Use the Touchscreen and the Finger Gestures of Samsung Galaxy S4

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This is part of the VisiHow series on how to use the Samsung Galaxy S4. The link to the mother VisiHow is here - USE SAMSUNG GALAXY S4

The Home, Back, and Menu buttons are the only key options available on the Samsung Galaxy S4 front screen. To successfully operate your phone, you need to use the touchscreen as both an input and output device. The touch screen sends and shows the graphic user interface and at the same time, responds appropriately to received input. To effectively use your touchscreen, you need to know the gestures that it normally recognized. You'll be surprised to know that your phone is capable of more than typical tapping gestures.

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Know the Categories of Gestures

Basically, there are four categories of gestures. Here, we will outline each gesture and provide a short description. Read on for a complete detailed description of each gesture category.

  1. 1
    Finger Gestures -- Inputs recognized by device using your fingers.
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  2. 2
    Control Motions -- Inputs recognized by device through motion sensors.
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  3. 3
    Palm Motions -- Inputs recognized by device using your palm through the proximity sensor.
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  4. 4
    Air Gestures -- Inputs recognized by device using air gestures through the proximity sensor.
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Finger Gestures

This is the most common gesture. 80-90% of the gestures you will normally use will be finger gestures. it is important to know how to appropriately carry out such gestures:

  1. 1
    Tapping -- This gesture is used in opening an application, selecting an item in the menu, pressing on-screen buttons and typing using the on-screen keyboard.
    This gesture is done by doing a single tap on the desired portion of the touch screen.
    1 finger.PNG
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  2. 2
    Tapping and Holding -- This gesture is used to show the options available for a portion of the touchscreen.
    The gesture is done by tapping on the screen and holding your finger on it for at least two seconds. If you tap and hold for two seconds and there are still no options available, it means that there are no other options for that specific icon/location.Among other functions, you can do screenshots with this finger gesture. Press and hold the Power and Select buttons at the same time until the screen flashes. An image of what is on the screen will be saved to the phone's gallery.
    2 tap an d hold.PNG
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  3. 3
    Dragging -- This gesture is used to move icons, thumbnails or previews to another location.
    To use the gesture, tap and hold on the the target item, drag it and release to the desired position in the touch screen.
    3 dragging.PNG
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  4. 4
    Double Tapping -- This gesture is used on a web browser application, map or image when you want to enlarge the viewed object on the touchscreen.
    To do the gesture, quickly do two tapping gestures.
    4 double tap.PNG
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  5. 5
    Pinch and Spread -- This gestures has a somewhat similar function to double tapping.
    You can use this to zoom in a certain area based on your desired size (spread). This can also zoom out a zoomed-in item (Pinch). To do a spread, tap the screen with your two fingers and spread them to zoom in on an item. To do a pinch, tap the screen with your two fingers and pinch them to zoom out from an item.
    6 pinch.PNG
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  6. 6
    Flicking -- This gesture is used to scroll up or down through a webpage or a list, such as folders and contacts.
    This is also used to move from the home screen and the application screen.. Start with a tapping gesture and quickly do a flicking gesture to your desired location: Bottom, top, left and right.
    5 flick.PNG
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Control Motions

Control motions are designed to ease up your life and make your Samsung Galaxy S4 more intuitive. Knowing and familiarizing yourself with these gestures will allow you to give automated commands to your phone. Using these gestures also saves you more time than manually doing the action associated with these gestures. Make sure that you have turned on the motion feature to be able to enjoy this feature. To do this, go to Home Screen > Apps > Settings > My Device > Motions and Gestures > Motion, then drag the "Motion" switch to the right to turn it on. You can use the control motions as follows:

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  1. 1
    Auto-Screen Rotation -- This gesture will allow you to auto-adjust your screen to landscape or portrait mode.
    Many applications allow display in both modes. To do the gesture, simply rotate your phone to your desired orientation and your phone will automatically rotate as long as the orientation is supported by the application. Make sure that screen rotation is turned on in the notifications panel. Take note that some applications display a different screen on a different orientation like the calculator which turns into a scientific calculator when in landscape.
    1 rotate screen.JPG
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  2. 2
    Picking Up -- This gesture will signal the phone that you are about to use it.
    It will then vibrate to tell you that there were some activities (messages and missed calls) while you were away from it. To do the gesture, simply pick up your phone and you should feel the vibration if there are messages or missed calls.
    2 pick up.JPG
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  3. 3
    Holding to Ear -- This gesture will allow you to automatically call the contact you are currently viewing without any touching the screen or doing voice commands.
    This is applicable when you are viewing the contact details, call details, or a message. To do the gesture, pick up and hold the device to your ear to make a call to the contact you are currently viewing.
    3 hold to ear.JPG
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  4. 4
    Panning to Browse -- This gesture will help you easily see and browse the other parts of the images that have been zoomed out.
    Normally, a zoomed-in image is bigger than your phone screen so you would have to manually do a flipping gesture to view the other parts that did not fit the screen. With this gesture, it will automatically let you view the other parts, just by panning to the desired part. To do the gesture, simply tap and hold on the screen, and you can then move your phone to any direction you want to see the unseen part of the image in that direction.
    4 pan to broswe.JPG
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  5. 5
    Turning Over -- This gesture will allow you to automatically set your ringtone to silent, or to pause the media playback you are currently viewing.
    This is helpful when you are in meetings or when you are watching your favorite video and you need to pause the movie and walk away for a moment. To do the gesture, all you have to do is turn over the device and this will to set its ringtone to mute and/or pause its media playback.
    5 turn over.JPG
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  6. 6
    Tilting -- This gesture will allow you to zoom in and out of an image or browser.
    This is very useful when you want to periodically adjust the zooming in and out of the current picture or site that you are viewing. To do the gesture, tap and hold on two points on your touch screen then tilt the device back to zoom out or tilt the device forward to zoom in.
    6 tilt.JPG
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Palm Motions

Palm motions allow you to take screenshots of your phone or command it to pause its media playback by the use of your palm. Make sure that you have turned on the palm motion feature to be able to enjoy this feature. To do it go to HOME SCREEN> APPS > SETTINGS > MY DEVICE > MOTIONS AND GESTURES > PALM MOTION > drag the Palm Motion switch to the right to turn it on. Familiarize and learn to use these palm motion gestures:

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  1. 1
    Sweeping - This gesture will allow you to take screenshots from your Samsung Galaxy S4 by making use of your palm.
    This is an easier, more convenient and faster method that the usual HOME BUTTON+ POWER BUTTON combination. Take note that screenshots may be disabled on some applications. To do the gesture, simply sweep your hand across the screen (touching your hand on the screen) and your phone should automatically take a screenshot of the current screen.
    7 sweep.JPG
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  2. 2
    Covering - This gesture allows you to pause your media play back (music or video).
    This may come in handy when there is a sudden need to pause your media activity. To do the gesture, simply cover your touch screen with your palm to pause the media playback.
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Air Gesture

Different from the gesture categories already discussed, Air gesture allows you to control your phone without actually touching it. Make sure that you have turned on the air gesture feature to be able to enjoy this feature. To do this, go to Home Screen > Apps > Settings > My Device > Motions and Gestures > Air Gesture, then drag the Air Gesture switch to the right to turn it on. Learn and familiarize yourself with these gestures, and you will have control over your phone without even touching it:

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  1. 1
    Quick Glance -- This gesture will allow you to view notifications, missed calls, unread messages, date and time, and other information without touching your phone.
    You can do this even if your phone's screen is turned on. To do the gesture, move your hand above the sensor and you will be able to view available notifications.
    9 quick glance.JPG
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  2. 2
    Air jump -- This gesture will allow you to scroll up or scroll down the page while you are reading your emails or browsing the net without doing a flipping gesture or a scrolling action.
    To do the gesture, you must only move your hand up (scroll up) or down (scroll down) across the sensor to scroll the page.
    10 air jump.JPG
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  3. 3
    Air browse -- This gesture will allow you to browse images, songs, memos, or webpages.
    To do the gesture, simply move your hand to the left or right to browse.
    11 browser.JPG
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  4. 4
    Air move -- This gesture will allow you to move icons from one location to another by using the sensor.
    This is the equivalent of dragging gesture. You can also use this gesture to move to another day or week when using your phone's calendar. To do the gesture, simply tap and hold on the target portion of the screen and then move your hand (through the sensor) either to the left or the right depending on where you want to move the application or calendar.
    12 air move.JPG
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  5. 5
    Air call accept -- This gesture will allow you to answer an incoming call without touching you.
    To do the gesture, simply move your hand to the left and quickly to the right across your phone's sensor to answer any incoming call.
    13 air call accept.JPG
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Samsung Galaxy S4 no longer enlarges screen by spreading fingers? - Spread and Pinch not working?

Some applications do not support spread and pinch gestures. Otherwise this feature should be working. If you are having this problem please post as much detail about the problem in the comment section below so I can look into the exact problem. Please be sure to include the application you are experiencing the problem on so I can compile a list of known problem software.

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Additional Notes

  1. 1
    As of the moment, there is no air gesture movement on the S4 which can capture a screenshot.
    You can either do it one of two ways:  
    1. Simultaneously hold down the "Power" and "Home" buttons (a finger gesture).
    2. Position your hand sideways (like a karate chop), slightly touching the screen, then moving the hand (in the same position) from the left side of the screen to the right, or vice versa (a palm motion).
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  2. 2
    For air gestures to work properly, the hand's proximity should be no more than 7 centimeters or 2.75 inches from the S4.
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Questions and Answers

Whats wrong with my phone and how do I fix it?

Phone will not respond to touch commands. I press any icon and phone does a mini vibrate and a yellow green box appears around the home-screen. I can't even turn the phone off.

I really think that there might be some deeper problem that is currently causing your phone, that's why it can't respond to your touch commands. These might be due to broken or your phone has been damage and it's screen actually become faulty that is why it does not respond anymore to touch commands. Or either the device have encounter a OS nor firmware bug or even been damage and corrupt in which needs some re-flashing. Either of the two that might cause your problem, you must bring your device to the place you bought it. Unfortunately since Samsung Galaxy S4 has been out for just a few months then it is hard to consider that kind of problem. So the best solution is have it check on the service center of Samsung.

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How to do a 2 finger pinch on Samsung Galaxy S4?

Hi - My S4 was just Factory Reset and I was trying to change my home screen back to the far left. I did not know what a 2 finger pinch was until I read your website. Thanks. Very helpful.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

When I use my finger anywhere , even when texting, its too intense. 5 letters for every letter I tap. just need to lower the intensity?

When I use my finger anywhere , even when texting, its too intense. 5 letters for every letter I tap. just need to lower the intensity.

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

How do I fix rotation, proximity, and air motion?

Rotation, proximity, and air motion do not work

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

Disable finger gesture of Samsung Galaxy?

Disable finger gesture of Samsung Galaxy. I have tried: Yes. I think it was caused by: Yes

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I got S6 Edge, I can not categorize email?

On the older phone S4 I used to categorize email by finger swiping, I am unable to do it on S6 Edge.

Thanks

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The touch screen gesture pinch is equivalent to the ____________ command?

These are my multiple choice answer so I must pick one zoom in

zoom out

dragging

scroll

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Categories : USE SAMSUNG GALAXY S4

Recent edits by: Doug Collins, pioneer1, phillipholmes

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