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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With root access, you're granted greater control over your device, allowing you to do things that your Android system wouldn't allow otherwise. Things like installing Xposed mods are made possible with root, but other advantages address performance and security, like stopping your Android logging, which is exactly what we'll be going over today.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
Silencing my phone always gives me mild anxiety; while my Android is muted, my girlfriend or boss may be trying to reach me with some urgent news or task. On the one hand, I want to enjoy some peace and quiet, but on the other, I don't want to come back to a phone with 100 missed calls and countless exclamatory texts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For new Android users, rooting an Android phone can often be an intimidating process, especially since there are so many different ways to gain root access, depending on your model and firmware version.
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.
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 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.
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.
Classic party games like Spin the Bottle and Truth or Dare, immensely popular in the '80s and '90s, seem to have been long forgotten and abandoned by today's youth. Today, new forms of party games are all the rage, a prime example being Cards Against Humanity. Yes, CAH is hilarious and fun, but the classics can still be appreciated, as long as we catch them up to the times.
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 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.
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 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.
Not too long after getting a new device, you probably start installing any and all apps that seem fun and interesting. But after having used the device for a considerable period of time, those extraneous apps begin to take their toll.
With a 5-inch screen, it's possible that the Samsung Galaxy S4 can be a bit large for our hands. While my grubby hands let me navigate the phone pretty easily, the same can't be said for everyone. A lot of us use two hands to type on the phone, play games, and perform tap or swipe gestures.
I've been told numerous times that I listen to music way too loud, to the point of potential hearing damage, especially when I have my headphones plugged in. Not only do my friends tell me this, but my Samsung Galaxy S4 likes to nag me as well. Once I pass a certain volume threshold (nine steps) with my headphones, I get that annoying high volume alert. Sorry, my hearing isn't as good as it once was, so let me jam in peace!
Much like the high volume warning, there are various minute features on Android that users either hate or just find annoying. Thankfully, there are developers out there that sympathize. It may seem frivolous, but one feature that a lot of people want eliminated is the screen waking whenever a charger is plugged in.