Tutorial: The way turning Galaxy S4 into a universal remote

Powered by WatchOn (and Peel), the S4 is more than just a substitute clicker — it’s an intelligent companion that can change the way you surf channels, personalizing your experience based on your (and your friends’) interests.

At least, that’s the promise. Here’s how to set up your S4 as a universal remote that controls your home theater system and gives you personalized recommendations based on your interests.

(And, for the record, you can still just about control any TV you come across.)

Launching the app

Launch the WatchOn app, which came preinstalled on your S4. Upon opening the app for the first time, you’ll be asked to surrender a little information about yourself, like what kinds of shows you like and what sports you’re into. The app will even request your name and gender. It’s a series of questions that might be off-putting for a first acquaintance, but WatchOn needs to know these things to deliver relevant, personalized recommendations on what to watch.

If you’d rather not divulge, though, choose the option to skip. (You can always go back later via Settings.)

At the end of that process, you’ll be taken straight to the primary WatchOn interface, where the app has already begun to create a catalog of shows tailored to your tastes and based on the cable provider you indicated early on.

But, before we dive into that interface and learn about the features, you still have to pair your phone with your TV, cable box, and any other components so it can act as your universal remote.

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New LoJack solution for Galaxy S4 makes theft meaningless

Summary: Current smartphone remote-wipe solutions protect your data, but a factory reset still works on the black market. LoJack has a solution that can’t be removed, rendering the device useless for thieves.

Smartphone theft is out of control, especially when such theft leads to murder. The Huffington Post has reported that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has requested representatives from Google, Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft attend a summit next week to discuss the problem.

The upcoming LoJack solution for Android devices is the kind of solution that Schneiderman is asking for, and I hope to see this in cell phones other than the Galaxy S4 in the near future.

There are a number of software solutions that let you wipe or track your iPhone, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. But after a hard reset or wipe, a thief can take your phone to be sold or used. Something more effective is needed to stop this crime that affected about 1.6 million Americans last year.

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Galaxy S4 mini Review

If Samsung’s Galaxy S4 is more phone than you think you need, the electronics giant has just offered up the smaller, more midrange — and surely cheaper — Galaxy S4 Mini.

Like a decaffeinated beverage, Samsung is hoping to give its lighter smartphone much of the same taste with just a little less oomph. Although the Mini has stepped-down specs compared to its flagship family, like a lower-resolution screen and an 8-megapixel camera instead of a 13-megapixel shooter, it’s no slouch when it comes to the Galaxy S4’s core features, like a built-in TV remote control.

As with the Galaxy S3 Mini that came before, this version is aimed more at the mass market. The mini plays the role of the lower price option compared tp the marquee Galaxy S4, but without sacrificing some of the superphone’s more defining features.

The CNET crew will first get our hands on the smaller smartphone in London at the June 20 launch event, and we’ll have more thoughts to share when we do. Until then, here’s what we know about the phone, and how it should stack up against the original Galaxy S4.

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Comparison: Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Apple iPhone 5

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Samsung Galaxy S4 vs Apple iPhone 5: Design and build

We now know the Galaxy S4 looks quite similar to the Galaxy S3 in design so therefore can’t really be mistaken for the iPhone 5. We’ll let you decide which you think is more attractive since it’s down to personal taste.

What is worth pointing out is that the Galaxy S4 uses a largely plastic build with a removable cover while the iPhone 5 is made from glass and aluminium. This is the key difference for us and where the iPhone 5 comes out distinctly on top.

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Top 10 Samsung Galaxy S4 Great Hidden Features

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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.

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