The S Voice shortcut
using a double-press of the Home button actually slows down your Home
button response. The first time you press it TouchWiz pauses momentarily
to await the second press. Go to S Voice, press the menu soft key,
select Settings and un-check the box next to ''Open via the Home Key''.
2. Turn off annoying Samsung sounds
While you're at
it, why not turn off some of those annoying Samsung sounds? Even if you
don't mind them I can assure you that everyone on the train, at work and
in the supermarket hates them. To do the world a favor, go to Settings
> My Device > Sounds and Notifications > Other Sounds and
un-check the boxes for as many as you can live without.
3. Use shortcuts to call or message contacts
messy menu buttons when a gesture will suffice? In your contacts list
you can simply swipe a contact's name to the left or write to instantly
call or message them. Now you can stay in touch more easily and save
time while you're doing it.
4. Access Galaxy S4 hidden settings
There's a great
app called Note 2 Hidden Settings that also works with a whole host of
other Galaxy devices. Some carrier-branded models don't work, but it's
worth installing it and giving it a shot because there's heaps of cool
stuff in this app.
5. Secure your lock screen notifications
comes with lock screen notifications meaning you don't have to
completely unlock your phone just to read a text or email. But perhaps
you don't feel comfortable having the contents of your notifications
plastered all over your lock screen for anyone to look at. If so, go to
Settings > My Device > Sounds and Notifications. You can select
which apps will display content on the lock screen in Application
Notifications and your level of content in While Locked.
6. Use your phone to control the TV
WatchOn app and use it to set up your TV guide, favorite channels,
control your TV, set-top box and plenty more. You can even put it on
your lock screen or the notifications shade to make sure you're always
the couch commando in charge.
7. Use your voice for hands-free control
know your S4 has lots of voice control options? You can use your voice
to turn off alarms, take photos, play music and answer or reject calls.
Just go to Settings > My Device > Voice Control and flip the
switches for the commands you want to use. There's also S Voice for
everything else, like settings reminders or checking the weather.
8. Get a better launcher
If TouchWiz still feels a
little slow for you, why not replace with a faster launcher like Google
Now Launcher or a more customizable launcher like Nova Launcher or
Action launcher? Give them a try – they're free and you can always
switch back if you want to.
9. Make your own Qi wireless charger
If you want to
get a wireless charging experience like the Galaxy S6 without forking
out a fortune, why not make your own Qi Wireless charger? All you need
to do is buy a cheap wireless charging case online, prize the wireless
inductor off the back and carefully line it up with the points on the
back of the S4 and stick it in.
10. Navigate faster with the scroll bar
If you're on
the far left home screen and want to get to the far right home screen,
do you paw your way across all of them? Or do you use the home screen
scrubber bar to fly from one end of the home screen spectrum to the
other at faster-than-light speeds? Just swipe on the little home screen
indicators at the bottom of the screen.
11. Customize your lock screen
Don't settle for a
boring old lock screen, add a camera and dialer shortcut, select a clock
or private message and give it some pizzazz with a custom wallpaper. Go
to Settings > My Device > Lock Screen and check the box for
camera and then customize your lock screen widgets.
12. Customize your Quick Settings
Why settle for the
standard Quick Settings when you can curate a custom batch of the most
useful toggles and switches for the way you use your phone? You can even
arrange them exactly how you like. Swipe down from the top of the
screen, tap the little grid in the top right corner and then the little
pencil to edit and rearrange your Quick Settings.
13. Make the keyboard smarter
If you're using the
stock Samsung keyboard, make sure you've got predictive text and swipe
typing enabled. If you don't you should try it out – you'll be amazed at
the time savings both deliver. Go to the keyboard and long press the
button to the left of the space bar. Tap the Settings cog and make sure
Predictive Text is ''On'' and Keyboard Swipe is set to ''Continuous
Input''. Or you could replace the keyboard with SwiftKey.
14. Use ''Do Not Disturb'' mode
Lollipop feature is Priority Notifications, also known as ''Do Not
Disturb'' mode. It basically lets you set times where you won't be
interrupted by any but the most critical notifications or alarms. You
can keep calls from your family and boss on the white list, set days and
times of the week and choose between calls, messages and calendar
reminders. Go to Settings > My Device > Sounds and Notifications
> Interruptions and get busy.
15. Supercharge your camera
Install the Samsung
Smart Camera app and connect your phone to your camera with NFC for
faster transferring of photos, using your phone as a remote viewfinder
(hello selfie sticks) and more. Best of all, your camera will
automatically connect to your phone when it's on.
16. Always get the best display
One of the best
parts of Samsung displays is that they are adaptive to different
conditions, so depending on whether you're reading, looking at photos or
watching a movie, you always get the best possible viewing experience.
Just got to Settings > My Device > Display > Screen Mode and
choose Adapt Display or check out the other options.
17. Try the floating keyboard
Your keyboard isn't
actually locked to the bottom of the screen either. Depending on what
you're doing, a smaller, floating keyboard might be just what you need.
Again, go to the keyboard, long press the button to the left of the
space bar and tap the tile with the two little boxes overlapping. Your
keyboard will shrink a little and be moveable.
18. Save battery with smarter Wi-Fi
If you have your
Wi-Fi set to disconnect whenever the screen is off you might think
you're saving battery by doing so. Wrong. Considering most of us turn
our screen on 150 times a day, keeping Wi-Fi connected the whole time is
actually better than having it turn off and on and search for
connections all the time. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi, tap the soft menu
key and then Advanced and make sure Keep Wi-Fi on During Sleep is set to
19. Fix bugs in Safe Mode
If your Galaxy S4 is
acting strange or you think you've got some serious problems, you might
want to restart it in Safe mode until you get things sorted out. Simply
turn your S4 off and then back on again. As soon as you see the Samsung
screen press and hold the volume down key and you will see that many
apps have been disabled when it boots up. To get out of Safe mode, just
turn your phone off and back on again.
20. Make things simpler with Easy Mode
If you're a
bit bamboozled by all the Samsung widgets and doodads in TouchWiz you
want to give Easy mode a shot. It'll clear things up so you only see the
most important stuff, enlarge icons and make everything a little easier
to manage and navigate. Go to Settings > My Device > Easy Mode
and switch. Do this in reverse to switch back to Normal Mode.
21. Get a custom sound profile
If you have very
discerning ears, or simply like to have complete control over what comes
out of the device you use to speak to people with, then why not get a
custom sound profile? Go to Settings > My Device > Sounds and
Notifications > Adapt Sound. Put in some headphones, tap Start and
follow the prompts.
22. Always get the best photo
Let's face it, not all
of us are Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers. So when a moment really
maters, why not shoot a burst of pics and have your S4 choose the best
one for you? Just open the camera pp, tap Mode and Best Photo. Hold down
the shutter to shoot a bunch of pis and then enjoy the best one
23. Get better battery life
The galaxy S4 doesn't
have the stock Android Lollipop Battery Saver mode but it does have
Samsung's Power Saver Mode. Go to Settings > My Device > Power
Saving Mode and flip the switch to enable it. Just check the boxes for
the settings you can live without for a bit of a battery boost.
24. Enjoy Silent Mode
The Galaxy S4 is one of the
few devices to enjoy true Silent Mode even on Lollipop. You can go to
Settings > My Device > Sounds and Notifications > Interruptions
> Sound Mode > Mute or you can use the toggle in the Quick
Settings to switch from sound to vibrate to mute.
25. Make security smarter
Why would you want to
unlock your phone with a PIN or pattern when it's in your pocket or
you're at home where (I hope) you can trust everyone? Try out Lollipop's
cool Smart Lock feature. You can add a smartwatch so you don't have to
unlock your S4 when your watch is close by, avoid unlocking when you're
at home or the office or even set a trusted face or voice.
26. Make Chrome easier and better
Chrome on Lollipop
is a little annoying. By default your Chrome tabs will live
individually in your recent apps list (accessed by long pressing the
Home button). Maybe you like this, but if you prefer the old way – all
in Chrome itself – then go to Chrome, tap the three dots in the top
right hand corner, select Settings and turn of Merge Tabs and Apps.
27. Get lazy with Hands-Free Mode
If you're busy
doing something else with your hands but don't want to miss out on any
incoming messages or notifications, why not use the Galaxy S4's
Hands-Free Mode? Incoming calls, messages and notifications will be
narrated to you so you always know what's going on even without looking
at your phone. Go to Settings> My Device > Hands-Free Mode and
flip the switch. Tapping the entry will let you choose what is possible.
28. Disable pointless gimmicks
Samsung has always
been known – at least until recently – for packing its phones with some
occasionally less-than-useful features. Some of these features are
enabled by default and are continuously sucking battery and processor
power to work, even if you never use them. If you're not a gesture kind
of guy, why not turn them off? Go to Settings > Motions and Gestures
and turn off the features you don't want. The same goes for Smart Screen
and Air View.