Many of the best Galaxy S4 features are hidden deep in menus and behind settings that even experienced users wouldn’t tap on. This Galaxy S4 guide will show you how to get more out of the Galaxy S4 without buying any Galaxy S4 accessories or spending money on Galaxy S4 apps.
These hidden Galaxy S4 features aren’t tucked away behind a secret button combination, but thanks to the way Samsung sets up the menu, many of them are hidden behind toggles and hidden deep in the settings. Many users could spend a year with the Galaxy S4 without finding half of these settings, so we’ve dug deep to pick our favorite settings so you can enjoy the Galaxy S4 more right now.
There is no need to root the Galaxy S4 or install a custom ROM to access any of these functions, though users can root the Galaxy S4 for access to other features and apps if they want to.
These Samsung Galaxy S4 hidden features are available on all versions of the device, though there may be some small differences in functionality.
Here are 25 hard to find Galaxy S4 features the Gotta Be Mobile team uncovered after using the Galaxy S4 extensively for the last month.
Access All Toggles With a Two Finger Pull
The Samsung Galaxy S4 includes over a dozen Notification toggles to quickly change settings on the Samsung Galaxy S4 without diving into the settings.
With a one finger pull down of the notification center you can swipe side to side, but pull down with two fingers and you’ll have access to all of the toggles at once.
From here it’s also possible to quickly edit the notification toggles so that you can remove those you don’t use every day.
Turn on Easy Mode
If the Samsung Galaxy S4 is your first smartphone, the Easy mode is a great way to get started with your first smartphone. This simplified user interface hides some features, but it doesn’t take away from the overall experience much.
Some users will also appreciate the larger icons in Easy mode, which are easier to see and to tap.
It is easy to turn Easy mode on and off, so you can try Easy Mode and then switch to Standard Mode when you are ready for more.
Launch Google Now Fast
Google Now is a cool predictive personal assistant that comes with all new Android phones, but users may have a tough time launching it thanks to Samsung including S-Voice on the Galaxy S4.
To launch Google Now quickly, hold the menu button on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and it should pop up, letting you search with Google Now and ask the phone to do things much like you would with Siri.
You will need to turn Google Now on if this is the first time using it, so you may need to tap on the Google bar on the home screen and follow the prompts to turn Google Now on. This will then combine search and email data from your Google account to push information to you as you need it.
Eventually Google Now will know your home, work, favorite sports teams and will pick up on travel plans and remind you automatically. It’s easy to customize what it does and doesn’t show so give it a try.
Fast Access to Common Settings
Now that you know it’s possible to quickly change settings with a tap of the toggles in the Notification drawer, we want to take things a step further.
A long press on any of these toggles will open up that page in settings. This is great for quickly pairing a Bluetooth device and changing settings on the many builtin gesture and motion controls on the Galaxy S4.
This works in the small single row view and in the expanded group of icons.
Use Two Apps at the Same Time
The Samsung Galaxy S4 brings Multi Window mode. This cool feature, also known as Multi-View is a way to run two apps on screen at the same time. This makes it easier to multitask on the Galaxy S4. While many of us find this works best for productivity when paired with a keyboard it’s possible to do many things.
- Watch YouTube and check Twitter
- Browse the Web and take notes
- Check email and Facebook at the same time
- and many more.
Carriers may limit which apps show up in this menu, so not everyone will see the same apps here. Not all apps work, but the selection is big enough to make it a worthwhile entertainment and productivity feature.
Check Alerts Without Touching the Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 includes a feature that makes it easy to check alerts and notifications without touching the Galaxy S4.
Head to Settings -> My Device -> Motions and gestures-> Air Gesture -> Quick glance -> On.
Once this is on, just move your hand over the display while the device is asleep as we show in the video below.
The Quick Glance feature will turn the display on and show;
- Icons from the Notification bar
- Missed calls
- New Text messages
- Battery Life
- and the current time.
This unfortunately doesn’t let you tap on any of these to jump into the apps or to unlock the Galaxy S4, but it does show what made the phone buzz or ring.
Speed Up the Galaxy S4 Home Button
By default the Samsung Galaxy S4 home button is a bit slow because it is waiting for users to double tap and launch S-Voice. If you don’t plan to use S-Voice or don’t polan to use it from the home button, turning this setting off will dramatically speed up going form an app to the home screen.
To do this, open S-Voice by double tapping the home button. Then tap menu and choose Settings. Uncheck Open via the home key.
The video above shows how to do this and the speed difference from turning this setting off. Users can still launch S voice by tapping on the S Voice icon in the app drawer.
Supercharge the Galaxy S4 Keyboard
The Samsung Galaxy S4 ships with Swiftkey, a smart keyboard that learns from what you type to deliver better predictive text, but Samsung hides the most important settings. Users can also move this keyboard freely around the screen. Check it out in action in the video below.
To turn on predictive text on the Samsung Galaxy S4 keyboard and have it learn from what you type, follow these directions.
Open the keyboard -> long press on the microphone for Settings -> Tap on Predictive Text -> link to you accounts.
From here it learn your typing style and your common phrases and words.
Another great option is to long press on the microphone and then choose the right-most keyboard icon. This shrinks the keyboard and lets you move it around on the screen. Another long pres and then a tap on the icon to the left of that one will turn this feature off.
Find A Lost or Stolen Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 will soon offer a Lojack feature that lets users pay a monthly fee to track down a stolen Samsung Galaxy complete with a team of trained professionals, but users who want a free solution that includes finding a lost Galaxy S4 should install Lookout Mobile.
Lookout Mobile is a free app and service that will track down, sound alerts and with an upgrade wipe the phone. There’s also a signal flare alert that will send one last location when the battery dies.
Control the Galaxy S4 With Your Eyes
The Samsung Galaxy S4 includes several features that let users control the device with their eyes. Once turned on users can scroll with their eyes or with a tilt, keep the screen on when they are looking at it and automatically pause videos. These features don’t work in all apps, but they are handy for many of the standard Samsung apps.
To turn these settings on go to Settings -> My device -> Smart screen ->
- Check Smart Stay
- Check Smart Pause
- and turn Smart scroll on and then tap on the text to choose more options.
Smart stay will keep the display on when you are looking at it. This happens automatically throughout all apps and is a great feature. Smart pause will automatically pause some videos when you look away, but it doesn’t support every video player. The Smart scroll feature lets users tilt the device or their head to scroll in the Browser and a few other apps.