When I'm not actively using my Samsung Galaxy S4, I typically crank the volume up all the way so I can hear it in my pocket or if I'm in another room. But when it's in my hands and I'm using it, I don't want the ringer to blast at full volume, or any volume at all. Either I'll see a notification come in, or a quick vibrate will call my attention to any pertinent alerts.
Thanks to HTML5 and dedicated video apps, watching your favorite shows, movies, or video clips on your Samsung Galaxy S4 couldn't be easier. However, there are still times when you'll run into a website that requires Flash to play a video or interact with its content. Although its mobile life has been dead on Android for 2 years, Adobe Flash Player still lives on in the desktop world, fueling millions of websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, ESPN, CNN, and more.
While there's still no set date, Jelly Bean 4.3 is rumored to be released on the Samsung Galaxy S4 and other TouchWiz devices within the next couple of weeks (or months), presumably sometime after the upcoming Samsung Unpacked event.
There are many mods and tweaks you can do on your Samsung Galaxy S4 to make it feel more fresh, like using a more customizable keyboard and a better PIN unlock, but if you want to make your Galaxy S4 feel even fresher, add a little Galaxy S5 touch to it.
The keyboard I use the most on my Galaxy S4 is the Google Keyboard, and that's partly because of the custom themes I can play around with.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Twitter's video-sharing app, Vine, had some very stiff competition once Instagram added video sharing to its repertoire. Recent figures show Instagram at 130 million followers compared to Vine's 40 million. Many think that Vine is on its way out, but on the contrary, I think it's here to stay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most hardcore Android fans loathe carrier or manufacturer additions to the Android operating system. Whether it's bloatware or changes to the user interface, many enthusiasts prefer the clean look of stock Android.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Smartphone users these days can get bombarded with texts and emails every hour. Online retailers sending you coupons to get you to buy stuff. Girlfriends asking where you are. Service providers reminding you to pay your bills on time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Midway through 2013, a popular custom ROM called Paranoid Android introduced their multitasking feature "Halo." Bubble-style notifications inspired by Facebook chat heads pop up near the top of the screen, and you simply tap on them to bring up the app in a floating window.
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.
Written news was first delivered by an elaborate courier service used by the Pharaohs nearly 4,500 years ago. About 2,300 years later, Romans would post public announcements via bulletins carved in metal or stone. Fast forward 1,600 years to the first monthly handwritten gazette published in Venice, the forefather of modern newspapers, which didn't become commonplace until the early 17th century.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.