Tech Solutions

The secret tips that will change how you use the Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Adam Turner
Technology Journalist

Adam Turner is a Sydney Morning Herald senior technology columnist who has been writing about the challenges facing Australian business for more than a decade

Smarter looks at a number of features the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offers. We’ve dug inside every software crevice of the Note 4 and unearthed the real hidden gems. Here’s how you can get the best out of Samsung’s latest and greatest smartphone.

Samsung’s latest super phone, the Galaxy Note 4, shows how a large display can be used for more than just content consumption. 

From running two apps side-by-side on that glorious 5.7-inch QuadHD AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display to replacing the trusty old pen and pad with the S Pen stylus, the Galaxy Note 4 earns the title for the ultimate gadget on the go for professionals. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is the most powerful Android smartphone on the market and it also boasts the best digital writing experience thanks to the new and improved S Pen. 

While you might be familiar with some of the headline grabbing functions of the Note 4, there are plenty of other useful features tucked away. From advanced voice recording capabilities to adding meetings to your calendar with just a stroke of the S Pen, here are six hidden killer features of the Note 4 that will have you working smarter.

1. Air View 

If you often have colleagues send you a link in text messages or emails, here’s a handy way of quickly previewing the URL without ever having to open a web browser. Go to Settings > S Pen > and enable ‘Air View’. Ensure that all of the options under Air View are enabled. 

Now simply hover the S Pen over the URL in a text message or email for a preview of the website to appear in a pop-up window. It intelligently summarises the contents of the website and automatically excludes unnecessary ones such as advertisements. 

The preview function works in other apps as well such as the S Planner calendar where meeting details can be viewed by simply hovering your pen over the day or event. 

2. Quickly add events to your calendar with the S Pen

Enter meetings into your calendar by simply handwriting them with the S Pen. 

Go to Settings > S Pen > Direct Pen Input to enable. 

Then, open the S Planner, and long-press the date with the S Pen. A pop-up window will show. If you write the time (10:00am – 11:00am) and the location (@location name) of the meeting with the S Pen, the Galaxy Note 4 automatically recognises the time, venue and contents and registers all the details to your calendar.

3. Record up to eight voices simultaneously in meeting mode 

The Voice Recorder application offers a ‘Meeting Mode’ that enables the Galaxy Note 4 to distinguish sounds coming from up to eight directions, making it an ideal recording option for large meetings. 

Meeting mode will indicate which sound comes from which direction when the recorded file is played back so you can quickly add attendee names. You can also elect to play back specific voices while blocking out the rest by simply tapping on the name during playback. 

To activate, simply swipe across to ‘Meeting Mode’ within the Voice Recorder app. 

4. Keep track of your communication history with key contacts

The Note 4 can show you exactly what a contact has been up to and the contents of previous conversations by displaying a summary of communications between you and the caller including text messages, notes taken during the call, upcoming meetings and even whether the contact has a birthday coming up. The information will be conveniently displayed whenever a call is made and received or can be viewed at any time by viewing their contact card. 

To enable, go to the dial app > Settings > Calls > check “Show Caller Information”.

5. Sound detector

If you regularly listen to music while working then here is a handy way of making sure that you don’t miss someone at the door or when the baby cries. 

The Sound detector will record the sounds of a baby crying or doorbell and will notify you through the headphones whenever it hears those sounds. 

Go to Settings > Accessibility > Hearing > Sound detectors and turn on ‘Baby crying detector’ or ‘Doorbell Detector’ and follow the steps to setup. 

It will also alert Samsung Gear smartwatch devices if you happen to own one. 

6. One-handed Operation

While the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was always designed to be a two handed device, the smartphone does support a convenient ‘one-handed operation’ mode. 

To activate, go to > Settings > Display and wallpaper > One-handed Operation > enable ‘Reduce Screen Size’. 

One-handed operation will kick in whenever you drag your thumb from the edge of the screen to the centre and back again. Once the screen size is reduced, it can then be adjusted to the size that suits you to be able to operate the Galaxy Note 4 easily with one hand.

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