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3 months ago

What's that symbol? (NFC edition)

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The group behind NFC wants to make sure you know what it is, and that you know you're using it

As more and more of us start taking advantage of NFC — that's Near-Field Communication, or the standard that lets you tap your phone to some other device to establish a connection, exchange data, etc. — we're increasingly getting the following question: "What is that weird symbol taking up space at the top of my phone?

That, folks, is the almighty NFC logo.

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3 months ago

How to turn on and off autocorrect on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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While autocorrect always has the best intentions, it doesn't always play nice with everyone. The Galaxy S5 is no exception. Whether you want to simply disable it permanently or just while typing something that may contain a lot of words it doesn't recognize, you can do so on any keyboard you have pulled up in just a few taps. Here's how, when using Samsung's keyboard:

  1. With the keyboard visible, tap and hold the Dictation key that sits to the left of the space bar.
  2. In the floating menu, tap on the Settings gear.
  3. Under the Smart Typing section, tap on Predictive Text and disable it at the top.
  4. If you'd like, you can also disable settings such as auto-capitalization and punctuation under the Smart Typing section as well.

That's all there is to it. Anytime you'd like to change autocorrect settings again, just follow the same steps. Keep in mind that if you have alternative keyboards installed through Google Play, the directions may vary slightly due to how different keyboards are laid out.

Have you ever found a reason to disable predictive text or any other keyboard autocorrect feature? Or have you just swapped the default Samsung keyboard out completely for something else? Let me know in the comments!

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3 months ago

How to set a lock screen password or fingerprint scan on the Samsung Galaxy S5

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By default, the Samsung Galaxy S5 just needs a little swipe to wake up from the lock screen, but anyone with even a tiny sense of security will want something more. The S5 offers a bunch of different ways to keep your device locked when not in use

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3 months ago

How to increase touch sensitivity on the Galaxy S5 to use it with gloves

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Galaxy S5

No matter the weather, you won't have to choose between using your phone and having cold fingers.

You won't always need to make use of your phone while wearing gloves, but when the temperatures dip the last thing you want to do is expose your extremities to the elements to send a tweet. With the latest enhancements in touchscreen technology phones can now be sensitive enough to be used with gloves, and the Galaxy S5 is no exception. 

The ability to poke around your new phone while keeping your fingers warm isn't turned on by default, but it's simple enough to turn on if you need the feature. Read along and see how you can turn on the increased screen sensitivity mode on your Galaxy S5, and keep your fingers warm in the process.

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3 months ago

Top 5 Galaxy S5 new user questions answered

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Your top questions for the Galaxy S5, explained!

One by one, feature by feature, we've been taking a tour through new Samsung Galaxy S5 like no other. From the most basic of basics ("How to take a Galaxy S5 screenshot") to more in-depth topics (say, moving from the iPhone to the Galaxy S5), our goal is to be the the world's best resource for Galaxy S5 help, tips and tricks.

And that continues today with a few of the top Galaxy S5 questions we've received from the fine folks out there. Some of these we've already covered. Some of these will be pretty basic for those of you who have mastered your Android smartphone.

But for those of you just starting out, welcome! We're glad you're here. And these top Galaxy S5 questions will speed you on your way.

So let's get to it.

(And be sure to check out our comprehensive Galaxy S5 review!)

How to take a screenshot of your Galaxy S5 screen

Galaxy S5 screenshot

Believe it or not, this is proven to be our most popular GS5 tip thus far. Turns out folks love taking sharing screenshots from their Galaxy S5. (We'll save what they're actually taking screenshots of for another time.)

As the Galaxy S5 is physically different from most other Android phones in that it still has a physical home button, the methods of taking a screenshot are a little different. We go into more detail here, but these are the three options:

  • Simultaneously press the power button and the home button. Let go when you hear the shutter sound.
  • Swipe your hand, placed vertically with your pinky facing down, over the Galaxy S5 display, either from left to right or right to left.

There's a third option, of course – use the DDMS tool along with the Android SDK. But if you know what that is, then you should also already know how to use it.

How to change the Galaxy S5 lock screen

Galaxy S5 lock screen options

You're going to see your Galaxy S5's lock screen more than just about any other screen on the phone. It's what you see when you first wake it up. When you want to check the time or the weather.

And, fortunately for you, it's customizable.

Go to the phone's main settings menu, then scroll down to the "Sound and Display" section. That's where you'll find the lock screen settings. Once there, you've got a number of options. First and foremost is the "Screen security" option. That's where you choose whether you want a PIN or strong password to unlock your phone. Or if you want to use the fingerprint scanner. Or — and we don't really recommend this — to have no lock screen security at all.

The "dual clock" option will display a second clock when you're on the road. So if you live in the Eastern time zone but are in California, it'll show you the time in both places. Handy. You also can choose how big you want the clock to be.

There are basic checkboxes for the date and camera shortcut. Do note that if you have lock screen security enabled (and you should), opening the camera only gives access to the camera app. To go anywhere else, you'll need the password.

You also can change the unlock effect of the lock screen (ripple is pretty cool), and choose whether you want to see weather and steps information when the pedometer is turned on in the S Health application.

How to turn off Galaxy S5 touch sounds

This is another one of those simple tips that we love to give. The Galaxy S5 tends to make noise whenever you tap the screen, or type on the keyboard. Trust us, you'll want to turn these off. There are a few ways to do it:

  • Pull down from the top of the screen, and tap the sound quick setting to either vibrate or mute.
  • Go into the sound settings and uncheck the "Touch sounds" option.
  • If you're using the Samsung keyboard, we'd also recommend unchecking "Sound when tapped" in that section.

How to maximize your Galaxy S5 battery life

Galaxy S5 battery

Battery life is like chocolate. You just can't ever get enough. Fortunately, the Galaxy S5 gets pretty good battery life. But we have a few tips that can help maximize your Galaxy S5 battery life. The broad strokes include:

  • Lower your display brightness.
  • Use Wifi whenever possible
  • Check your display timeout. If it's set to keep your display on for a long time while you're not using the phone, you're wasting battery life. + Use GPS sparingly.
  • Employ one of the Galaxy S5 battery saving modes.
  • Occasionally reboot or reset your phone.
  • Or just carry a spare battery around.

How to adjust Galaxy S5 call settings

Galaxy S5 call settings

And the last of the top Galaxy S5 new user questions regards the call settings. There are a couple of ways to get to these. One is through the phone application itself. Look for the three-dot overflow menu button. That's where you'll find the call settings. The other way is through the main settings menu.

There are a couple of call settings menus worth looking over. One is for calls themselves. You'll find options for rejecting calls, answering and ending calls, the pop-ups you'll get while you're on calls, call alerts and accessories, and additional call settings. If you're looking for a way to tweak your phone call experience, this is the place for it.

You'll also find the Contacts settings here as well. You can import and export settings, choose when contacts to display, and chose how they're displayed. Powerful stuff here.

And that's it for our top Galaxy S5 new users questions, as posed by you folks. For more Galaxy S5 help and hints, visit this page. And be sure to swing by our Galaxy S5 forums to get help from other folks using the phone!

Once you're through that, take a little more time out for our comprehensive Galaxy S5 review!

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3 months ago

How to turn off My Magazine on Samsung Galaxy S5

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How to disable My Magazine on the Samsung Galaxy S5

We love features - and the ability to turn them off

Samsung's My Magazine feature on the Galaxy S5 is similar to HTC's BlinkFeed feature. It can filter in news stories and social updates from various networks for easy access in just a swipe. However, if you don't like My Magazine you can easily disable it altogether. Here's how:

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3 months ago

Google Camera: What's new, and a guide to the latest features

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Google Camera

The only complaint you can make is that Google didn't release these features sooner.

Google has dropped a pretty notable update to its stock camera app, given it a proper name and at the same time opened it up to non-Nexus devices running KitKat in the Play Store. While the interface still isn't mind-blowing, it has changed pretty dramatically from what you'd be used to if you used a Nexus 5 just yesterday. Google has overhauled the picture-taking interface for regular shots, panoramas and Photo Spheres, while also adding a brand new feature called "Lens Blur."

We've taken some time to walk through the new interface, and you can color us impressed with the changes that have been made. While we know most of you will be able to get your hands on the app right away and give it a try for yourself, we're going to take a run through all of the latest features of the Google Camera app and give you a few tips for getting the best shots possible.

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3 months ago

Blocking Mode on the Galaxy S5

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 Blocking mode

Samsung's do-not-disturb option is oddly named but easy to use

Sometimes Galaxy S5 features need quite a bit of explanation. This isn't one of those times. Blocking Mode is a poorly named but extremely useful function that serves as the phone's do-not-disturb mode. You'll find it in Settings>Personalization, or as one of Samsung's numerous quick settings in the notification pull-down.

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3 months ago

How to view the 'Most Recent' feed in the new Facebook app

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Facebook app

There's no way to set it as the default, but if you just have to see the Most Recent posts first, you have an option.

It seems as though Facebook's interface is ever-changing, but the latest UI overhaul hitting devices is pretty dramatic. It's mostly for the best, bringing a cleaner look and surfacing more features rather than hiding them behind obscure menus. A few things have become harder to find, however — one of which is the "Most Recent" News Feed view.

The newly-redesigned Facebook app now only shows the "Top Stories" view for your News Feed, which surfaces content that it thinks is most relevant to you, rather than what's been posted or interacted with most recently. In the old app you could simply change the setting from the default to show Most Recent in the main view, but now you'll have to do a little digging.

To view the Most Recent feed, tap or swipe over to the far right tab (three horizontal lines, titled "More") of the Facebook app, and scroll down to the "Feeds" section, right under "Apps." Here, you'll see any different feeds you've created with friend or family groups, but you'll also see "Most Recent" as an option. Tap that entry and you'll be shown a completely interactive view of your News Feed based on time rather than some other algorithm. You can go back to the settings page by hitting the back button or tapping the "News Feed" button in the top left corner of the app.

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3 months ago

How to keep your Samsung Galaxy S5 display awake longer

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Changing screen timeout on the Samsung Galaxy S5

Changing your display timeout will affect your battery life, though

One of the first things I did after getting a Samsung Galaxy S5 was extend the timeout period on the display. By default, the screen shuts off after 30 seconds of inactivity, which not only means you have to wake it up again by hitting the power button on the right side, but if you've got a lock code in place, you need to go through that rigamarole as well.

While this sort of flies in the face of our top tips for extending your Galaxy S5 battery life, you have to balance that with having your phone work the way you want it to work. If you find yourself bothered by the same thing, here's how you fix it.

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