Just bought a Galaxy S4

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by henryonapple, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Anyone know a good source on tutorials on how to use this phone? I've been on iOS for the past 3 years but found a good deal on an S4 and jumped on it.

    Not a big fan of all the bloatware on this phone from Samsung. Is there a way to put pure android on it?
  2. macrumors regular

    Well, you should really get set up on androidcentral, so you'll be connected with and getting help with a larger userbase of android users.

    Here's a good start:

  3. macrumors 601


    Read my post, #11, here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1641542

    The out of the box Samsung experience is sub par, I admit - which is why I suggest uses to delete all their home screens and just start with 1 to get it setup the way you like, then add one page at a time. But after than and after the initial learning curve with Android, you'll be fine.

    It took me 2 weeks to adjust (because I was trying to do everything the iOS way, as well as learning Android's icons). I discovered I can do MUCH more with Android. Took me a good month to get FULLY adjusted to it.

    This is the best phone I've ever used.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Yes you can do that. You'll have to be willing to Root or ROM it, I get the two confused and I have never done either however there are many people in this subforum who have and probably will provide you with some links.

    You can also check out the later pages of the Galaxy S4 thread here and of course you can check XDA which I think is where you'd get the replacement ROM (lord knows if I used the right term there.)
  5. macrumors 68040

    Go to settings, go to the More tab, then tap Application manager. Flick left or right until your under ALL. Now disable any carrier and Samsung app you don't plan on using.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    since you are fairly new to android world, i'd recommend you get familiar with the OS and how it works. once comfortable you can head over to XDA forum for advanced tweaking if that's your thing. again its not required but its a choice.

    a safer way to disable remove bloat is to go to SETTINGS> applications > ALL tab. over here disable or uninstall apps you don't want. in the ALL tab, you will also have system critical apps or services. so just be a little cautious. you can look at the icons/names as hints. it should be quite obvious what you need to remove.

    also if you already signed in the play market and some apps updated themselves, you may not see the "disable" button. so what you need to do is to first uninstall the updates, go back to settings and you should see the disable button.
  7. MRU



    1) firstly make sure you have the latest version of Touchwiz if you don't. Latest version is numbered


    You will find this in the about device section of settings under baseband.

    If you don't have this check for update on the handset, and failing that connect it to your computer and Kies software and check for the update through that.

    The latest version whilst still very bloated is vastly more optimised and runs noticeably smoother.

    2) if you want to go Stock 4.3 be aware that it comes with some compromises. 4.3 is actually quite buggy on the S4 with things like touch to focus on scene modes and HDR in the camera application being broken.

    However if your willing to put up with the niggles you firstly need to install a custom recovery.

    Almost all the 4.3 ROMs seem to swear by Philz Recovery.

    You do not need to root your phone to install a custom recovery, you can actually flash a custom recovery in ODIN now.

    Once a custom recovery is installed you need to download a 4.3 ROM from over at XDA (Jamal's 4.3 finally V.2 is good) and put the downloaded zip onto your device in a folder.

    Then you boot into custom recovery by holding down the volume up and power button.

    Once in Philz recovery go to wipe data and choose both wipe data/factory reset and wipe data for new ROM.

    Go back to menu and choose wipe cache partition.

    Back to menu choose advanced, and from advanced choose wipe Dalvik cache.

    Back to menu and choose install ROM.

    Point to the zip file you downloaded and say OK. It will now flash the new ROM.

    Afterwards go back to menu and choose Reboot now. When asked do you want to keep protected just choose NO - if you choose Yes you will lose the root that came with the new ROM and will have to re-root after.

    Phone will reboot and you'll be on Stock android.

    To restore back to touchwiz, download the latest md5 file from samfirmware for your particular handset and carrier and flash it with ODIN.
  8. macrumors 6502

    thank you for all of the responses, very helpful!
  9. macrumors regular

    just make sure on XDA your under the right device section for you, don't want to try to flash a ROM or something made for a different carrier version :) There are like 4-6 sections of different versions of the S4 or something like that
  10. macrumors 6502

    At this point, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the phone and Android. Spend some time on XDA and Android Central and read through the forums and learn the language. Give it a month or so. Then, if you think you need more than what stock Touchwiz is offering, then jump into ROM-ing your phone.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Which variant do you have? Is it a carrier specific model or is it a generic international GT-I9500 or GT-I9505? If you have the GT-I9505, you can flash it with the GPE S4 ROM.
  12. macrumors 601


    Where do I find this info on my phone? I have AT&T's S4 and been wanting to flash it to the Google Edition. But then again, I do like some Touchwiz features, especially what the camera can do.
  13. macrumors 68000


    [QUOTE thezeus;18024733]Where do I find this info on my phone? I have AT&T's S4 and been wanting to flash it to the Google Edition. But then again, I do like some Touchwiz features, especially what the camera can do.[/QUOTE]

    Go on the XDA forums, they have a dedicated subforum for the AT&T S4.
  14. macrumors 65816

    If you like the touchwiz features, just flash a custom TW rom. It's probably the best of both worlds, samsung features but with the speed and cleanness of stock android.
  15. macrumors 6502

    I have the AT&T model
  16. macrumors 68020



    Here's a link to XDA's AT&T S4 section. Lots and lots of info in there.

    I would suggest you do some reading before attempting anything. Familiarize yourself with the OS, how to do things, how to disable apps you don't use (the bloatware). Then read up some more. And when you finish that...read some more. You get my drift. :p

    One thing that no one has suggested yet (although it may have been in the link early in the thread)...go into Settings - About Phone - scroll to build number and tap it 7 times quickly. This will unlock the Developer Options in the previous menu. Tap back, then go into Developer Options. Scroll down until you see animations and set all three to none/off. This will make the phone feel MUCH faster.
  17. macrumors 6502

    hmm what does disabling the animations do exactly?
  18. macrumors 68020


    You'll notice when you open the app drawer or move between home pages, there's a certain animation (fly in, fly out, cube in, cube out, etc). Disabling that makes the phone faster because it doesn't have to process the animation...it just does the action.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Personally I prefer just setting them to the fastest speed (next step up from disabled) as I like a bit of animation. It's really a question of perceived speed rather than things actually performing faster so experiment with the different animation settings.

    You can't really get rid of the bloatware by just disabling, this just prevents it from running and appearing in the app drawer. You could alternatively just create a folder for it and cram them there (like you would on iOS and its useless stock apps). Some apps cannot be disabled, like the Samsung KNOX security thing. To get rid of these, you can root the phone and run the Truly Clean script in recovery mode from SD card.

    Note that you should first figure out which Samsung apps you want to retain as some may tie to unexpected features, like for example if you remove S-Voice then the Camera app can't be controlled with voice (even if you use S-Voice for nothing else). You can edit the Truly Clean script to only remove the stuff you want. Also note that the only reason it deletes Chrome etc useful apps is because they can then be installed/uninstalled from Google Play store as you like rather than being uninstallable "system" apps.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Since you have the AT&T model be sure you are aware of this: once you update the firmware past MDL, you can't install custom ROMs anymore due to the locked bootloader.

    With that said, I recommend CyanogenMod. It runs smooth and I don't miss the Samsung features too much. I have a backup on my sd card so I can switch back in about 10 minutes if I want.
  21. macrumors 68030


    What carrier are you on. If it has an unlocked bootloader, flashing stock android is very easy.
  22. MRU



    Yep I do the same. Set animation scale to x .5 and this keeps animation fast and to a minimum. If you turn this off completely be aware Google music artwork will not scroll properly, hence keep it at x .5

    You can however turn off animation transition and window animations though and that speeds up apps you are launching.

    As for the bloatware, I too just put it into folders and ignore it. Touchwiz is so heavily skinned and some apps embedded within it, that I have found disabling some apps actually had negative impacts on performance with occasional FC and kernel errors.

    Haven't tried TrueClean though, but will look into that :)
  23. macrumors 65816

    I tested turning all animations off. Turning window animations off is ok, but turning all animations (can't remember which of the other two is the culprit) just shows you a blank screen as an app loads. For example GMail just shows a blank grey background until it has loaded, whereas the animation kinda hides it as it's generally just long enough for the animation to play.

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