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.
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.
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
Many Android games use large, storage-heavy OBB files to store supplemental data. Generally, games with high-end graphics download these extra files when you install them from the Google Play Store.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you've ever noticed that the stock launcher on an Android device seems to just feel faster than any third-party home screen replacement app, this is not a placebo effect. Most manufacturers, Samsung included, force their stock launchers to reside permanently in your phone's memory, thus reducing the risk of redraws.
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.
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.
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.
Over the course of the past few years, many websites have begun offering up a mobile-friendly HTML 5 version of their content. Videos that once required Adobe's Flash can now be played on any modern mobile web browser.
An app can request a wakelock to prevent your Android device from entering sleep mode so that it can sync data in the background. This obviously drains your battery, because instead of running in low-power sleep mode, your processor is fully activated while it performs its tasks.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With all of the personal data that's stored on our smartphones, it's of vital importance that we have some sort of lock screen security enabled. One of the Galaxy S5's killer features is obviously the fingerprint scanner. It makes the process of dealing with a secure lock screen a bit easier than typing in a password or PIN.
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.
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.
The weather widget on the main home screen of a fresh-out-of-the-box Galaxy S5 is meant to show off the screen. Super-high contrast and crisp definition on the individual blades of grass in the background let you know that the phone you're holding has one helluva display.
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.