10 Things You’ll Definitely Want to Know How to Do on Your Galaxy S5

Daniel Howley
Technology Reporter

So you’ve had your Samsung Galaxy S5 for a few months now, and you think you’ve figured out everything there is to know about it. Well, prepare to have that thought blown to pieces, friend, because there are likely a few things your phone can do that you never even realized.

If you want to get more out of your S5, or just want to see what else Samsung’s flagship can do, you’re in the right place. These are the 10 things you might not have known you can do with your Galaxy S5, but will definitely want to:

1. Pay for things with your fingerprint.
Like Apple’s iPhone 5s, Samsung equipped the Galaxy S5 with a built-in fingerprint scanner. But unlike the iPhone, the S5’s scanner can be used with PayPal to make paying for things online worlds easier. Instead of constantly entering your PayPal account information, you can swipe your finger and be done in a few seconds.

Before you can use the scanner with PayPal, though, you’ll have to set it up. To do that, navigate to the Settings menu by pulling down the Notifications Drawer and tapping the gear icon in the top-right corner of the screen.

Swipe down to the Personalization section and select Finger Scanner. Then tap the Fingerprint manager option and read and agree to the disclaimer.

Swipe the finger you want to register across the S5’s home button eight times and set a backup password. If you want to use your fingerprint as your S5’s screen lock, you can tap OK on the next screen or press Cancel to proceed to set up your PayPal account.

Press the Pay with PayPal button on the Finger Scanner and select Link on the next screen to pair your PayPal account with your fingerprint. On the next screen, tap Link Fingerprint if you have a PayPal account or Sign Up for PayPal if you don’t have one.

Enter your PayPal credentials and press Log In.

You’ll then be asked to swipe the finger that you registered earlier across the Home button to link your fingerprint with your PayPal account. Next you’ll be prompted to download the PayPal app and install it on your S5.

Once installed, open the PayPal app and tap the P button in the top-left corner of the screen to open the Welcome menu. Tap Log In at the bottom of the screen to log in to your account. Go back to the Welcome menu, select Settings, and tap the Login Options button.

Select Fingerprint from the Log in with drop-down box.

From now on, whenever you choose to pay for something with your PayPal account from your S5, you can just swipe your finger across the Home button instead of entering all your information.

2. Run two apps at once.
One of the Galaxy S5’s killer features is its ability to run two apps onscreen at once. Here’s how to do it:

Swipe down from the top of the home screen and tap the Settings icon in the top-right corner of the screen. 

Select Multi window from the Sound and Display tab. Set the slider next to Multi window to On.

Press and hold the S5’s Back button to open the Multi Window menu. Long-press one of the apps on the left side of the screen and drag it to the top or bottom of the display. Do the same with the second app.

If you don’t see one of the apps you want to open, you can press the small arrow at the bottom of the left rail and choose the Edit button. From here you can add any available apps to the list on the left rail.

3. Edit the Notification Panel’s Quick Settings.
The Galaxy S5’s Notification Drawer includes several Quick Settings options that let you do everything from turn on WiFi to switch off Bluetooth. But some of these settings might not be for you. Others could be useful but aren’t there by default. 

To edit the Quick Settings menu, pull down the Notifications Drawer and press the Quick Settings icon in the far top right of the screen. Tap the pencil icon on the next page to open the Notification panel menu.

The Active Buttons section represents Quick Settings buttons that are already in the Notifications Drawer. The Available Buttons are those that aren’t.

To add a Quick Settings button, long-press it and drag it from the Available Buttons list to the Active Buttons list. Do the reverse to take out any Quick Settings you don’t want.

4. Use the screen while wearing gloves.
When the cold weather comes around and your hands are warm and toasty in a comfortable pair of gloves, nothing is worse than having to expose your fingers to the frosty air to answer a text message.

But, with a few quick steps, you can set your Galaxy S5’s screen to respond to inputs even while wearing gloves.

Swipe down from the top of the screen to open the Notifications Drawer and tap the Settings (gear) icon. Select Display from beneath the Quick Settings tab.

Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and check the box next to Increase touch sensitivity.

Press the home button, and you’ll be able to use your S5 while keeping your fingers warm. 

5. Increase battery life with Power Saving Mode.
The Galaxy S5 already has an impressively long battery life, but if you want to get even more juice out of its power plant, you’ll want to enable Power Saving Mode and Ultra Power Saving Mode.

To do that, open Settings and select Power saving from beneath the Quick Settings tab. If you want to improve your S5’s battery life without impacting overall functionality, then tap Power saving mode.

Switch the slider at the top of the screen to On to enable Power Saving Mode. This will restrict the phone’s processor performance and lower the display’s frame rate and brightness level.

To go a step further, you can check the box next to Block background data. This will keep your S5 from receiving notifications for certain apps, such as Facebook, but will go a long way when it comes to saving battery life. 

You can also choose to enable Grayscale mode, which will cause the S5’s display to show only variations of white and gray rather than the rich colors you’re used to.

If that’s not enough, you can turn on Ultra Power Saving Mode, which automatically switches the display to grayscale and uses a simplified home screen to further improve battery life.

6. Change the Settings menu view.
If you’re using the Galaxy S5 as a former Galaxy S3 or S4 owner, the new Settings menu may look a bit confusing. Luckily, you can change the way the Settings menu looks with ease.

Just open the Settings menu and press the three vertical dots in the top-right corner of the screen. Tap View by and select the view that’s most appealing to you.

7. Use Toolbox to access your favorite apps anytime.
The Galaxy S5’s little-known Toolbox feature lets you access up to five of your favorite apps on any screen via an expandable floating button.

To enable Toolbox, open the Settings menu and select Toolbox from beneath the Quick Settings tab. Switch the slider at the top of the screen to On to enable Toolbox, and a translucent button with three horizontal dots will appear.

To change Toolbox’s default apps, press the Edit button and select the five apps that you use most often.

To use Toolbox, simply press the white button to reveal your five apps. Press it again to close the apps list.

8. Enable Private Mode to keep your data safe.
If you’ve got sensitive data on your S5 and want to keep it safe from prying eyes, you’ll want to use Private Mode. When enabled, Private Mode can hide your data from anyone you don’t want seeing it. 

To use Private Mode, open the Settings menu, scroll down to the Personalization tab, and select Private Mode

Set the slider next to Enable Private Mode to On and follow the onscreen prompts to choose your preferred unlock method.

You can now choose photos, videos, and documents you want to make visible only in Private Mode.

To do this, open an app such as Gallery and select a photo or photos. Press the Edit button in the top-right corner of the screen and tap Move to Private. Your selected photos will now be visible only when your S5 is in Private Mode.

9. Add special effects to your photos after taking them.
Samsung’s Galaxy S5 has a great camera, but what if you want to change up your shots after you’ve taken them? Well, with the S5’s Shot & more setting, you can do just that.

Open the Camera app and press the Mode button on the left side of the screen. Select Shot & more from the available modes and press OK.

The next time you take a photo, you’ll see a progress bar that counts to 100 percent, followed by a secondary processing bar.

When the S5 is finished, your photo will appear with any available special editing features such as Best Shot, Best Face, Drama Shot, Eraser, and Panning Shot.

10. Take screenshots.
This one is small but can prove useful more often than you think.

To take a screenshot with your S5, make sure the content you want to snap a shot of is onscreen, and then press and hold the power and home buttons at the same time. 

That’s it.

Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley or on Google+ here