4 of 11Image
One of the headline-garnering features of the S4's new software offerings are the 'touchless' operations such as AirView.
AirView lets you preview the content of an email or text message without opening it or touching the handset.
To use AirView you simply open the messages or email inbox and point at the message you want to preview and it will display it on screen.
The image above shows a preview of an email without needing to open or tap it to view the contents. If you hover your finger over any email attachments it will tell you what kind of attachment it is, for example, an image or document.
AirView (which was also present on the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but required actually touching the screen) can also be used in other areas of the phone.
For example, if you assign a speed dial number to a contact, you can then go to the phone dialer pad, hover your finger over one of the numbers and it will pop up the contact assigned to that number, giving you the option to call them.
Other notable software tweaks on the S4 include the Smart Pause, however, due to the crowded nature of the event at which I was using the phone, it was hard to work out how accurate and responsive these features are — there was pretty much always someone looking at the screen.
However, I had more luck with the Air Gesture feature introduced for the Galaxy S4 which uses sensors at the top of the handset to detect when you are trying to scroll through things. For example, if you want to scroll through pictures in your album or different music tracks in your collection, you just need to swipe your hand left or right in front of the handset and it will move along to the next item.
Obviously, for this to work you need to be relatively close to the phone but it'll still work from a few inches away.