Thursday 1 December 2011

Technology: How to Use Your Galaxy SII? (Updated 6th Dec, 2011)

Samsung Galaxy SII (Model GT-I9100)
Image from
Following my blog entries on the Galaxy SII (See Resources below), at least two of my student Ella and Angus have bought their new favourite. But there are a number of questions on how to operate and protect the phone and so I decide to write an entry on this.

Upgrading to Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread
Android's OS comes in a series of cute names, here are the names of the more popular versions,

  • 2.3.x Gingerbread (for smartphones)
  • 3.0.x Honeycomb (for tablets)
  • 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich (for newer smartphones such as Galaxy Nexus)

Image from wikia
Image from
Image from androidcentral

My SII came with with the older 2.3.3 and needed to be updated. If yours is also running the older version, I highly recommend that you upgrade it to the current 2.3.5 as it will give it more flexibility in managing your phone.

To see your current version:

Go to Settings --> About phone --> Software update --> Android version

To upgrade,
Go to Settings --> About phone --> Software update --> Android version --> Update

The really good thing about the Android phones update is that it doesn't need to plug into the computer with a wire, which is something that iPhone has just recently managed to do! Slow!

Power Saving Mode
After the upgrade, the operation should be smoother and battery use should be slower. But if you are still experiencing battery drain issue (because you start too many applications, using too much energy on the screen, leaving WiFi on at all time, etc.) the easiest way is to switch on your Power Saving Mode.

Go to Settings --> Power saving mode --> check the box at Use Power saving mode

After that,
Go to Settings --> Power saving mode --> Custom Power saving settings

and check every box there. Under Brightness, choose 10% brightness (enough for me personally). Under Screen time-out, choose 1 minute (too short is quite irritating when it dims too often).

Power-saving mode
Image from
Personally, I won't check System Power Saving because it slows down the phone a lot.

Quick Drag-Down Settings
Quick Drag-Down Settings
Image from

Perhaps one of the best features of the Android Gingerbread is the Quick Drag-Down Settings, which allows the users to change their settings with one touch.

Go to Desktop page --> Touch the black bar on the top --> Drag down the bar

From here, you can press the buttons to activate / deactivate your Wi-Fi, Bluetooh, GPS, Sound and Auto rotation functions.

Flight Mode
Flight Mode @ Phone options
Image from
Definitely the best feature on this phone is the Flight Mode. If you are still want to use your phone in the middle of the night as an alarm clock for example, don't mind there are no incoming calls or internet connections and you don't want to power off the phone, you can simply:

Power / Flight Mode button
Image from
Hold the power button on the right of the phone for 1 second --> choose Flight Mode. What is really cool about this Flight Mode is that the phone will consume less than 2% of the power in 9 hours! I use it when I am away teaching a class to conserve the power on my phone as I won't be able to pick up calls or use the 3G anyway but switching off the phone on and off will consume more power.

For more tips on how to use your Galaxy SII, please "Like" the blog on Facebook!

Talking about Gingerbread, Christmas is coming, and so here's a scary story called "The Bridge of Gingy" from Shrek! It's incredibly funny and he's my favourite character in Shrek too! See if you can hear what he is saying without the subtitles.

If you want the script to this, here it is!

Buckle up, everybody. The quicker I scare
the wits out of you lot, the sooner I can be home, cozy in my bed.

Unless anyone else thinks they've got what it takes.

Oh! Oh! Pick me, pick me! I have a scary story!

This isn't the one about you getting trapped in the petting zoo again, is it?

- 'Cause that's not scary.
- Actually...If you look at it from my perspective...

Hey, guess what, Pinocchio, no one cares!

Get ready to send these jokers home, Shrek, 'cause I've got a doozy...and it's all true!

It was a dark and stormy night...


My girlfriend kicked me out.

I don't know, something about me being too into myself. Blah, blah, blah, yack, yack, yack.

You? But you are so adorable.

I know! That's what I keep telling her!

I need a good woman, Muffin Man.

Ah. I can help you, Gingy.

- How about this one?
- Aw, I dunno.

- You like her, huh?
- Nope. Weird hair.

- How about this one?
- Too skinny.

No! Don't like it!

Okay. Well, how about this one?

Yes! That's it!


She's perfect. The girl of my dreams.

Wait! More sugar.

But that is not the recipe.

Trust me, Muffin Man, this girl's gotta be real sweet. I want someone who will love me forever.

I must warn you, Gingy. No one has ever made cookies with this much sugar. You are tampering with forces far beyond your comprehension!

Just put her in the oven!

Ah ha ha ha ha!
Ah ha ha ha...
Ha ha ha ha!

Hey. I get a little privacy?

- Huh?
- Take a hike.

Oh, oui.

Oh, my gosh, I'm in love!

A cookie angel.

Wow! And you're hot too!

Hello? Hello? Oh... I guess it didn't work.

Ha ha! Gingy, is it you? The one I was made for?

Oh, we'll be together forever.


♪ I can't see me loving nobody but you for all my life ♪
♪ When you're with me baby, the skies'll be blue for all my life ♪
♪ Me and you and you and me no matter how they toss the dice ♪
♪ It had to be the only one for me is you and you for me ♪
♪ So happy together ♪

- Are ya happy, Gingy?
- You bet! The time since I met you has been the best...7 and a 1/2 minutes of my life.

Good! Because this is only the beginning. I'm going to love you and hold you and feed you and dress you and cling to you...
- Yeah...

Hang on to you and smother you with my love.

- Yeah...
- Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever...
- You know, it's gettin' a little stuffy in here.

You know, I might go get some air.

Oh, no, you don't.

Oh, no...
Not without your umbrella.

- Come on!
- Here, let me get that.

Wait for me!

Sugar, could you just do me one small, little teensy favor?


Could you leave me alone for like 30 seconds?

Anything but that.

You know, I forgot my gumdrop buttons.

Yeah! Could you run over there and get 'em for me, please?

Sure, I can. I'll be right back.

♪ Gingy, Gingy ♪

Run, run, run, as fast as you can if you wanna remain a gingerbread man!


- Oh, Gingy.
- Whaa...

I don't understand.

- I thought you were happy!
- Oh, well...

It's all my fault. I should have tried harder!

No, no, no! Don't try harder!

Maybe I'm not pretty enough. I can be pretty... really pretty! The girl of your dreams.
- Aah!




Let go, Gingy! Fall with we can be together forever!

Here's a thought...You let go!

Together! Together fore...

Boy, what a night! I'm so glad that is over with! Oh! Oh, well.Nothing lasts forever.
- In sports...

Together forever.

Together forever.Together forever.Together forever.

What a nice surprise!

Together forever.Together forever.Together forever.Together forever.

- Hey... So what's up?
- Together forever.

I think we both may have said some things I might regret.

- Together forever!
- Gosh, your eye is pretty!

Look, I know you're upset, so... Aah!

Why don't we just sit down...and discuss this?

Then... they ate me!

Wee, wee, wee, wee, wee, wee!

They're gonna do that all the way home. I... I gotta go. They're my ride.

Wait a minute.

If they ate you, how is it that you're still here?

Did you not say this was a true story?

Um...You made it up, didn't ya?

I... hey, look!
Lord Farquaad's ghost! Aah! Doody heads!

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Technology & Video: My Samsung Galaxy SII ad (Updated 2011-11-25) @ Locky's English Playground

Technology: iPhone 4S vs Galaxy SII vs Galaxy Nexus @ Locky's English Playground

Technology & Opinions: iPhone 4(S) VS Samsung Galaxy SII @ Locky's English Playground

Technology & News: Free Apps To Recommend Part 1 @ Locky's English Playground

Android Version History @ Wikipedia

Gingy!! @ YouTube

Scared Shrekless (en) Script