Your Video Options on the Samsung Galaxy S10 - dummies

Your Video Options on the Samsung Galaxy S10

By Bill Hughes

The Play Music app allows you to play music files on your Samsung Galaxy S10. Similarly, you use the Video Player app to play video options. The Video Player is in your Application list and might even be on your home page. In most ways, playing videos is the same as playing audio with some exceptions:

  • Many people prefer to buy music, but renting is more typical for videos.
  • Video files are usually, but not always, larger.

Otherwise, as with music files, you can acquire videos for your phone from an online video store — and you need to have an account and pay for the use. In addition, you can download video files to your phone, and the Video Player will play them like a DVD player.

There is a great selection of videos on the Google Play Store and Amazon Prime Video. Each of these has great video selections that you can rent or buy. The following figure shows the Home screens for the Google Play Store and Amazon Prime Video.

Google Play Store and Amazon Prime Video
Home screens for Google Play Store and Amazon Prime Video.

Using the three screens

If you have a subscription to Amazon Video, I hereby grant you permission to watch any and all of the Amazon Video options on your Galaxy S10 (once you sign in and comply with all the terms and conditions set forth by Amazon). Once you install the Amazon Prime Video app from the Play Store, sign in with the email and password associated with your account, and all the content is there for you to stream. It is that simple. If you don’t believe me, give it a try.

If you take a look at the Amazon Prime Video home page on the Internet, seen in the following figure, it shows your options for access to the content to which you subscribe. The original term for this was called serving the three screens. Three screens referred to in the strategy included your television at home, your PC or laptop, and your smartphone.

Amazon Prime Video home page
The Amazon Prime Video home page.

The idea is that you get one subscription and have access to the same content and, importantly, can pick up where you left off. So, if you’re watching a video on your television, you can pick up where you left off on your smartphone.

Amazon Prime Video is taking this one step further to ensure as many of its subscribers as possible have access. If you have a Smart TV that has an Internet connection, the chances are that Amazon Prime Video will run on the TV. If you have an old and/or a dumb TV, you can get Amazon through streaming media players, game consoles, set-top boxes, or Blu-ray players.

Amazon is not the only organization to do this. Many cable companies offer this kind of solution, as do many of the video subscription services.

The mainstream video services compete with having a broad range within their libraries that seek to appeal to as many customers as possible. Keep in mind that there are specialty video providers that offer curated videos for their subscribers.

For example, TeacherTube is a site dedicated to K-12 education, as seen in the following figure. If we continue down this path further, there are a great number of options for online education. Many of these sites do not consider themselves to be video aggregators, but that’s exactly what happens when they take recorded lectures and provide them to students.

TeacherTube app
The TeacherTube app.

The best-known online education service is the University of Phoenix. There are dozens more online universities.

Education is just one curated video service. Others exist for videos of Bollywood movies, British sitcoms, Portuguese game shows, and many other art forms.

How to view your own videos

You can watch any video you’ve shot on your phone. From the Google Play application, scroll over to the Personal Video section.

Your phone can show the following video formats: MPEG-4, WMV, AVI/DivX, MKV, and FLV.

To play your video, simply tap the name of the file. The app begins showing the video in landscape orientation. The controls that pop up when you tap the screen are similar to the controls of a DVD player.

The reality of virtual reality

Video games can be immersive, and a good movie can really suck you into its reality. The idea of virtual reality is to take this one step further. The basic idea behind virtual reality is to create a simulated world by having you wear a pair of goggles and presenting images that change the screen based upon movements of your head and body.

We can explore the concept by taking it in steps. At the most basic level, you can use your phone with a pair of virtual reality goggles. Samsung is offering virtual reality goggles that are designed to work with your Galaxy S10.

virtual reality goggles
Samsung virtual reality goggles.

What you do is insert your Galaxy S10 into the goggles. Then you use the little remote next to the goggles to navigate to the application. The remote is very convenient because, without it, the only way to communicate with the screen is by turning your head to commands and then holding it there for a few seconds. That little device allows you to navigate the screen while the phone is inserted in the goggles.

What happens is that your field of view is entirely taken up by the screen of your Galaxy S10. Imagine the most basic scenario, where the camera on the back of your phone shows you what is in front of you. This kind of experience is more or less comparable to using a pair of eyeglasses.

When you walk forward, things come closer. When you look down, you see the floor. When you turn your head to the right or the left, you see things that were not in your range of vision. So far, this is not very interesting.

So, let’s take it up a level. Now let’s let your phone and all its processing capacity and intelligence tell you what you’re looking at. You turn your head, and you see a picture. Presto chango, you see a little pop-up next to the picture that tells you that this is a print of Edward Hopper’s The Nighthawks. You look out the window, and a pop-up appears with current weather conditions and a forecast for today.

Now you take your virtual reality goggles to the grocery store. As you get your cart, a familiar face comes up and starts talking. For the life of you, you cannot remember who this person is or how you know him. In just a moment, the face recognition system recognizes this person, and a pop-up identifies that this person is your old neighbor Bif Wellington. After chatting, you walk the store aisles looking for deals. You get a pop-up letting you know when this grocery is giving you a good deal on Honeycrisp apples, or if you can get them cheaper at the other store. This capability is called augmented reality.

Let’s take it up another notch. Imagine a world where, instead of seeing a slightly modified version of your reality, you are transported to a beach. You can look around and see palm trees and jungles behind you.

Why stay earthbound? You are virtually transported to the space around Mars. As you look around, it is as if you are there on Mars.

The following figure looks like two images of the same planet. When your phone is inserted in the goggles, you get a 3-D image of the planet. You can also look around and navigate throughout the solar system. Trust me, this is a lot more convenient than space travel.

VR Solar System
A screen shot from VR Solar System from Onepixelsoft.

Why stay in the mainstream opinion of what is reality? Now we can all have an “Alice through the Looking Glass” experience. You can grow and shrink and see all kinds of unusual visions which are limited by your imagination.

There are some very, very cool demonstrations that leverage the capabilities of your phone. The Samsung offering comes at a great price compared to some of the other options out there. For that matter, you may have received the Samsung virtual reality goggles for free for preordering your phone.

There are additional VR applications and content in the Play Store. This is a rapidly changing area of the Play Store where new content is constantly being added. Be sure to check the Play Store regularly.

This should make your friends who own iPhone technology suitably jealous. What needs to happen is further application development to really take us to where this technology can go.

Some of us unfortunately have the unpleasant experience of what is called virtual-reality sickness. This is similar, but not identical, to seasickness and car sickness. The most common symptoms are nausea and headaches. If this happens to you, some of the medicines that help seasickness may help you avoid this unpleasant sensation. Some say it also helps to be seated when using virtual reality. Plus, symptoms tend to diminish over time as your brain gets used to this experience. If the symptoms are too severe, virtual reality may just not be for you.