Having a top of the range smartphone is one thing, but getting the best mobile experience from it can at times be a challenge, especially when we are talking about a brilliant but complex beast like the Samsung Galaxy S5. Watch Nicole Scott walk you through ten of the best hints, tips and tricks plus hidden features you probably had no idea existed.
Make sure to watch to the end of the video, where Nicole reveals one extra secret tip not mentioned here in the written version.
1. Enter Text via Pencil or Glove
The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a remarkably sensitive touch sensor, so much so that you can actually input the multi-touch display without using your own finger, it can be done with your fingernail, a gloved finger or even a regular pencil.
To up the device’s touch screen sensitivity, go to Settings > Display and then scroll right down until you see Increase touch sensitivity. Hey presto, your done.
2. Tilt for Automatic Play-listing
Who enjoys making playlists these days? It’s not like doing a mix tape for that special friend. It’s tedious in the extreme, so much that Samsung have come up with a remedy that should make life easier. Simply tilt the device into landscape mode and the Galaxy S5 will begin suggesting appropriate follow up songs using its built-in spidey sense. Just kidding, the device uses mood, genre and source to determine a good fit.
3. Use ‘Toolbox to Improve Access to your Favorite Apps
We all have favorite apps, apps that we use every day of our lives, several times a day even. The Samung Galaxy S5 has an additional ‘Toolbox’ menu which will give you better access to pre configured apps on all screens, which makes multi-tasking a synch.
Just go to settings and tap Toolbox, (also available in the quick panel) once accessed, a white circle with those three dots will appear. Hold down on it to configure which important apps should be chosen to appear here in the ToolBox.
4. Activate Private Mode for Increased Privacy
The Galaxy S5 has a ‘Private Mode’ which allows you to hide your most personal of personal documents. Voice recordings, pictures, messages, videos… you name it, the Samsung flagship can lock and secure it.
In Settings, go to Private Mode, configure your unlock method – fingerprint, swipe, PIN or password. You will then be able to make any file or folder private simply be accessing the item’s menu and selecting make them only visible and accessible private mode. Locked items will then have a lock icon next them in the relevant menu when viewed in Private Mode.
5. Kids Mode
Today’s kids are used to handling a handset before they’ve learned to walk or talk, so it’s unsurprising that they can manage to access parts of your phone you may wish they had not. Samsung has the answer in the form a walled garden just for kids called Kids Mode, a fun and safe environment that won’t end up in tears.
If Kids Mode is not available as a Home Screen Widget, you can simply download the app. After downloading is complete a Kids Mode screen will be created. Set your PIN, create a Kids Mode profile and the apps you are confident they can use which also includes a selection of safe but kid friendly apps. There are also further learning apps for kids you can install, as well as additional parental control settings for you to configure including limiting the amount of time the phone can be used by the kid.
6. Ultra Power Saving Mode
If you suddenly realize that your Galaxy S5 battery is on its last legs, pull down the quick access menu and tap Ultra Power Saving, the phone will take a moment or two to reconfigure itself, but will then be able to squeeze the absolute max from the remaining battery life. For the record, this is most aggressive energy saving mode we have ever seen. Well worth a look.
7. Virtual Tour Mode
Virtual tour allows you create a series of photos that act a as a tour guide with panoramic and 360 degree shots animated in a series that basically shows you, or your intended victim, the way. It’s a pretty ambitious feature, but one that works surprisingly well.
Open the camera app, tap Modes and scroll down until you see Virtual Mode.
8. Daydream Mode
Sometimes you just want your smartphone to be a better companion, one that gives you more than blank black screen when its around you. With Daydream mode you can turn that blank screen into a photo frame, newsstand, digital clock or even just have it run psychedelic colors back and forth.
Go to Display > Daydream Mode..configure and enjoy.
9. Check Caller Information While Still on the Phone
The Galaxy S5 has a useful feature that allows you to see data related to the person you are currently talking to, including recent social media history and recent communications between the two of you. To enable go to Settings > call Settings and select Show Caller Information. Should help avoid potential stalkers.
10. Ditch ‘MyMagazine’
Sentiments of most users towards Samsung’s ‘My Magazine’ feature have been known get as heated as those aimed at HTC’s BlinkFeed. We heartily sympathize. If you are so inclined to do so, you can remove it from your home screen’s precious real estate entirely by simply pinching the display, then go into home screen settings and un-tick the MyMagazine box. Bliss will ensue.
We hope Samsung Galaxy S5 users enjoyed our selection of optimizations, tips and general advice. If you have more you want to share, let us know in the comments below.
Many of the ideas for this article were inspired by a great piece on GlobalSamsungTomorrow.com