If you just got your new Samsung Galaxy S4, then you’ve landed on the right page. Most Android phones come with certain hidden tricks that a lot of users don’t know about and if you’re looking to get the most out of your Galaxy S4, continue reading to find out the best tips and tricks. The S4 apps are fun, but these tricks are amazing.
If this is the first time you’re using an Android phone, then you might need some time to adjust to the OS, especially if you’ve been using the iOS for the past couple of years. I remember switching to Android several years back and even though it took me a couple of days to figure out some of the hidden features, I think it’s really easy to get used to.
If you’re using the Android OS for the first time, then you won’t know many features of the Galaxy S4, or the features in Samsung’s Galaxy phones in general. Here are the top 11 tips and tricks for Samsung Galaxy S4.
1. TV Remote
The TV remote functionality is quite impressive on the Galaxy S4 and it is surprising to see how such an awesome feature is underused on the device. The TV remote feature isn’t just your average TV controlling feature where you would have to take your phone really close to the TV in order to control it. It uses IR Blaster and a dedicated remote control app for controlling your TV.
You can lay down on your bed and use your phone as a remote control like you would use any other genuine remote control. In order to activate the feature, go to the WatchON app on your Galaxy S4 and set up a remote control. You can also set up different room profiles so that you can enable the specific profile when you’re in a particular room. The TV remote can be used from your notifications bar, as a widget on your homescreen and even from your lockscreen.
2. Additional Toggles In The Notifications Bar
Another impressive feature is that you can display additional toggles in the Quick Settings panel in order to do a lot more directly from your notifications bar. While this might not be the coolest feature on the Galaxy S4, it is certainly useful and not many people know about it. For accessing your basic Quick Settings panel, you can just swipe the notifications bar down with a finger.
In order to get the full Quick Settings panel, you need to do this with 2 fingers and all your toggles should be available on the screen. If you want to customize the toggles, you can simply hold a particular toggle and drag it to where you want it in the Quick Settings panel.
3. Multi Windows
This feature was one of the features that Samsung focused on while marketing the Galaxy S4, but not many people know about this feature or know how to enable it. Multi Windows basically lets you run two apps on your phone simultaneously, and the screen is divided between these two apps. For example, you can watch a video on your phone while messaging someone at the same time. Multi Windows require large screens, which is why the feature works nicely on the Galaxy S4.
In order to enable the feature, simply press and hold the Back button until you see a white tray on the left side of your screen. Drag any app from the tray to the center of the screen to launch it and drag the second app to either the right or left of the app already running. You can also use the divider in the centre to reduce or increase the space taken by a particular app.
4. Air Gestures
The ability to wave your hand over your screen to do something is one of the most impressive features on the Galaxy S4. Air Gestures let you interact with your phone without actually touching it. While some users say that this isn’t a practical feature yet, you can benefit quite a lot using this feature.
For example, you’re eating a cheeseburger and your Galaxy S4 is ringing. What should you do? You can’t touch your phone because your hands are dirty and if you reach out to get some tissues, the call might end. You simply wave your hand over the screen to answer the call. It’s as simple as that! In order to enable Air Gestures, open your Settings app, tap on the My Device device tab and select Motions and gestures. Tap on Air gesture and make sure the toggle on the top right is turned on. You can separately enable different types of air gestures such as Quick glance, Air jump, Air browse, Air move and Air-call accept.
5. Adapt Sound
Adapt Sound is another awesome feature in the Galaxy S4 that some of you might not have heard of. This is probably the first time I’ve seen such a feature in an Android smartphone since it lets you customize the sound quality according to your hearing and the type of headphones that you’re using. Aside from audio quality when listening to music, this feature also improves sound quality while on calls according to your preferences, such as the ear that you use more often for answering phone calls.
Before using this, make sure you’re in a quiet room and have your headphones plugged in. In order to use the app, go to the Settings app, select Sound and tap on Adapt Sound. Tap on Start to begin the process. A “test” will begin where you’ll hear several beeps and you have to answer whether you can hear the beep. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the procedure and you’ll have the best possible sound quality on your Galaxy S4.
6. Blocking Mode
If you don’t want to be disturbed at a certain time during the day, then this is the feature you’re looking for. Blocking Mode is a neat feature that lets you block incoming notifications and customize the notifications that you want to receive during the blocking period. By default, you’ll only receive incoming call notifications by contacts in your allowed list and everything else will be blocked.
Unlike Air Plane mode that disables total connectivity, this feature also lets you disable LED notifications and alarms. For enabling the blocking mode, go to the Settings app, tap on the My device tab and select Blocking mode. Make sure that the toggle in the top right is turned on. You can either set it to Always or you can set a custom time frame, for instance during a meeting or when you’re sleeping.
7. Improve Call Quality
This feature lets you customize the audio quality in phone calls using on-screen options during calls. I have had problems with audio quality in certain phone calls, and while most of my phone calls are fine, there might be instances when a particular call isn’t as clear, usually because of the surroundings or area.
If you find yourself facing this issue, then you can use this feature to improve in-call audio quality. When on a phone call, you’ll see three options on the call screen. The option on the top is the equalizer which lets you customize the audio quality, such as clear sound or soft sound. The option on the left of the Hold button is for noise reduction and the option on the right is for Extra volume.
8. Floating Keyboard
The floating keyboard feature lets you move around the keyboard on your screen while you’re multi tasking. I’ve already mentioned the multitasking feature earlier in this post, and floating keyboard makes multitasking much more efficient. If, for example, you’re typing a message while watching a video, you might not be able to see the video because the message app will take half the screen while the keyboard will take the other half.
With floating keyboard, your keyboard shrinks in size and you can move it so that you can view the second app as well while you’re typing. To enable this, long press the Settings icon on your keyboard and select the popup keyboard option, which has a Plus sign. Now you can move the keyboard around the screen.
9. Pinch Zoom In Videos
This is one of my favorite features, and if you watch a lot of videos on your S4, then this is one of the best features. We all know how to pinch zoom in photos, but you can pinch zoom in videos as well. Using pinch zoom, you can zoom in anywhere in a video to focus on a particular area or object.
In order to use this, just use your two fingers while watching a video for zooming in like you would on a photo. Also, you can swipe up or down on the left side of the screen to adjust brightness and on the right side to adjust audio. Once you swipe, a scroll bar should appear magically for adjusting the brightness and volume settings.
10. WiFi Timer
WiFi Timer lets you specify a time frame for your WiFi usage. This is a great option for people who don’t want to enable WiFi all the time and just when they actually need it. It can save up battery as well. For example, if you’re at your office and you get a break for several minutes everyday, you can set the WiFi timer to automatically enable WiFi during your break period so that when you’re free, you’ll get all your web notifications on time.
In order to use this, go to WiFi in the Connections menu in your Settings app. Tap on Advanced settings and select WiFi timer. Set the starting time, the end time and press the Done button.
11. Lock Screen Message
This is the last feature in our list and it is a great way to customize your lockscreen. You can set up a custom lockscreen message and can also change the color and font of that message.
In order to set your own personal message, go to Lock screen and tap on Lock screen widgets in the Settings app. Select Edit personal information. Customize your lock screen text and tap on Save once you’re done.
There is no doubt that the Galaxy S4 is one of the most popular Android devices right now. While the phone has some incredible features, not many people know about some of the “hidden” features. For users who have been using Android phones or previous Samsung Galaxy devices, you might be able to find your way through to some of these features. For users who haven’t used a Galaxy device before, your experience should become better after using the features mentioned above.
Aside from these features, there are other features as well that you won’t find easily on the Galaxy S4. The tips and tricks mentioned above are my favorite and are ranked according to my preferences. If you would like to share your own tips and tricks, please do so in the comments section below and feel free to ask any questions regarding the tips and tricks for Samsung Galaxy S4. You might even want to root or unlock your S4 after learning all of these cool tricks.