Samsung’s Galaxy S4 gets a lot of things right, but then there are the odd things that are just so wrong. Things like the unlockable dock where the shortcuts can’t be changed, and a gallery that crashes.
Some of these problems are so odd that you have to wonder why Samsung hasn’t fixed them for such a premium product. The Galaxy S4 is a flagship phone that almost costs a thousand bucks, and yet the bugs are here and peculiar.
So how can we go about fixing them?
Unlock your dock
One of our biggest pet peeves in the S4 has actuality been around since Samsung updated a security glitch in the Galaxy S3, and the company has never quite fixed it.
As a result, we’ve seen it in the 3G S3, 4G S3, Galaxy Note 2, and yes, the Galaxy S4, and we’re beginning to wonder if Samsung will actually fix it at all.
This flaw is in the shortcut dock at the bottom of the screen, and how you can’t actually change any of the icons.
Samsung’s implementation of the dock basically makes you have phone, contacts, messaging, the stock internet browser, and an apps menu shortcut as your icons, and in that specific order.
Heaven forbid if you want to add Twitter, Facebook, or replace the browser shortcut with Chrome or Firefox, because you’re out of luck.
For the moment, this appears to be a problem with Samsung’s Android overlay, called TouchWiz. We’re not sure why Samsung hasn’t fixed this yet, but our fix is this: use a different home screen tool.
We’ve written stories about this before, but with a home screen replacement, you can make your phone look completely different, even going so far as to make it look like an iPhone, look like Windows Phone, or just make Android’s appearance cleaner.
If you fancy keeping the look of Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay, you can do this with either Apex or Nova home screens and the “Touchwhiz” theme. Both Apex and Nova home screen replacements are free, and both are similar, with an offering of an insane level of customisation for how your home screen can look.
Most importantly, these let you change your dock. Why Samsung doesn’t we can’t work out.
One of the bugs that has us totally stumped is the gallery: it crashes. A lot.