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(Last modified: Monday, September 4, 2017 1:52 pm)

Samsung Galaxy S4

Explorer folder empty when connected to computer
Frequent Wi-Fi Disconnect / Reconnect
Google Play update error codes 907, 963
Home key stops working
HTML links to phone numbers
Keyboard sound, how to turn off
Move Apps to External SD card
No display on incoming call
Phone number extension support in Contacts
S-Voice stops responding on bluetooth

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Explorer folder empty when connected to computer

Connecting the data cable to a computer while the phone is locked will result in the phone appearing in the Windows Explorer folder tree (on the left), but the contents of the folder will be empty. This is a good feature. It prevents someone who finds your phone from examining the file system just by plugging it into a computer.

Be sure to unlock the phone just before connecting the computer cable.


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Frequent Wi-Fi Disconnect / Reconnect

Router: Asus WL500G wireless router (flashed with DD-WRT)
This setting was changed to fix Samsung S4 reconnecting issue:
Wireless / Advanced Settings / WMM Support / Disable

This WMM is for "Wireless MultiMedia" Support, which prioritizes packets for multimedia devices.

Continued to have intermittant wi-fi disconnects. Upgraded from DD-WRT V24 Build 13064 to Build 14896. That appears to fix the problem.

Problem started again. Replaced router with Linksys WRT54G. This is the same model that has been working fine at another location.


Home key stops working
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Home key stops working

Sometimes the Home key, the single button at the bottom of the screen, stops working. A single press of the home button should return you to the home screen. Pressing this button twice normally opens S-Voice, and that function may still work while a single press does not.

The only known reliable workaround is to restart the phone by holding down the power button on right side and select Restart from the popup menu.


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HTML links to phone numbers

Web pages may contain links like this to dial phone numbers:
<a href="tel:+18005551212">Dial information</a>
Note: "+1" is the country code and is optional, but recommended.
Unfortunately, phone numbers dialed from a link do not support commas or semicolons.
Try it on your phone:
Dial information


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Keyboard sound, how to turn off

Swipe from the top to the bottom of the screen and touch the gear icon to open settings.
Touch MY DEVICE, then Sound and notification.
Touch Other sounds.
Uncheck the Touch sounds box in the Feedback group and the Sound when tapped box in the Samsung keyboard group.


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Move Apps to External SD card

Adding an external SD card to your phone is an inexpensive way to greatly enhance the capabilities of your phone. For example, you can carry full length movies, ebooks, and music with you everywhere you go. MicroSD cards are commonly available for $10 or less. The size of the cards available has increased over time. A 64GB card has been tested, but larger cards are available, and they may work as well.

You can also move part of some apps to the SD card, freeing up your main storage other apps or data. Here's how:

1. Open Settings (swipe vertically from top to bottom and touch gear icon).
2. Swipe from right to left on Connections My Device Accounts and touch More.
3. Touch Application manager 4. Swipe right to left on DOWNLOADED to select SD CARD.

This shows a list of all the installed downloaded apps that may be moved to the SD Card (not all apps can be moved). The green checkbox is checked if the app has already been moved to the SD Card, and is unchecked if not. Checking the box opens the screen for that app with a MOVE TO SD CARD button. If the app has already been moved, the same button is MOVE TO DEVICE STORAGE. It takes some time to move the app; the larger the app, the longer it takes. A status message will appear near the bottom of the screen when the move is complete. You may then touch the CLEAR CACHE button to free up some additional storage.

Unfortunately, you need to check this screen every time any of your apps is updated. Some updates will cause the app to be reinstalled in device storage and others will not.

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No display on incoming call

Sometimes when the phone rings on an incoming call, the call screen does not show. It is believed this might result from user activity immediately before the call comes in. When this happens, there is no apparent way to answer the call.

A workaround for this problem is to configure the phone to allow another way to answer incoming calls. Go to:
Settings / MY DEVICE / Call
Press Answering/ending calls
Check the box Pressing the Home key (under Answer calls by)

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Phone number extension support in Contacts

Add a comma on the end of the phone number for each 1 second pause, followed by digits for the extension.
Multiple commas allowed as well as multiple groups of digits separated by commas for dialing touchtone automated systems.
If a semicolon is used, a prompt pops up so you can press OK to send the remaining digits (or Cancel).


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S-Voice stops responding on bluetooth

Replace S-Voice with Google Now

Below are workarounds to use S-Voice to control the phone when on a bluetooth connection. None of the workarounds seem to make S-Voice work reliably. So, the best option is to use another app. Found preinstalled Google Now works well if S-Voice is disabled. Go to Settings / Application Manager / All / S-Voice and tap the DISABLE button. You will be warned that disabling a built-in app may cause problems, but you can always enable it again. Tasker may be used to automatically turn on Hands-free mode whenever you connect to specific bluetooth devices, or you can turn it on manually by swiping from top to bottom, tap the button in the upper right corner that displays a large number of settings buttons and look for Hands-free mode with a car steering wheel icon (dim when off, tap to turn on/off).

In addition to the very limited set of commands S-Voice provides, Google Now allows you to ask a question to lookup in Google. It plays music locally stored on your phone, but also streams music from the internet. To avoid using cell data, open the Google Play Music app and change the settings to Downloaded only. While S-Voice recognized most speech when in a car, found it almost never recognized speech on a motorcycle even though callers reported wind noise was minimal. Found that Google Now recognizes speech very well even with wind noise. Google Now also works well when requested to play a certain song or album while S-Voice almost always failed.

Google Now has a settings "Ok Google" detection, Hands-free, Speech output, Offline speech recognition, and Bluetooth headset. These settings are all recomended when using Google Now for hands-free use. Offline speech recognition is important if you want to be able to use when outside of cell data coverage. If you want to navigate outside of cell data coverage, or if you do a lot of navigation, download Google Maps data to your phone. S-Voice automatically reads incoming text messages when Hand-free mode is on. Google Now, announces that a text message was received. You can say "Read text message" and Google Now will read it.

S-Voice never responds to a voice command if the phone is locked. Google Now seems to do just about everything fine with the phone locked.

S-Voice workarounds

S-Voice does not reliably respond on bluetooth. When a bluetooth headset connects, S-Voice automatically opens. Hands free mode may be turned on with a voice command. A very good feature. However, this only happens if the phone is unlocked when bluetooth connects, so it is important to unlock the phone just before connecting with a bluetooth device.

Experience indicates that if you only invoke features supported directly by S-Voice in hands free mode, like making and receiving phone calls, and sending and receiving text messages, it continues to respond. It is believed this is because hands free mode prevents the phone from locking after the configured lock time expires. However, it you perform a function that launches another app, like "Weather", or "Play" (music), another app is launched. As soon as the new app has focus, it is believed the phone then locks as soon as the configured automatic lock time expires. When the phone locks, S-Voice stops responding to commands. What is needed is a way to prevent the phone from locking when in hands free mode. Even better would be to turn off the screen and disable screen touch at the same time to save battery and prevent accidental screen touches when the phone is in your pocket.

A workaround that helps to some degree is to change the automatic lock delay to the 30 minute maximum (Settings -> My device -> Lock screen -> Lock automatically). You then have 30 minutes of hands free use, which works for a short commute.

There are apps available, like No Lock, that prevent your phone from locking at all when they are running. This solution would require that you remember to start and stop the app before you connect and disconnect bluetooth. Also, an app named Tasker allows you to program the phone so that the locking PIN is not used when a bluetooth device is connected, a more automatic solution.

Other phones have a setting on the phone itself that prevents locking when connected to a "trusted" bluetooth connection. Samsung needs to include this feature.