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

    • 7 Drugs Found in System of Hot Air Balloon Pilot in Deadliest US Crash: NTSB

      Pilot of the deadliest U.S. hot air balloon crash had 7 drugs in system.

      ABC News q
    • Sexless marriage worries husband

      Dear Carolyn DEAR CAROLYN: Should I be worried that my wife and I have had no sex for literally years? I am guessing it is at least three years. Not even heavy make-out sessions. It just seems that my wife has no interest. I am afraid to broach the subject for fear of a negative answer. We don’t sleep in the same bed anymore either. I am a big snorer and chose to sleep in the guest room. It’s fine because she is a light sleeper and I am happier that she is getting her sleep. I do use a CPAP but it does come off sometimes. The no-sex thing just happened over time. We have both gained some weight but we are not obese — we could both lose 20 or 30 pounds. Is this normal or should we seek help? —

      The Seattle Times q
    • Classmates Keep Missing Boy’s Desk Empty as Tribute After Friend Allegedly Helps Murder Him

      The recent discovery of a missing Alaska teen’s dead body, weeks after he vanished — and the subsequent arrest of one of his friends — has shaken their small community. In mourning 16-year-old David Grunwald, they are also remembering his life: One his teachers tells PEOPLE the boy’s desk chair is being kept empty in tribute to the funny and eager student, who dreamed of being a pilot. “We all miss him,” Zack Lanphier, David’s former high school teacher at Mat-Su Career & Tech, tells PEOPLE.

      People
    • Michael Moore Says Trump May Decide To Quit Presidency

      “He may decide he just wants to quit before he even takes office,” the Academy Award-winning filmmaker said in an interview Wednesday.

      International Business Times
    • Hatchimals: The Toy Craze of 2016

      Hatchimals, the hottest toy this holiday season, are furry creatures that hatch from an egg when you play with them. Retailers are sold out across the country, but some resellers have inflated prices and are making a huge profit.

      Yahoo Style
    • Husband who hasn’t had sex in years asks, ‘Is this normal?’

      Hi, Carolyn: Should I be worried that my wife and I have had no sex for literally years? I am guessing it is at least three years. Not even heavy make-out sessions. It just seems that my wife has no interest. I am afraid to broach the subject for fear of a negative answer. We don’t sleep in the same bed anymore either. I am a big snorer and chose to sleep in the guest room. It’s fine because she is a light sleeper and I am happier that she is getting her sleep. I do use a CPAP but it does come off sometimes. The no-sex thing just happened over time. We have both gained some weight but we are not obese — we could both lose 20 or 30 pounds. Is this normal or should we seek help? J.: Should I be

      Washington Post q
    • PEOPLE’s Picks for the Top 10 Movies of 2016 (10 photos)

      From an American hero to a mischievous demigod to a mysterious group of extraterrestrials, giants ruled

      People
    • A teen fired up Facebook Live from the highway. Moments later, everyone in her car was dead.

      It would be the final question Brooke Miranda Hughes would hear before a tractor-trailer plowed into the back of her car as it crawled down Interstate 380 in Pennsylvania just after midnight Tuesday. Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, the passenger who posed the question, was referring to Facebook Live, which Hughes had just launched to broadcast live from her moving vehicle, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune. The final moments of their young lives — marked by a flash of lights, screeching tires and then seven minutes of blackness — were captured on the live-streamed video after Hughes, sitting behind the wheel, held her phone near her face for the rest of the world to see. Hughes, 18, and Morrison-Toomey, 19, were declared dead at the scene.

      Washington Post q
    • One Direction Star Louis Tomlinson's Mother Johannah Dead at 43

      Louis Tomlinson's mother, Johannah Deakin, has died after a battle with leukemia.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Uber tells passengers to quit using Uber Pool as a hook-up service

      When ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft created carpooling services in 2014, some people thought it would be fun to use chance encounters with other passengers on their routes as a speed dating opportunity. These love-seekers argued that “there’s something quite romantic about two people sitting in the backseat of a car,” and some developed habits…

      Quartz q
    • What does "Hotel California" really mean? (And other questions for Don Henley)

      The Eagles are among the 2016 Kennedy Center honorees. The band formed in the early 1970s and helped define classic rock on the radio, becoming one of the world’s most successful bands. But when drummer Don Henley hears one of their songs on the radio now, he usually turns it down. “After 44 years, you just really don’t want to hear ‘em when you’re off,” Henley said. “When I’m off duty, I’d rather listen to somebody else, or just silence. Silence is good. You don’t get much of it these days anywhere. So I’m a big fan of silence.” He may be a fan of silence, but with the Eagles, Don Henley created some of the most popular sounds in American music.   Like their hit song, the Eagles seemed really

      CBS News q
    • UPS Driver Who Spotted 'Call 911' Scrawled on Package Helps Save Captive Woman

      A 3-year-old child was locked in a room of the house during the ordeal.

      Inside Edition
    • Town & Country
    • Chart shows exactly how Trump's tax plan could affect you

      While some richer taxpayers could benefit from Trump's proposed reforms, others may end up paying more.

      CNBC
    • People
    • Bindi Irwin posted the sweetest goodbye message to her boyfriend, and our hearts are melting and breaking all at once

      Long distance relationships are HARD, but not impossible. Just look at Bindi Irwin (daughter of the late Steve Irwin) and her American boyfriend, pro…

      Hello Giggles
    • Pennsylvania Teen, 18, Streamed Fatal Car Crash on Facebook Live

      A teenage driver was streaming to Facebook Live while she drove along a Pennsylvania highway just before a tractor-trailer rear ended her vehicle after midnight Tuesday, killing her and a passenger in a fiery wreck. Brooke Miranda Hughes, 18, was behind the wheel on Interstate 380 near Tobyhanna as she live-streamed her car ride with 19-year-old friend, Chaniya Morrison-Toomey, who can be heard saying “Are you going live?” in the now-deleted footage, according to the Associated Press. Before Hughes could answer, bright lights flash inside the car and sounds of screeching tires can be heard, followed by seven-minutes of blackness, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported.

      People
    • Victoria’s Secret Apologizes to Customer Booted During ‘Shopping While Black’ Incident

      Victoria’s Secret has apologized to a woman who was asked to leave the store. A woman shopping at a Victoria’s Secret in the Quintard Mall in Oxford, Ala., says she was shocked and dismayed to be asked to leave the store. Traveling nurse Kimberly Houzah says she and a second black shopper were made to leave after a store manager caught another black woman shoplifting.

      Yahoo Style
    • Kitten Found Shrink-Wrapped to UPS Package for 4 Days Will Now Settle in His Fur-Ever Home

      "As soon as I saw the cat, I knew this cat was meant for me and my son," said Kirk Williams, who adopted the kitten for his disabled son.

      Inside Edition
    • Glenn Beck on Trump’s Boeing fight: ‘If America wants to go over the cliff, that’s fine. They can ... I’m not’

      When Glenn Beck thinks about some of the moves President-elect Donald Trump has made since the election — like picking a fight with Boeing, a Carrier Corp. union leader and, well, China — he shakes his head in disbelief. “I’m sorry, but if America wants to go over the cliff, that’s fine. Earlier this week, Trump attacked Boeing, calling on the U.S. government to cancel a deal with the aircraft manufacturer to develop of the next generation of Air Force One.

      Yahoo News