Enabling developer options on Samsung Galaxy S4

Although it won’t be useful to most standard users, here’s how to enable Developer Options on your Samsung Galaxy S4:

Open the Settings menu. This is available by dragging down the menu at the top of the screen and clicking on the settings cog:

S4 Developer Options 1

Click on More at the top right of the screen:

S4 Developer Options 2

Then click About device:

S4 Developer Options 3

Then press the entry for Build number a number of times:

S4 Developer Options 4

A message will tell you that you are touching the right area. A countdown is also included so you know how many presses you need to make. You should get a success message when it’s worked.

This then activates a new menu labelled Developer options, which you can see is already activated on my phone in the screenshots above.

The most useful feature in this new menu for me is USB debugging, which is required by some apps, including MyPhoneExplorer.

Aside: My Phone Explorer is an awesome free piece of software which I use to connect my phone to my computer. With this software I can send texts from my computer, keep a back up of all my messages and perform various sync-tasks. I find that it works better than the Kies software that comes with the phone as standard.

Taking screenshots on Samsung Galaxy S4

It is sometimes useful to be able to take screenshots of what’s happening on your phone, particularly if you’re a developer/tester doing some work on mobiles. It’s also useful if you’re blogging about phones and want to include some screenshots, as I did in my last post on killing unused apps. On the Samsung Galaxy S4 you can take screenshots by holding down the power button and home key together until the screen flashes. If you’ve got the sound on, you’ll also hear a camera shutter sound.

An especially useful trick is to use the Dropbox app and configure it to sync images taken on the phone. If you do this, your screenshot will appear in the Dropbox on your local machine within seconds, assuming you’re on a good internet connection.

Killing apps on Samsung Galaxy S4

Now that I’m the (proud) owner of a Samsung Galaxy S4 I’ll blog about any cool features and tricks I pick up for this phone. As the Galaxy S4 runs on Android any such tips will probably work on other Android phones as well, although the buttons used will probably differ between different makes of phones.

First up, there’s a neat way to kill open apps that are running in the background. Killing unused apps could potentially save battery usage, and so is worth doing if you’re trying conserve power. To access this feature, first “long press” the Home key. On the screen that opens, click on the button at the bottom left hand corner of the screen showing a pie-chart:

S4 Kill Apps

Click the Applications button at the top left hand corner of the screen:

S4 Kill Apps 2

…end click End next to any applications you want to close. Simple!