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.
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.
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.
Rooting a mobile device may not be a big deal these days, but not being able to root definitely is. Even the Library of Congress, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and White House can agree on that.
If you pre-ordered your Samsung Galaxy S4, it might very well be possible that you're reading this on your brand spanking new Android device. As is commonplace with the release of popular smartphones, rooting instructions are usually released simultaneously. I mean, what's the point of paying so much for an expensive phone if you can't have a little fun? Android developer Dan Rosenberg (aka djrbliss) recently announced that you can root your Samsung Galaxy S4 using the root exploit he origina...
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.
Here's a quick and easy video tutorial on how to root any Qualcomm-based U.S. or Canadian Galaxy S4 Android smartphone.
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.
CyanogenMod is one of, if not the most popular, third-party operating system for Android devices. It's so popular in fact, that it is the standard, out-of-the-box operating system on the recently released OnePlus One. CM is a lightweight ROM built on top of AOSP (Android Open Source Project), which is the base for all Android builds.
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.
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.
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.
Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I inevitably come across an image or video that I genuinely like amongst the countless selfies and plates of food porn. Naturally I want to save this image before it's buried under new posts from the heaps of people I follow, but I'm left stranded with only the ability to take a screenshot.
We've previously shown you how to get your Samsung Galaxy S4 looking more like its successor by installing the revamped S Voice app and the new Quick Settings. Now, we're taking it a step further by giving you the Galaxy S5's stock Settings app. After this mod, it'll be pretty hard for others to distinguish your GS4 from a GS5.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The newest version of Android, 4.4.2 KitKat, is making its way onto AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4s right now. Itching to try out the latest that Google has to offer? Keep an eye on your status bar for a notification letting you know that a system update is ready.
Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of test driving Samsung’s next big thing, the Galaxy S4. After putting the GS4 through its paces, I have a clear picture of what this device is capable of. I’ve covered the features of the device before, and now I’ll tell you why I believe it's currently the best Android phone on the market. Initial Impressions
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.
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.
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!
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.
Previously, if you missed a call or text on your old Samsung Galaxy S3, there was a white LED notification to let you know. It's a nice feature that most smartphones have, but wouldn't it have be nice to know what kind of notification it was before picking up the phone?
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.
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.
Auto-correction is a double-edged sword if I ever saw one. It's great because I'd have an abundance of typos without it, yet it's extremely frustrating (and embarrassing) when it doesn't actually work. Just take a look at the very recent example below from Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul. Funny for us, embarrassing for him. I have a particularly difficult time typing on small keyboards (i.e. fat-finger syndrome), so disabling auto-correction on my Samsung Galaxy S4 is a no-go. I'm willing to ris...
How To: Disable the "Clear Defaults" Popup Alert When Setting Default Apps on Your Samsung Galaxy S4
Customization is one of Android's popular selling points, and going hand-in-hand with that is being able to set default apps for different actions. Whether you want to play a song, navigate somewhere, or send a text, you can set a go-to app for each of those tasks.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earlier today, @DesignGears leaked an unofficial KitKat build for the Galaxy Note 3, and now they've dropped one for our Galaxy S4s, too. How to Install the 4.4.2 Build