The launch of the Galaxy S3 was perhaps overshadowed by the introduction of the S Beam feature. This is a feature that uses near –field communication (NFC) technology and Wi-Fi direct to transfer files between two phones. The two phones would be held back to back against each other and the transfer will take place.
Once the two devices touch, the transfer is initiated with NFC while the file is transferred via Wi-Fi direct. With this feature, you can send files such as images, music and videos. Also impressive is the transfer speed which can rise to as high as 300MBps.
You may wonder why we are so upbeat over S Beam while several devices running on Android 4.0 have the Android Beam feature. Well, the explanation is quite simple. Whereas it (Android Beam) works over NFC to transmit information from one device to another, it does not use Wi-Fi direct. This means that it can only transfer small details such as contact details and cannot facilitate the transfer of large files.
To use this feature, you need to activate S Beam on your device.
Enabling S Beam
To activate this feature, you should first ensure that your Android device has this feature. At the moment, it is available on the Galaxy series from S3 onwards. Open the settings app and from the list displayed, select “more settings”
You will notice that there are entities for both S Beam and Android beam. Tap on both fields so as to activate them. At this point, the NFC will also be activated. Note that without NFC, theS Beam feature will not work.
Ensure that you have done the above steps on both devices which you intend to use for the transfer of files.
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Preparation for Beaming
First, there are some necessary conditions for this transfer to be successful. For one, the receiver device should appear on the Home screen. Also ensure that neither of the devices is either locked or asleep.
Avoid separating the devices from each other before the transfer starts or you may prevent the process from starting.
Last but not least, you should save the file locally on the Android device. Beaming would not work if the file is saved in an external storage, for instance flash disk drive.
Beaming the files
This is now the main function of S Beam and you should be pleased to know that this process is as easy as it can get. Just head over to the file, which you wish to transfer over S Beam. It could be an MP3 file, a video or an image.
Head over to the file you wish to transfer and open it. Hold the devices in a way such that the backs would be pressed against each other. The devices will beep or vibrate slightly or both as a confirmation that both are within beaming range.
On the sending device, the message “Touch to beam” will appear on the screen. Tap on this screen and the transfer will commence. Once the beaming process has started, you can separate the devices from each other without interrupting the process. This is due to the Wi-Fi Direct facilitating the process.
The file that you beamed will now be stored in the receiving device at the proper location. For instance, if you sent a file from the photos folder, the file will automatically be transferred to the photos folder of the receiving device. Alternatively, the device may ask you to choose your preferred storage location.
How to handle S Beam problems
A time may come when the S Beam feature is unresponsive and refuses to transfer files as you wish. If you ever encounter such issues, we have some possible solutions for you.
Disabling the feature
If the S Beam is unresponsive, you may try disabling it and then enabling it all over again. Alternatively, you can toggle the feature on and off and see if there is any change.
Restarting your device
If the first option does not work, you could try restarting your device. This option not only works for S Beam but also in other software issues. Once your device restarts, try beaming content again and see if it worked. If it did not, we have another way for you.
Uninstalling third-party apps
There are some apps on the device which may interfere with the functioning of the S Beam feature. It may have a lot of background operations which would not allow the S Beam to function effectively.
To solve this problem, just head over to the settings and uninstall the said app. If this does not work, there is another method you can use.
Restore factory settings
If the above three solutions do not work, you can always restore your device to its original settings. This reset always does the trick for any software issues that may arise.
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Use the feature properly
At times, the fault may be on your side. You may simply be not following the right procedure in using the feature. So if you find the S Beam being unresponsive, you may as well go through the guidelines all over again on how it works.
The S Beam feature is a really awesome development. It gives us an alternative to Bluetooth, which used to be virtually the only means of instant transfer of files between compatible devices.
It also saves us the hustle of connecting USB cables to computers and performing long drag and drop procedures. This transfer from PCs used to expose the files to whichever virus may be lurking in the system.
Additionally, it saves us from the risk of sabotage and privacy breaches from hackers. It is practically impossible for anyone to interfere with your data since the two devices are in close proximity to each other.
So, make use of this feature responsibly and avoid stuff which may contravene the law. For instance, do not share copyrighted content over this platform.