Samsung Galaxy S5 software feature overview

by: Gary SimsFebruary 27, 2014

The new Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t only about hardware, Samsung has also tweaked the Touchwiz interface, it may not have all the changes that some users have been asking for, but there are some nice additions.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands on MWC 2014-1160058

One of the most obvious changes to the launcher is the inclusion of Samsung’s My Magazine. It is accessed in a similar way to Google Now on Nexus devices by swiping to the left from the home screen. My Magazine brings together all your news and social media updates into one easy-to-read place. Just like on the Galaxy Note 3 you can add your social media accounts to My Magazine along with news from a curated list of sources.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands on MWC 2014-1160029

The icons in the quick settings and toggles are now round and this new move to circular icons is also reflected in the new settings app. The settings page has been changed quite radically and is now just a long list of settings options. However each section in the settings can be collapsed by pressing the small arrow on the section title. This new design is quite different to the tabbed approach that Samsung used on the Galaxy S4 (and other Galaxy devices). There is also a new section in the settings called “Motions and gestures” and this is where features like Air Gestures (aka Air Browse) can be configured.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Hands on MWC 2014-1160036

As for the soft buttons that straddle the home key, Samsung has removed the menu button and replaced it with a recent app button. So to the left of the home key is now recent apps and to the right the back button. Recent apps acts very much like it does on other Android devices and shows a list of apps which you can switch to by tapping on them or you can close by swiping them away. Once in recent apps you have the option to swipe away all the apps along with a icon for the active apps manager.


The fingerprint scanner can be configured under the Personalization section in the settings. Here you can register your fingerprint by swiping your finger several times over the reader. Once your fingerprint has been stored you can configure the S5 to only unlock using your finger. Unfortunately you can’t wake and unlock the phone by swiping your finger, you must first wake it, by pressing the power key, and then swipe your finger to unlock it.

Overall the Touchwiz interface on the Galaxy S5 will be familiar to those who have used other Samsung Galaxy devices, but it has been tweaked to make use of the new hardware, like the fingerprint reader.

  • Dimitar Gospodinov

    How about performance? Is it better than the Note 3 or the S4? Any lag or you have not been able to test it so much?

    • Aniruddh

      Performance will likely be better than Note 3 because of a better processor and a smaller screen with the same res. Seems like TouchWiz has been toned down a touch too.

      • Darren

        The physical size of the screen has no affect on performance

      • Dimitar Gospodinov

        I don’t care about the looks if it performs the way it should…I have said it many times but nobody seem to listen – the looks can be changed 100 ways there is Themer, icon packs, launchers but the performance is important.
        And actually TouchWiz never seemed ugly or dated to me…it was the lag that bothered me that’s why I am running OmniROM on my S3.
        If they managed to fix the UI (and by “fix” i mean performance) there is absolutely nothing wrong with the S5…It is actually the most feature packed phone (again) …

        • Max_says

          I agree.

        • Sam Jasper

          “I don’t care about the looks if it performs the way it should…I have said it many times but nobody seem to listen” I like this part. Well said bud. I like the way you’re thinking

          • Dimitar Gospodinov

            Thank you.
            It is nice to see somebody that agrees with me for a change…

        • Rushan


        • gledaisirabotata

          Can you stop with that “fanboy” statements. There is a phone for everyone. You like s5? Great i am happy for you. But no one talks about the common issues with the hardware and after update sod’s etc.
          I think that for couple new stuff it shouldn’t cost 700 eur.

          • Dimitar Gospodinov

            OK OK…I apologise for my “fanboyism”. All I am saying is that the phone deseves a chanse before all the bashing.
            Let’s talk about the “common issues with the hardware”.
            Excuse me but I don’t understand what “sod’s etc.” mean.

            I agree about the price and I think I haven’t said something about it.
            Again let’s talk about the issues you are reffering to…after all this is why it is called “Diqus” right?

        • Aniruddh

          There, you said it. Samsung is like the Black Knight lol. The white variant of the S5 actually looks awesome, and everyone seems to be saying that the only way a phone is worth upgrading is if it has a new look, which is ridiculous.
          My dad has a S4 which was his first smart phone and it never lags. His only complaint is with the battery which dies in under a day (he plays Candy Crush all day), but he carries a second battery.
          Samsung packed an awesome camera, a fingerprint scanner that does more than just unlocking your phone, a heart rate monitor and water resistance while retaining the removable back cover when virtually no other OEM offers a removable cover.

          • Dimitar Gospodinov

            I don’t know man…Everybody is acusing me in fanboyism but nobody seems to notice that there is no real reason for all this hate.
            people wanted better TouchWiz and thay get it, wanted different look – got that too…I don’t knw I can continue but yeah…

          • Aniruddh

            Nobody is ever satisfied you know. When it was rumoured that S5 is gonna have a 2K display, everybody was like we want a better battery not a better screen, Now that it doesn’t have a 2K display and an arguably better battery, especially with the neat Ultra Power Saver Mode, everyone is that S5 has no real edge over the competition.
            The only real thing that Samsung MUST do is stop trying to branch away from Android, at least on their phones. Android is rapidly improving and it will take a long time for Tizen to reach that level of maturity.

          • Dimitar Gospodinov

            Yeah right it was “We don’t need 2K” and now it is like “Where is the 2K display” LOL.
            About Tizen…I think there is a place for another mobile OS but I don’t think that they should stop with Android phones…If somebody can do two OSes it is Samsung…

          • On a Clear Day

            The reason people are down on the S5 and criticizing it (and yourself by association when you point out its (many) positive qualities) is that most people in this world find it more than a little bit pleasant to bitch.

            It enables them to sublimate their personal dis-ease and sense of dissatisfaction with themselves, their job, their boy or girl friend, etc ad nauseum and release, project it in a way that appears to be intelligent, justifiable and purposeful. Yet, if you look carefully at most of the “hate” type comments you see in these blogs, what you see are negatively oriented statements – that are long on destructive, short on constructive content.

      • smokebomb

        They’ll probably run the sane since the note 3 has 3GB of ram.

    • Having spent more than 6 hours with the device at this point, I can assure you that the performance is absolutely blistering – particularly for things like the camera. It’s quite fast, and yes, Touchwiz is drastically improved in that it is much more subtle and the design elements are much more refined; a flatter interface that looks much better :)

      • Dimitar Gospodinov

        I have been reading so much crap about this phone it is rediculous…I can’t beleve all these people…Thanks for thaking the time to answer I know you are busy and all.
        Love you guys!

        • Rushan

          This is an awesome device with better internals. I dont know why people hates this.

          • Tuấn Ankh

            Hater’s gonna hate. No reason needed.

      • Dimitar Gospodinov

        btw can I quote you on this one?

  • shadow

    My question is: will the Camera improvements (software) be made available on my S4 with the KitKat update?

  • Jerome

    My magazine is that a software update for galaxy s4 or you have to buy the galaxy s5

  • Amar

    Just got rid of my Galaxy S4 for the LG G2, best decision ever. Those of you looking for a phone, thinking about the S5, i suggest you look at the G2, or even the upcoming G3. The G2 can be bought for like 350$ off contract, much cheaper than the S5 ever will be.

    • MadCowOnAStick

      $350 off contract, seems legit >_>

  • Magnetic1

    I wonder what happened to the Fort Knox security feature thingy.
    Anyway Boeing is now in the mix with a secure phone and it’s made in the USA with Qualcomm chip, most likely because it does LTE. But as much as I appreciate Android for it’s entertainment potentials, it’s an oxymoron if I ever heard one to call it SECURE ANDROID PHONE, with all the backdoors and all.

  • MSmith79

    Is the dialer the same as the S4? Hope not, it’s so cartoony. Also, is the voice recognition Google Now or S-Voice?

  • annonymus

    so when the iPhone 5s launch last year many Samsung fan said that its not much of improvements and now that galaxy s5 is released and not much has been changed they said its a good thing??

  • Suthan Sivekumaar

    I am impressed with the Galaxy S5. I Love the Hardware and Design even the fingerprint reader! Nice photos! And Great Work! XD

    • onlygoodtime88


  • Rey Martinez

    not gonna lie, i really like touchwiz now.. haha this makeover was long overdue

  • Segroukin

    Is this UX coming to the Note 3? Would be nice with some wanam tweaks ;)

  • Quackula

    I will stick with my S4 for now.

  • xd feng

    Samsung states that they have been developing new products, but on the other hand , they say the new products are only updated on the basics of original versions in the short term. Maybe they will renew the rigid flex circuits, like enforce a new type of FPC cables for the connection.