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Share Content Across Devices with Samsung's AllShare Play App

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The AllShare Play app allows you to share photos, music, videos, and other files on your Galaxy Tab 2 with one or more file sharing services. Eric Butow, author of My Samsung Galaxy Tab, shows you how you can also share files with other devices that have the AllShare Play app installed, such as a smartphone.

AllShare Play is a cloud-based service from Samsung that allows you to share content between different devices. In this case, what I mean by cloud is that you upload your files to and store the files on as many as three web-based file-sharing services including Dropbox, which is a file-sharing app that also comes pre-installed on the Tab 2. Using the AllShare Play app that comes pre-installed with your Galaxy Tab 2, you can download files from the file-sharing services to your Tab 2 within AllShare Play so you can access them.

Open the AllShare Play app on the Tab 2 by tapping the Apps icon on the home screen and then tapping AllShare Play in the Apps screen. The AllShare Play introduction screen appears as shown in Figure 1; here you see the first of four introductory messages.

Figure 1 The AllShare Play introductory screen.

After a few seconds, another introductory message appears on the screen. If you want to get even more information about AllShare Play, tap the Service Introduction Video button. The Complete Action Using window appears so you can view the one-minute video introduction either within the Browser app by tapping Internet or in the pre-installed YouTube app by tapping YouTube. Next, tap Always if you always want to view the video in your selected app, or tap Just Once to open the Complete Action Using window each time you want to view the video.

Tap the Start button to start setting up AllShare Play. You will need to sign in with your Samsung Apps account if you haven’t done so already. After you sign in (or if you’ve signed into Samsung Apps already), the AllShare Play home screen appears, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2 The AllShare Play home screen is divided into the Registered Storage and Registered Devices areas.

Start setting up AllShare Play by tapping the plus (+) button in the Registered Storage area. The Register Your Storage window appears so you can connect to one of three services: Dropbox, SkyDrive (from Microsoft), and SugarSync. Tap the Sign In button to the right of the storage service you want to use. For this article, I’ll register the Dropbox service because I use it in my daily work.

After you tap the Sign In button, the Sign In screen for Dropbox appears so you can type your Dropbox user name and password into the appropriate boxes. After you sign in, you’ll see a screen that asks if you want to have AllShare Play connect with Dropbox. Tap the Allow button to continue.

After a few seconds, AllShare Play displays your Dropbox information in the Registered Storage area, shown in Figure 3. This information includes the aggregated file size in your account in blue (in this case, 243MB) and the total amount of space available in your Dropbox account (51GB).

Figure 3 The Dropbox information in the Registered Storage area shows you the total size of all files stored in your Dropbox account.

When you tap on the Dropbox icon in the Registered Storage area, the Notification window appears and tells you that only the content saved in the Dropbox AllShare Play folder will appear on the screen. If you want to view all the files that you have stored within AllShare Play, then you’ll have to open the Dropbox app and move the file(s) to the AllShare Play folder. Close the window by tapping the OK button.

The Dropbox screen shows four categories of files that can appear in the AllShare Play folder. The default category is Photos, and to the right of the category list on the left side of the screen, you’ll see the photo file(s) as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 The photo appears as a small thumbnail image on the right side of the screen.

Tap the photo to view it in the Gallery app. When you’re finished, tap the back icon in the Notification bar to return to the Dropbox screen. In the blue Dropbox menu bar at the top of the screen, tap the Menu icon at the right side of the bar to open a menu with more options.

When you move files to your AllShare Play folder within the Dropbox app, the AllShare Play app doesn’t reflect these new changes. To view all files you recently copied to the AllShare Play folder, tap Refresh in the menu. If you want to add more storage services with which you want to share files, tap Register your storage in the menu. The Register Your Storage window appears so you can sign in to another storage service.

You can also get information about your Samsung Apps account and change the account password, and view your AllShare Play settings when you tap Settings in the menu. After you tap Settings, the Settings screen appears, as shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5 The Settings screen shows a list of setting categories on the left side of the screen and category settings and information on the right.

Swipe up and down in the categories list on the left side of the screen to view different setting categories. Tap a category name in the list to view and change settings within that category. For example, when you tap Setting Up Web Services, you’ll be able to sign in to various social networking and photo-sharing websites such as Twitter and Flickr so you can share your photos, music, and videos in AllShare Play with your friends online. You’ll learn how to share a file later in this article.

Tap the Home icon immediately to the left of the menu icon in the menu bar to return to the AllShare Play home page. When you start AllShare Play for the first time, your Tab 2 is automatically registered. Any other registered devices appear in the Registered Devices area. In the example shown in Figure 6, I registered my desktop computer through the AllShare Play website. My computer appears in the Registered Devices area.

Figure 6 My desktop computer, named BCG_Desktop, is shown as a registered device in the Registered Devices area.

When I tap the BCG_Desktop tile, a screen displays thumbnail versions of all photos available in AllShare Play on my desktop computer. The default list view is by the date modified from newest to oldest. You can view files by the date they were created (newest at the beginning of the list) by tapping the Date modified button (as shown in Figure 7) and then tapping Date Created in the list. Tap one of the category names on the left side of the screen to view files in those categories.

Figure 7 Tap the Date Modified button to change how you view files in the category list.

You can select one or more files to manipulate by tapping the checkbox to the left of the file name or, in the case of a photo, in the upper-left corner of the thumbnail photo. After you tap the checkbox, a checkmark appears in the list, and the blue menu bar at the top of the page tells you how many files you selected. You can select all files in the folder by tapping the Select All checkbox.

After you select one or more files, the right side of the menu bar displays five icons from left to right that allows you to perform several tasks with the selected file(s):

  • Tap the Select a Target icon (the right arrow) to open the Select a Target window and then tap on the name of the registered storage service to which you want to send the file(s). After you tap the storage device name, the window closes and a pop-up window appears that informs you when the file has been moved to the storage service.
  • Tap the Share icon, which looks like a V tilted at 90 degrees, to share your file(s) on your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and/or Picasa within the Share window. What you see in the Share window menu depends on the type of file you want to share. For example, if you want to share a photo, then you can share it on your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or Picasa account; you don’t see YouTube because you can’t share photos on that service. Note that before you share files on a social networking or photo-sharing site, you need to log in to the social networking service within the AllShare Play Settings menu as you learned about earlier in this article.
  • Tap the Play button (the solid triangle pointing to the right) to view the file in its associated app. For example, if you view a photo, then you will view the photo in the Gallery app. If you view one or more photos, thumbnail versions of the photos appear at the bottom of the Gallery screen. When you tap on the thumbnail, the full version of the photo appears on the screen. Return to the AllShare Play app by tapping the Back icon in the Notification bar.
  • Tap the Sync icon to send your files to other devices (such as a smartphone) that you have connected to AllShare Play.
  • Tap the Trash icon to delete the selected file(s). After you tap the Trash icon, the Notification window opens and asks you to confirm that you want to delete the file. Tap the OK button to delete the file.

You can return to the AllShare Play home screen by tapping the left arrow icon that appears at the left side of the menu bar (to the left of the AllShare Play logo).

Now that you know how to use AllShare Play, have fun sharing your photos, music, videos, and other files on your Tab 2 and on all your computing devices within the AllShare Play app.

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