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Making the Samsung Galaxy S4 Your Own

In this chapter, you find out how to customize your phone by populating the Home screen with widgets, shortcuts, and folders; change the default wallpaper; set default and contact-specific ringtones; issue voice commands and ask questions.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Topics in this chapter include the following:

  • Customizing the Home screen with new wallpaper, shortcuts, folders, and widgets
  • Setting an Apps view
  • Changing system Settings
  • Setting default, contact-specific, and group ringtones
  • Configuring and using voice services (S Voice, Voice Control, and Google Voice Search) to find information and perform actions

Nothing prevents you from using the phone exactly as it was when you first opened the box—keeping the default wallpaper, installing no additional widgets, downloading no new apps, and ignoring Settings for the operating system and apps. But the fun of having a powerful smartphone is in customizing it—personalizing the phone in ways that make it easier, more efficient, and fun to use.

Customizing the Home Screen

The easiest and most obvious way to personalize the phone is to customize its Home screen. In fact, many of the Home screen customization options, such as changing the wallpaper, adding widgets, and adding shortcuts to your favorite apps, are what users do first with their new phones.

Selecting Wallpaper

The simplest way to customize the phone is to change its Home screen background (called wallpaper) by selecting an image that’s aesthetically pleasing, amusing, or touching. Wallpaper can be a static image or a live, moving image. The image you choose is applied to all Home screen pages.

  1. On the Home screen, press the Menu key and tap Set Wallpaper.

  2. Tap Home Screen, Lock Screen, or Home and Lock Screens—depending on the screen(s) that you want to customize.

  3. Select the type of wallpaper that you want to use. Options include Gallery (a cropped area of a photo or other image stored in Gallery), Live Wallpapers (images that move), and Wallpapers (static, full-screen images).

    • Wallpapers. Tap a thumbnail in the horizontally scrolling list, and tap Set Wallpaper.
    • Gallery. Open the folder that contains the image. Tap the image thumbnail, resize and move the selection rectangle to select the desired area, and tap the Done button.
    • Live Wallpapers. Tap a wallpaper style to see a preview, and tap the Set Wallpaper button.

Rearranging, Removing, and Adding Home Screen Pages

The default Home screen has five horizontally scrolling pages. You can rearrange the pages, remove ones that you don’t need, or add new pages (up to the maximum of seven).

  1. On the Home screen, press the Menu key and tap Edit Page.

  2. To change the position of a page, press and hold its thumbnail, and then drag it to a new location in the array.

  3. To delete a page, press and hold its thumbnail, and then drag it onto the Remove icon at the top of the screen. If the page contains one or more items, a confirmation dialog box appears. Tap OK to confirm the deletion.

  4. To add a new page, tap any thumbnail that contains a plus (+) symbol (representing an available page). You can optionally change the location of the new page, as described in step 2.

  5. When you finish editing, complete the process by returning to the Home screen—press the Back or Home key, or tap a Home screen page thumbnail.

Adding Shortcuts

You can place shortcuts to your favorite apps on the Home screen. When you tap an app shortcut, the app that it represents launches. An Android shortcut is the equivalent of a Mac alias or a Windows shortcut.

  1. Navigate to the Home screen page to which you want to add the shortcut, ensure that it has an open space for the shortcut, and tap the Apps icon. (You can add the shortcut to any page, but the current one is initially offered as the destination.)

  2. Ensure that the Apps tab is selected. Locate the app for which you want to create a shortcut, scrolling horizontally as needed.

  3. Press and hold the app’s icon, drag it into an open spot on the current Home screen page and release the icon.


Adding Widgets

A widget is an application that runs on the Home screen. Many, such as Weather, aren’t interactive or are only minimally so. For example, you can tap the refresh icon on the Weather widget to force an update of the weather info. Otherwise, such widgets simply provide continuously updated information. Other widgets, such as the Music widget, are designed for interaction. By tapping its buttons, you can pause or restart playback, and skip to the next or previous song.

You can add a widget in any free space on a Home screen page, as long as there’s room for it. Widgets come in a variety of sizes, from one- or two- section widgets to full-screen ones. In addition to the widgets supplied with your phone, downloaded applications sometimes include their own widgets.

To add a widget to a Home screen page, follow the steps listed in “Adding Shortcuts.” In step 2 on the Apps screen, select the Widgets tab rather than the Apps tab. Under each widget name is the number of screen sections (horizontal × vertical) required by the widget.

Creating Folders

To help organize your Home screen items, you can add folders in which to store them.

  1. On the Home screen, navigate to the page to which you want to add the folder, and do either of the following:

    • Press the Menu key and tap Create Folder.
    • Press and hold any open spot on the page. In the Home Screen dialog box, tap Folder.
  2. Type a name for the folder in the Create Folder dialog box.
  3. Tap OK.

Repositioning and Removing Home Screen Items

Part of the fun of setting up your Home screen pages is that you can freely rearrange items. And because many items are shortcuts, removing them from the Home screen has no effect on the actual items they represent. Follow these steps to reposition or remove Home screen items.

  1. On the Home screen page, press and hold the item that you want to reposition or remove.

  2. To remove the item, drag it onto the Remove (trash can) icon that appears at the top of the screen. When you release the item, it is removed.

  3. To reposition the item, drag it to an empty or occupied spot on the current or another Home screen page. (If the destination is currently occupied, items will shift to make room—if possible.) When you release the item, the move is completed.

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