After a few months with your Samsung Galaxy S4, you’ve probably already chosen which “Smart Features” work best for you. And, if you’re particularly savvy, you might have even figured out a few hidden features that transform the S4 into the “life companion” Samsung promised. But, unless you’re an especially savvy Fandroid, you might be missing out on even more tricks available to you.
Here are a few of our favourite hidden (or, at least, not very widely known) Samsung Galaxy S4 features.
1. Double Digits
Rather than pulling down the notifications bar with one finger, use two. Instead of the standard notifications view, you’ll be presented with tiles for your quick settings. Turn on or off Airplane mode, Bluetooth, NFC and more, or toggle smart settings such as Smart Scroll with just a tap.
2. Quick call
Here’s a simple tip that saves numerous taps: in your contacts list, you don’t need to tap through to call or text. Just swipe down to the contact with whom you want to communicate. Swipe left on the contact to open up a new text message; and swipe from left to right over the contact to place a call.
3. Voice Control
The camera can do a lot more than snap pictures and shoot video. A quick dig into the camera app’s settings menu provides a hint of just how much more. One of our favourite tricks is the option to control the camera shutter by saying “smile” or “cheese.” To turn on this “voice trigger” mode:
1. From the homescreen, go to Settings > My Device > Voice Control.
2. Scroll down to find Voice Control and tap to turn it on, then tap the box next to “Camera.” Your camera will snap a shot any time it’s open and you say one of the trigger words.
Tip: While you’re in the camera settings, you can turn your volume rocker into either a zoom in/out rocker or a camera button.
4. Data Dashboard
Your Galaxy S4 has a built-in option to take control of data use. You can set a “warning” threshold so you’ll be alerted when you hit that level of mobile-internet use for the month. To set a data-usage alert:
1. Pull down the notifications bar and tap the Settings icon to open.
2. Under the Connections tab, tap Data Usage.
3. Drag the yellow bar to set a “warning” level. You’ll receive a notification if you go over that chosen level.
5. Easy Does It
Given that you’re an S4 pro, this may not apply to you. Take it under advisement for when you want to show a less-savvy relative what a smartphone can do. Easy Mode cuts down the number of homescreens, presents contacts front and centre, and generally makes it much easier to accomplish simple tasks with the phone. To turn on Easy Mode:
1. Open Settings and tap the My Device tab.
2. Select Home Screen Mode and choose Easy Mode and then hit Apply. Reverse the process to go back to the regular S4 mode.