Back when 4.1 Jelly Bean came out (boy, how time flies), Android introduced expandable notifications. Depending on the notification, a simple swipe down with your finger could expand it and show extra content, like Delete and Reply buttons for Gmail messages.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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?"
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many Samsung Galaxy S4 users, specifically for Sprint, are reporting that the latest KitKat upgrade to Android 4.4.2 is causing some strange behavior.
How To: Save Battery & Data When Streaming YouTube Videos in the Background on Your Samsung Galaxy S4
YouTube may have started out as a video-sharing site, but these days a lot of people use it as a source for music. When I'm browsing the internet on my desktop, I usually have a YouTube tab open in the background playing some music.
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.
Android's beauty is in its customization; you can have widgets for anything, launchers that look and feel completely different from one another, and fonts you can change at any time. And it doesn't stop at aesthetics—you can go much deeper than looks.
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.
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.
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.
Since the release of the Galaxy S5 back in April, the process of converting older models, like the Galaxy S4, to replicate the look and feel of the newest S-family member was inevitable. Galaxy users didn't want to be left out, and for good reason. The revamped interface of the S5 introduced a new color palette that was a definite improvement from the flat boring colors on older models.
Your device has several volume levels that are regularly adjusted: the alarm, media, and ringer. Keeping track of the various volumes on a device can become an easy-to-forget task, potentially resulting in you not hearing an alarm in the morning, as you have to enter the sound options or trigger a volume change, then expand the dialog box that pops up.
Everyone has that one friend who just can't help but send multiple texts in rapid-fire succession, when they just as easily could have been consolidated into one easy-to-read message. Alert after alert, this becomes extremely annoying as your phone shoots notification sounds and vibrations at you like it was possessed.
My stock alarm clock does exactly what it's supposed to—it wakes me up. But for those really tough mornings when I just need to hit the snooze, getting my head out of the sheets is a no-go. This leads to trying to find my phone with an outstretched arm, which means knocked-over water glasses and my phone falling under my bed—even more out of reach. Ugh!
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.
When you were younger, you probably had your parents bugging you not to have your cassette player headphones up too loud. For all you younger readers out there, it was probably a CD player. The even younger readers likely had an iPod or other MP3 player. Either way, your parents didn't want you to mess up your hearing, blasting that Limp Bizkit in your ears (wow, I'm showing my age here).
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.
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.
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.