Ever since the Galaxy S4 got the Lollipop update the old beast has been chugging along just fine. We're so fond of the S4 that we thought we'd share the ultimate list of Galaxy S4 tips and tricks with you specifically for the Lollipop update. Read on and see just how great the Galaxy S4 still is.
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
Why use 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
Lollipop 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
Download the 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
Did you 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. Activate Smart stay
Smart stay uses your phone's front-facing camera to detect whether you're looking at the screen or not. So long as you're looking at it, it remains on. This is great if you want to have a short screen timeout but also do a lot of reading on your phone.
To activate Smart stay, go to Settings > My device > Smart screen and press Smart stay.
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
Another great 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 Always.
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 automatically.
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.