Call it OCD if you will, but I make it a priority to have a clean Notification panel. Like a chalkboard that isn't wiped spotless, I get an unsettling feeling that something in the universe isn't complete when there's unnecessary clutter in the drop-down. For this reason, I loathe the fact that I can't remove the "Wi-Fi connected" tile from my "Notifications."
Third-party ROMs like CyanogenMod are the ultimate form of customization for softModders. Hard-working developers offer us alternate Android experiences to replace our often bloatware-riddled stock ROMs.
Aside from being able to change the wallpaper and add shortcuts, the Galaxy S4's lock screen doesn't offer much in the department of personalization. The lock screen is efficient and practical, but it's also a little bland.
Reading articles on an Android phone using Chrome Browser can be a little bit of a battle; it often times requires adjusting the page to fit the screen in order to make it easier to read and scroll through. I sometimes lose this struggle and give up trying to read on my device, saving the article for a later time when I'm on my laptop.
Unlike the suave 007 that Daniel Craig portrayed, I am not a spy, nor am I that charming, but I do occasionally enjoy taking a stealthy video. Maybe I'm a jerk, but I often catch people doing ridiculous things and just think, "Aren't you embarrassed?"
Creating interesting photographs used to be more fun, before we all collectively decided that color filters and rotations qualified as "unique" smartphone pics. Scrolling through my Instagram feed only confirms that these supposedly special, filter-laden photos are actually the norm now.
One draw that Samsung's Galaxy S line has had over the Google Nexus 4 and 5 and the HTC One (though the M8 appears to be following suit) is expandable storage. Pop a microSD card into the slot and you have extra storage for music, photos, and even apps themselves in some cases.
Xposed, by XDA developer rovo89, is a framework for your Samsung Galaxy S4 (or other Android device) that lets you add tweaks and customizations to your ROM (either stock or custom) without any real hassle.
Children grow up way too fast these days, and handing them a mini-computer in the form of a smartphone only contributes to that. While access to the internet puts a world on knowledge at their fingertips, it also paves way for using any number of social networks available.
Trust can be a touchy subject in general, and is often required when sharing personal information—especially so when handing our phones over to others. You may not have a ton of secret or nefarious information on your device, but that doesn't mean you want your mom or snoopy coworker having easy access to your messages or Facebook app.
Unlocking your Samsung Galaxy S4 so you can use a different SIM card isn't the easiest thing in the world. In the states, unlocking cell phones was actually illegal, despite the White House's disapproval, though, a recent bill has making its way to the House floor and has made it legal again.
Whether you're a secret spy or just a regular person with a few secrets, you may want to keep certain information on your smartphone private, and it's totally possible on Android to do so.
Only scumbags hide their call and message history, right? Wrong. While it may seem like a tactic for the unfaithful, it's still a good thing to do for certain contacts on your phone that you don't want to block outright.
Whether you're in a movie theater, driving, or just want to temporarily unplug from the grid, you need to ignore or completely silence your phone. You'll still receive calls and texts during this time, but in a world where people expect instant gratification, you'll end up looking like a jerk who doesn't answer back.
I'm the type of person that rarely has an audible ringer enabled on my phone. Haptic feedback (vibration) is enough for me... most of the time. When my phone isn't in my pocket, I become the type of person who frequently misses calls and texts—and no one likes that person.
Navigating through the darkness—literal darkness, not the existential variety—is always a difficult task on its own, and my Android doesn't necessarily make it any easier. Many manufacturers offer quick access to a flashlight or torch feature, but my Galaxy S4 doesn't have an easily accessible toggle or button available to turn it on.
There's something missing on your brand new Samsung Galaxy S4, and if you're a softModder like me, you know exactly what it is already. If you don't know, keep reading, because you should—anyone who wants a better Android experience should.
While having a ton of friends on Snapchat does wonders to stroke my ego, sending content to all of them at once becomes a hassle when I have to go one by one, checking each contact individually.
There's a lot of personal information residing on your phone, possibly even more than on your computer, so it's only a matter of time before someone tries to access it.
A highly useful, yet unrecognized and under-appreciated feature in Apple's iOS 8 is the ability to seamlessly convert incoming texts regarding future dates into calendar events. Messages like "Let's chill tomorrow" can be tapped on and quickly added to the calendar. It's convenient and easy, but unfortunately, not available on most Android devices. However, it's pretty easy to get using Inviter (SMS to Calendar) from developer Sergey Beliy.
Unless you're sporting an LG G3 or a mod that allows tap-to-sleep and/or tap-to-wake functionality, you're probably hitting the power button to sleep and wake your device. But that button may be awkward to hit, may be worn down, or may just stop working due to a manufacturer's error or a device drop. In any case, it is possible to end reliance on the power button, opting instead for a simple swipe gesture that will instantly lock your device.
Before you head to class, work, or sleep, you're probably doing the same thing over and over again—toggling off system settings like Wi-Fi, sound, data, or brightness, depending on the circumstances. Schedules and routines can help increase efficiency, so while you abide to a particular schedule, so should your Android.
With the Power key located on the back of the device, LG included a convenient "double-tap to sleep" function in their G2 and G3 devices. The function allows users to simply double-tap the display to put their device to sleep instead of picking it up and pressing the Power key.
When playing a game or using an app, incoming call alerts can be extremely irritating on my Galaxy S4 because they insist on taking over the entire screen. The alert is a little different on other Android phones, depending on the manufacturer's skin, but all are fairly intrusive in one way or another.
Something pretty awesome happened over the last couple of days. George Hotz, better known as Geohot, the infamous hacker known for jailbreaking iOS and exploiting the Sony Playstation 3, has brought joy to owners of just about all Android smartphones and tablets, especially those on AT&T and Verizon.
The new Samsung Galaxy S4 has something no other phone has ever had before—weather sensors. Older devices like the Galaxy Nexus, S3, Note, and Note 2 do have a atmospheric pressure sensor, aka a barometer. However, they do not have a thermometer or hygrometer like the GS4 does, which measures ambient temperature and humidity.
It's not enough for me to just listen to a mindless EDM song that can be retooled as a torturing method for Guantanamo Bay. As an actual fan of music, I yearn for substance and depth. Artists like Morrissey, Kurt Cobain, and John Lennon impacted lives with not only their music, but the subject matter of their songs.
One of the things I hate most about Android's alarm clock is that you get the alarm icon in your status bar way ahead of time. Regardless of whether the alarm is in five minutes, five hours, or five days, that icon just sits in your status bar.
International, T-Mobile, and Verizon customers all share something in common—their carriers provide unlocked Wi-Fi tethering for free. Of course, you still pay for the data used, but they don't charge you extra simply for using your Samsung Galaxy S4 as a wireless hotspot.
In previous guides, we showed you how to easily tweak your Google Keyboard by using various colors and shapes, installing an Android L theme, or adding a convenient number row to its main display. And now, you can add another Google Keyboard theme to your arsenal by making it look like your iOS friend's iPad or iPhone keyboard.
Adjusting the brightness on your Android device is a simple but highly utilized action. For the most part, aside from the Sprint LG G3 variant, the brightness slider can be conveniently found nestled in your notification panel. And though it is easy to access, there is a small drawback to this feature.
I'm always looking for the best apps and services for my Android, and that means sticking strictly to the Google Play Store is a no-go. If you're like me and tend to install a lot of APKs (application files), you're probably tired of seeing the "Install" confirmation that always pops up.
Like the buttons on your computer's mouse and keyboard, the Home key on your Samsung Galaxy S4 serves a vital function in navigating through your device. It can get pressed dozens of times a day, going through hours of use and abuse.
Ready to start rooting your Samsung Galaxy S4? For those of you with the GT-i9500 model GS4, this quick video will walk you through the entire rooting process using Odin and CWM.
The new HTC One and Nexus series devices have already replaced their physical navigation keys with soft keys, and it's inevitable that we'll see more and more of this on future mobiles. Samsung continues to buck the trend entirely, but no manufacturer as gone as far as to remove the volume rockers.
April Fools may be over, but any day is a good day to prank someone, and the best time to do it is when everyone's eyes are glued to the television.
Ever since the early days of their existence, cell phones have been reducing the common wristwatch to nothing more than a fashion accessory. I'm not exactly a watch aficionado, but I do own a few that I wear on a daily basis. Since I have family in different parts of the world, I love my watches that have a second time zone, allowing me to see what time it is where they are.
While viewing notifications, I have a nasty habit of accidentally hitting Clear and getting rid of them all before I actually have a chance to read them. There is an easy way to view the notification history on Android, but if you turn off or reboot your Samsung Galaxy S4, the history is wiped clean.
If you've seen ParaNorman or Fantastic Mr. Fox, then you have some kind of idea of what stop-motion animation is. Basically, these artists make objects, or small figures, appear to be moving on their own by manipulating and repositioning them in the smallest increments, then capturing each frame after doing so. When all the frames are compiled together, the final product is something spectacular like The Nightmare Before Christmas, which took roughly 109,440 frames in all.
While screenshotting a received Snapchat has never been a hard thing to do, saving one without being noticed is a completely different story. Previously, you would have to have either a rooted Android or jailbroken iOS device to save one of those self-destructing messages undetected, but one particular app has opened this trick up to the masses.