We are going to publish more articles that will help bring out the best in every Android phone. This is just the beginning of our Samsung Galaxy S4 Tips & Tricks series and I can assure you there will be more posts like this in the following weeks and months. But aside from this, we already have a running troubleshooting series that helps our readers fix problems with their phones. You may stick around for more future updates or you can visit our Galaxy S4 Troubleshooting page for the index of all problems we addressed. I am sure you can find an issue that’s related to yours.
We also want you to know that we are very serious in providing help to our readers. So, we are always open to your concerns or questions. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to provide all necessary details that will lead us to accurately assess your problem. You may also post your concerns on our Facebook wall or Google+ page as we use them to support our readers.
The following are the tips and tricks I cited in this post. Click on a link to jump to a specific section:
Now that unlocking is again legal in the US, there’s no fear of breaking any laws if you unlocked your phone to use a different SIM card. You may contact your service provider to ask for the unlock code or bring the phone to a local shop and have a tech unlock it for you for a fee.
What if I told you there’s a way you can unlock the phone by yourself for free?
The entire process doesn’t need expert knowledge in Android system. In fact, if you can follow a simple step-by-step guide your phone will be as good as unlocked already. Be warned, however, that you may lose your data during the process, so it would be wise to backup everything that is important. Once finished, follow these steps:
Accessing ServiceMode menu
To access ServiceMode, you will have to enter a code using the dialer, which usually is *#27663368378# (you don’t have to press Call). I am positive this code works for models GT-I9505 and GT-I9500. Once you entered it, the ServiceMode menu will automatically pop up.
In case the code above won’t work on your S4, there’s a workaround to still bring the ServiceMode menu. Enter this into the dialer: *#0011#. You will be brought to the basic information section of ServiceMode and all you can see are white texts. Once in there, hit the Menu soft key on your phone and choose Back from the options menu. You will still be in the same screen, so hit the Menu key again to bring up the same options and this time choose Key Input.
A new window will pop up with a text field and prompting you to enter a value. Enter 1 and hit OK button to bring up the ServiceMode menu.
Now that you know how to bring up the ServiceMode menu, it’s time to proceed to the next steps. From here on out, it will be easier and faster to proceed to proper unlocking of the phone.
Under UMTS MAIN MENU, choose  DEBUG SCREEN.
Once in Debug screen, select  PHONE CONTROL.
Under Phone control screen, choose  NETWORK LOCK.
In Network lock menu, select  PERSO SHA256 OFF.
Hit the Menu key on your phone to go back to UMTS MAIN MENU.
This time select  COMMON, then  NV REBUILD.
The phone will notify you that a Golden-Backup exists. You may now choose  Restore Back-up.
Your Galaxy S4 will reboot automatically and it will take longer than usual. Just be patient and wait for it to come back on. Once finished, you will be able to use a different SIM card now.
Turn Power Key Into Torch Switch on Galaxy S4
How fast can you turn on the torch in your Galaxy S4? I think it would take about 10 seconds; press the Power key, swipe to unlock or enter PIN / Password, tap Apps icon, scroll a bit to find the app, touch the virtual switch. If you’re walking on a dark road, it may seem forever to do all those things, right? What if I told you there is an app that will let turn the Power key into a torch power switch?
Apps are developed to make things easier while using your smartphone and this app may be useful for you sooner or later. To turn your S4’s Power key into a flashlight power switch, just follow these steps:
Launch Google Play Store.
Search for Power Button Flashlight/Torch developed by Jones Technologies LLC.
Download and install the app to your phone.
Once installed, launch the app.
Your will be notified that you will need to press the Power key 3 times (or 4 times if the screen is on) to activate the flashlight.
There are a few things you can manipulate like how long the flashlight will stay active, the vibration effect when the torch is activated, and how to deactivate the service.
If the screen is on, you can turn off torch by shaking the device.
While the torch can be activated using the Power key, you cannot turn it off with the same key. The developers reserved that feature for users who’ll purchase the full version through an in-app purchase, which will also remove ads.
DISCLAIMER: We are not, in any way, associated with the developers of the app or paid to mention the name of the app. The app is mentioned because I personally used it and know exactly how it works and what its benefits are for us end users.
How To Root Galaxy S4 Using Kingo Root
There are different ways to root Samsung Galaxy S4 and this method is supposed to be easier and simpler than any others. Thanks to the effort of the developers behind Kingo app, we can root our phones in one click.
After the download, run the installer to install the program to your computer.
Once installed, run the program.
In your phone, enable USB Debugging (Settings > More > Developer options > tick USB Debugging checkbox).
Connect the phone to the computer using the OEM cable.
Kingo will download and install drivers if necessary. If this happens, you will be asked to disconnect the device to complete the installation. Go ahead and disconnect it and Kingo will tell you later on when to reconnect it.
Once Kingo successfully detected your device, there will be a prompt to “Allow USB Debugging.” Make sure you choose OK.
Kingo will display information about rooting. Once you’re finished reading it, click the Root button. The rooting process will take a few minutes to complete.
Once finished, you will see a message “Root succeeded!” Click Finish.
Reboot your phone.
Install Root Checker to verify root access.
How To Root Galaxy S4 Using TowelRoot
Thanks to the efforts of George Hotz, we now have a new and better way to one-click root the Galaxy S4. He developed an app that will root the phone quicker and even simpler than Kingo. This time, you don’t need a computer, just your phone. Follow the steps below:
First of all, enabled Unknown sources. Go to Settings > More > Security > tick the checkbox next to Unknown sources. You can now install apps that don’t come from Google Play Store.
Download TowelRoot. Launch the browser and log on to towelroot.com and tap on the lambda symbol. Download will begin automatically after a second or two.
Install TowelRoot. After the download, just tap on the notification and when prompted if you want to install the app or not, tap Install.
A security prompt will ask you not to install the app. Tick the box next to “I understand and still want to install it” and hit Install anyway button.
Open TowelRoot. After the installation, just open the app. You will be brought to a bare page with only 1 button.
Begin the rooting process. Tap the Make it ra1n button to root your phone.
You will be prompted that root was successful. You may install Root Checker to verify if device now has root access.
Since the device is now vulnerable, you must install SuperSU to manage and keep away malicious apps that may also want access to the root.
How To Install Xposed Framework on Galaxy S4
If you are into customizing your phone to make it look and work the way you want it, then you need to install Xposed Framework. But before you do, make sure you phone is duly rooted. There are two rooting methods above, choose the one that’s more convenient to you. After that, follow these steps:
First and foremost, backup as much data as you can. I also suggest you create a full nandroid backup through the recovery you use in your phone.
Since you will be sideloading an .apk file, enable Unknown sources. Go to Settings > More > Security > tick the checkbox next to Unknown sources.
Now download the Xposed Framework by tapping the download link at the end of this line. [download link]
Once the download is finished, there will be a notification. Just tap on it to begin installation of the Xposed Installer.
After the installation, tap Open to launch the app.
At this point, Xposed Framework hasn’t been installed yet, you need to run Xposed Installer to do so.
Once the installer is open, tap Framework and then Install/Update.
If Superuser pops up prompting you that Xposed Installer wants full access, go ahead and Grant it.
After installation, you need to reboot the Galaxy S4 for Xposed Framework to wok.
With Xposed Framework already installed on your phone, you may now start download modules for limitless customizations.
Customize Quick Settings Toggles
If you’ve been wondering what can rooting and Xposed Framework can do with your Galaxy S4, this is the best example. The Quick Settings toggles are very useful in turning on or off features that are normally buried deep into the Settings menu. However, the more you use the toggles on that screen, the more you’ll notice that the Quick Settings menu is very dull with its dark blue background with grey and bright green icons. If you’ve taken the risk of rooting your phone and installing Xposed Framework, you can change both the colors of the background and of the icons. Here’s how…
Enable Unknown sources since you will be required to sideload an .apk file. Go to Settings > More > Security > tick the checkbox next to Unknown sources.
Once the download is completed, top on the notification to run the installer.
If prompted if you want to install it, tap Install.
After the installation, tap Done.
The module may have already been installed but not activated yet. Tap on the notification.
You will be brought to Xposed’s module page.
Tick the checkbox next to XQuickSettingsToggles.
Reboot your phone.
Launch XQuickSettingsToggles from the app drawer.
Once inside the app, tick the box next to Enable.
You can now begin customizing your Quick Settings toggles. You may choose a pre-set theme or pick your own color.
After you’ve chosen your preferred color, tap the menu key on your phone and choose Restart SystemUI and then hit the Restart Now button.
Your Quick Settings Toggles now have different colors.
There are countless of ways you can make the phone look and function the way you want it if you’d old take the risk of rooting your phone to unleash its full potential. But then, of course, you have to weigh these things and decide whether you want to compromise the safety of your device just to make is look cool, run smoother, and improve almost every aspect in it. Proceed at your own risk.