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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
How many times do you misplace your phone? Once a day? Twice? As much as you may hate losing your phone, it always seems to happen, and finding it isn't very easy if you left it on silent mode.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Xposed Framework offers many great customization options for your Galaxy S5. S Health, with its ability to read your heart rate through a built-in monitor, is one of the main selling points of the GS5. Trouble is, the two don't seem to play nice together.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
At the core of your Galaxy S5's hardware lies the central processing unit, or CPU for short. Practically every piece of data, every binary bit, has to pass through your CPU before it can be used to display a video or execute a game command.
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.
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.
Google+ doesn't have quite the user base of Facebook or Twitter, but for Android enthusiasts, it's definitely the place to be. All of the major developers—such as Chainfire and Koush—make their social media home on Google+, and the Android app sports one of the nicest interfaces of any comparable platform, chock-full of Google's Material Design.
Google Now is a wonderfully powerful service—with its predictive cards and voice search, it serves as a great starting point for any searches you need done. In fact, Samsung liked it so much that they decided to build the "Okay, Google" hotword detection right into the Galaxy S5's stock launcher.
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...
With Nexus devices already enjoying Android 5.0 Lollipop, most other manufacturers are scrambling to get their flagships updated to Google's latest operating system. While HTC has promised Lollipop by the end of 2015, OEMs such as Motorola and Sony have already issued updates to their latest models. Then there's Samsung.
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.
The Moto X introduced tons of cool features that have slowly been ported over to other phones, like Peek notifications and always listening "OK, Google" detection. Another such feature allows you to twist your wrist to bring up the camera app from any screen—even with the display turned off.
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.
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.