Samsung has packed upgraded hardware and even more features into its fourth installment of its Galaxy Note lineup. Check out these often overlooked tips to help get you up to speed with this powerhouse phablet.
- Use Keyboard Shortcuts for Phrases You Type Often
- Share your Wi-Fi network without revealing its password
- Unplug with Blocking Mode (Do Not Disturb)
- Ignore People with hand gestures
- Keep Work and Play Separate with Private Mode
- Disguise yourself in video calls
- Make Your Phablet Easier to use One Handed
- Use Assistant Menu for quick access to frequently used phone functions
- Work in two, or more, apps at once
- Save battery life with power saving mode
- Disable the Flipboard home screen
- Customize your notification panel
- Adjust touchscreen sensitivity for use with gloves
- Use the heart-rate sensor to take selfies
1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts for Phrases You Type Often
This feature comes from the Galaxy S5 and allows you to turn things you type frequently into shortcuts on your keyboard. This is particularly useful for large types of information you share often like addresses, phone numbers or email addresses.
Similar to speed dial on your phone app, when you hold down an assigned number key, your custom phrase will automatically be placed into the selected text area. To give it a try navigate to Settings > Language and Input > Samsung Keyboard > My Hotkeys.
2. Share your Wi-Fi network without revealing its password
Have you ever wanted to give a friend or family member access to your home Wi-Fi without having to enter the password manually?
The Note 4 has a really unique feature that allows you to automatically share your credentials to any device that supports open Wi-Fi. Give it a try by navigating to your Wi-Fi network selection screen, tap the menu button, and then select Share Wi-Fi profile; from here you can choose the network profile you wish to share.
After making your selection, you will have the option to set a time limit of up to 24 hours before it expires. This is an especially useful tool for parents who wish to limit the amount of time their kids spend online.
Select which device to send your profile to on the next screen, but note that you can only send the profile to other devices that also support Wi-Fi direct.
3. Unplug with Blocking Mode (Do Not Disturb)
Everybody needs some alone time and nobody wants to be that guy whose phone starts playing that awful ringtone during little Sally’s piano recital, which is why you should start using Do Not Disturb more often.
You can choose when to block incoming calls, disable notifications and disable any timers or alarms. Additional options allow you to set a time frame or block indefinitely, which you might find particularly useful if you are on vacation or on important business. You can also set which contacts can get through blocking mode by group or individual in the event of an emergency.
With so many ways to customize, the best way to get familiar with this feature is to just dive right in by navigating to Settings > Sounds and Notifications > Do Not Disturb. This feature is also available from the main pull down menu.
4. Ignore People with hand gestures
If you do find yourself in that situation where you are sitting in a big meeting and your phone goes off you can use gestures to quickly silence incoming calls by placing your palm on the screen or flipping the device over.
The caller on the other end will be none the wiser because it will continue to ring and go to voicemail. To use this function palm gestures must be enabled through Settings > Controls > Palm Motions.
5. Keep Work and Play Separate with Private Mode
Don’t let your personal world and professional world collide by enabling Private mode through the Settings menu. In this mode, content from apps like gallery, music, voice recorder, my files, and s voice will be kept hidden away from prying eyes. Navigate to Settings > Personalization > Private Mode.
6. Disguise yourself in video calls
Navigate to your dialer app settings and tap “Hide my video” option to replace your face with an image or photo during video calls.
7. Make Your Phablet Easier to use One Handed
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need an extra hand? Navigate over to Settings > Sound and display > One-handed operation where you will find three different utilities that will make life a bit easier.
Reduced screen size lets you adjust the overall screen size and move it to any location according to your convenience.
One-handed input reduces the size of apps that require a lot of dexterity like the phone dialer, calculator and Samsung keyboard. It also allows you to switch them to either side of the screen depending on your dominate hand.
Side key panel yields a pop-up panel on screen, complete with Android’s navigation buttons for easy access no matter how your screen is oriented.
8. Use Assistant Menu for quick access to frequently used phone functions
In addition to one handed operation, the Assistant Menu is one of those often overlooked features that make operating the Note 4 with one hand much easier.
The Assistant menu is sort of like a pop up version of the notification panel that gives you easy one handed access to various controls and system settings – it’s even possible to customize each control to suit your needs.
To enable the Assistant Menu you will have to navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Dexterity and Interaction > Assistant Menu.
9. Work in two, or more, apps at once
The multi-window function in the Note 4 allows you to work in two apps side-by-side. Holding down the back button will open a sidebar containing the available apps on your Note 4 that support multi-window. You must first enable the function in the quick settings menu.
Drag your apps to either side of the screen and adjust the split using the small slider in between them. Want to work with more than two apps at once? For a desktop style experience swipe down from the top of any open app to shrink it into a pop-up window, from here you can minimize it into a floating icon for easy access.
10. Save battery life with power saving mode
If you are running on fumes and know it’s going to be a while before you can get to a charger you can enable power saving mode to give your phone some extra mileage. This feature allows you to restrict the overall performance of the Note 4 by adjusting processing speed, screen brightness and color display.
To squeeze even more juice out of your phone try enabling ultra-power saving mode which will restrict your phablet to only 6 basic functions on a black and white screen including Phone, Messaging and Internet.
The screen will also indicate how many days the device can last on the current charge. This is the best way to get more life out of your battery when you won’t be using your phablet for long periods of time.
11. Disable the Flipboard home screen
If you find Flipboard utterly useless, turn it off by holding down the menu button while on the home screen. Tap “home screen settings” in the bottom portion of the screen, and then uncheck “Flipboard briefing.” Profit!
While you are here you can also change the transition effect when swiping through pages on the home screen. Card stack, as the name implies, feels like flipping through a stack of cards. 3D rotation, on the other hand, adds a cool flip effect as you flip through the cards. No transition is also an option, which simply slides the cards left and right.
12. Customize your notification panel
Get quicker access to important system items like wireless settings, multi-window, screen mirroring, and power saving modes by customizing which quick setting buttons appear at the top of your notification panel.
To see all of the available options and customize your buttons, swipe down from the top of the screen to show the notification curtain, then tap on the Quick settings icon and then tap the pencil icon.
13. Adjust touchscreen sensitivity for use with gloves
One really nice feature that you get with the Note 4 is the ability to change the touchscreen sensitivity when using the device while wearing gloves. You can increase touch sensitivity directly from the quick settings curtain or by navigating to Settings > Display > Increase Touch Sensitivity.
14. Use the heart-rate sensor to take selfies
With your camera app open, switch to the front facing camera and tap your fingertip on the heart sensor to take a shot. Sweet!
For even more fun, tap on the mode button and select “wide selfie”. You then get a panorama-like outline to get more people in the shot by swiveling your phone. When the blue frame reaches the end of the white frame you’re done.
That’s All for Now!
Hopefully these tips will help make life with your new phablet a little bit easier. If you know of some other cool tips, tricks and hidden features on the Galaxy Note 4 be sure to share them in the comments section below.
For even more tips, check out our Galaxy Note 3 Tips and Tricks because some of those features are still be available in the Note 4.