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."
From personal photos and videos to online banking passwords saved in your web browser, your phone has all kinds of sensitive data that needs to be protected. One of the best things you can do for your Samsung Galaxy S4's data is have a lock screen with a hard-to-guess PIN or password.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most frustrating things about full touchscreen phones, especially for those coming from one with a physical keyboard, is typing and editing text. Whether it's a quick text message, or Swyping out a full e-mail, it sucks realizing you've messed up a few words and have to go back and fix them.
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.
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is a great smartphone, but do you know all the tips and tricks within the handset?
I'm a textaholic, as I've said many times before, but even textaholics forget to respond sometimes. When I'm watching a YouTube clip or devouring delicious snacks in Candy Crush Saga, I'll often ignore incoming texts and forget to respond later.
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.
The stock weather widget preloaded on your Samsung Galaxy S4 is really great, but there's one thing that's missing—options. The weather widget shows just the right amount of information at a glance, and it's not too shabby looking either, but for us softModders, it'd be really nice to have more options. Well, today I'm going to provide you with a couple. Interestingly enough, this is a topic I first covered on the Samsung Galaxy S3.
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.
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.
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!
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.
How To: Automate Battery-Saving Mode, Screen Rotation, & Other Custom Tasks on Your Samsung Galaxy S4
Automation is everywhere in our daily lives. Faucets and hand dryers that turn on for you when they detect your presence. Automated teller machines to handle your bank account. Timed sprinklers to water your lawn every morning. DVRs to record your favorite TV shows when you're not home.
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.
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.
Unless you like paying exorbitant prices for out-of-contract phones, most of us are stuck with the one we already have for two or more years. The tech industry moves fast, and as new phones are released seemingly every month, your Samsung Galaxy S4 might start looking older by the week.
From amateurs to professionals, DSLR cameras are the standard weapon of choice for most photographers. If you own one, then you probably know how expensive of a hobby photography can be. A good starter camera can run between $400 and $500. Then there are accessories like tripods, lenses, filters, and memory cards that can slowly empty out your wallet.
How To: Get CyanogenMod's Sleek Graphing Calculator & Widget on Your Samsung Galaxy S4 Without Rooting
It's that time of the year again when scores of students are flocking to stores for school supplies. Pens, pencils, books, and for math students, calculators.
Maybe it is narcissistic to take selfies, but it has become a socially accepted norm, no matter how stupid you might look doing it. Since so many people are seemingly in love with themselves and mobile photography, I thought it was about time to show you how to step up your selfie game.
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.
The Galaxy S5 may be the new kid on the block, with fancy features such as a fingerprint scanner and dust/water protection, but the Galaxy S4 is no slouch by any means. While the S5 may be newer, the S4 remains beast of a device, and few simple mods can make it feel new again.
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.
Ready to start rooting your Samsung Galaxy S4? For those of you with the GT-i9500 model GS4, this quick video will walk you through the entire rooting process using Odin and CWM.
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.
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).
Like many smartphones nowadays, your Samsung Galaxy S4 comes bundled with a headset for you to listen to music, watch videos without disturbing others, and even make phone calls. I personally only use it for music, whether it's Play Music, Pandora, or streaming from YouTube.
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.
Like many other smartphones these days, your Samsung Galaxy S4 is built to handle multitasking like a pro. With a 1.9 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM (specs comparable to laptop computers just a few years ago), this powerhouse of a phone can switch between apps with supreme ease.
With hundreds of pictures accumulating on my device, it's a daunting task to devote time to sorting through which are worth keeping and which I should discard. Not all of the images on my device are winners, so the losers not only take up space, they make it difficult to find the good ones as I wade through the crap.
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.