The S4 Active is the more outgoing sibling to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S4; it doesn’t mind a dip or two, though it may not be as rugged as people imagine. Check out our Galaxy S4 Active problems roundup for the lowdown on just how water resistant it really is. Issues aside, this is a great smartphone and it is absolutely packed with excellent features to make your life easier.
If you’re hoping to make the most out of your new GS4 Active, you won’t be disappointed, but before we get into it, you’ll find that our Galaxy S4 tips article is full of relevant advice on everything, from using gestures, to setting ringtones and notification sounds. We won’t cover the same ground here, but many of these S4 Active tips will work equally well for the standard S4.
How to take a screenshot
You can hold down the Power key and the Home button together and a screenshot will be taken. You’ll find it in the Gallery under Screenshots.
You can also use your palm to swipe to take a screenshot. Hit the Menu button and go to Settings > My device > Motions and gestures > Palm motion and turn it on, then turn Capture screen to on as well. Now you can swipe your palm across the screen to take a screenshot.
How to customize the LED indicator
Press the Menu button and go to Settings then choose the My device tab and LED indicator to check the default settings for the LED on your S4 Active.
You can gain further control over the LED indicator by using an app such as Light Flow, or Light Manager, but you may need to root your phone if you want it to work with certain apps.
How to access and edit Quick Settings
If you drag the notification shade down with two fingers, instead of just using one, you will get the full Quick Settings panel that includes all sorts of options (four rows of them). You can touch and hold an icon to go straight to that Settings menu. You can also access the full line-up by tapping the icon at the top right of the notification shade. You can adjust what appears here by default. Tap the edit icon at the top right to access the Notification panel and then tap and drag to re-order your icons.
How to set a Wi-Fi timer
Why use data when you don’t have to? Well, a lot of people forget to connect to Wi-Fi. If you know you’ll be home or at work between certain hours then the Wi-Fi timer feature could prove handy. If you tap the Menu button then you can go into Settings > Connections > Wi-Fi > Advanced > Wi-Fi Timer and select the hours between which your S4 Active should try to connect to available Wi-Fi networks.
How to access the camera from the lock screen
Quick access to the camera allows you to capture those precious moments as they happen. You can enable access to the camera from your S4 Active lock screen by hitting the Menu button and going to Settings > My device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets and slide Favorite apps or Camera to ON then tap Favorite apps or Camera and choose Camera. The only downside is that you won’t be able to use a PIN to unlock your phone anymore.
How to customize call answering and ending
Do you fumble for the touchscreen option to answer a call or find it annoying looking for the end call option when the touchscreen has gone to sleep? Well, you can tweak these settings to suit your needs. Go to Settings > My device > Call > Answering/Ending calls and you can set the Home button to answer calls and the Power key to end calls. You’ll also find voice control options, so you can say “Answer” or “Reject” for hands-free operation.
How to automatically screen calls and messages
If you want to block calls and messages at certain times of the day or night it’s easy to do, but with Blocking mode you can also specify a whitelist of special contacts who can always get through. Go to Settings > My device and turn Blocking mode to ON then tap on it and decide what you want to block, when you want to block them, and add contacts to your Allowed contact list.
How to boost battery life
If you tap the Menu button and go to Settings > My device you’ll see a Power saving mode option which you can turn ON. Tap on it to find out exactly what it does and tweak the individual settings for CPU, screen, and haptic feedback.
You can also check Settings > More > Battery to find out what’s eating your power. It might be a good idea to disable or uninstall apps that you don’t need, if they are using power. You can do that via the Application manager which is also under Settings > More.
Check out how to make your smartphone battery last longer for more general tips.
How to edit or get rid of Multi-Window sidebar
You might notice a tab on the left hand side of the screen that opens up your Multi-Window options. These are small apps that can run on top of whatever else you are doing. Tap on one to load it full screen or tap and hold and then drag it onto the screen to open a small windowed version.
You can bring the tab up by long pressing the Back button to get rid of it, as well. You can enable the Multi-Window feature in the Quick Settings menu when you pull down the notification shade. To move the tab, just tap and hold on it, and then drag it somewhere else on your screen. To edit what appears in it, scroll down to the bottom and choose Edit.
That’s all of our Galaxy S4 Active tips for now, but if you have another tip or trick to share then please post it in the comments.
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