Digital Crave

Six cool things you didn’t know about Samsung’s Galaxy S4

View gallery

.
Samsung galaxy s4 smartphone android

While the demand for Samsung’s next phone has outpaced supply, those who’ve managed to get their hands on the new Galaxy S4 – from $200 on a 2-year plan -- already know about its attractive 5-inch screen, smart cameras and much-hyped S Health feature that allows you to track your workouts, calorie intake and weight levels.

But there’s a lot more to the device. In fact, I’ve been quite impressed with the smartphone’s little-known features that haven’t received a lot of coverage in the press.

After playing around with the phone for more than a week, the following are a half-dozen cool technologies you probably didn’t know the Galaxy S4 was capable of -- and how to enable them.

Read with head tracking

Leading up to the Galaxy S4 unveiling in March, a rumor predicted you’ll be able to use your eyes to scroll up and down content on a website thanks to a sensor on the front of the phone. Then, at the launch event, it was announced you can tilt instead of swipe the device to move words around – but no word on the eyes feature.

Well, it turns out you can in fact tilt your head – instead of the device – to scroll up and down a long website, hands-free. It's not based on your eye movement, but close enough; the sensor knows when you’re slightly nodding up or down and the content will flow in that direction. I’ve blown away some people by demonstrating this feature, which is activated in the Settings tab by tapping on “Smart Scroll.”

You can imagine this feature would also be ideal for those with physical challenges, perhaps with limited arm, hand or finger dexterity.

Waving for info

On a related note, the Galaxy S 4 uses a new infrared sensor to detect gestures near the phone -- without touching the screen. Turn it on or off by swiping down from the top of the phone (start at the Samsung logo) and tapping the “Air Gesture” icon represented by a waving hand. Green means it’s on, grey is off.

Now you can press and hold the icon to open up specific Air Gesture features, such as if you want to answer the phone by waving your hand in front of the screen. Or flip through photos or music tracks by swiping left or right. The same action can advance through web pages if multiple sites are open as browser tabs.

My favorite feature isn’t commonly known: Enabling “Quick Glance” under the Air Gesture tab allows you to wave over the top of your sleeping phone (say, on a table) and you’ll immediately see the time, text and phone message info, battery power, and more.

View gallery

.
Samsung galaxy s4

Wireless mirroring with a TV

While the Galaxy S4’s 5-inch screen is great for consuming content, your TV is likely ten times larger. So here’s how to wirelessly play content from your phone to your television:

On your S4, swipe down from the top of the screen (over the Samsung logo) and it’ll open your phone’s Settings. Tap “Screen Mirroring” and it’ll look for compatible devices, such as most 2013 Samsung Smart TVs and many new Samsung Blu-ray players. There’s also an aftermarket dongle that plugs into any TV’s HDMI port.

On the Samsung televisions, toggle between the input settings until you see “Screen Mirroring.” The two devices will pair within a couple of seconds. Now, whatever you access on your smartphone – photos, videos, music, notes or websites – it’ll show on the TV screen, wirelessly.

I just tried this and it worked like a charm. Once you sync once, it'll automatically connect going forward whenever you toggle to the Screen Mirroring input on your television.

You can also pair your S4 with DLNA-compatible TVs to push media there, such as photos and videos. Under the “Connections” tab on your phone, select “Nearby devices” to share your media via DLNA.

Two fingers are better than one

This one is pretty simple, but a real time saver.

Most Android users know you can swipe down from the top of the phone (start over the Samsung logo) to open up the Settings at the top of the screen, so you can toggle things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, and so on.

But there are so many icons accessible on the Galaxy S4 – 20, in fact – you’ll need to swipe across, horizontally, to find what you need.

There is a faster way, but it only works on the Galaxy S4 at this point. Instead of swiping down with one finger from the top of the screen to open up the Settings, use two fingers and it’ll show all 20 icons for you (a grid of 5 x 4 icons) instead of having to scroll left or right to find and tap the one you want.

Peek using air gestures

One of the more advanced features of the Galaxy S4 is the ability to access content without even touching the screen – similar to what you can do with the S Pen on the new Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet.

With the phone, swipe down from the top of the screen and tap “Air View.” With this activated you can hover your finger over the screen when inside various apps to see additional information.

For example, place your finger over the screen in Flipboard and you’ll see headlines for each section (e.g. News, Technology, etc.). Or place your finger over a list of emails in your inbox to read a brief preview of what’s inside. Or hover over a photo gallery folder and you’ll see thumbnails of what’s inside.

One of my favorites is a web magnifier: place your finger over the text on a website to enlarge the words in that particular spot.
To access the various options within the Air View settings, press and hold the icon and you’ll see a few features you can enable or disable.

Speech-to-text and text-to-speech

You’ve probably heard about this one, but here I’ll explain how to activate and use it.

With a fingertip, swipe down from the top of the smartphone (start over the Samsung logo) and in the pull-down options, tap “Driving Mode” to enable it. The icon will turn green.

You can have S Voice Drive turn on automatically when paired with your car’s Bluetooth system – so you won’t need to turn it on manually. Select this option if you like.

Still in the “Driving Mode” options, you can tap to hear notifications read aloud, such as incoming calls (reads out caller’s name), text messages, how many new emails are waiting for you, alarms and scheduling info, and more. Check off the desired options. Too bad the phone can’t read your emails to you, but there are apps for that.

When you get a new text message, your phone will tell you who it’s from and you can say “Read Out” to hear the message. Now you can say “Read,” “Reply” or “Cancel.”

To perform a function using your voice, double-tap the Home button, say “Hi Galaxy” and say one of the key words to start: “Call,” “Text,” “Navigate,” “Play” or “Weather.”

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • 'Morbidly obese' woman drops 126 pounds and becomes fitness model

      A woman from Aarhus, Denmark, who was once classified as “morbidly obese” after tipping the scales at 268 pounds, now works as a physical trainer and sportswear model after dropping more than half of the weight in a period of four years. Mathilde Broberg, 22, lost the excess pounds partially by cutting out junk food, exercising avidly and following the “teaspoon diet,” where she measured out her food and ate with a teaspoon to ensure that the portion sizes weren’t larger than the size of a flat-out hand.

      Yahoo Canada Style
    • Trump's Treasury pick just doubled down on a budget trick that would steal from an entire generation

      On Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Treasury secretary took the hot seat in...

      Business Insider
    • Denver police to destroy motorcycle as ‘public nuisance’

      var _ndnq = _ndnq || []; _ndnq.push([’embed’]); DENVER (AP) — Denver police are planning to destroy a motorcycle that was seized after a massive rally that closed part of Interstate 25. Hundreds of motorcyclists rode through Denver on July 24 as part of a rally to call attention to biker safety and awareness. Bikers were seen popping wheelies and doing burnouts in the middle of the highway, ultimately shutting I-25 down. Denver Police seized a 2007 Honda after the protest through the civil public nuisance abatement process. Police announced they will destroy the bike Thursday. The owner of the bike that will be destroyed faces charges for speed exhibition and reckless driving. He is awaiting

      MercuryNews.com q
    • Miguel Ferrer Dies: A Look Back at the TV Veteran’s Biggest Roles (15 photos)

      Miguel Ferrer has died at age 61 . The veteran actor, best known for his most recent role as Owen Granger on NCIS: Los Angeles , passed away at his home after a battle with throat cancer. Ferrer continued working on NCIS up until his death, with the show's writers ultimately writing his illness into his character's storyline. Ferrer came from an acting family — he was the son of Oscar-winning actor Jose Ferrer and singer Rosemary Clooney and cousin to George Clooney. After the actor's death, his famous cousin remembered him with a poignant statement, saying, "Miguel made the world brighter and funnier and his passing is felt so deeply in our family that events of the day, (monumental events), pale in comparison. We love you, Miguel. We always will." An accomplished drummer, Ferrer toured with his mother and Bing Crosby in the 1970s. But acting was Ferrer's forte, and his impressive TV career included roles on a long list of popular television shows over the past 30 years, including Crossing Jordan , Magnum, P.I., CHiPS, and Cagney & Lacey , as well as a very memorable guest role on Will & Grace . In 2017, Ferrer was ready to reprise his Twin Peaks role as FBI agent Albert Rosenfeld on Showtime's revival of the series. Click through this slideshow for a look back at Miguel Ferrer's television career.

      Yahoo TV
    • Animal Shelter Offers $11,200 Reward After Rottweiler Is Found With Ears, Nose and Tail Cut Off

      "Baron is doing remarkably well considering his injuries," a veterinarian reported.

      Inside Edition
    • Here's what Aaron Rodgers said in the huddle before Packers' miracle play

      Aaron Rodgers' ridiculous laser pass to Jared Cook on the left sideline to beat the Cowboys in the divisional round has already become the stuff of legend. Everyone that saw the play -- including Cowboys safety Byron Jones, who was in coverage on the play -- could barely believe their eyes as it happened. And of course, Randall Cobb let everyone know after the game that Rodgers himself called the play in the huddle, making it up on the spot. In an appearance on the "Dan Le Betard Show" on Wednesday, Rodgers revealed it was the first time in his career that he'd make up a play in the huddle, per ESPN.com. What was that play call? "I said everybody kind of run over to the left, and get open --

      CBS Sports q
    • North Korea threatens to ‘nuke’ Trump’s inauguration

      North Korea is “readying two intercontinental ballistic missiles” to “nuke” Donald’s Trump inauguration, it’s been reported. Military officials say the rogue state wants to send a “strategic message” to the incoming US president by timing launches to ruin his big day on Friday. In a statement, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the reports could not be confirmed but that the military was monitoring the situation closely. However, according to news reports in South Korea, two missiles have already been placed on mobile launchers. The devices “are estimated to not exceed 15m [49 feet] in length, making them shorter than the North’s existing ICBMs.” An ICBM test in the coming days is “highly

      New York Post q
    • While Drama Swirls, Olivia Munn Stuns in Yellow Gown

      Olivia Munn looked gorgeous in a yellow gown with a plunging neckline. Despite the fact that Olivia Munn‘s relationship with football player Aaron Rodgers is making headlines, the actress doesn’t appear to be fazed by it. The 36-year-old was recently spotted in a glamorous yellow gown with a plunging neckline while out in New York City.

      Yahoo Style
    • Mark Zuckerberg is suing hundreds of Hawaiians to protect his 700-acre Kauai estate

      Mark Zuckerberg paid close to $100 million for 700 acres of beachfront property on the island of...

      Business Insider
    • Trump walked out to 'Heart of Stone' at the inaugural concert for some unfathomable reason

      The voice of Mick Jagger boomed across the Washington Mall as Donald Trump made his grand entrance at the inaugural concert. From the 1965 recording, that is. Of course the Rolling Stones aren't performing at this mess.  "There's been so many girls that I've known. I've made so many cry, and still I wonder why," the song goes. "Here comes a little girl, I see her walking down the street. She's all by herself, I try to knock her off her feet." And yes, he absolutely has made so many girls cry. What an apt song choice! SEE ALSO: Moby's new video has a message for 'unevolved, feral, self-interested man-baby' Trump Here are the complete lyrics to the song, which might be a bad choice to set the tone

      Mashable q
    • Floyd Mayweather Failed Miserably At Trying To Troll Conor McGregor For Being Broke

      Floyd Mayweather is at it again, attempting to antagonize Conor McGregor as they continue their very strange beef and teasing a potential fight between the biggest star in boxing and the biggest star in mixed martial arts. The latest installment in the Mayweather-McGregor saga comes courtesy of Floyd’s Twitter, as he attempted to troll McGregor by comparing the two’s net worths. The reason he did this is because Dana White recently offered both fighters $25 million plus a negotiated pay-per-view revenue split to fight.

      UPROXX
    • Entertainment Tonight
    • Dodge’s next muscle car will be faster, lighter, more powerful than the Hellcat

      Dodge has announced it will introduce a new variant of the Challenger named Demon at the New York Auto Show. The model will be faster, lighter, and more powerful than the 707-horsepower Hellcat.

      Digital Trends
    • People are talking about the confusing Photoshop fail in Selena Gomez’s Instagram selfie

      We all know that Selena Gomez is beyond beautiful and is no need of Photoshop. But one picture floating around the internet…

      Hello Giggles
    • The colossal price to fly a pair of B-2 bombers to hit two ISIS camps in Libya

      WASHINGTON — On Wednesday evening, a pair of US Air Force B-2 Spirit bombers carried out...

      Business Insider
    • VIDEO: Driver Licenses From Nine States Won’t Be Valid IDs for Domestic Flights in 2018

      Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, travelers from nine states will no longer be able to travel with only their driver’s licenses.

      Travel & Leisure Video
    • Mark Zuckerberg fires back at ‘misleading’ articles about his $100 million Hawaiian estate

      Mark Zuckerberg fired back at "misleading stories" about the 700 acres of Hawaiian property...

      Business Insider
    • EpiPen gets a new rival: Auvi-Q. Its pricing scheme will blow your mind

      Have allergies? This EpiPen rival has a list price of $4,500, but most patients won't pay a cent.

      CNBC
    • Executive actions ready to go as Trump prepares to take office

      By Ayesha Rascoe and Julia Edwards Ainsley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump is preparing to sign executive actions on his first day in the White House on Friday to take the opening steps to crack down on immigration, build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and roll back outgoing President Barack Obama's policies. Trump, a Republican elected on Nov. 8 to succeed Democrat Obama, arrived in Washington on a military plane with his family a day before he will be sworn in during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. Aides said Trump would not wait to wield one of the most powerful tools of his office, the presidential pen, to sign several executive actions that can be implemented without the input of Congress.

      Reuters
    • NFL disputes report regarding penalty mistake in Cowboys-Packers

      The Dallas Cowboys didn't do enough to defeat the Green Bay Packers, but it was clear the officiating aided their downfall. At one point in the contest, Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after it was deemed he entered the team huddle before he went back to the sidelines thereafter without participating in the subsequent play. To be blunt, it wasn't actually a huddle at all. The collective football world was at a loss as to exactly what on Earth the officiating crew was speaking to, and as it turns out, they were right — the league got it wrong. Former NFL executive Michael Lombardi reports the league just owned up to their mistake. NFL Senior VP of Officiating

      CBS Sports q