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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most alarms just make noise to wake you up, and it can be a bit jarring coming off of a deep sleep to suddenly being woken up by a blaring sound. On the flip side, if you're a heavy sleeper, this might not even be enough stimuli to snap you out of your 8-hour coma.
Android 5.0 has a cool new feature called Priority Mode that allows you to silence your phone's ringer except for when certain people call you. It's something you'd enable right before bedtime, for instance, if you don't want to be disturbed unless it's someone important trying to reach you.
By now, Samsung's Multi-Window Mode is a pretty well-known feature. With other manufacturers now recreating this functionality in their own flagships, like LG, it's safe to say the feature has been a hit with consumers.
If you keep sensitive data on your phone, you've surely considered a "lockout" app before. There are many such apps that can add an extra layer of security to other apps within Android. For instance, you can require a PIN or password before anyone is able to launch a particular app.
Google debuted YouTube Music Key in November, and for $10 a month, this essentially turned YouTube into a music streaming service. With ad-free music videos and background audio playback, YouTube serves as a viable alternative to Spotify or Pandora for Music Key subscribers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether it's embarrassing pictures and videos on your smartphone, or files you just don't want anyone reading, there are plenty of ways to hide them. For most devices, that means installing third-party apps like Gallery Plus - Hide Pictures, Sectos - Photo & Video Vault, TimeLock, or Hi App Lock.
The Galaxy S5 is a flagship-level device with some pretty advanced features, like its 4K video recording capability, water-resistant casing, fingerprint sensor, and KitKat running out of the gate.
When you search for a specific location or business with the Google app, a Knowledge Graph card is usually the top result. This card displays a handy mini-map and offers a quick link for directions to the location of your query, but it has one irksome flaw—these links can only be opened by the Google Maps app.
Multitasking is useful in pretty much all walks of life. Being able to do two things at once is better than just doing one thing... who would've thought. When it come to multitasking on my phone, I am constantly jumping between apps—whether it's browsing Facebook while looking at pictures to post or reading my Twitter timeline while keeping up on sports scores.
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.
Chainfire, the renowned Android dev who brought us tools like CF-Auto-Root and 500 Firepaper, among many other apps and tools, has done what he always seems to do, which is root devices before they hit the shelves, this time for the Samsung Galaxy S5.
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.
Your Galaxy S5 is jammed to the brim with all sorts of electronic sensors. These are capable of reading humidity levels, ambient temperature, air pressure, and much more. Yet, while this data is constantly being collected by your phone, there aren't any built-in apps that are capable of displaying much of it.
I am an English major physically allergic to all algebraic formulas, so you're unlikely to get any help from me when it comes to solving any expressions. But in the glorious technological age we live in, there are plenty of apps that actually make math and problem solving fun, even a little bit addictive.
How To: Turn Your Android Phone into a Personal Distress Beacon with Motorola's "Exclusive" Alert App
Loving parents can suffer bouts of insomnia when their children leave the house. Not just when they move out, but when hanging out with friends or during out-of-town weekends. Others may worry about their significant other who has to work late all week and their only option for getting home is that sketchy nighttime bus.
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).
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.
With rumors of the Active and Prime versions on the immensely popular Galaxy S5 circling the web for the past few weeks, today, we've got some clear proof of the upcoming Active variant.
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.
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.
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.
The more we use our smartphones, the more storage space becomes occupied—it's an inescapable fact. But as the data accumulates and chokes off our storage, it can become difficult to identify exactly which files are occupying the most space.
Stock Android has come with lock screen widget support for a couple of years now, ever since the days of the first Ice Cream Sandwich build. But for some reason, Samsung decided to remove this feature in the Galaxy S5.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 display can be replaced by most do-it-yourselfers with some basic mechanical skills and a few inexpensive tools. The good news is that once you replace your display assembly your screen will be good as new with no bubbles or dust on the inside. The replacement part is a bit pricey but that is a good percentage of the cost involved with manufacturing this device. Below is a video showing the entire process from start to finish. It's best to turn on your volume for the nar...