Galaxy S4: The Missing Manual
The Book That Should Have Been in the Box
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: August 2013
Pages: 484

Galaxy S4 is amazing right out of the box, but if you want to get the most of out your S4 or S4 Mini, start here. With clear instructions and savvy advice from technology expert Preston Gralla, you’ll learn how to go online, play games, listen to music, watch movies & TV, monitor your health, and answer calls with a wave of your hand.

The important stuff you need to know:

  • Be connected. Browse the Web, manage email, and download apps through WiFi or S4’s 3G/4G network.
  • Navigate without touch. Use Air Gestures with your hand, or scroll with your eyes using Smart Screen.
  • Find new ways to link up. Chat, videochat, and add photos, video, or entire slideshows to text messages.
  • Get together with Group Play. Play games or share pictures, documents, and music with others nearby.
  • Create amazing images. Shoot and edit photos and videos—and combine images from the front and back cameras.
  • Keep music in the cloud. Use Google Play Music to store and access tunes.
  • Check your schedule. Sync the S4 with your Google and Outlook calendars.

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews


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oreillyGalaxy S4: The Missing Manual

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Should have come with the phone!

By Jefro

from Redwood Forest, Northern California

About Me Community Manager, Developer, Educator, Embedded Linux Expert, Maker, Sys Admin


  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Consistent
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


  • Occasionally Arbitrary

Best Uses

  • Expert
  • Intermediate
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Comments about oreilly Galaxy S4: The Missing Manual:

This book fills precisely the niche that it claims to fill - it covers all of the basic functions that the phone provides out of the box, in good detail and with photos. In fact, it goes one step farther by providing them in a pleasant tone, and I found some of the examples humorous, which is often not the case with stock manuals.

In particular, I thought the depth of each chapter was quite well done, and very consistent. Many books of this type have a lot of detail in one chapter and then skim the rest. This book was marvelously consistent at presenting each of the phone's features at the same depth. (I was a technical writer for 19 years and know that this is harder than it sounds.) The end result is what a reader would call a "solid grounding" in a subject, which in this case is a complex phone that has some features that aren't obvious and others that need some explaining in order to fully appreciate (like VPN).

Is this a perfect book? No - of course no book is perfect, and I don't think this one would claim to be. Sometimes I found the order in which items were presented to be a little bit - not confusing, but maybe not the way I would have chosen. I don't think that detracted from the content as reference material, but if someone were reading the book from start to finish they might find things in a different order from what they would expect. There is no way to fix this, as everyone would expect something slightly different.

If I had one wish for the book, it would be that chapter 12, Downloading and Using Apps, were further fleshed out. One of the primary features of Android is the ability to extend it by installing apps. Some people transform their phones entirely with apps. I appreciate that an in-depth discussion would sort of lead out of the true topic of the book, to describe the phone as delivered, still it would be good to bridge the gap, and maybe even describe rooting and why someone would want to do it (or not).

All in all this is a very, very well balanced book on the S4. It was an invaluable reference in getting to know this new phone just before an international trip. I can honestly say the trip would have been much less fun without the knowledge I gained from this book.

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