Probably the most favorite custom ROM among softModders is CyanogenMod, a theme-friendly take on stock Android that not only makes it easier to customize your device, but also increases performance using a variety of system tweaks and enhancements.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Normally, when you open applications on your Samsung Galaxy device, you do so from one of three places—your home screen, the app drawer, or from the list of recently used apps—but it never seems fast enough when it comes to opening your favorite and/or most-used apps.
Why do we still need to plug in our phones to charge them? Wireless charging exists, and has for quite some time, but most manufacturers don't include it in their devices. When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S4, you can buy a QI-compatible wireless charging kit, but between the charging pad and the battery cover, you're looking at around $90 or more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are those who hold their phone or set it down when they're not using it, and others, like myself, who pocket it. If you're like me and are rocking the pants pocket fade, then you'll love the new Android app I found.
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.
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.
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?"
If you've had the pleasure of owning both an iOS and Android device, you may have noticed one subtle difference on each one's PIN unlock screen. Android's lock screen requires you to press "OK" after entering the PIN, whereas iOS's simply unlocks the screen right after the last digit.
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.
When looking at weather applications and widgets, one major characteristic I look for is efficiency; something that will separate it from the rest of the herd. The stock weather widget looks great on my home screen, but I have to exit whatever app or game I'm in when someone asks me about the weather.
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.
We've previously shown you how to get your Samsung Galaxy S4 looking more like its successor by installing the revamped S Voice app and the new Quick Settings. Now, we're taking it a step further by giving you the Galaxy S5's stock Settings app. After this mod, it'll be pretty hard for others to distinguish your GS4 from a GS5.
While it may be impolite to play around on a smartphone at dinner, having it consume my attention while I'm on a deadline or trying to study can prove disastrous. With Netflix and social media just a tap away, it's a dangerous game of wills, one that the phone usually wins.
Lock screen apps are a dime a dozen, but every now and then one pops up that defies expectations. We've already covered some good ones for the Samsung Galaxy S4, including Picture Password Lockscreen (which gives you secret unlock gestures), SlideLock (which improves notifications), and TimePIN (which gives you a more clever PIN).
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.
While browsing the internet on your Samsung Galaxy S4, you've probably scrolled to the bottom of a very long webpage, Twitter feed, or down into the abyss of some other app. Depending just how far down you've scrolled, it can be a test of your patience (and fingertips) scrolling back up to the top.
Samsung's quick settings toggles are insanely useful for accessing settings that you would normally need to dig into menus for. Definitely a case of function over form, though. TouchWiz's bright green on dark blue has to be one of the fugliest color combinations I have ever seen.
Get ready to stop using the stock Contacts app on your Samsung Galaxy S4, because there's something better out there for keeping track of your family and friends—and it looks better too.
When I'm not actively using my Samsung Galaxy S4, I typically crank the volume up all the way so I can hear it in my pocket or if I'm in another room. But when it's in my hands and I'm using it, I don't want the ringer to blast at full volume, or any volume at all. Either I'll see a notification come in, or a quick vibrate will call my attention to any pertinent alerts.
As far as lock screens go, your Samsung Galaxy S4 and other Android phones offer quite a few options. You can use the classic PIN unlock, the novelty facial recognition, or the reliable pattern lock. But what if you get tired of entering the same old PIN or pattern every day?