Samsung Galaxy S4 User Guide

Introduction

Samsung's Galaxy S4 is not only one of the most popular smartphones on the planet, but also one of the most feature-rich. So if you're looking for help activating or using any of the Galaxy S4's various settings and apps, you've come to the right place.

Make Your Phone Faster

Do you have the need for speed? You can give your Galaxy S4 a boost by disabling some of the features that bog it down including S Voice, transition animations and switching off the lock screen lighting effects. With fewer apps and features to deal with, the S4 should provide the kind of performance you should expect from a quad-core handset. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Make Your Battery Last Longer

You can squeeze some extra juice out of the Galaxy S4's meager battery by enabling power saving features and disabling energy hogging features. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Root Your Phone (Advanced Users Only)

So you love your Galaxy S4, but aren't too fond of all of the features it comes loaded with? You can quickly uninstall them by rooting your handset with the Motochopper exploit and downloading the NoBloat app from the Google Play store. Once you've rooted your handset, you can add the Multi Window Manager app to use any app in Multi Window mode. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Protect Your Phone

Keep you Galaxy S4 safe from drops, spills and other mishaps with this collection of protective cases. See our recommendations here.

Block a Number

You can dodge unwanted calls by flagging certain numbers in your phone app. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Disable AMBER Alerts

Has your phone turned itself into a blaring death horn? You can disable emergency alerts like this. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Turn Off Location Services

There are a few reasons you might want to disable location services on your camera, including saving battery power, or more importantly, protecting your family. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Toggle Between Multiple Apps

The Galaxy S4's Multi Windows View mode lets you split the screen between two different apps. You can enable this productivity-friendly feature by toggling it to on in the Quick Settings menu and activate it by holding down the Android Back button and dragging the appropriate icons onto the screen. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Make the Ringer Volume Louder

If you keep your S4 stuffed in your pocket all day, chances are you're going to miss a call on occasion. Turn on the Increase Volume in Pocket feature under the Device -> Call Settings menu, however, and the S4 will recognize when it's in your pocket and automatically increase the ringer volume so you can hear it loud and clear. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Use Your Phone as a TV Remote

Want to control your TV with your smartphone? The Galaxy S4 can do just that with its built-in IR blaster and WatchOn app. But before you can use the feature, you'll have to follow the app's setup process, which asks you for your cable provider, cable box brand and TV brand. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Add a Widget to Your Lock Screen

Samsung also allows you to add a favorite apps widget for quick access to your 12 favorite apps without unlocking your phone. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Add Shortcuts to Your Lock Screen

Need to access your camera app, but don't want to have to wait to unlock your S4 to open the app? You can set the camera and up to four other apps as app shortcuts on the S4's lock screen in the Lock Screen submenu of My Device settings. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Use Smart Scroll

Samsung has made significant improvements to its Smart Screen functionality for the Galaxy S4, adding a new Smart Scroll feature that automatically scrolls down a Web page when you move your eyes down the screen. To enable this setting, simply open the Smart Screen menu and toggle the Smart Scroll option to on. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Use Smart Gestures

The Galaxy S4, like many new smartphones, includes a variety of gesture controls that let you perform such tasks as waving your hand to answer a call, switching between tabs in the browser or controlling the music player. To enable them, you'll have to switch on the Air Gesture, Motion and Palm Motion features under Motion and Gestures options in the S4's Settings menu. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Use the S Health App

Fitness apps are all the rage today, and Samsung jumped on the bandwagon with the Galaxy S4's S Health feature. But before you can use S Health, you'll have to personalize it with your gender, height and weight, and activity profile. Just fire up the app for the first time and follow the prompts to get started. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Enable Air View

The Galaxy S4 marks the first time Samsung allows users to access its Air View function without a stylus. Once you've enabled this feature under the Device Settings menu, you can hold your finger over an email in the email widget and be provided with the message's complete heading and text. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Use Advanced Photo Modes

With the Galaxy S4's Dual Camera mode, you can shoot photos or videos with the back camera while capturing your reaction on the front-facer. To use the feature, switch to the Camera app's Dual Camera mode, line up your shot and tap the shutter button. You can also created animated .gifs. Here's a step-by-step tutorial.

Looking for Something That's Not Here?

If you have other questions about your Galaxy S4, our Android smartphone community is always glad to help.

Thinking About a New Phone?

You might want to check out the Best Smartphones on the Market and the Best Smartphone Cameras. You might also enjoy our collection of Android App Recommendations.

Credits

This guide is the collective effort of Dan Howley, Anna Attkisson, Mark Spoonauer, David Cogen, Cherlynn Low, John Brandon, Avram Piltch, Molly Klinefelter, Anna Hurka Robles, Kenneth Butler, Joe Osborne and Jeremy Lips. Get to know us here.

Make Your Phone Faster

Turn Off the S Voice Shortcut

Samsung's S Voice feature, similar to Apple's Siri, has a long list of talents. You can ask it questions like "What's the weather for today?", find restaurants, navigate to an address, open apps, post updates to Twitter, dictate memos and more. However, we strongly suggest disabling the Home Key shortcut for this app, which launches S Voice when you press the button twice. We noticed significant lag when exiting apps to the home screen with this function on, as the S4 seems to be waiting just in case you press the Home button twice. Here's how to avoid this delay. — Mark Spoonauer

  1. Press the Home button twice to launch S Voice, or tap the S Voice icon.
  2. Tap the Settings button to the left of the Home key.
  3. Press Settings on the menu that pops up on screen.
  4. Uncheck the box where it says Open via the Home key.

Turn Off Animations

The Galaxy S4 uses transition animations as you move from, say, the home screen to an app, or when you exit an app and go back to the home screen. While attractive, these animations can make the phone feel sluggish. The good news is that you can disable them. It’s a little tricky, but thanks to a great YouTube video by MADDTec, you can follow right along as you read these tips.

  1. Open Settings, and tap the More tab on the right side of the screen.
  2. Scroll down and tap the Build Number Field multiple times. Keep pressing until the S4 tells you that you are now a developer.
  3. Press the Back button and tap Developer Options.
  4. Scroll down until you see Window Animation Scale.
  5. Select Window Animation Scale and select Animation Is Off.
  6. Repeat for Transition Animation Scale and Animator Duration Scale under Developer Options.

Never Miss an Important Photo

The Galaxy S4’s camera runs circles around other smartphone cameras when it comes to features, but it’s not the fastest. The first thing you’ll want to do is set a lock-screen shortcut for the Camera app, so you can unlock directly to the camera with a swipe. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Enter the Settings menu, and tap the My Device tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Select Lock Screen at the top of the list of options.
  3. Tap the Shortcuts option in the Lock screen menu.
  4. Switch the Set Shortcuts option from Off to On. By default, the camera will be one of the five available options. (You can reassign any of these shortcuts).

The Galaxy S4 could also be faster when it comes to shot-to-shot times. However, if you enable the Best Photo feature, you’ll be able to fire off eight shots in a row and then select the best one. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Camera app and press the Mode button, and then scroll down and select Best Photo.
  2. Press the shutter to capture eight consecutive images.
  3. Long press on any photo you’d like to keep, and then tap Save.

Disable the Unlock Effect Feature

By default, the Galaxy S4 offers a nifty lock-screen Light effect that can follow your finger with a tiny beam of light. When you unlock the device, a wider beam of light spreads across the device. That’s cool, but we noticed that with this animation enabled, it sometimes takes a bit longer for the screen to turn on after you press the power button. The actual unlocking action takes only a hair longer. Still, every half second adds up over time. Here’s how to toggle the lock-screen effect off:

  1. Go to Settings and tap the My Device tab at the top of the menu (the second option in from the left).
  2. Select the Lock Screen option.
  3. Tap where it says Unlock Effect, and select None.

Improve Your Phone's Battery Life

Admit it: You’re addicted to your Samsung Galaxy S4. Maybe it’s the big and beautiful 5-inch AMOLED screen. Or the nifty Eraser mode for the 13-megapixel camera. Or is it the gesture controls? With all of these features and more at your disposal, it’s all too easy to drain your Galaxy S4’s battery life. In our testing on multiple networks, the S4 lasted anywhere from 5 hours and 15 minutes (AT&T) to 6 hours and 45 minutes (T-Mobile). Given that the average smartphone lasts about 6 hours on a charge, that kind of endurance isn’t bad, but you can do better. Here are 10 tips to make your GS4 last longer. — Joe Osborne

Use Samsung’s Power Saving Mode

With the Galaxy S4, Samsung introduced a suite of power-saving features that users can toggle with a single tap. With Power Saving Mode activated, the phone limits the maximum performance of its CPU so as to draw less juice, uses a lower power setting for its screen and disables haptic feedback.

What’s even better is that that you can toggle each of these features within the tool as you please. That way, when you activate Power Saving Mode, you’ll know exactly which limits you’re placing on your device. Tap Power Saving in the Quick Settings menu when you slide down from the top of the screen. And press and hold this button to tweak the power saving mode settings.

Turn Off Unnecessary Connections

From LTE to NFC, the GS4 comes with just about every connection imaginable. While each will come into play through the phone’s bevy of features, you’ll rarely need each type of connectivity raring to go at all times. So, we recommend disabling NFC, Bluetooth, location features, DLNA and even mobile data (i.e. LTE) when you’re not using them.

You can shut off most of the above features in the Quick Settings menu by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping a button. All of these options are also accessible through the Connections tab in the Settings menu.

Optimize the Display

We love the rich colors offered by the S4's large 5-inch display, but it can be a power hog. Take control by going to the Display section under the My Device tab. We’d start with enabling automatic brightness, which makes your screen only as bright as it needs to by responding to ambient light. (You can also toggle Auto brightness by swiping down from the top of the screen.)

Also, consider setting your screen mode to standard to keep your screen’s color, contrast and other levels the same at all times. Finally, you should find a darker wallpaper and lock screen image. Generally speaking, AMOLED displays use less power to brighten dark pixels than brightly-colored ones.

Disable Motion and Gesture Controls

You might have fun impressing your friends by answering your phone or switching music tracks with a wave of your hand. But your GS4 is wasting energy just waiting for you to pretend you’re a wizard. To turn off these features, tap on the Motions and Gestures menu under the My Device tab within Settings.

If you want to turn off just Air Gestures, you can do that from within the Quick Settings menu by swiping down from the top of the screen and then tapping the Air Gesture icon.

Close Idle Apps and Processes

If you think you’ve closed an app by holding the Home button and swiping at it, think again. Many apps run separate processes that can zap your battery. To make sure that your GS4 is only running what is absolutely necessary, be sure to open the Task Manager by holding the Home button and then tapping the pie chart icon. From here, you can quickly and safely kill a number of applications with the “End all” button.

If you want extra peace of mind, tap the Clear Memory button under the RAM tab to safely kill all processes that can be closed with a single tap. Not enough for you? Go to the Application Manager under the More tab within Settings. From here, you can individually close the processes that the above methods didn't touch. But beware: Do not kill a process unless you know exactly what it does; otherwise, you could end up seriously impacting your device’s functionality.

Disable Smart Screen Features

To power features like Smart Stay (for keeping the screen on) and Smart Pause (for pausing videos when you're not looking), the GS4 uses sensors to detect your eyes. Take the load off of your phone by disabling Smart Screen. Go to the Input and Control section within the My Device tab of the Settings menu. Then press Smart Screen. From there, you can individually turn each Smart Screen feature off to save some power.

If you swipe down from the top of the screen and then press the grid icon in the top right corner, you can disable Smart stay and Smart scroll by tapping the respective icons.

Disable Syncing and Automatic Updates

When you're running low on juice, you can squeeze more endurance out of your S4 by turning off automatic account syncing. Doing this will tell your phone not to update email, Facebook and other data in the background. Just swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the Sync button in the Quick Settings menu if it’s green.

To disable automatic app updates, enter Google Play and press the Settings button. Then press the Auto-Update Apps button and choose the “Do not auto-update apps” option.

Turn Off Haptic Feedback

Haptic feedback, or the vibrations that occur whenever you touch the GS4 in certain situations (like typing), can draw precious power by activating a tiny motor inside your phone. You can disable this feature through one of two ways: through the Power Saving Mode tool, or through the Sound section underneath the My Device tab within the Settings app.

Disable Air View Features

Air View lets GS4 owners preview content just by hovering their finger above the screen. For example, you can see what photos are in a folder by expanding it or you can preview the contents of a message in the Email app. However, Air View can drain your battery because the phone needs to calculate whether you're trying to touch the screen or hover, and even then the feature can be erratic.

To disable Air View, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap the Air View button in the Quick Settings options that appear. Or you can head to the Input and Control section of the My Device tab within the Settings menu.

Invest in an Extended Battery

We’ve got you this far without asking you to spend a cent, but if these tips don’t grant you the endurance you seek, then perhaps it’s time to pony up. Thanks its removable back plate, the GS4 allows users to replace its 2,600 mAh battery.

We highly recommend is the Mugen Power HLI-I9500XL. With its 5,500 mAh of capacity, this replacement battery more than doubles the lasting power of your GS4 without wrapping it up in an ugly case.

Root Your Phone (Advanced Users Only)

Need to remove some of the bloatware on your Samsung Galaxy S4? Want to edit what applications can be used with the device’s multi window feature? All of this is possible and more if you root  your phone. Rooting is the process of gaining  administrative or “root” access to your device, which gives you access to all the directories, commands, and subsystems. Interested? Here’s how to gain root access on the Samsung Galaxy S4. — David Cogen

Install the Drivers

1. Download and install Samsung’s USB Drivers.

2. Pull down the notification bar and tap the Settings icon.

3. Tap More > About Device.

4. Tap Build Number repeatedly until the device pops up a notification saying “You are now a Developer”.

5. Go back and tap on Developer Options.

6. Turn USB Debugging on.

7. Plug your device in via USB cable and wait for the drivers to install.

Root the Samsung Galaxy S4

1. Download the Motochopper program to your desktop (the download is in the first post in the thread).

2. Extract the .zip file to your desktop.

3. Double click the run.bat file inside the the newly extracted folder if on Windows. If on a mac, open Terminal (inside Applications > Utilities) and then type the following into Terminal with hitting enter at the end of each line:

cd desktop
cd motochopper
./run.sh

4. Select OK on the device when prompted.

5. Once it’s all done, check for SuperSU in your applications drawer. If it’s there, you’re all set. If you see SuperSU in your app drawer on the device, you are rooted.

Remove Bloatware

1. Head to the Play Store on your device and search for NoBloat and install it.

2. Select Allow when Superuser pops up.

3. Select System Apps.

4. Select any apps you don’t use and choose Backup and Delete to remove it (choosing this option will allow you to put them back if you delete one you want back, after you realize you truly don’t want the app, then click on backed up apps, click on the app, and click delete backup to free up the storage space).

5. To reinstall the apps you’ve removed, simply click on backed up apps and reinstall them.

Enable MultiWindow for Other Apps

1.  Search the Play Store for Samsung Multi Window Manager and install it.

2. Select Allow when Superuser pops up.

3. If you just want to enable all apps to use the multi window feature, tap Enable All then say Yes.

4. Tap Save in the top right corner and select Reboot.

5. When your Galaxy S4 reboots, you can now use any app in the multi window mode. Enjoy!

Best Cases for the Galaxy S4

Because accidents happen, your precious new Galaxy S4 deserves some protection. These waterproof cases for the Samsung Galaxy S4 are waterproof and pool-ready. Like most rugged smartphone cases, these all use a strong plastic shell that protects your phone against drops on hard concrete. The main benefit: one of the most common ways you can damage your S4 and make it completely useless is when to let the phone gets in contact with water. These shells make sure you can keep checking e-mail and browsing the Web, even after a spill. — John Brandon

Speck SmartFlex Card

It's always nice to travel without a wallet or bag, right? Speck's SmartFlex Card case for your Galaxy S4 lets you leave the bulk at home, with a panel on the back the holds up to three cards for your ID and credit cards. Its flexible (but durable) construction lets you easily take the case on and off. Plus, a thumb release helps you slide out cards when you need them.

Block a Number

Tired of getting unwanted phone calls from pesky telemarketers or your unrelenting ex? If you own a Samsung Galaxy S4, you have plenty of options when it comes to blocking people from calling you. From unknown numbers to those that start with specific area codes, you can block individual and groups of numbers to your heart’s desire. Here’s how. — Cherlynn Low

  1. Navigate to Call settings. Swipe down from the home page and tap the gear icon at the top right, then select My Device and Call.
  2. Tap Call Rejection, then hit the arrow next to Auto Reject Mode.
  3. Select “Auto reject numbers” from the options that pop up. If you want to reject all calls at the moment, you can select All Numbers.
  4. Navigate to Auto Reject List back in Call Rejection.
  5. Hit Create. You can enter a number into the field or pull from your Contacts or Call Logs by tapping the icon shaped like a person at the end of the field.
  6. Tap Save at the top right when you’re done.

To block more numbers, just repeat steps 4 to 6. You can also reject numbers from entire cities if you wish. Just enter the area code for that region in Step 5, then select Starts With under the Match Criteria option below the number field. For US numbers, this function workswhether or not you add a “+1″ before the area code.

You can also add numbers to your reject list from your contacts page or call logs. Long-press the number you want to block, then select Add To Reject List.

You can define up to 100 numbers to block, and those that were defined as “Starts With” count as one number.

Now when your object of frustration tries to call you, they will hear one ring, followed by a disconnection sound. Your phone won’t display the call at all, but if you check your call logs, blocked calls show up so you know your S4 is hard at work keeping irritants at bay. A blocked symbol appears below the number to indicate it was rejected.

Disable AMBER Alerts

Most of New York City was abruptly and shockingly awakened July 16th due to an emergency AMBER alert. The resultant noise was distressing and sleep disrupting to so many that Twitter was afire with grumpy folks. The effectiveness of such alerts may be up for debate, but it has caused many folks to go in search of a way to stop these interruptions in the future. For Samsung Galaxy Note II or S4 owners, here’s a step-by-step guide to silencing the notifications. — Anna Attkisson

For Samsung Galaxy S4 owners, here’s a step-by-step guide to silencing emergency alerts and notifications.

  1. Open your Messaging app.
  2. Tap the Menu button on the bottom right of your screen.
  3. Tap Settings and scroll down.
  4. Tap Emergency Alerts.
  5. Uncheck AMBER alerts. In this same menu you can disable severe weather alerts too.

Turn Off Location Services

Do you know how many apps on your Samsung Galaxy S4 use Location Services? Some use that data to offer directions, suggest restaurants near you or attach your location to an Instagram photo or Facebook post. These apps likely prompted you to enable Location Services before you started using it, and many people agree to this without thinking. But what you may not know is that your smartphone’s camera is also likely tracking your location.

There are a few reasons you might want to disable location services on your camera, including saving battery power, or more importantly, protecting your family. The location-tagged data in photos can lead predators to your child’s school, playground, daycare and any other places you may regularly use your smartphone. The directions for how to disable Location Services is a little different on each Android device. Here’s how to stop transmitting your location on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

  1. Open the Camera app and tap the gear icon on the right of the screen.
  2. Tap the next gear icon that appears on the right of the screen.
  3. Tap the gear icon that appears in the next pop-up screen.
  4. Tap the gear icon on the right of the pop-up screen.
  5. Tap GPS Tag and toggle off.
  6. Go to your Galaxy S4 Settings Menu to disable more location services.
  7. Tap the More tab on the top right and tap Location Services.
  8. Toggle the top button that reads “Access to my location.” Doing this will disable all other apps on your Galaxy S4 that use your GPS, Wi-Fi or mobile network location to transmit that data.

Toggle Between Multiple Apps

One of the coolest features of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is its ability to run two apps on the screen simultaneously, allowing you to multitask on your smartphone like you do on a desktop operating system like Windows or OS X. Just imagine reading your email on the right side of the screen while you surf the Web on the left, and you have Samsung’s Multi Window mode. — Daniel P. Howley

Samsung includes about a dozen Multi Window compatible apps, including email, Gmail, YouTube and the browser, and you can add social networking apps Facebook and Twitter if you have them installed. Here’s how to enable and use Multi Window mode on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

  1. Select the My Device tab in the settings menu.
  2. Select the display tab and check the box next to Multi Window.

How to add apps to Multi Window view:

  1. Swipe open the Multi Window drawer on the left side of the screen and select Edit at the bottom of the screen.
  2. To remove an app, long-press its icon and drag it out of the Multi Window drawer.
  3. To add an app, long-press its icon in the app tray and drag it to the Multi Window drawer.
  4. Tap Done and all of the apps you selected will now be available in the drawer.

To use Multi Window view:

  1. Slide open the Multi Window drawer and long-press and drag the first app you want to open to the home screen.
  2. Long-press the second app you want to open and drag it to the home screen. Both apps should now be running on the home screen at the same time.

Make the Ringer Volume Louder

No matter how loud your phone’s ringer is, chances are if you put it in your pocket or purse the sound is going to be muffled enough to cause you to miss a call or two. Fortunately, the Samsung Galaxy S4 gives users the ability to increase the ringer’s volume when the phone is in their pockets or bags. To enable this feature: — Daniel P. Howley

  1. Open the Settings menu and navigate to the My Device tab.
  2. Select the Call tab and check the box next to the Increase Volume In Pocket option. The next time your phone rings in your pocket, you should be able to hear it without issue.

Use Your Phone as a TV Remote

Like most of the newest halo phones on the market, the Samsung Galaxy S4 has an infrared port so you can use it as a TV remote. With its built-in WatchOn application, the Galaxy S4 can browse channels and see what’s on, search Netflix for streaming titles or query Samsung’s Media Hub to find movies and TV shows you can buy. But before you can use the WatchOn app, you’ll have to set it up. — Daniel P. Howley

To set up WatchOn on the Galaxy S4:

  1. Open the WatchON app and select your country.
  2. Enter your zip code and select your content provider.
  3. If you want to personalize your TV selection, tap Personalize. If not, select Skip.
  4. If you chose personalize, select the genres of TV shows and movies you watch and press Next.
  5. Choose the Sports you are interested in and press Next.
  6. Set your age and gender, if you want, and tap the Done button at the top of the screen.

To Set up WatchOn as your TV Remote:

  1. Open the WatchOn app and tap the remote icon in the top right corner of the screen and press the Set Up Now button.
  2. Select your television brand from the provided list.
  3. Press the onscreen Power button to test whether the remote code works for your TV. If it works, press the Yes, This Code Works button. If not, press the No, Test Next Code button.
  4. Select the source you receive channels from, either your set-top box or TV.
  5. If you use your set-top box, choose the source from the provided list. Note, you may have to configure your set-top box to receive RF signals.
  6. Tap the channel button to see if the WatchOn code works with your set-top box.
  7. If the code works, press the Yes, This Code Works button. If it doesn’t press No, Test Next Code. You can now use your S4 to control both your TV and set-top box.

To control your TV using WatchOn:

  1. Press the remote icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  2. If you want to control your TV, press the TV tab at the top of the screen. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up a list of additional controls.
  3. If you want to control your set-top box, tap the appropriately labeled tab at the top of the screen. Like the TV tab, swipe up from the top of the screen.

Add a Widget to Your Lock Screen

One of the things that Google’s Android OS has over Apple’s iOS is its support for widgets. With Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, users can even add widgets to their device’s lock screen and see important notifications at a glance. However, on Samsung’s Galaxy S4, the phone-maker’s TouchWiz interface makes enabling this feature a little different than on stock Android. Samsung also allows you to add a favorite apps widget for quick access to your 12 favorite apps without unlocking your phone. — Cherlynn Low

If you have a Galaxy S4, here’s how to add widgets to your lock screen.

  1. Navigate to the settings menu. You can get there by pulling down the notifications drawer from the top of the screen and tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner.
  2. Select the My device tab.
  3. Tap Lock Screen.
  4. Check the box for Multiple Widgets to allow you to add widgets on your lock screen.
  5. Bring up your lock screen. You can get there by pressing the power button on the side of your phone, waiting a second and then pressing it again.
  6. Swipe or drag the clock widget sideways. You should see a second window come into view. A lock icon and dots should appear at the bottom of your home screen to indicate which lock screen you are on. The Galaxy S4 supports up to six lock screens, each with one widget.
  7. Tap the Plus tile that appears on an empty lock screen. If you don’t come across a plus sign, that screen has been used for a widget. Keep swiping sideways till you see a Plus like the one below. You will see a list of widgets you can add to the page.
  8. Select the widget you want to put on your lock screen.

And voila! You’re all set. To add more widgets, simply swipe sideways again. Remember that only six widget lock screens are supported. If you want to remove an existing widget, simply long press on it, then drag it over the the trash can that shows up at the top of the screen.

Add Shortcuts on Your Lock Screen

Tired of having to unlock your Samsung Galaxy S4 to access your favorite apps? Then you’ll want to add your favorite app shortcuts to the S4’s home screen. — Daniel P. Howley

To do this:

  1. Open the Settings menu and tap the My Device tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap Lock Screen, check the box next to Multiple Widgets and move the slider next to the Shortcuts tab from the Off to On position.
  3. Tap Lock Screen Widgets and move the slider next to the Favorite Apps or Camera tab from the Off to On position.
  4. Tap Favorite Apps or Camera, select either your Favorite Apps or Camera app on the lock screen and press Save at the top of the screen. The next time you see the phone’s lock screen, you’ll be able to swipe to the right and view a box with 12 shortcuts that will take you directly to apps. You can edit this list by tapping the pen icon in its lower left corner. (Editors’ Note: Enabling this feature was erratic at best, resulting in us having to swipe the lock screen multiple times before we were able to edit the app shortcuts.)
  5. Toggle Shortcuts to On.
  6. Tap Shortcuts. A screen with a list of five shortcuts appears. These shortcuts will appear at the bottom of your lock screen.
  7. Tap the shortcuts you wish to change. When you tap each one, you will be shown a screen with a list of all apps. Select a replacement app for each. If you want to replace the phone dialer with Facebook, for example, you’d just tap the phone dialer icon then select Facebook on the subsequent menu.

Use Smart Scroll

One of the standout features of the Galaxy S3 was its Smart Stay function, which kept the display from timing out when you were reading an article by monitoring your eyes. For the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung has upped the ante by adding its new Smart Scroll function.

Smart Scroll, as its name implies, allows you to scroll up or down a Web page by simply moving your head (or the phone) up and down. To enable this function:

  1. Open the Settings menu and select My Device tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Tap the Smart Screen tab.
  3. Switch the slider next to Smart Scroll from the Off to On position.

To use Smart Scroll:

  1. Open a Web page or email message and look down to scroll up on the page. To scroll down, look up.

Use Smart Gestures

The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a host of cool gesture-activated features that let you perform key functions with the wave of hand. With the Galaxy S4’s motion controls, you can make a call by simply placing the phone next to your ear, lift up your phone to check missed calls and silence a ringer by placing the phone flat on its screen. — Daniel P. Howley

To enable Smart Gestures:

  1. Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Notifications drawer and tap the Settings icon.
  2. Tap the My Device tab at the top of the screen and scroll down to select the Motions And Gestures tab.
  3. Select the Motion tab and switch the slider at the top of the screen from Off to On.
  4. Switch on the features you want to activate and press the Home button to exit.

Use the S Health App

Keeping track of your workout routine and eating habits has never been easier, thanks to the Samsung Galaxy S4’s new S Health app. Using the feature, you’ll be able to see how many steps you’ve taken in a day, track your workout, monitor your caloric intake and even check to see how comfortable the room is. Here’s how to use S Health. — Daniel P. Howley

To set up S Health:

  1. Open the S Health app and tap Next.
  2. Agree to the terms of service and press Next.
  3. Enter your profile information and tap Start at the bottom of the screen.

To check your comfort level:

  1. Tap the settings button in the top left corner of the screen and press the Comfort Level tab. S Health will then determine the temperature and humidity in your general vicinity to determine your overall comfort level.

To track the number of steps you’ve walked:

  1. Select the Walking Mate tab from the Settings menu in the top left corner of the screen.
  2. When you are ready to begin walking, tap the Start button. The tracker will measure the number of steps you take until you press the Pause button at the bottom of the screen.

Enable Air View

On your laptop, you frequently get more information by positioning the mouse pointer on top of an object. Whether it’s the ALT text when hovering over the image on a Web page or the tool tips when hovering over a button in Windows, there’s a ton of extra available information. The Samsung Galaxy S4’s Air View feature also offers additional information when you hover over an object, but it uses your finger rather than a mouse pointer.

Air View lets users preview a photo, view the text of an email message in the inbox or scan ahead on a video, all without touching the screen. To enable Air View on the Samsung Galaxy S4, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Settings menu and tap the My Device tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Scroll down and select Air View.
  3. Toggle the slider at the top of the screen from Off to On.
  4. Next, switch the sliders next to Information Preview, Progress Preview, Speed Dial Preview and Webpage Magnifier to their On positions.

How to use Air View for Movies:

  1. Open the Play Movies and TV app and select the Personal Movies tab at the top of the screen.
  2. Choose the movie you want to watch and press Play.
  3. Hold your finger roughly a half an inch about the progress bar and move it forward to preview the video.

How to use Air View for Photos:

  1. Open the Gallery app.
  2. Place your hand roughly half an inch over the gallery you want to preview and hold it there until a series of images from the gallery appears.

Use Dual or Animated Photo Modes

The Samsung Galaxy S4 offers one of the most feature-rich smartphone cameras on the market. And part of that experience is what Samsung calls its Dual Camera mode. The function allows you to capture an image or shoot a video of the action in front of you, as well as a shot of your face at the same time. So if you’re checking out a concert and want to get a picture of the show and your reaction at the same time, Dual Camera mode is the feature you want. — Avram Piltch

To use Dual Camera mode:

  1. Open the Camera app and set the shooting mode to Auto.
  2. Press the Dual Camera button in the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Line up the rear-facing camera with your subject, making sure that your mug is positioned in front of the front-facing camera.
  4. The default photo frame for the front-facing camera should appear as a postage stamp. If you want to change it, tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen to bring up a list of 12 possible frames.
  5. Say, “Cheese,” and Press the shutter button to take your photo.

Animated Photo Mode

The Samsung Galaxy S4’s Animated Photo Mode feature allows you to easily create animated GIFs with part of the photo frozen while other areas move. Because the pictures output as GIFs, they can be viewed on any device and in any modern Web browser, making them ideal for sharing.

Follow these steps to capture and edit an animated photo on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

  1. Tap Mode in the camera app.
  2. Select Animated Photo from the list of available modes.
  3. Tap the shutter button to begin capturing your animation. A progress bar at the bottom of the screen will show how much recording time is left. You can record up to 9 seconds of footage.
  4. Tap the Trim button if you want to cut any parts from your animation. For example, you might want to remove an awkward moment from the beginning or end of the clip. If you’re not interested in trimming your animation, skip this and the next step.
  5. Drag the beginning and end markers to cut frames from the beginning and/or end of the frame. Click Done when finished trimming.
  6. Tap Direction. A list of possible directions for the animation appears.
  7. Choose the direction you want your animation to move.  You can select forward, backward or back and forth. Tap the down arrow to make the direction menu disappear.
  8. Select Animate or Freeze. If you want the whole image to move, skip this and the next step.
  9. Highlight either the part of the image stand you want to move or the part you want to stand still.
  10. Hit Save.
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