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

    • ‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Neil Fingleton Dies at 36

      Neil Fingleton, who played the colossal warrior Mag the Mighty on “Game of Thrones,” died from heart failure on Saturday. He was 36. Fingleton was the U.K.’s tallest man at seven feet, seven inches in height. In addition to “Thrones,” Fingleton appeared in “Doctor Who,” Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and “X-Men: First Class.” His death was announced... Read more »

      Variety
    • This one tweet explains that truly bizarre Oscars Best Picture mixup perfectly

      In what is certainly the weirdest moment in Oscars history, the incorrect Best Picture winner was announced on stage to finish off the 89th Academy Awards. Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway first announced La La Land as the big winner of the night. The cast and crew walked onstage and began to make their speeches, only to be stopped halfway through — the correct winner was actually Moonlight. Comedian Jackie Jennings quickly pointed out a perfect explanation for the bizarre mistake. WAIT BUT THIS IS ACTUALLY THE REAL END OF LA LA LAND AND ITS GREAT #Oscars — Jackie Jennings (@ohhijackie) February 27, 2017 La La Land' s depressing dream sequence finale was oddly similar to the ending of the Oscars. The Oscars ended exactly like La La Land did. La La Land is the Oscars. The Oscars are La La Land . SEE ALSO: Your guide to the 2017 Oscars, in highly accurate charts As the dust settles on the weirdest Academy Awards thing of all time, more dazed viewers have begun to realize the connection. Hey "La La Land" remember when you gave us that fake happy ending and then took it awayHow's it feel — Daniel "Kibblesmith" (@kibblesmith) February 27, 2017 This was super meta for La La Land- the movie about following your dreams with the most crushing ending. — Tiffany Mink (@minkus) February 27, 2017 I hope they put that alternate ending on the La La Land blu ray — pat tobin (@tastefactory) February 27, 2017 So that was actually just like La La Land, where they imagine the joy and glory they would have had, only to accept a different ending. — Joshuah Bearman (@joshbearman) February 27, 2017 Remember at the end of La La Land where it shows the happy ending but then it's snatched away? And it's nighttime? And there's MOONLIGHT?! — Corey Vidal (@CoreyVidal) February 27, 2017 Insane the Oscars would have the same dream sequence ending as La La Land. — Peter Sherer (@psherz) February 27, 2017 BONUS: Oscars contender 'La La Land' gets an old school video game treatment

      Mashable
    • Oscars 2017: Jimmy Kimmel tries - but fails - to bury the hatchet with Matt Damon

      Jimmy Kimmel and Matt Damon continued their "feud" as the 89th Academy Awards host took aim at the actor in his opening monologue. The host claimed he would "bury the hatchet" with Damon, whose Manchester by the Sea was up for six Oscars, before ripping into the actor. "I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I've had issues with -- Matt Damon.

      The Telegraph
    • The Best Celeb Quotes from the Oscars Red Carpet (6 photos)

      See what the stars are saying, unfiltered

      People
    • 2017's Oscars Gift Bag Is Worth More Than Most People Make in an Entire Year

      Some of Hollywood's biggest celebrities attended the Oscars on Sunday, and while not everyone can go home a winner, most of them do get gifted with a ton of presents. The Oscars gift bags, which are put together by marketing company Distinctive Assets, are a hot topic every year, mostly due to the fact that they're always insanely over the top. While the company behind the bag has no affiliation with the actual show (the show actually sued it last year), it never eases up on the glitz and glamour. Last year's goodies totaled more than $200,000, and while this year's is significantly less than that (it comes in around $100,000), it still includes multiple vacations, jewelry, food, and tech gadgets.

      PopSugar q
    • The Latest: Trump to sign new travel order on Wednesday

      WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest news on President Donald Trump (all times local):

      Associated Press
    • Stars react to ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land’ Oscars mix-up

      In a shocking upset, Moonlight won Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, but only after an onstage mix-up when La La Land was first declared the winner. The announcement came after La La Land’s producers had already taken to the stage and started to give an acceptance speech, and the news that Moonlight was the real winner sent shockwaves throughout the Dolby Theatre — and across Twitter.

      Entertainment Weekly
    • Latest: Donations top $1M for Kansas bar attack victims

      OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on a deadly shooting at a Kansas bar that some witnesses said was racially motivated (all times local):

      Associated Press
    • Halle Berry sparked controversy with her natural hair at the Oscars  

      Halle Berry was the latest celebrity to opt for a more natural beauty look. The hair do quickly attracted comment on social media, with some asking whether it was a wig. “I have always marched to the beat to my own drum, and I think this red-carpet look encapsulates that,” Berry told Vogue.com of her look.

      The Telegraph
    • Kim suffered painful death within 20 minutes of attack: minister

      Kim Jong-Nam was dead within 20 minutes of being attacked and would have suffered a painful death as his major organs shut down, according to Malaysia's health minister.

      AFP Videos
    • Game Of Thrones actor and UK's tallest man Neil Fingleton dies aged 36

      Game of Thrones actor and former UK's tallest man Neil Fingleton has died at the age of 36. The successful actor also appeared in Doctor Who and X-Men: First Class, Avengers: Age of Ultron, after a basketball career that saw him play professionally in Spain, China, Italy, Greece and England. Raised in County Durham, he starred in HBO's iconic Game Of Thrones series as the giant Mag The Mighty in 2014.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Hollywood Mourns Bill Paxton: “A Wonderful Man”, Says Tom Hanks

      Refresh for new tweets & tributes Hollywood – and storm chasers – reacted today to the shocking news of Bill Paxton’s death from surgery complications. “Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man,” tweeted Tom Hanks, Paxton’s costar in the upcoming The Circle . Deadline will update this post as responses and remembrances arrive. Even storm chasers across the country have joined in the tributes, using their GPS devices to gather and organize into huge “B.P.”…

      Deadline
    • Matt Damon Fears Oscars Host — and Faux-Nemesis — Jimmy Kimmel: ‘It’s Going to Be Ugly’

      Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel are perhaps the most iconic frenemies in Hollywood history, and now their hilariously bitter rivalry will play out live at the 2017 Academy Awards! The late night star will clearly have the upper hand, given his capacity as the Oscars emcee. On the red carpet immediately prior to the broadcast, Damon admitted that he’s bracing himself for a rough evening at the hands of his (faux) nemesis.

      People
    • 3 NFL Quarterbacks Who Could Be the Next Peyton Manning

      Peyton Manning is arguably the greatest signal caller in NFL history. Here are 3 current NFL quarterbacks who could be the next Manning.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Hmm, maybe this is why Trump doesn't want to attend the White House Correspondents' Dinner

      On Saturday, Donald Trump made history as only the third president to bow out of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. And while this has much to do with Trump's ever-worsening battle with the press and his constant struggle to book talent, it's also worth remembering that, to be frank, Trump probably has another reason for ditching: He usually gets clobbered at these things. So, in the interest of, uh, elucidation, please enjoy these videos of Trump getting roasted at the 2011 and 2016 White House Correspondents' Dinner. Better yet, enjoy Trump's mirthless reactions. They're uncomfortable to watch, but extremely worth it. SEE ALSO: An exclusive look at Donald Trump's Twitter drafts for Oscar night First, here's President Obama clapping back at Trump's relentless "birther" conspiracy-mongering. The Lion King is involved. Next, observe Seth Meyers insisting that Trump must be running for president as a "joke." Trump does not smile. And here's Obama ripping on The Apprentice.  Finally, here's a delightful compilation of all the best Trump burns from the 2016 dinner.  A Larry Wilmore highlight: "Yeah, Trump's campaign is inspiring ... mass violence." (Trump did not attend that one, BTW.) So, there you have it. While we're not sure about the future of this year's event, we'll always have those stunners to fall back on.  And you can always zoom in on this cursed image while listening to "Sound of Silence." Image: Youtube/C-Span BONUS: Jordan Peele reacts to 'Get Out' as Barack Obama: 'Surrounded by white people! Not fun'

      Mashable
    • Here are all the winners of the 2017 Oscars

      The 89th Academy Awards are taking place Sunday night, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel on ABC....

      Business Insider
    • Mama June Accused by Fans of Wearing a Fat Suit to Exaggerate Weight Loss on Reality Show

      The 37-year-old reality star's new show, 'Mama June: From Not to Hot,' premiered on Friday night.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Sunday's Governors' Dinner will be the first big social event of the Trump administration

      While many Americans tune in to Sunday night's Oscars ceremony, the Trump White House will host its first major social event: the 2017 Governors' Dinner. The black tie affair includes a receiving line, reception, and formal dinner with the First and Second Couples. It is timed to correspond with the National Governors Association's winter meeting in Washington each year. "The Governors' Dinner is one of the most important social events held at the White House each year," said Laura Dowling, who was the chief White House floral designer for six of President Obama's eight years in office. "In terms of scope, style and planning requirements, it is just one step below a state dinner in organizational

      The Week q
    • Game of Thrones Star Neil Fingleton Dead at 36

      Neil Fingleton, the remarkably tall actor who was best known for portraying Mag the Mighty on HBO's Game of Thrones , died Saturday due to heart failure, TMZ reports. He was 36. The 7-foot-7 British thesp had a brief but still memorable career on the small and big screens, earning his first credit for Read More > Other Links From TVGuide.com Game of Thrones This article, Game of Thrones Star Neil Fingleton Dead at 36, originally appeared on TVGuide.com.

      TV Guide q