the Que Publishing website.

Change the Screensaver Appearance

If you want to see how your screensaver looks, press the Menu button within the Daydream settings list screen. As Figure 8 shows, there are two options for viewing your Daydream screensaver: Start Now, which starts your selected screensaver immediately, and Select Dream Time, which allows you to change when the Daydream screensaver runs.

Figure 8 The Options menu allows you to set the dream time and to start using Daydream immediately

When you tap Select Dream Time, the Select Dream Time window appears as the While Docked option is selected by default; that is, a green button appears to the right of the While Docked option. You can also tap While Charging to have your screensaver appear only while your battery is charging, or tap All to have your screensaver appear whenever your Tab 3 is inactive.

You can view the screensaver immediately by tapping Start Now in the Options menu. In the example shown in Figure 9, the Colors screensaver shows a variety of colors that move around on the screen over time.

Figure 9 The Colors Daydream screensaver shows a rainbow of colors on the screen

No matter if you start the screensaver from within the Options menu or when your screen becomes inactive, you can return to the screen you were viewing before the screensaver turned on before you see the Lock screen. The trick is to tap the screen while you’re viewing the screensaver within five seconds after the screensaver starts.

You’ll know that you’ve reached the five-second limit when the Menu and Back buttons on the Tab 3 light up for a couple of seconds. If you’ve missed the five-second window then after you tap the screen, you’ll see the Lock screen. Here you either have to swipe on the screen, or log in to your Tab 3 using a security method such as a password.

It’s also important to note that you can still turn off the screen if you want by pressing the Power button for about a second. Then you can turn on the screen again by pressing the Power button and accessing your Tab 3 again either by swiping on the screen or using a security method.

Final Thoughts

These screensavers are not the only ones you can use on the Tab 3. The Google Play Store contains a wide variety of screensavers that you can install and use on the Tab 3; all you have to do is open the Apps page within the Play Store and then search for screensaver. A list of screensavers appears as tiles on the screen, as shown in Figure 10.

Figure 10 The Apps screen shows a number of screensavers you can install on the Tab 3

Now that you know how to use the pre-installed Daydream screensavers as well as shop for screensavers within the Google Play Store, you can pick a screensaver that reflects your style and saves your Tab 3 screen at the same time.

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