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.
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.
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.
Russians are well known for their knack at documenting exciting and horribly beautiful events on the go, from insane car accidents to attempted insurance fraud and even a superbolide meteor streaking across the sky.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You don't need a study to tell you how beneficial music is to helping you fall asleep. Most of you probably have your soothing playlist and SleepPhones queued up and ready to go before you get into bed and count those Zs.
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.
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.
If you're a self-described multitasker, Samsung has a feature that's perfect for you called Multi-Window, which lets you display two apps on your Galaxy S4's screen simultaneously.
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.
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.
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.
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?"
With Google's latest version of their mobile OS, Android L, the most notable aesthetic difference is the newly introduced Material Design concept that will soon be ever-present through the interface. The objective of this bold design is to create "hierarchy, meaning, and focus," as described by Google, and the deliberate choices of color and white space "to create immersion and clarity."
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.
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.
Purchasing an actual book from a brick-and-mortar store is becoming increasingly less common for people to do, but it hasn't completely gone out of style just yet. There's something about entering a bookstore and viewing all the potential great stories and epic tales just sitting on the shelves, waiting to be discovered.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Not every mod you add to your Android will revolutionize the way you use it, but many of them can make things a little more simple and convenient for you on a regular basis, like sliding across the status bar to adjust brightness or swiping the screen to put your display to sleep.
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.
There are a gazillion app switchers on the market, and some are really awesome, like Edge, GloveBox, Loopr, and Switchr, to name just a few. However, these can all be a little bit more complicated and cumbersome than necessary when I just want to switch back to the last app I was in.
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.