How to Configure Your Samsung Galaxy S 4

When you turn on your Galaxy S 4 the first time, it will ask you a series of questions and preferences to configure it. The good folks at Samsung are well intentioned, but not every one of their customers with a Galaxy S 4 knows from day one whether she wants a Samsung account, what's a good name for her phone, or what the purpose of a drop box is.

You can relax. The following tips help you answer these questions.

On the other hand, if your phone is already set up, you probably took a guess or skipped some questions. Maybe now you're rethinking some of your choices. No problem. You can go back and change any answer you gave and get your phone to behave the way you want.

The questions are as follows:

  • Screen 1: Language/Accessibility: This option lets you select your language. The default is English for phones sold within the United States. Also, the phone has some special capabilities for individuals with disabilities. If you have a disability and think you might benefit, take a look at these options.

  • Screen 2: Wi-Fi: Your phone automatically starts scanning for a Wi-Fi connection. You can always use the cellular connection when you are in cellular coverage, but if there is a Wi-Fi connection available, your phone will try to use this first. It is probably cheaper and may be faster than the cellular.

    At the same time, you may not want your phone to connect to the Wi-Fi access point with the best signal. It could be that the strongest signal is a fee-based service, whereas the next best signal is free. In any case, this page scans the available options and presents them to you. If you need to enter a password, you'll see this screen.

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    If this is all too much to take in right now, feel free to skip to the next screen.

  • Screen 3: Date and Time: This is easy. The default setting is to use the time and date that comes from the cellular network. Just tap on the next button and move on. This date and time from the cellular network is the most accurate information you will get, and you do not need to do anything other than be within cellular coverage now and again.

  • Screen 4: Sign up for a Samsung Account: Skip this screen for now. The Samsung account offers you some nice things such as backing up your phone information and access to music, movies, and video. At the same time, there is so much more out there that it is best to forge ahead and leave this for another time.

  • Screen 5: Google Account Sign-up: "Google account" means an e-mail account where the address ends in @gmail.com. If you already have an account on Gmail, enter your user ID and password here.

  • Screen 6: Location Options: Your phone knowing your location and providing it to an application can be a sensitive issue.

    If you are really worried about privacy and security, tap the green checkmarks on the screen and then tap the button that says Next. Selecting these options prevents applications from knowing where you are. This prevents you from getting directions and a large number of cool capabilities that are built into applications. The only folks who will know your location are the 911 dispatchers if you dial them.

    If you are worried about your security, but may want to take advantage of some of the cool capabilities built into your phone, tap the right arrow key to move forward. Remember, you can choose on a case-by-case basis whether to share your location.

  • Screen 7: Phone Ownership: This screen asks you to enter your first and last name. You may ask why this is important at this point. It's not. If you have been able to navigate this far, you may be ready to tap in your first and last name. If not, just tap the right arrow. All will be fine.

  • Screen 8: Dropbox: This is a generous offer, but what is it for? Dropbox is a service that allows you to store or transfer files online. If you need it, you can come back and take them up on this later. For now, just tap Skip.

  • Screen 9: Learn about key features: Go ahead and take this tour of all the new things you can do. Tap the Next button. This screen is for setting up the coolest and the most sophisticated capabilities of the phone. For now, skip this to get to the last screen.

  • Screen 10: Device Name: When this screen comes up, you'll see a text box that has the model name. You can keep this name or you can choose to personalize it. For example, you can change it to "Bill's Galaxy S 4." The purpose of this name is for connecting to a local data network. Tap Finish. In a moment, you see the Home screen.

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