Posts Tagged ‘Tricks’

Samsung’s fourth-generation Galaxy Note is my daily driver. Here are some tips and tricks I have learned along the way.

It comes with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, a sleek metal trim, and a dockable S-Pen… and that’s just on the surface. It’s also chock full software features you can enable with just a few simple taps and a little bit of free time. In fact, there may be too many software features—it can be a bit overwhelming for new users. Here’s just a small helping of some of those features, and how to use them to get started with your Galaxy Note 4.

Add a ‘sticky note’ to your Home screen

Need to pen a quick grocery list for later? Don’t waste ink and paper when you can use the Note 4’s integrated S-Pen to make a virtual sticky note and pin it to your Home screen.

note4tips stickies
You can pin multiple stickies to your Home screen to refer to again later.

To do this: pop out the S-Pen, hover it over the display, then click the button and select Action memo. Write our your list, then tap and hold the pin icon in the upper right-hand corner. Your Action memo will turn into a tiny little sticky note that you can place anywhere on your Home screen. When you don’t need it anymore, just remove it like you would any other icon or widget.

Enable Pop-up view

Pop-up view is great for multitasking. It acts kind of like the desktop windows you’re already accustomed to on your Mac and PC.

To enable it, go into the Settings, tap on Multi window, and then tick the box next to the Pop-up view shortcut option. Now you can use the feature by swiping down from the top left or right corners. You’ll know it’s working when you can drag to resize each individual window.

note4tips popupview
Pop-up view turns individual apps into their own windows that you can move around the Home screen.

You can tap with your finger or hover the S-Pen at the top of the window to bring up the menu bar with options to move the window around the Home screen, shrink and expand it, or exit out of it entirely. Bear in mind that not all third-party apps support this functionality—only those that have it enabled through the Samsung-provided API.

Clip a photo and share it 

Sometimes, you just want to share what you’re looking at with the world. You can do so on the Note 4 with an S-Pen feature called Image Clip.

note4tips clip
Where would you share this heart-shaped cut out?

Pop out the S-Pen and hover it over the screen, then click the button and select Image Clip. Use any of the provided crop shape tools to select a part of the image or part of the screen you want to share with friends and family. Hover up to the right-hand corner and tap the Share button; from here, you can send the clip off to apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever messaging app you have as your default.

Turn Flipboard briefing off—or on!

I’m personally glad that Samsung nixed the My Magazine app and just stuck with Flipboard—that’s all it really was in the first place, anyway.

note4tips flipboard
I’ve decided to leave Flipboard on as part of my Home screen.

Out of the box, Flipboard Briefing is turned on by default and lives to the very left of your Home screen on the Note 4. You can leave it as is, sign in to customize the content to your liking, or turn it off entirely from the Settings panel (find it in the Home screen settings).

Enable One-handed operation mode

Samsung included a nifty one-handed operation mode for those in a bind—specifically those stuck in a crowded train car, clinging on for dear life on a shaky commute home.

note4tips onehanded
Simplify your time with the Note 4 by enabling one—or all—of its three different one-handed operation modes.

Under Settings > One-handed operation, you can choose from three different one-handed utilities. They’re all pretty self explanatory: Reduce screen size lets you adjust the screen size and layout by swiping out from the midpoint or either edge of an app; One-handed input shrinks down apps like the Dialer, in-call buttons, and Samsung keyboard so you don’t have to pull a thumb to reach the “A” key, for instance; and Side key panel will pop up Android’s navigation buttons on screen so that you have access to them no matter the orientation.

Set up Blocking mode

The Galaxy Note 4 has a built-in Blocking mode that lets you shut out people when you don’t want to deal with them, while still allowing calls and text messages to come through in case of an emergency.

note4tips blockmode
You have the right to not be disturbed!

In the Settings menu, under Blocking mode, you can choose when to block incoming calls, disable notifications, and disable the alarm and timer. You can also choose to have your phone always block calls, which is especially useful in the case of a family vacation, for instance, when you only want calls from your group to take priority. Towards the bottom of the Blocking mode settings, you can edit whose calls can come through by individual contact entries or contact groups.

Customize the Notification panel

note4tips notificationpanel
So many Quick Settings, so little time…

You can customize the Quick settings directly from the Settings panel, or drag the panel down from the top, tap the Quick settings icon, and then tap the pencil icon to start editing.

Add Action memos to the lock screen

This is an awesome feature if you love to use the S-Pen and take notes, but find the task of unlocking your phone to do so takes too many steps.

note4tips lockscreen
Got an idea? Write it out without unlocking your phone.

You can enable the feature from the Lock screen panel in Settings, then tap to enable Action memo on the lock screen—if it’s not already selected. From here on out, you can hold down the S-Pen button and double-tap the Lock screen to bring up a blank Action memo sticky. Bear in mind that you can’t pin these memos to the Home screen, but they will save to your Scrapbook.

Try out an S-Note template

Samsung bundles all those numerous S-Note templates with its Note devices for a reason—so you’ll use ‘em! You can find them in the S-Note app by tapping the Settings button in the upper right-hand corner and selection Use new template.

note4tips templates
It’s never too late to try new things—like one of S-Note’s templates.

S-Note lets you use add any of the template pages to an existing “notebook” to make it easy to organize as you see fit. There are also templates for planning out your day, writing out a virtual “handwritten” Thank You note, and even Landscape-oriented templates for penning longer pieces (or if your writing is kind of sloppy, like mine). There are also templates you can download to make charts and sketch out an idea, and background images to make a fancy digital note for a friend.

Use the volume keys to snap photos

note4tips volumecamerakeys
Use your volume keys to record memories!

Tap anywhere on the screen inside the camera app—just not on the shutter button—and then tap the Settings icon. Tap again for more settings. Tap on The Volume Key towards the bottom of the screen; from here, you can set what the volume keys do, whether it’s to snap a photo, record a video, or act as the zoom controller.

Use voice commands to take photos

note4tips voicecommands
“Yo, take a photo.”

In that same settings menu, you can turn on voice control to take photos or record video.

Use gestures to ignore a “frenemy”

note4tips mutepause
“God, why is she calling me again?” PALM ON PHONE. DONE.

Sometimes you can’t stand certain people; their personalities, their lifestyles, but you keep them in your life because…well that’s for you to discuss with your therapist.

If you just simply can’t handle talking to that person on the phone, the Galaxy Note 4 has this neat feature that lets you place your palm on the screen or flip the device over to silence an incoming call. From there, you can just let it go to voicemail. The person on the other end will assume you’re busy, rather than intentionally ignoring them, which is a wonderful, passive aggressive way to carry on a relationship.

Enable power saving modes

Seriously, why haven’t you done this yet? Go back to that Settings panel I keep referring to, tap on General, then tap on Power saving. You’ll see options for Power saving and Ultra power saving mode.

note4tips powersavingmode
How will you unlease the Power (saving modes)?

Power saving mode works in the background on the Note 4 while you go about your daily business. You can select whether to restrict background data, restrict overall performance—which dials down the processor, brightness of the screen, and the touch key lights—and it even turns on a specialized “Grayscale” mode that seriously turns your phone into a 1920s era black-and-white silent film.

Now, if you plan to be out in the wilderness or somewhere without electricity, but still want access to all that data on your phone, you can enable Ultrapower saving mode. It will not only convert your phone to the aforementioned grayscale color palette, but also only offer access to only six basic functions, three of which are available by default: Phone, Messages, and Internet. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a gauge of how much battery life you have left and how many days the device can last on standby.

When you’re no longer in need of battery saving abilities, or just simply want to step back into a more colorful world, tap the Settings icon at the top and turn off Ultra power saving mode.

Use the volume keys to increase the font size

Thus far, this only seems to work with Samsung’s default messages app.

note4 bigfont
Sup indeed.

If you forgot your glasses at home for the day, you can easily increase the font size on your text messages by hitting up on the volume rocker.

Shut off S Voice

Unless you really feel like you want a shortcut to S Voice, you can shut it off in the Settings panel. Under Settings > Applications > S Voice, tick the box next to Open via the home key so that it’s no longer selected.

note4tips svoiceshhh
S Voice is personal digital assistant non grata.

Now, nothing will happen when you double-press the Home key, leaving you only with the help of Google Now.

Turn the screen on with a hover

note4tips airwake
It’s like wax on, wax off, but with the display.

This is pretty neat. Under Settings > Accessibility > Dexterity and interaction, tapAir wake up. This will let you hover your palm up and down over the screen to turn it on. Like magic!

Enable Private mode

Hiding some something? Or perhaps you’re hiding from someone? While I’m not suggesting that you lie to anyone (lying is super bad), but I do suggest you turn on Private mode, especially if you plan to use the Galaxy Note 4 for work-related matters.

note4tips privatemode
Keep your mobile life a secret with the Note 4’s Private mode. 👀

Private mode can be enabled through the Settings menu; once you get started, it’ll walk you through the whole process to keep content like your apps, music, files, and video sequestered from the rest of your super serious work stuff.

Use your phone with gloves

note4tips touchsensitive
Easily turn on the Touch sensitivity setting from the Quick Settings toolbar.

It’s going to be winter soon and you’re probably going to be sporting gloves until next April. It’s hard to use a phone with gloves on.

Fortunately, you can increase the Note 4 display’s touch sensitivity from the Settings menu, so you don’t have to take those gloves off just to send a text message, and you won’t have to look forward to frost-bitten fingers anytime soon.

Advertisements

iPhone 5 fans shouldn’t worry about iOS 7 and rely on it to bring new features. If you have the iPhone 5 and the iOS 6 untethered jailbreak from Evasi0n, there is plenty of things you can with your iPhone.

iPhone owners are waiting for iOS 7 to be released and they hope that it will bring brand new features along with a better user experience… more so than what Apple previewed back at WWDC. But those who have jailbroken their handset could not care less about iOS 7 thanks to having Cydia apps, tweaks and themes.

The Cydia apps for the iPhone give owners of the handset better looks, quicker access to apps and they improve the overall experience. People who jailbreak their iPhones transform iOS into a very different experience.

Owners are able to go mad installing Cydia apps, but there are 5 apps that most users install and they work very smoothly alongside each other. They all cost, money, but they do cost less than $15 and it makes your iPhone experience so much better. So check out these 5 apps, which are among the best that you can get.

You can get superior multi-tasking with Auxo, this provides owners of the iPhone with a redesign of the iPhone. The small icons have vanished, along with limited options of iOS 6. Auxo replaces these with thumbnails which show the app. This means that owners can jump back to the app they want without having to search through numerous icons.

Auxo is a music player and it is a great deal better. Users can swipe to the side to get fast control of music on their iPod along with any other app that plays music, plus owners have full screen album art which comes with tap and control playback.

Users of the iPhone are able to toggle through some of the most common settings and they are able to control the brightness. The brightness knob is hard to grasp, but it does come in very handy, as do the toggles for WiFi, Bluetooth and flashlight.

Axis is great for those who want to be able to launch apps on their lock screen. iOS6 allows owners to launch the camera just by swiping upwards. With Axis you can customise the lock screen along with getting a new camera app, plus another additional four apps, all of which can be launched directly from the lock screen.

Axis offers numerous icons for a lot of apps and it offers a total new look for Chrome. Users hold the camera icon and just slide left until the app opens, they can then swipe to open that app.

If you have a device that has a pass-code you will have to use it, on apps other than the default camera app.

For a better version of Do Not Disturb you want Luna. Do Not Disturb can be toggled just by pulling down the notification bar, or on the lock screen, however thanks to the Cydia app notifications are taken to the status bar providing you have Do Not Disturb turned on and this means that the notifications are unobtrusive.

Users can set alert noises off, in the default mode on the Do Not Disturb feature the sounds are quiet when the screen is off, but when you are using the handset the device will still make a noise along with vibrating. If you toggle the single setting it will be quiet.

Forecast is a great tweak when it comes to the weather widget and if you get temperatures that vary by 30 degrees over less than one week, this is great for you.

The app gives you the current forecast and you are able to see up to five days ahead if you swipe to the side.

iOS 7 should arrive with it a major overhaul when Apple reveal it. But you don’t have to hang on and wait if you get the WinterBoard theme. Ayecon is among the best Cydia themes for the iPhone 5.

With it you can changes the OS in numerous ways, such as bringing a new lock screen slider and many more small tweaks.

A series of Siri tips

Use the “in transit” cue. Ask Siri to help you find an address with a couple extra words at the end, as in: “give me directions to San Francisco International Airport via transit.” iOS will open up the Maps app and display the routing pane, which lets you choose which third-party app you’d like to supply your directions.

Attentive readers will know that Google Maps is included among these routing apps, which means that you can actually use this trick to get directions via Google Maps using Siri.

When your Siri-capable iOS device is paired via Bluetooth, tap that blue button to choose which microphone Siri should use.

Siri audio output. If your car has a built-in speakerphone, or if you have a Bluetooth accessory that has a microphone and speakers, you can choose which one Siri listens to for commands. When you click and hold the iPhone’s Home button, you’ll see a speaker icon to the right of the main Siri button. Tap it, and you’ll get a menu of all the various sound inputs your iPhone can use; select the one you want, and Siri will listen using that microphone and, if possible, give its feedback via those speakers.

 

Your iPhone or iPad can read to you. Enabling the Speak option makes it possible for your iOS device to read aloud any selectable text. Launch the Settings app, tap on General, and then choose Accessibility. Scroll down to Speak Selection, and tap to turn it on.

Now, go into any app where you can highlight text. Your options include Mail, Safari, Notes, and many others. Select some text, and you’ll see a new option appear in the contextual menu (you may have to tap the right arrow to view more options). Tap the Speak command, and your iOS device will start reading the text aloud.

 

Editing Siri. Sometimes Siri doesn’t understand you quite right. Maybe you told it to call your friend “Aaron” and it thought you said “Erin.” Fortunately, you can fix Siri’s mistake; after Siri reports that she doesn’t know what you’re talking about, scroll up and find the speech bubble where Siri records what it thinks you said. Then tap that bubble, and you’ll find that you can now edit what Siri heard and resubmit your request.

If you don’t want to bother typing out a long correction, you can also use iOS’s built-in dictation feature to enter your corrected text. Just tap the microphone in the keyboard and speak your text aloud. We’ll give you time to make your own Inception joke about using Siri to fix Siri.

 

Picture perfect

Snap photos while shooting videos. You’re using your iPhone 5 to film a magical moment, and you wish you could snap a photo at the same time. Don’t stop recording! Just tap the camera button, which appears on-screen in addition to the shutter button as you film. You aren’t using the iPhone’s true photo sensor; you’re getting the slightly less impressive video sensors instead, but the photos should still turn out pretty nicely. Note that this tip doesn’t work on older iPhones.

Free yourself from the confines of left-to-right-only panoramas.

Reverse panorama. While we’re sharing tips that work only with certain iPhones, here’s one that matters just to folks with the iPhone 4S or newer—that is, iPhones that support taking panoramic photos. Normally, the Camera app prompts you to take those photos from left to right. To reverse that, tap once on the panorama guide to flip it to the opposite side of your screen.

 

In the Mail

Quickly add photos and videos to messages. Suppose you snapped the perfect panorama and want to email it to your friend. You needn’t start from the Camera or Photos app. Instead, head over to the Mail app and start composing your new message. Tap once in a blank section of the message to bring up the contextual menu, and then tap on Insert Photo or Video. You’ll get the familiar photo selecting screen.

Get back to drafts in a snap. Maybe you abandoned that message before you tapped to send it. You needn’t navigate deep into the Mail app’s mailbox hierarchy to find your Drafts folder. Rather, you can tap and hold on the New Message button to bring up a menu listing all your saved drafts.

Archiving messages. You probably already know that you can archive messages from your Gmail account on iOS. But you can also add an archive option for messages to your iCloud email address. To do so, navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendar and tap on your iCloud account. Tap on the Account entry at the top, scroll down to the Advanced section, and tap on your email address; swipe down until you find the Archive Messages switch. Slide it to On, and then make sure to tap the Done button in the upper right corner twice to save the change.

Now, all instances of the Delete command in Mail will be replaced by an Archive button.