Mobile Devices

Questions, answers, and advice related to smart phones, iPhones, iPads and other mobile devices.

Move your Samsung Galaxy S4 apps to a microSD card

Samsung Galaxy mobile phones let you easily upgrade memory capacity by adding a microSD card, but running apps on the SD card has not been possible up through the S3.

The new S4 now lets you move installed apps to the SD card, and provides an easy configuration screen to make it happen.

To move installed apps to a microSD card on a Samsung Galaxy S4, press the Settings menu and then tap the "More" tab.

There you'll find the Application Manager, which shows you a list of all the apps installed on your phone. It'll also show you the amount of available device memory on the bottom of the screen.

How to add memory to a Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung's Galaxy S4 comes with 16GB built-in device storage, which is fine if all you do is check email, facebook, and take a few pictures. If you want to start watching videos or storing songs though, you'll quickly reach the 16 gig memory limit.

Fortunately, you can add up to 64GB of additional memory. I bought a 16 GB SanDisk microSD card yesterday for $19.99 at Best Buy, which is plenty for what I do with my phone, and very affordable. You can find even better prices on Amazon, like this 32GB card for less than $25.

To install the SD card...

Change lock screen shortcuts on a Samsung Galaxy S4

Android mobile phones have a lot more configuration options than an iPhone, which is one of the reasons I love my new Samsung Galaxy S4.

Take the lock screen - the screen you see when you first press the home or power button on an Android mobile device. When you first buy the phone, you'll just see a blank screen with the time at the top, like this:

Just like with an iPhone, you swipe to the right to unlock the Galaxy S4, but the iPhone has a camera icon on it's lock screen that lets you jump right to the built-in camera on the iPhone without unlocking the phone.

The Galaxy tops that by letting you configure multiple shortcut apps, and letting you vertically swipe them to both unlock the phone and jump right to the application.

To add shortcuts to the lock screen on a Samsung Galaxy S4...

Control Your Apps: Turn off those annoying notifications and alerts

It seems like every app I install has the need to notify me about something every day, and those alerts are always popping up on my iphone. Even when it's just in lock mode, I get scrolling reminders that someone has snap-chatted me, or connected to me on LinkedIn, or that it's time to try my luck again at the Zynga poker tables.

Fortunately you can turn off these pesky notifications, by following these easy steps:

First, go into Settings on your iphone and tap "Notifications".

Each app that can post alerts to your phone will be listed here. You'll need to tap each app, and set the Alert Style to "None", and View in Lock Screen to "Off".

Unfortunately there's no global or "Select All" setting, so you'll have to do this for each app that's listed.

Type faster on your iPad with the new split keyboard

The iPad's built-in keyboard automatically switches from large keys when you're holding it the wide way (landscape) and small keys when you're holding it vertically, but did you know there's a third keyboard option that's even better?

It's called Split Keyboard, and it literally splits your iPad keyboard into two separate keyboards. One located on the bottom left of the screen, and the other on the bottom right of the screen - right where your thumbs are when you're holding your iPad.

Once Split Keyboard has been turned on, you can split your iPad keyboard just by tapping with two fingers in the middle of the keyboard area, and spreading it apart. It's the same movement you'd make to zoom in to view a close-up of a web page. You can use this trick anywhere you'd normally see your iPad keyboard, such as composing email or posting on your Facebook wall.

Here's a screenshot of split keyboard mode in Facebook, while holding my iPad horizaontally:

It takes a little getting used to, but I find I move my thumbs much less with split keyboard, because the keys are closer to where my thumb naturally rests on the screen. That means you'll be able to type (or rather "tap") more without wearing out your thumbs!

To take advantage of this feature, make sure you download the latest version of iOS on your iPad. Then enable split keyboard mode by tapping Settings -- General -- Keyboard and turning on Split Keyboard.