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Controlling Your Galaxy Tab 3 Using Motion and Voice Control

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If you would rather perform tasks on your Galaxy Tab 3 using your hand or your voice instead of tapping and typing, the Tab 3 has plenty of motion and voice commands to make life with your Tab 3 easier. This article will show you how to access motion and voice control commands in the Settings screen, change hand motion settings, and change voice control settings. You’ll start by learning how to use the side of your hand to capture the screen. Next, you’ll learn how to mute or pause sounds by covering the screen with your palm. Next, you’ll learn how to change voice control settings to stop or snooze alarms, take pictures, and control the Music Player app. Finally, you’ll learn how to control the music player with voice commands instead of pressing buttons and/or touching the screen.
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The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 gives you the ability to change how you manipulate items and perform tasks by both using your hands and your voice. You can change motion settings to perform two functions with your hand:

  • Swipe your hand across the screen to capture what’s currently on the screen.
  • Mute or pause sounds coming from the Tab 3 by placing your entire hand on the screen.

If you would rather use your voice rather than your hands to control your Tab 3, you can change the voice control settings to control when your alarms sound, how you control the Camera app, and also control the Music Player app to perform such tasks as pausing and playing a song.

Motion Settings

You can access hand motion settings by tapping on the Settings icon on the Home screen; within the Settings screen, swipe down the settings list on the left side of the screen until you see the Motion setting. Open the Motion settings list that appears on the right side of the screen (see Figure 1) by tapping Motion in the settings list.

Figure 1 The Motion settings list appears on the right side of the screen

Turn on motion settings by sliding the Off button in the blue menu bar at the top of the screen (see Figure 2) from Off to On. The hand motion options become active; the checked checkboxes show that swiping your palm to capture a screen and palm touch to mute or pause sound options are on.

Figure 2 The options in the Hand Motions section become active after you turn Motion settings on

You can learn more about hand motions by tapping the Learn About Hand Motions option at the bottom of the hand motion options list you saw in Figure 2. After you tap the option, the Learn About Hand Motions screen appears as shown in Figure 3 so you can learn about swiping your palm on the screen to capture what’s on the screen or touch the entire screen with your palm to control audio playback on your Tab 3.

Figure 3 You can test using your hand to capture the screen and mute or pause audio playback

Learn how to swipe your palm on the Tab 3 screen Tap the Palm Swipe to Capture option in the list. The Learn About Palm Swipe window appears on the screen as shown in Figure 4 and this window tells you what you’re going to do in this tutorial: swiping your hand from right to left (or vice versa) to capture what’s on the screen. Begin the tutorial by tapping the Try button or return to the Learn About Hand Motions screen by tapping the Cancel button.

Figure 4 Practice using your hand to capture a screen by tapping the Try button

Now you see a picture of a boat on a lake as shown in Figure 5. You see arrows visible for a few seconds at a time on the left and right sides of the screen. Place the side of your hand on the left edge of the screen and then swipe to your right. Or, if you prefer, you can place the side of your hand on the right edge of the screen and swipe left.

Figure 5 Swipe the side of your hand across the screen

You may have to swipe a few times to get the hang of it. When the Tab 3 notices that you have swiped your hand to the left or right successfully, you hear the camera snap and a pop-up box appears at the bottom of the screen and informs you that the screen has been captured. Return to the Learn About Hand Motion screen by pressing the Back button.

Now you can learn how to mute audio using the palm of your hand by tapping the Palm Touch to Mute/Pause option in the list you saw in Figure 3. The Learn About Palm Touch window appears on the screen (see Figure 6) so you can see how to cover the screen with your hand. Begin the tutorial by tapping the Try button, or return to the Learn About Hand Motions screen by tapping the Cancel button.

Figure 6 Practice placing your hand on the screen to mute audio by tapping the Try button

The Music Player app opens and begins to play the song “Over the Horizon” that is pre-loaded on your Tab 3. A box appears as shown in Figure 7 that invites you to pause the music by placing your palm on the entire screen.

Figure 7 Pause the music by placing the palm of your hand on the screen

You’ll hear the music stop playing and you can remove your hand from the screen. A pop-up box appears in the center of the screen saying the music is now paused. Now that you’ve learned how to pause music, you can return to the Learn About Hand Motion screen by pressing the Back button.

Voice Control

By default, voice control options for your Tab 3 are off. You can change this by tapping the Voice Control setting in the list on the left side of the screen shown in Figure 8. The Voice Control settings list on the right side of the screen shows that all the options for controlling the Alarm, Camera, and Music Player apps on the Tab 3 are disabled. You can enable the options by sliding the button within the Voice Control setting from Off to On.

Figure 8 The Voice Control settings list appears on the right side of the screen

The Voice Control window appears and reminds you that if you set the alert type for calls or alarms to vibrate, you won’t be able to use voice commands. Continue by tapping the OK button. Now you see that the checkboxes for all three options are checked as shown in Figure 9. You can turn off voice control for an app by tapping the checkbox to the right of the app name to clear it.

Figure 9 All Voice Control checkboxes are checked by default

You may want to write down the voice commands for each of the apps you want to control with your voice so you know which voice commands to use when you use the app. When you start the app, you’ll also get a reminder in the Notification bar about the voice apps you can use. For example, in the Music Player app you see the Notification bar appear for a few seconds at the top of the screen; the bar lists all the voice commands you can use.

All you have to do to test the voice command is to say it to your Tab 3, such as the word “play” to play the selected song. Then you hear the song playing. If you need a reminder about the voice commands to use, open the Quick Settings and Notifications screen and then tap the name of the app in the Notifications list. In this example, tap Music Player in the Notifications list to open the Voice Control screen and view the list of voice commands you can use for the Music Player app as well as the Alarm and Camera apps. Return to the Music Player screen by pressing the Back button.

Now that you know how to change your motion and voice settings, experiment with using these settings to take screenshots, control audio playback, and interact with alarms, the Tab 3 camera, and the Music Player app using your voice. If you find these features useful you can keep them, but you can always turn off these settings if you prefer to use your fingers to control your Tab 3 instead.

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