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Making the Samsung Galaxy S5 Phone Your Own

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In this chapter from My Samsung Galaxy S5, you find out how to customize your phone by populating the Home screen with widgets, shortcuts, and folders; change the default wallpaper; organize your Apps pages and create folders; set default and contact-specific ringtones; and configure and enable special system settings, such as Blocking mode and One-Handed Operation.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Topics include the following:

  • Customizing the Home screen with new wallpaper, shortcuts, folders, and widgets
  • Setting the Apps view
  • Changing system settings

Nothing prevents you from using the phone exactly as it was when you first opened the box—keeping the default wallpaper, installing no additional widgets, downloading no new apps, and ignoring Settings for the operating system and apps. But the fun of having a powerful smartphone is in customizing it—personalizing the phone in ways that make it easier, more efficient, and fun to use.

Customizing the Home Screen

The easiest and most obvious way to personalize the phone is to customize its Home screen. In fact, many of the Home screen customization options, such as changing the wallpaper, adding widgets, and adding shortcuts to your favorite apps, are what users do first with their new phones.

Select Wallpaper

The simplest way to customize the phone is to change its Home screen background (called wallpaper) by selecting an image that’s aesthetically pleasing, amusing, or touching. Wallpaper can be a static image or a live, moving image. The image you choose is applied to all Home screen pages.

  1. On the Home screen, press and hold the Recent Apps key and tap the Wallpapers icon at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Tap Home Screen, Lock Screen, or Home and Lock Screens—depending on the screen(s) for which you want to select a new wallpaper image.

  3. Scroll through and tap thumbnails to view the available types of wallpaper. Options include More Images (a cropped area of a photo or other image that’s stored on the phone or in an online account), personal images you’ve previously used as wallpaper, static images provided by Samsung and your carrier, and live wallpaper.
  4. To apply an image or live wallpaper shown in the scrolling list, select its thumbnail and tap Set Wallpaper. If you want to use a photo or image that isn’t in the Wallpapers list, continue with Step 5.

  5. Tap the More Images thumbnail.

  6. If a Complete Action Using dialog box appears, select an app or image source, and tap Just Once.

  7. Open the folder that contains the image. Tap the thumbnail to open the image for cropping, resize and move the selection rectangle as necessary to select the desired area, and tap Done.

Rearrange, Remove, and Add Home Screen Pages

The default Home screen has four horizontally scrolling pages, plus a special page dedicated to My Magazine/Flipboard—a news and social networking aggregator. You can rearrange the pages, remove ones that you don’t need, or add new pages (up to the maximum of seven).

  1. On the Home screen, press and hold the Recent Apps key, or press and hold (or pinch) an empty spot on a Home screen page.

  2. Move a page. To change the position of a page, press and hold it, and then drag to the left or right. As you drag, affected pages automatically slide out of the way to make room for the page. Release the page when it’s in the correct position.

  3. Designate a different main page. The main page (marked with a house icon) can be any Home screen page, not just the first one. Whenever you’re on the Home screen, pressing the Home key always takes you to this main page. To set a new main page, tap the house icon at the top of the page.

  4. Delete a page. Press and hold a page’s thumbnail, and then drag it onto the Remove icon at the top of the screen. If the page contains one or more items, a confirmation dialog appears. Tap OK to confirm the deletion.

  5. Add a new page. You can have a maximum of seven Home screen pages. To create a new page, scroll to the last page (marked with a plus (+) symbol) and tap the symbol. After adding a new page, you can optionally change its position (see Step 2).

  6. When you finish editing, complete the process by pressing the Back key, pressing the Home key, or tapping the thumbnail of the Home screen page that you want to view.

Add Shortcuts

You can place shortcuts to your favorite apps on the Home screen. When you tap an app shortcut, the app that it represents launches. An Android shortcut is the equivalent of a Mac alias or a Windows shortcut.

  1. Navigate to the Home screen page to which you want to add the shortcut, ensure that it has an open space for the shortcut, and tap the Apps icon. (You can add the shortcut to any page, but the current one is initially offered as the destination.)

  2. Find the app for which you want to create a shortcut.

  3. Press and hold the app’s icon, drag it into an open spot on the current Home screen page, and release the icon.

Add Widgets

A widget is an application that runs on the Home screen. Many, such as Weather, aren’t interactive or are only minimally so. For example, you can tap the refresh icon on the Weather widget to force an update of the weather info. Otherwise, such widgets simply provide continuously updated information. Other widgets, such as Music, are designed for interaction. By tapping its buttons, you can pause or restart playback, and skip to the next or previous song.

You can add a widget in any free space on a Home screen page, as long as there’s room for it. Widgets come in a variety of sizes, from one- or two-section widgets to full-screen ones. In addition to the widgets supplied with your phone, downloaded applications sometimes include their own widgets.

  1. Navigate to the Home screen page to which you want to add the widget and ensure that it has an open space for the widget.

  2. Press and hold the Recent Apps key, and then tap the Widgets icon.

  3. Find the widget that you want to install. Above each widget is the number of screen sections (horizontal × vertical) it requires. To assist in your search, you can do any of the following:

    • Navigate the widget pages by swiping left and right or by tapping navigation dots.
    • Search for a widget by tapping the menu icon and choosing Search Widgets. Enter part of the widget’s name. As you type, matches are displayed. To dismiss the search box, tap the less than (<) icon on the box’s left edge.
    • Any widget followed by a greater than (>) icon is a widget group. To view or select one of its widgets, tap the > icon.

    Click to view larger image

    Expanded widget group

  4. Press and hold the widget, and then drag it into position on the current (or another) Home screen page.

Create Folders

To help organize your Home screen shortcuts, you can add folders in which to store them.

  1. On the Home screen, navigate to the page to which you want to add a folder. Press and hold the first shortcut that you want to add to the folder and drag it onto the Create Folder icon at the top of the screen.

  2. Type a name for the folder in the text box.
  3. To populate the folder, do one of the following:

    • Tap the Done key. When desired, you can add other shortcuts to the folder (or any other folder) by long-pressing each shortcut and dragging it onto the folder icon.
    • Tap the + (plus) icon, select apps by tapping each one’s icon, and then tap Done. A shortcut is created for each checked app and inserted into the folder.

Reposition and Remove Home Screen Items

Part of the fun of setting up your Home screen pages is that you can freely rearrange items. Because many items are shortcuts, removing them from the Home screen has no effect on the actual items they represent. Follow these steps to reposition or remove Home screen items.

  1. On the Home screen page, press and hold the item you want to reposition or remove.

  2. Remove the item by dragging it onto the Remove icon that appears at the top of the screen. When you release the item, it is removed.

  3. Reposition the item by dragging it to an empty or occupied spot on the current or another Home screen page. If the destination is occupied, items will shift to make room (if possible). When you release the item, the move is completed.

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