In the wake of the NSA controversy and its subsequent fallout, many dashed towards finding means of secure communication—using private internet browsing and encrypted text messaging applications—out of fear of being spied on.
The bootloaders on the AT&T and Verizon Wireless variants of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 still cannot be unlocked, despite the $1,400+ bounty that arose late last year. Nine months later and still nothing. But just because we can't "unlock" the bootloader doesn't mean we can't get around it.
As great as the Internet is, it is not without its dangers. Hackers at any time may be breaking into your online accounts and compromising your sensitive information. Last year, hackers broke into Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter and made off with 2 million stolen passwords.
Normally, it's good to automatically update your apps to the latest version, but sometimes those updates take away features that you've grown to love.
Currently in its alpha stage, Facebook has pushed forward a redesigned mobile app for Android users that provides a flat user interface and rearranged navigation tools.
Some of my favorites hacks are the ones that speed up the process of accessing my favorite and most-used apps. So, in this softModder guide, I'll be showing you a super fast way to open those apps straight from your Samsung Galaxy Note 3's lock screen.
There's a never-ending selection of app launchers that want a permanent spot on your Android device. While some keep the stock-Android look with beefed-up versions of Google's launcher, Blur is relatively new on the scene, with a unique approach to app management that sets it apart.
Think of all the times you've ever copied and pasted a string of text on your device. At least once, I bet you've wanted to see your copy history.
Emoji icons can vary greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Normally, this isn't be a problem, unless all of your friends use iPhones and you're the only one that receives a different icon than the rest of your group. And for the record, they don't all correspond to each other, which only makes using them that much more difficult.
How To: Trick Apps That Won't Run if Your Phone Is Rooted into Thinking Its Not on the Galaxy Note 3
As a preventative measure against exploitation, certain Android applications won't work if your device is rooted. Opening one of these apps that detects root will typically end up with a warning and an inability to access its features, like in the picture below. AS IF!
As we near the one-year anniversary of its release (and the inevitable unveiling of its successor), the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 remains a device that packs quite a punch when it comes to hardware. It boasts a 2.3Ghz CPU and was the first mobile phone ever to house 3GBs of RAM. Suffice it to say, it can handle any software you throw at it with no discernible lag. Even Samsung's notoriously bloated TouchWiz ROM seems lightning fast.
Every time my Galaxy Note 3 boots up, I'm greeted by the monotonous and slightly annoying AT&T sound. If you're as tired of the stock boot up sound as I am, then follow along with me below to see how to change it to whatever sound you want, no matter what carrier version you have.
AT&T and Verizon customers, it's finally happened. After many long months of waiting, and a fairly significant bounty up for grabs, your Galaxy Note 3s can finally be rooted! Best of all, it may be the simplest method for achieving root we've ever encountered.
For the most part, Google Play Music makes it extremely easy to upload and organize your music library, as well as access it quickly using the default settings—but there are a few things it could do better.
A huge chunk of my life revolves around my computer, and whenever I'm on my laptop and get a text message notification on my phone, I find it extremely distracting to stop whatever I'm doing to hunt it down. That's why I'm a big fan of text messaging via my computer.
Located at the bottom of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 lies the speaker from which music, notifications, and most other audio comes from, which provides warm and clear sound when needed.
Arcades have long faded away from popularity, but their legacy is being kept alive thanks to emulators and the avid fans who grew up loading quarters into all of those coin-op games. Although nothing beats an actual arcade environment, my favorite emulator from the early 2000s has found a new home on Android, and with it a second life.
When it comes to dictating what happens when the Galaxy Note 3's S Pen is detached, the stock settings that Samsung provides are severely lacking. There are only two measly options: launching Samsung's own Action Memo app, or displaying the Air Command menu.
Whether you've been fully converted or just want a little Apple with your Android, adding your iCloud email to your Galaxy Note 3 is a fairly simple task. Usually, Apple and Android don't play nice, but your iCloud address can be added to your stock email app just like any other email account.
While still extremely awesome, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch is limited as to what you can download on to it, especially apps. It also doesn't have its own internet access (only Bluetooth), so apps like Instagram, Facebook, and Vine have yet to make their way to the Gear Store.
Android 5.0 "Lollipop" has only existed for a few months, but a leaked version of Samsung's take on the firmware has already been spotted in the wild. This update came straight from Samsung, and brings with it a plethora of new features, including greatly improved performance and a revamped TouchWiz UI.
Improved S Pen functionality materialized in the form of Air Command controls on the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, allowing users to access shortcuts for their stylus features from anywhere on the screen. While the pie-interface controls are extremely useful, the only way to access them is when the S Pen is removed—making it impossible to use otherwise.
Google's Android L developer preview has given Android a more refined look, with developers excited to update their apps with the new Material Design UI. While some apps are slowly getting updated, QKSMS (QK for quick) is a 3rd-party text messaging app that was built with Material Design in mind.
How To: Turn Your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 into a Personal Ambient Weather Station with These Apps & Widgets
The majority of Android devices have built-in sensors underneath the hood that measure motion, position, and several environmental parameters that provide data needed to monitor your movements and adjust accordingly.
One of the more challenging things about using the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the ability to use it with one hand, due to its enormously large (but wonderful) screen size.
How To: Never Lose a Stylus Again by Setting "Missing S Pen" Alerts on Your Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or Note 3
When you lose an S Pen, it creates an unwelcome void in your Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that collects dirt and dust like a vacuum cleaner would—not to mention you don't have a freaking S Pen anymore. Thankfully, Samsung incorporated an alert to keep you from losing that precious S Pen, and they brought it back for the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3.
Does your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 feel slower than it used to? Background processes, cached files, malicious applications, and buggy updates can all lead to a sluggish smartphone. It's just what happens over time.
Android has plenty of features that provide multitasking support, which are especially useful on smartphones with larger screens. One such feature that I loved on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was the popup browser, which brought up a floating window whenever I opened a link inside of third-party apps like Facebook and Twitter.
AT&T Code Scanner, DriveMode, and Samsung Hub make up just a sliver of the sea of apps on my Galaxy Note 3 that I'll probably never use in my lifetime. Additionally, there aren't any built-in methods for uninstalling these pre-loaded Android apps (aka bloatware) from carriers and manufacturers.
With over 20 million songs, Spotify has become my go-to source for music. I can stream tunes to my desktop or phone, without ever having to worry about storage space being eaten up.
Your phablet's large screen is perfect for viewing movies and music videos wherever you are, but as gorgeous as the Note 3's screen is, holding it gets old and you can't always find something to prop it up at a decent movie-watching angle.
Screen timeouts serve mostly as security measures and energy savers, but they can also interrupt you when you're reading a book or editing a document. There is no built-in way to manage screen timeouts on a per-app basis, but if you've got root access, you can do just that using Never Sleep from Android dev Hamzah Malik.
While Snapchat's latest update brought messaging and video chatting, it also ruined something for us softModders—KeepChat. With KeepChat, we were able to save pictures and videos sent to us without the other person being notified. It was pretty slick, and I was beginning to miss it.
Utility tool apps provide extremely powerful and useful lightweight replacements for your parents' heavy archaic tools—everything from flashlights to tracking systems and more.
In order to unleash the full potential of your Samsung Galaxy Note 3, you've got to root it. These days, it's easier than ever, and can be done by just plugging your device into a Windows computer and pressing one button. It's so easy, your grandmother could do it, so what's stopping you?
Muzei Live Wallpaper is a popular Android app that refreshes your home screen background at set intervals, turning it into blurred pieces of artwork or photography while keeping your icons and widgets in the spotlight.
On more than one occasion, I've wanted to check out the Google Play page for an app I was currently using, whether it was to get contact information or read recent reviews to see if others were experiencing issues that I was.
Lenovo brought out the big guns for CES 2014, with the Vibe Z showcased as the Chinese company's' first foray into the LTE smartphone space. Slated for a February release, the ultra-thin and extremely light smartphone will certainly be in the running for top smartphones of this very new year. Photo via CNET
While the new Android 4.4 KitKat is only available on one device at the moment (damn you Nexus 5), it doesn't mean that we can't enjoy some of the features it has to offer on our non-KitKat devices right now.
When it comes to the user interface, you're pretty much limited to the stock one that comes on your Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch—a carousel of large black and white icons representing the features and applications on the watch.