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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As I've explained before, black app backgrounds save you a bit of battery life on your Samsung Galaxy S5. This is because the AMOLED display on your S5 does not have to power pixels or a backlight for portions of the screen that are black.
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.
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.
Samsung's TouchWiz interface comes with tons of small features that can increase your productivity and user experience. From Mulit-Window Mode to Stress Level Monitoring, there are so many functions that some even go unnoticed.
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.
Whether you use a third-party keyboard or the stock offering, your Samsung device keeps a history of the last 20 words you copied on its clipboard. Samsung added this feature to Android to help make multitasking a bit easier, but if you use a password manager like LastPass, this feature quickly becomes a gaping hole in security. While you're copying and pasting your various passwords, the last 20 of them become freely available to anyone that gets their hands on your device.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With all of the top-notch specs that the Galaxy S5 sports, the only minor quibble users have had with its hardware is the speaker situation. A front-facing earpiece is used for phone calls, but all other media is restricted to a single rear-firing speaker.
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.
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.
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.
Owning an Android device is almost like having a PC in your pocket. Android's ability to easily navigate the file system on your phone is one of many features that separate it from the competition. Just plug your phone into a computer, drag the file over, and you're all set.
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.
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.
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 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.
There's a 2800mAh battery powering the Samsung Galaxy S5, but even it's no match for the constant day-to-day torture you put it through. Taking photos, watching videos, and playing games can make your fully charged S5 powerless in no time.
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.
Android 5.0's Material Design is truly a sight to behold. With beautiful transition animations and brand new system menus, Android has never looked better.
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.