Galaxy S4 tips and tricks to help make the best of your phone

Summary: Nowadays, a phone isn’t only a machine for calling or sending message. It’s a real personal entertainment product. It is more intelligent, and more difficult to control. If you just received your Galaxy S4, here this article must be useful for you. Which could help you easily get started with the amazing Galaxy S4 phone.

Samsung Galaxy S4 owners could use some tips and tricks with their new device. Samsung stuffed its new smartphone with so many goodies that we decided to create an ever-evolving guide on how to make the best of it. So, if you’re the proud new owner of a Samsung Galaxy S4 and have no idea where to begin, let us help you out.

1. Access new toggles and features via notification panel

Pull down on the notification panel, the same one you use to see new messages, emails and alerts at a glance, and press the upper right icon (it looks like a bunch of small blocks). From there, you’ll get an expanded view of so many new features that you can toggle on and off with just a touch of the screen.

You’ll see new features like Air View — a feature accessible on the Galaxy Note 2 using the S Pen, but now you can use it with just your finger — and Smart Scroll, a feature that lets you use your eyes to scroll the screen up and down in certain apps. If you’re not sure how to use any of the features, simply press and hold the particular toggle button you’re interested in and you’ll be taken into its settings where instructions are clearly laid out.

2. Take a screen shot

Sometimes you want to share what’s on your screen with friends or family, and the easiest way to do that is by taking a screen shot. Doing so is super easy: simply press the power button located on the upper right side of the device, and the home button at the same time. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll see the screen flash and a copy of the image whisked away into your gallery.

3. Hard reset your Galaxy S4

Did you tinker around too much and now you have to hard reset your Galaxy S4? No worries, it’s pretty easy. First, turn your phone off. Then press and hold the volume up, home and power buttons all at the same time until the device turns on. When it’s on and you see the Android logo, release all three buttons at once. Using the volume down button, select Wipe data/Factory reset and press the power button. Then choose “Yes — delete all data” and press the power button again. Once the process finishes, you can use the power button to boot the phone up again and you should be good as new.

4. Set up a screen lock

We do everything on our smartphones these days — from email to banking and social networking — so it’s important to keep all of our info secure. The first line of defense is a screen lock. To enable that, simply go into Settings and go to My Device and tap Lock screen. From there, tap Screen Lock and you can choose a pin or pattern amongst other things to lock your phone. You’ll also be given the option of having two security measures just in case one fails. Once you’ve set your lock, you can choose when to enable the lock, too, whether you want it to lock as soon as your screen is turned off, or if you want it to wait for a few minutes.

5. How to install new apps on your Galaxy S4

In order to install a free Android application on the Samsung Galaxy S4, proceed with the following:

  1. From the Galaxy S4 home screen, select the Google Play Store app.
  2. From the main Google Play Store screen, select the Apps panel on the left.
  3. Here, any mobile app can be accessed and installed. You can either browse or conduct a search using the magnifying glass icon in the top right of the screen.
  4. After you find a free app that interests you, tap Download.
  5. Then tap Accept & Download to accept the permissions for the app (or press Back if you change your mind) — your item will start downloading immediately.
  6. After downloading it will install in the background and will be instantly available for use.
  7. That’s it! You’re now well on your way to using apps and games.

To install a paid Android application on the Samsung Galaxy S4, proceed with the following:

  1. From the home screen, select the Google Play Store app.
  2. From the main Google Play Store screen, select the Apps panel on the left.
  3. Now go ahead and find any paid app you want. You can either browse or conduct a search using the magnifying glass icon in the top right of the screen.
  4. After you find a paid app that interests you tap on the blue box with the price.
  5. You will then be brought to a screen with the total and payment method. If no credit card is shown it should allow you to add a card.
  6. When finished confirming or adding a payment method tap Accept & Buy to accept the permissions for the app (or press Back if you change your mind) — your item will start downloading immediately.
  7. After downloading it will install in the background and will be instantly available for use.

6. Go to Easy Mode for a simple interface

If you’re new to this whole smartphone thing, or you find yourself wanting to go back to a few basics, the Galaxy S4 has an Easy Mode. Simply go to Settings, My Device, Home Screen Mode and hit Easy Mode. From there you’ll be limited to just three home screens, big fonts and icons and basic apps. This will help you transition from using a more basic phone to a full-fledged smartphone. When you think you’ve graduated from the Easy Mode, you can easily revert back to the normal settings at any time and take advantage of all the bells and whistles that the Galaxy S4 has to offer.

7. Save battery life with Power Saving Mode

The Galaxy S4 has a 2,600mAh battery, but sometimes you need extra help in saving up every last bit of juice you can. Samsung has a Power Saving Mode built right in Settings > My Device > Power Saving Mode. From there, you can tweak just how much it affects your phone. It can throttle your CPU, adjust your screen’s power level (perhaps the biggest battery hog of any phone) and turn off haptic feedback if necessary. With any battery saving measures there are compromises, but it’s better to have a phone with fewer features enabled than to have a completely dead phone. Wouldn’t you agree?

8. Using Air View

Air View is one of the nifty gimmicks that can have practical applications in your day to day life. If you enable it in Settings or the toggle via the drop-down notification panel, you’ll be able to hover your finger over emails, messages, galleries, videos and even the pre-loaded Flipboard app to expand items and see what’s inside. The nice thing about Air View is that it lets you save just a little bit of time by previewing content before getting into it, so you’ll know if certain things need immediate attention or if you can just pass on it. It’s a little tricky to keep your finger hovering over the screen — I find it takes more effort to do that than to simply tap on the screen — but once you get used to it it’s not a big deal. I tried doing this with gloves on and it doesn’t work, and it also doesn’t work if you’re more than about a centimeter away from the display.

9. Dual shot to take front and rear camera photos at the same time

You can plug yourself into photos that you’re taking by enabling the new Dual Shot feature. When you get into the camera module, you’ll see the Dual Shot icon between the front/rear camera switch button and the Settings button. When you click the Dual Shot button on the Galaxy S4, you’ll immediately see yourself in a small part of the screen. That portion of the image can be resized, and you can also change the borders on it, too. I believe the default one is the stamp, but you can change it into a heart and other shapes. It’s a little odd, but I guess if no one is around and you want to be in the photo you’re taking, it’s not a terrible feature to have.

10. Enable Smart Stay

If you’re tired of your phone turning off every time you’re looking at photos or reading an article, you can force it to stay on as long as your eyes are trained on the screen. It’s a feature that was found on the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2, but if this is your first Samsung device, you’ll want to know how to enable it. The easiest way is by pulling the notification panel down and expanding the toggle keys by pressing the icon on the upper right next to the Settings gear. Click on Smart Stay to turn it on, and now your display won’t dim or turn off as long as you are looking at it. The only time it might not work is if there is a bright light source behind you or if it’s too dark for the front-facing camera/sensor to detect your eyes.

11. Add a new home screen

By default, the Galaxy S4 has five available home screens. If you want to add more screens, simply press the menu key from the home page and press edit. Conversely, you can just pinch the screen inward with your thumb and forefinger to bring in the same options. You’ll see a pane with a plus button on it, and from there you can add new screens. You can delete home screens by pressing them and dragging them to the “Remove” bar on the top of the display when you’re in the Edit screen page. It’s as easy as that!

12. Use Multi Window on the Galaxy S4

From any app in the Galaxy S4, simply press and hold the back button and a tab will pop up on the left side of the screen. Bring out that tab if it isn’t fully drawn out already, and you’ll see a list of apps that you can edit. When you want to open your second window, simply press and hold the app from the tray and drag it out onto the main screen. You’ll have the option of resizing or swapping the windows, just like you can on the Galaxy Note 2. It’s a great feature for true multi-tasking, though I don’t find myself using it very often. I can see it being put to good use for notes while reading news or a live feed of some kind. Either way, now you know how to do it.

13. How to switch/kill apps

If you want to quickly switch to a different app you used recently, press and hold the home button and you’ll get a list of your recently used apps in reverse chronological order. You can swipe them away to kill them, too. Or, you can press and hold the home button and and press the pie chart icon on the lower left corner to be taken into your active applications. You can choose to kill them one at a time or to end them all at once. From here, you can also manage your downloaded apps and check your RAM and storage.

14. Access new modes in the camera app

The camera is filled with little tricks and goodies, but they take a little practice and time to get right. To see the new features, you can do one of two things: press the mode button down by the shutter button to get a scrolling list of the new modes, or press the icon on the upper left corner (it is a box with four little boxes in it) and you’ll get an immediate list of icons on your screen so you can quickly choose one. The benefit of doing the mode button is that, for beginners, a description of each mode is listed before you go into it. That way you’ll know what you’re getting into. Otherwise, sometimes you just want to get to a mode quickly without any fuss. That’s when the icon list comes in handy. From there, you can enjoy the new Drama Shot or the Animated Gif features.

15. How to set mobile data limit

If you want to make sure you don’t go over your data limit on your smartphone plan, the Galaxy S4 lets you set your mobile data usage limit. If you hit that limit, the device will automatically shut off mobile data for you. Go into your Settings, and under Connections you’ll find Data usage. Tap on that and check the box titled Set mobile data limit. From there, you can drag the slider to set your data limit, and even select your data usage cycle dates. Now you won’t have to worry about getting charged insane overage prices anymore because your phone will stop you from going over your data plan.

This list will continue growing and expanding, so be sure to check back every now and then for many more tips and tricks!

Be Sociable, Share!