Welcome to the third iteration of our S5 tutorials, tips, and tricks series.
The topics below are the items that we are covering in this post:
- Optimizing your Samsung Galaxy S5
- Improving S5 performance
- How to install Flash Player on an S5
- How to check the latest available update for Android on an S5
- How to screenshot on an S5
- How to enable Private Mode on an S5
- How to add an email account on an S5
If you have around with smartphones, especially Samsung’s flagship, for last few years you’ll probably notice that the Galaxy S5 is way better than its predecessors in both quality and quantity of features that it offers to users. Even seasoned Samsung Galaxy users will find the phone’s offerings an “overwhelming” experience because of the variety customizations that you can do. Just like any other Android device, Samsung’s S5 also allows more customizations through apps as well as modifying even its ROM. But even without them, this phone is already packed with tons of built-in features that can surely amaze users, whether they’re new or not to Android environment. This article will give you a brief guide on how to transform the S5 into an even better phone that it is.
More screensaver variety. The S5 borrowed a feature from S4 called Daydream to allow users freedom to choose pictures as screensaver. However, S5’s Daydream version improved on its predecessor’s version by adding even more fun options. The most recent Daydream now gives a user a chance to use images from the Studio editor, screenshots, favorites, and Google Photos, on top of the options to choose ones stored in the phone’s gallery. This means that a user now have the say on what image cycles past onscreen. To enable Daydream, simply go to Settings>Display>Daydream.
3D home-screen transitions. Another amazing feature in your S5 is its ability to give you a stunning transition of the home screens by rendering it in 3D. If you swipe from one home screen to another slowly enough, you’ll notice that a smooth transition that momentarily transforms the screens transparent before sliding to the next. The 3D effect comes into play if you have selected beforehand the 3D Rotation option under Transition Effect. To do this, just look for an empty space while on the home screen, press and hold, and wait for the controls to be displayed. Once you have the controls shown, go to Home Screen Settings, then to Transition Effect. Turn on 3D Rotation for a 3D effect during home screen transition. What this option does is basically giving a user an impression of swiping through faces of a cube.
More fun font styles to use. Sometimes, changing the font and font size of a phone can give a totally different feel for a phone. Samsung recognized this so this classic option has been retained in the S5. if you are willing to shell out a few bucks for a good set of fonts, then you’ll definitely enjoy having this experience. To do this, go to Settings>Display>Font>Font Style and check out a short list of font choices. In this screen though, you can also pay for more options. The price normally varies but the most expensive font we have encountered so far costs about $4 while most of the other fonts are only about $1. depending on your preference, a font may give you an option to go really huge or tiny in size.
One-hand use. If you are having some difficulty using the phone with one hand, your Samsung S5 now gives you an option to make your life a bit lighter. Samsung has implemented a one-hand operation mode that squeezes the screen being used so it will be easier for a user to pick something on the screen with his/her thumb.
To enable this option, go to Settings>Sound and Display>One-handed operation. Once enabled, a user can trigger this mode by swiping his / her thumb in and out of either side of the screen. This mode will allow quick access to some apps at the lower and side parts of the minimized window.
Cinema mode. If you love watching Netflix, movies, or pictures on your smartphone, Samsung S5’s Cinema Mode will be a perfect fit for you. This mode renders images and videos as accurate as possible to the original, giving you the best viewing experience available today. Basically, this mode strives to give the closest representation of colors and saturation to an image or video making it as faithful as possible to the real thing.
Heart Rate Monitor. If you are a health buff, you’ll find the S5’s Heart Rate Monitor a practical feature to better manage your health. The built-in S Health app allows a user to count his/her heart rate by simply placing a finger on the heart rate monitor at the back of the phone. If you want a visual instruction on how to use the app or what the sensor looks like, just go to YouTube and search for “S5 Heart Rate Monitor”. There will be a lot of tutorials on how to activate and use this feature.
If you want to try other heart rate monitor apps, you can go to Google Play Store and select the one based on your preference.
Smart Network Switch. If you are situated in an area where network coverage is not that reliable, enabling Smart Network Switch is a convenient way to give your phone more constant connection. This feature allows your phone to automatically switch to mobile data if your Wi-Fi drops and vice versa. To enable Smart Network Switch, just go to Wi-Fi and tick the box for this option.
Smart Stay. Originally designed for the S4, Samsung has decided to carry this useful feature over to the S5 so users will no longer bother manually unlocking the screen after some time, especially when they are reading or watching something lengthy on the screen. Smart Stay tells the phone to not lock the screen while it detects a user looking at it. To use this, go to Settings and tap Smart Stay option.
Smart Remote. This is a perfect option if you want to do away with your TVs own remote. This app is pre-installed on your phone and allows you to control your TV using the phone. Before using it, make sure to customize the app first so it will work with your TV. Just launch the app from the app drawer then configure it.
Like the Heart Rate Monitor, you can also find other smart remote apps from third party developers by going to Google Play Store.
Samsung Toolbox. Although Samsung is notorious for installing bloatwares on their phones, one of the more useful apps from them is bubble-looking icon named Toolbox. This app gives you an option to customize your favorite apps from any screen, bunching them together for quicker access. This is a must for any reasonable S5 user. To enable it, just access Toolbox through Settings.
Although these tricks will not make your S5 unique, we recommend that you use them to make the most out of your wonderful phone. Send us an email if you think some tricks are worth adding in this post in the future.
As it is, your Samsung Galaxy S5 is already a leader in terms of performance among the many Android smartphones. But just like a regular computer, the S5 can also encounter system performance issues as you use it day after day.
If you download many apps and use the phone often, there’s a big chance that your S5 will slowly lose its edge. In the least, the phone will start showing signs of poor performance as it may take longer time to load some apps. Other performance-related symptoms may begin to appear from out of nowhere, leading some users to think that they are some kind of a bug or glitch. If you think your S5 is already manifesting signs of deterioration in terms of performance, you can check on the 5 tips below to bring your phone back to its former glory.
Delete unnecessary files from internal memory. This is one of the most common cause of an S5 lumbering when doing tasks. Make sure to regularly check if the phone’s internal storage is not almost up to capacity. If the internal storage has been eaten almost entirely, the phone will eventually start to crash often and/or freezes most of the time. Go to Settings, then Storage and check if memory is almost full. If this is the case, you want to move some files to an alternate storage device, preferably to a microSD card, to free up some space.
If you have lots of downloaded games, tendency is that they are stored in your internal memory unit. You either want to delete them or move some files to the microSD card.
Disable Animations. Disabling the S5’s animations can be a helpful tip if the phone’s performance has already become ridiculously sluggish. In order for this to work though, you need to enable Developer Mode on your phone. Once Developer mode has been turned on, open it and customize the options like Window animation scale, Transition Animation Scale, and Animation Duration Scale.
Use ART runtime. The arrival of Android 4.4 saw the introduction of an alternate virtual machine called ART runtime system designed to make Android phones run faster. ART runtime is a better improvement over DALVIK runtime system so if you think your phone moves a little tad slower than it used to be, try switching from the old DALVIK system to ART. You can do this by first enabling developer mode. Under Developer mode, go to Settings and look for the switch option.
Basically, ART pre-empts the things that you’re supposed to be doing, doing some processing before you even begin the action to give you a slight performance improvement.
Disable Battery Saver Mode. If you prefer performance over longer battery stamina, we suggest that you turn off Battery Saver Mode. Although this feature can give your battery a little more stretch, it will also slow down the processor’s speed which can significantly affect performance. Depending on your need, switching the power saver mode on or off is definitely your call. However, if you want to save battery but cannot sacrifice performance in the process, you can just go under the options of Power Saving Mode and toggle performance capping off.
Power Saving can be found under the Settings menu and accessible from the notifications bar.
Use “Limit Background Processes”. Most of the time, casual S5 users are not aware that the main reason why their phones are sluggish is that there are simply too many apps and processes running simultaneously. To prevent this from happening on your phone, you need enable developer mode first so you’ll gain access to extra settings not normally available to users.
Under developer mode, look for System and tap the submenu then go to the bottom where you’ll find “Limit background processes” option. For optimum performance, you can limit this to zero and improve battery life.
Reboot the phone. The simplest things are often overlooked and in today’s electronic world, many people don’t realize that a simple restart of their phone can dramatically resolve their performance woes. It should be a smartphone user’s mentality to always restart the phone if they encountered errors or issues. If you are the type who rarely turn off the phone, shutting it down for even 30 seconds can make a big difference and even resolve problems.
We normally reserve the effective yet time consuming factory reset process as a last resort but if you think all the tips and tricks have been exhausted, you may want to do it as well. Prior to doing a factory reset though, make sure that your data have backup copies in case something goes wrong. If a factory reset doesn’t help, then you know that your phone is big trouble.
Want to visit a flash-based site on your S5? This is now possible with an ingenious version of Android Mozilla Firefox browser. The steps below should allow you to install Flash Player on an S5 as well as disable annoying pop-ups usually booby-trapping most streaming websites nowadays.
Install Firefox for Android. Go to Google Play Store and get the Mozilla Firefox Android version for free.
Enable Unknown Sources. The stock Firefox does not support flash so you to download another installer to make it work. Before doing so, go to Settings>Security and make sure to put a check mark on Unknown Sources so you can side-load the Flash Installer file.
Download the Flash Installer File. Pull up your phone’s stock browser and download the latest version of the Flash Installer. After the download, pull down the notification bar and tap the notification for it to launch the installer.
Install the Adblock Plus Add-On for Firefox. Pull up the newly installed Firefox browser, then tap the three-dot menu at the top to go to Tools>Add-ons>Browse All Firefox Add-ons and look for Adblock Plus. Tap Add to Firefox and press Install to install the pop-up blocker. Congratulations, you can now start going to your favorite flash-based sites without the annoying pop-ups. Be warned though that some sites may remain incompatible with this hack.
If you’ve heard about Android Lollipop (5.0), you may be thinking on how to check the current Android you have on your S5. Although Over-the-Air updates are now designed to nag users all the time to force them to download it, you may still want to know how to manually check what Android version is running on your phone.
To do this, just follow these simple steps:
- Go to Settings
- Tap About Device
- Go to Software Update
- Tap Update Now
If you are new to smartphones or even to Samsung Galaxy series, you may not have heard of an S5’s cool feature to capture an image of its screen called a screenshot. Capturing an image of your phone’s display can vary from wanting to share a hilarious glitch, an interesting page of a website, or any image on your screen that you want to keep in your gallery. Samsung makes this possible by adding the screenshot feature on its flagship phones starting with the Samsung Galaxy S3.
To capture your screen, just press and hold the Home button (that big button at the middle-bottom part) and click the power or lock button on the right side. A capture is indicated by a momentary flash and the screenshot notification on top of the screen.
Another cool way to do a screenshot is by using a swiping motion of the edge of your palm on top of the screen. Make sure that the edge of your palm is slightly touching the screen when you swipe it either to the left or right. However, if you keep on accidentally taking screenshots, you can turn this process off by going into Settings> Motion>Motion and gestures>Palm swipe to capture and hitting the toggle button to OFF.
Do you want to hide something in your S5 from, say, your kids when they beg to play on it for fear of deleting something important. Whatever the reason, Samsung has recognized that there will always be a time when you can’t help but share your phone to someone so they created the Private Mode. If enabled, Private Mode will allow you to hide files, videos, or pictures so they will only be accessible by a PIN.
There are two ways to activate Private Mode: first is via the Quick Settings bar, and second, through the Settings menu.
Under Settings, just go to Device, then scroll down to Personalization subsection, and tap Private Mode.
Setting up and email account on your S5 is pretty straightforward. If you have not tried to configure an email account on your S5 before, the steps below can be a quick guide how to do it.
- Tap the Email icon
- Enter your email address. Make sure that you spell it correctly.
- Enter your password
- Select server type. Depending on your email, you may want to select POP3 account
- Enter username. This can be the email address without the domain (like gmail.com or yahoo.com)
- Enter incoming server. Put in the name of your email provider’s incoming server. If you don’t have it, call your carrier or use Google to search for it if you are using popular emails like Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Outlook, etc
- Turn off encryption of incoming email messages. Make sure to mark None for Security type.
- Enter incoming port. The default is 110.
- Turn deletion of email messages on server on or off (this depends on your preference)
- Enter outgoing server. Put in the name of your email provider’s incoming server. If you don’t have it, call your carrier or use Google to search for it if you are using popular emails like Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Outlook, etc
- Disable encryption of outgoing email messages
- Enter outgoing port. The default is 25.
- Turn off SMTP authentication
- Select settings for retrieval of new email messages.
- Turn email message synchronization on or off. Again, this depends on what your sync preferences are.
- Turn email message notification on or off
- Enter email account name.
- Enter sender name. This is optional and you can put any name you want. Make sure that your recipient can easily recognize you using this name as this is the one that will appear on their inbox first.
- Finish setup and wait while your phone downloads your emails.
- Return to the home screen by pressing the Home key.
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