Samsung's Galaxy S4 is loaded with more new technologies than any other smartphone on the market - including a sensor that lets you operate your phone without touching it at all, waving a hand to answer calls and peeking at emails by waggling a finger at the screen.
Problem: You want to use the "touchless" functions in Samsung's S4 - but you're not sure how they work.
Here' the solution.
Two of the coolest functions in Samsung's new S4 are "Air Gesture" and "Air View" - letting you control your phone by moving a hand near the touchscreen. Not all the functions are automatically enabled, though - and the touchless functions don't work in every app - but it's well worth learning them, as it feels almost magical once you get it right.
The "Air Gesture" function works using a sensor at the top right of the screen, and works at a range of roughly two inches. To set it up, go to Menu (the striped LED button on the bottom panel, to the right of the Home button), then System Settings, then the "My Device" tab at the top, then "Motion and Gestures". Turn on the slider to enable Air Gesture, then enable Quick Glance and Air Call Accept.
Quick Glance is a superb time-saver - and a great way to avoid being rude in meetings or at dinner. It allows you to see if you've missed calls or texts without picking up your phone and opening the lock screen. Make sure Air Gesture and Quick Glance are enabled, then move your hand smoothly upwards over the screen about two inches up - a blue light will display, then you'll see a screen showing number of missed calls and texts, as well as battery percentage.
Air Call Accept lets you answer your phone quickly - you simply pass a hand over the screen and answer if you see it ringing. It really helps ensure you don't miss that one important call.
Air View uses the same sensor as Air Gesture - but works with apps to add extra functions, for instance to see a "preview" of an email without opening it, by hovering a finger just above the screen. Air View is a different function from Air Gesture, so you have to enable it separately, in a different menu. It's also worth noting that it doesn't work with all apps - although it works superbly with Email and social news app Flipboard.
To use it, go to the main menu (the striped bar next to the Home Button), to turn on the functions you want. It's under Input and Control - switch the slider to On (it turns green) and you can select which functions to use - we suggest Webpage Magnifier and Information Preview to start with as some of the others are harder to use.
It's a genuinely useful function - but only works in certain apps. The email preview, for instance, only works in Email (the standard app bundled with the phone), so for instance if you use Google's Gmail app, it won't work. In Email, hovering a finger about an inch from the screen for half a second brings up a preview - it's fast, easy to use and a great time saver, as you don't have to wait for emails to open and close. In apps such as Flipboard - a social news app Samsung builds into the phone as standard - you can hover a finger over a section (say "Technology news") and the phone brings up a preview of the first few headlines.
Air Magnifier lets you point at web pages to "magnify" the area you're looking at, such as an image or a block of text. Remember to "hover" instead of swiping . If you don't like it, just go back to the Input and Control menu and disable it.