If you’re like lots of other Samsung Galaxy S4 owners, then you’ve probably updated to the latest and greatest version of Android dubbed Kit-Kat. Don’t be fooled, this latest inclination of Android OS is anything but sweet.
An issue that seems to plague Samsung phones, the S4 in particular, but also most likely the Note series of phones (amongst others) is the touch screen has intermittent responsive issues.
For me, the lower half of the phone buttons and touch screen would not respond to any touches (sporadically). The only way I got the phone to respond again was hitting the lock button and then pressing it again, the screen comes good again, but only temporarily.
Resetting the phone, factory resets and reinstalling the OS don’t even fix the issue. They’re temporary fixes but ultimately the response issues are due to bugs in one or more components of the new update. It seems too much focus was put on marketing and not enough on testing.
The fix I’ve found through trial and error comes down to a little service called WatchOn. The WatchOn service handles the universal remote functionality of the phone, the one aspect you probably never use.
- Go to settings, More and then Application Manager.
- Scroll across to, “ALL” and look for “WatchON” then press it
- Then you’ll see a few buttons, press on “Disable”
- You’ll get a message about causing problems, blah, blah. Press OK. You will then be prompted to install the factory version, say OK to that as well.
- The WatchON service will reinstall itself and after it’s done, press the “Enable” button. It’ll be one of two buttons how pressable.
That should be it. Supposedly disabling the GPS functionality also helps as does setting your lock screen widgets to “Clock”
If none of the above fixes work for you, you might have encountered a known issue with the Galaxy S4’s digitizer. My partner experienced the same issue, the bottom half of her phone stopped responding, no software fix/reset addressed the issue and a return under warranty revealed the digitizer had failed. This is reportedly a very common issue with the S4 and I would advise you get your phone checked out (especially if under warranty) if no fix works for you.