Samsung Apps: A Guide to the Galaxy

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Samsung Galaxy Apps

Samsung apps
Samsung apps.

Samsung, like most Android manufacturers, has its own ecosystem of apps, and its own app store, called Galaxy Gifts (see next slide). Whether you want to track your workouts, create music playlists or make mobile payments, Samsung has you covered. Here are five of Samsung's coolest apps.

Let me know your favorite Samsung apps on Facebook and Twitter I'd love to hear from you.

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Galaxy Gifts App Store

Galaxy Gifts
Galaxy Gifts.

Galaxy Gifts is Samsung's app store, and it includes not only Samsung apps, but also premium apps that Galaxy users can download for free and third party apps designed just for Samsung users. Click on the Essentials tab and you can download apps such as an optical reader or a kids mode app that keeps your data safe and restricts usage to specific apps and content. 

On the Gifts tab, you can access premium games, apps, and content. For example, CNN for Samsung, offers curated content, Expedia for Samsung has special deals, and Kindle for Samsung includes one free ebook per month, You can still, of course, download Android and Samsung apps in the Google Play Store, but it's worth checking out the Galaxy Gifts app or widget first.

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Samsung Pay Mobile Payments

Samsung Pay
Samsung Pay.

Samsung Pay was just released TK and works with only four smartphones: the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, and S6 Edge+, and the Note5. You must also be a subscriber of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, or Verizon, and update your software to Android 5.1.1 or higher. If you meet all these requirements, you can use Samsung Pay almost everywhere that accepts credit cards, which is more than Android Pay and Apple Pay can say. Here's a look at how all three mobile payment systems stack up.

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S Health Fitness App

S Health
S Health.

S Health has been updated to track stress, SpO2 (oxygen saturation level), heart rate, running, cycling, and sleep as well as food and water intake. Stress is tracked using a heart rate sensor next to the rear camera. Place your finger on the sensor and wait while it takes your measurement; it takes long enough, you may become stressed in the process.

You can link Galaxy Gear smart watches with S Health, as well as third party accessories from Garmin, Omron, and Timex. Compatible third party apps include Nike+ Running, Noom Coach, Hydro Coach, Lifesum Calorie Counter, and more.

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Samsung Milk Music

Samsung Milk Music
Samsung Milk Music.

Samsung Milk Music, powered by Slacker, lets you browse more than 200 stations, using a music dial where you can toggle between nine genres of your choice. You can create your own stations based on a song, and use sliders to tell the app how often you want to hear popular, new, and favorite songs. Milk Music allows users to skip six songs per hour; there's no paid version of the app yet. 

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Samsung Smart Switch

Samsung Smart Switch

Move contacts, music, photos, calendar, text messages, and device settings to your Samsung Galaxy from another Android smartphone or an iPhone. Samsung Smart Switch uses a direct WiFi connection to move data from one Android device to another, while iPhone transfers can be completed with a wired connection or through iTunes. Just install the app on both devices and follow the on-screen directions; it's easy.

There are many, many more Samsung apps, of course, including S Voice (voice commands), S Note (the note-taking app that's compatible with the Samsung S Pen), and Samsung+ (premium customer support app that offers live help and other resources).

Let me know your favorites on Facebook and Twitter. I'd also want to answer your questions about Android apps, devices, and software.