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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5 reveals its hidden features

A floating menu called Toolbox gives you quick access to favorite apps from any screen.
(Credit: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)
BARCELONA, Spain -- Spend a little time with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and you'll quickly see that there's more to this flagship smartphone than the heart-rate monitor on the back and the optional fingerprint scanner on the front.
Of course, those are some of the phone's defining characteristics, but beyond the attention-grabbing headlining acts are three interesting and useful little gems.
Toolbox
If you explore the Settings menu or the quick access settings in the notifications pulldown, you'll notice a quiet little option called Toolbox. Toggle it on and a white dot appears, inscribed with an ellipsis. Tap this and it will expand to reveal shortcuts to popular tools like the camera, voice recorder, browser, calculator, and the notes app -- but you can swap these for other apps.
If Toolbox gets in your way, drag it anywhere else on the screen. It'll fade when you leave it alone long enough. I found I had to move it around more often than not, but it saved the day when I needed to launch the camera app one-handed. Again, it's also pretty easy to toggle on and off from the notifications pull-down, which is something you can also do one-handed.
New camera settings
There are a ton of new camera options, from the Selective Focus we heard about to some lesser-known features, such as a special treatment for action shots and the ability to easily secure photos with Samsung Knox.
You can (and should!) read all about the Galaxy S5's spiffed-up camera app here.
Quick connect
S Beam is really great for sharing content between two NFC-enabled phones, but what about pushing content from the phone to somewhere else? Samsung looks like it's finally gotten this right.
Quick Connect is an easy press from the notifications shade, and replaces a bunch of confusing individual apps that connected to your computer and your other devices through a number of channels.
The Quick Connect tools isn't for everyone, but it's a fast shortcut indeed.
(Credit: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET)
If you've never been motivated to push content from your phone to a different device, you may want to now.
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