Samsung has packed its Galaxy S4 with dozens of new features. If you happen to know nothing about smartphones, it's probably not the smartphone for you.
But that leaves poor Samsung in a quandary. If its most popular smartphone is too complicated, it's just alienated a large portion of its potential market. Samsung is nothing if not egalitarian. It wants to be everything to everybody.
So, to cater to the less mobile savvy users of the world, Samsung gave the Galaxy S4 an Easy Mode.
Meet Easy Mode
Easy Mode in the Galaxy S4 limits the home screen to three panels. The icons are much bigger, as are the fonts. It provides access to a limited number of essential apps and offers very basic functions like a clock, weather, calendar, phone, messaging and camera. You can create memos, use the calculator, send email, listen to music and change the settings.
You can access the Android app drawer from Easy Mode, but it doesn't look like the normal app folder. It's just an alphabetical list of apps on the phone.
You can toggle between Easy Mode and standard mode by going to Settings – My Device – Home Screen Mode and applying Easy Mode. You can go back to standard by going to Settings and performing the same procedure in reverse.
Samsung believes that Easy Mode will be good for users that might find the rest of the features in the Galaxy S4 and there are a lot of them — confusing. Easy Mode is the setting your grandmother or a small child might use. Samsung is of the belief that it can ease people into learning how to use the Galaxy S4 with Easy Mode. Then, when they're ready, they can “graduate” to standard mode.
I can't decide whether to give Samsung kudos for creating a setting that allows the phone to be much, much simpler, or to chastise it for making a phone so complicated that an Easy Mode was necessary.
What do you think of Samsung’s Easy Mode? Is it something you'd recommend to Grandma? Let us know in the comments.