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.
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.
The Galaxy S5 comes with an awesome feature for those times when you're running low on battery life with no charger in sight. Ultra Power-Saving Mode allows you to cut back on non-vital services and convert your phone's display into a juice-saving grayscale mode to greatly extend that last bit of charge.
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.
Certain files contain sensitive data that you don't want being shared with just anybody. Even still, it would be nice to be able to send such a file to a certain confidante without fear of it falling into the wrong hands.
There's no such thing as a perfect Android keyboard. Some, like Swype, have gesture typing down to a science, but lack in predictive technology. SwiftKey, on the other hand, boasts awesome next-word prediction, but less than stellar gesture typing. Many others are optimized for multiple languages, space saving, or emojis, but none are without their flaws.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As the largest wireless service providers in the United States, AT&T and Verizon Wireless carry some serious clout. Sadly, they use some of this power to heavily modify the Android phones that they offer.
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.
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've ever used a custom ROM on one of your devices, chances are it had a built-in feature that allowed you to kill any app by long-pressing the back button. This function comes in handy quite often, especially in situations where an app is acting up, since it stops all associated processes and clears the app from memory.
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.
S Health is one of the biggest selling points for newer Samsung Galaxy devices. It offers a centralized place to view and manage data collected by all of the various sensors like the heart rate monitor.
Apps that save your passwords have been around for quite a long while. But apps that complete the entire login process automatically? Now that's a different story.
Most Android devices allow you to simply replace a ZIP file in your /system/media folder if you want to change your boot animation. Unfortunately, though, this isn't the case for the Galaxy S5, as it's been buried deep in Samsung's TouchWiz skin.
It's one hell of a device, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 is still susceptible to the many hazards that other smartphones are prone to: theft, cracked screens, poor battery life, and particularly, overheating.
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.
The build.prop file in an Android device is home to many system-level values and settings. Everything from screen density to video recording quality is covered in this file, and people have been editing these entries to get new functionality and better performance since Android has existed.
I have the AT&T version of the Galaxy S5, so every time I start my phone I get the pleasure of hearing AT&T's lovely jingle. Actually, that's sarcasm—I absolutely abhor this sound. I haven't had the chance to play around with a Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon variants of this phone, but I imagine they have some sort of equally annoying boot sound.
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.
Picture this scenario—you're using your phone in a dimly-lit room, then you move to an area with a lot more ambient light, and Auto Brightness kicks in within a few seconds to ramp up the backlight. That's the way it should be, right? But then you move back to the darker area, and your phone takes 30 seconds before it decides to dim back out. Pretty annoying, isn't it?
Android's biggest selling point over alternatives like iOS or Windows Phone is the level of customization that it offers. If you don't like something about the UI, you can change it, whether it's as small as an icon set or as big as the entire home screen.
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.
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.
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 S5's fingerprint scanner feels like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Giving you the ability to lock your device without having to fuss with a PIN or password every time you go to use it, the feature is definitely one of the device's main selling points, especially now that you can use it to unlock individual apps.
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.
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.