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.
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.
Toast notifications are a type of pop-up alert built into Android, letting us know when an app has performed a certain action. Whether it's Gmail saving a draft or Firefox opening a new tab, toasts are meant to be informational while not being totally intrusive.
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.
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.
UPDATE: The mod discussed below is no longer available for download. We are looking for an alternative and will update this page when we find one.
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.
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.
There's a lot you can access from the Notification tray on your Galaxy S4. Quick settings toggles, brightness controls, and of course, notifications. However, despite the power this simple pull-down gives you, you're still left with a boring, black background for the shade.
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.
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).
Security is a priority for many when they first set up their mobile devices. Nobody wants to have a stranger or nosey friend go through their phone and discover risqué photos or embarrassing text messages. These days, the closet is gone—everyone keeps their skeletons in their phones.
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.
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.
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.
Theming and modding are a big part of the softModder community, but there are endless ways to customize our Android devices. Which ones should you download? Which ones should you avoid? It's extremely frustrating to find them all—and pick and choose.
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.
One of the coolest features that Samsung built into the Galaxy S4 is the infrared (IR) blaster and WatchON software to control your television. I've been using my GS4 for the past few weeks to control my DirecTV setup and it works great. Smartphones are truly becoming all-in-one devices these days.
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.
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.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a great smartphone, but do you know all the tips and tricks within the handset?
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.
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.
Contrary to what you may think, clearing or swiping away apps in the Recent Apps view on your Android device does not necessarily stop app activity or running tasks—and these running processes can actually be eating away at your battery life. Depending on the app or process, it may only be a small percentage, but every little bit helps these days.
KitKats? Toast? Sorry if that headline made you hungry, but no I'm not talking about Nestlé's chocolatey wafer treat, nor the crunchy slices of bread you have with your eggs in the morning.
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.
Replacing your wallpaper is one of the easiest and quickest things you can do to keep your device from going stale, but it goes way beyond just picking an image from your gallery. If you use the Google Camera, you can create some really awesome 3D lens blur backgrounds, but what if you want more wallpapers on your wallpaper?
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.
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.
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.
Samsung introduced a wave of seriously unique and innovative features on the Galaxy S4, including air gestures and weather sensors, but a lot of the features are actually just updated ones from the Galaxy S3. Unfortunately, one of those that returned was the dreaded increasing ringtone. In their increasing ringtone system, the ringtone will start off on a low volume and increase until it reaches your set volume. In theory, this is useful for not shocking the user with a sudden, blaring ringto...
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.
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.
Rooting is usually the first thing on the to-do list whenever one of us softModders gets a new Android device. Unfortunately our efforts are sometimes hindered by certain obstacles; a common one is a locked bootloader.
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.
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.
How To: Text Better on Your Samsung Galaxy S4 with This Hybrid Messaging App Based on Android 4.3 & CyanogenMod 10.2
With CyanogenMod 10.2 recently released and the Samsung Galaxy S4 still waiting on Android 4.3, it only makes sense that the coveted features from both firmwares are highly desired by Android owners all over. We've already brought you a feature from each firmware—the cLock home/lock screen widget from CyanogenMod and the Google Play Edition Camera and Gallery from Android 4.3. Now we're bringing you another in the form of an updated text messaging application, ported from both Android 4.3 and...
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).
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.
The stock Android app icons that come with your Samsung Galaxy S4 can vary wildly in shape and size, as they will with any out-of-the-box Android device.