With a root bounty of over $18,000 up for the taking, developers were highly motivated to get the AT&T and Verizon Wireless variants of the Samsung Galaxy S5 rooted. Legendary hacker George Hotz, aka Geohot, has won the race and can now step up to claim his prize.
Now that all variants of the Galaxy S5 have finally been rooted, we can start exploring all of the tweaks and hacks that Superuser privileges open up to us.
If you pay close attention, you might notice that the screen on your Android begins to flicker or pulsate when you lower the brightness past a certain point. This is a result of the AMOLED technology Samsung, among other manufacturers, use in their displays, and the way that these types of screens operate.
Before you purchased your smartphone or tablet, the device had already embarked on quite a long journey. From product development to manufacturing, your Samsung Galaxy device had already developed a rich history prior to your ownership.
One subtle change that Samsung made with the Galaxy S5 is their replacement of the Menu softkey with one for recent applications. Instead of holding down on the Home button, we now have the Recents button, which is used for easy access to multitasking.
With AirPlay for iOS, Chromecast Screen Mirroring, and even third-party PC-pairing apps to play around with, getting your devices to interconnect could not be any easier than it is today.
The Galaxy S5's camera is amongst the most capable smartphone shooters on the market. With a 16-megapixel sensor that is capable of recording 1080p video at 120 frames per second, the stat sheet was officially stuffed when Samsung brought this device to market.
When you try to install third-party applications (meaning apps not found in the Google Play Store) you'll be met with a warning that notifies you that your device currently blocks installations not obtained from the Play Store. Enable Unknown Sources
Samsung makes some wonderful phones, but one thing I've noticed is that battery life can start to degrade over time, causing the phone to die a lot faster than it used to. If you've been experiencing this issue, and have asked yourself, "Why does my Galaxy S5 die so fast?" there are a few likely causes—and we've got you covered with troubleshooting tips and simple fixes below.
When you send an emoji from your Android device to someone that uses an iPhone, they don't see the same smiley that you do. And while there is a cross-platform standard for emojis, these don't work the same way as unicode-based smilies or dongers, so not every operating system displays these little guys the same way.
One of the few areas where Android lags behind iOS is a comprehensive backup solution for apps. Root tools, such as the popular Titanium Backup, are capable of backing up all of your apps and their data, but not everyone wants to root their device and potentially run into issues with voided warranties.
Depending on who you ask, internet connectivity should be a basic human right. With Google recently embarking on a project to provide internet capabilities to remote corners of the world using balloons and satellites while Facebook attempts to do the same with unmanned drones, the concept of free web access is steadily gaining steam.
Sharing files has always been one of Android's greatest strengths. A system of "share intents" allow apps to freely exchange data with each other, making it possible to take a picture with your favorite camera app, then send it over to your choice of photo-sharing apps, for instance.
Even with the highest-tiered data plan available, there are times that your phone or your carrier might downgrade your connection to 3G or even lower. This usually occurs when you've made a phone call, or you've switched cell towers while traveling.
There are many different reasons that you might want to revert your Samsung Galaxy S5 back to stock. The main one would probably be that you need to return your device to the manufacturer for warranty purposes. And if you've used root to modify system-level files and components, you'll need to undo those changes before you send the phone back.
Android Lollipop promises tons of new features and functionality when it comes to a device near you, but as we wait, it's almost painful to see the screenshots and demo videos from Nexus devices and how downright pretty the new operating system looks.
Notifications are an integral part of our day-to-day smartphone usage. They allow us to easily see and act upon all of the latest information that comes our way. Well, most of the time, that is.
Geohot's Towelroot exploit made rooting the Galaxy S5 so easy that it was almost unreasonable not to try it out—even for the first-timers out there. This, of course, meant that folks who didn't truly need root for their usage went ahead and got Superuser privileges anyway.
Before your carrier got its grubby little hands on your Galaxy S5, there was less bloatware installed and more functionality offered by the Samsung flagship device. Case in point: the GS5 that Samsung designed was capable of recording phone calls, yet the one that you own probably isn't.
One of the coolest features of the Galaxy S5 is its IP67 certification. This means that the S5 is internally impenetrable to dust and can be submerged in water for thirty minutes at a depth of one meter. It's definitely a handy feature for folks who've lost a phone to a toilet in the past.
Having a dust- and water-resistant phone is truly useful, but it comes with a price. In order to achieve this functionality, Samsung had to literally plug up any holes in the Galaxy S5, and this included the charging port.
There's a common bug that affects many Samsung Galaxy S5 users, myself included. The software that drives the fingerprint sensor can randomly fail to load, leaving you without one of the most unique features of your beloved smartphone.
Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and even older siblings have all likely dealt with handing their smartphones over to young children. No matter if they want to play games or watch cartoons or record funny noises, you're handing over a very personal device to those who can mess up what they don't know.
Greenify is a terrific app that allows you to put battery-hogging apps into "hibernation." Effectively closing the problematic apps and preventing them from running until you explicitly launch one of them, hibernation is a great way to save battery life while you're not using your phone.
If you work at a large office or have a multi-story home, you're probably familiar with Wi-Fi range extenders. Since one hotspot isn't always enough to cover an entire area, Wi-Fi repeaters are generally set up in larger areas to capture and rebroadcast the original signal.
When Android 4.4 was released, the massive changelog led to some awesome new features getting lost in the virtually endless list of new tweaks. One such change was the ability to set a default text messaging app, which streamlined the existing process of installing a third-party SMS client.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, music lies in the ear. Even within a group of friends who share enough common interests to sit around and socialize over, music tastes can vary dramatically.
Because of Android's massive array of supported smartphones that carry vastly different display sizes and resolutions, the operating system uses a value known as DPI to determine the size of icons and visual assets that will best suit a given screen.
When Google released Android 4.2, a new feature was introduced for tablets that allowed for multiple accounts to be used on a single device. In order to create a unique experience for each user, apps and personal data were kept separate, and switching between users became as simple as tapping your profile photo from the lock screen.
These days, most of the hardware components in smartphones evolve at a breakneck pace. Batteries gain capacity while decreasing in size, displays continue to get sharper as graphics rendering steadily improves, and processors clock higher speeds at every generation.
With Safestrap bringing custom recovery functionality to the AT&T and Verizon Wireless variants of the Samsung Galaxy S5, it's high time we covered this process for all other versions of the GS5.
The Galaxy S6 won't hit shelves until later this spring, but that didn't stop the Android community from working its magic and pulling a handful of apps from the device's stock firmware. Several of these apps rely on framework elements that aren't present on current-generation Samsung Galaxy devices, but the new version of the Smart Remote app can be installed without much difficulty.
The Galaxy S5's screen is truly a feat of modern technology. It uses what is known as an AMOLED display—an acronym for Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emmitting Diode. In short, this technology means that every individual pixel on your phone's screen emits its own light. This is a break from the traditional LCD technology that requires a backlight for any pixels to be visible.
When you're on a limited data plan, bumping up against your monthly cap is a major concern. Overage fees are incredibly high these days, and being throttled down to 2G coverage almost renders a smartphone completely useless.
When it comes to added features, no manufacturer out there can hold a candle to Samsung. Whether it's a remote control for all of your electronics, a heart rate and stress level monitor, or a seemingly-magical stylus, Galaxy devices always have as much functionality as possible packed in.
Most variants of the Galaxy S5 come with the gesture-based Swype keyboard preinstalled. If you're into gesture typing, you probably already switched to this input method from the default Samsung keyboard (whose gesture service is nice, but it's no Swype).
I'll give Samsung credit where it's due—the stock keyboard on the Galaxy S5 is actually pretty nice. There's a dedicated number row that resides at the top (something that the Google Keyboard needs a hack to achieve), and various settings exist to make switching between languages a breeze.
Google's Chromecast streaming device is a marvel of functionality and form. Even with powerful features such as screen mirroring and collaborative party playlists, it's the device's idle screen that first catches the eyes of most folks.
As softModders, several of our guides dealing with modifications involve connecting our smartphones to a computer, allowing us quick and complete access to our device.
While it can't do anything to alleviate stress, a recent update to S Health will let you monitor your stress levels using nothing but your Samsung Galaxy S5. If you're feeling stressed, just place your fingertip on the heart-rate sensor and S Health will tell you roughly how stressed out you are (or aren't).