While the Samsung Galaxy S5 has some amazing capabilities, it — like every smartphone — is only about as good as the apps you pair with it. If you are a new owner, particularly one that is also new to Android, here are some of our favorite apps and games that take advantage of all the power the Galaxy S5 has to offer.
You have plenty of choices when it comes to listening to music on your GS5. You can load your own tracks via the handset’s MicroSD storage, download new tunes from Google Play, or choose from a number of streaming music apps like Spotify and Pandora. But you have the Galaxy S5, so you should take advantage of certain privileges. One of those includes the exclusive ability to access Samsung’s Milk Music.
Milk Music at its core is a fairly typical streaming service, but it benefits from an innovative interface that lets you choose the perfect soundtrack for the mood you’re in as well as a music curation engine powered by Slacker Radio. We feel Slacker is one of the more under-appreciated music platforms out there, and Milk Music perfectly highlights this.
While we’re on the topic Samsung-centric apps, Galaxy S5 owners should also consider checking out ChatON. ChatON is Samsung’s answer to free messaging services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, iMessage and others. Unlike Milk Music, however, ChatON is not exclusive to Samsung users. The app is available for all Android devices, iOS, and PC, and features translation capabilities, Anicon stickers, and LIVEpartner, a service for querying info from sources like the AP, History Channel, and more.
The Galaxy S5 ships with a perfectly capable keyboard preinstalled, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get better. SwiftKey’s intuitive, predictive text engine makes it one of the best replacements around if speed and accuracy is what you are looking for. It’s as simple as it needs to be while offering just as much as the stock Galaxy S5 software keyboard. Flow mode adds swipe input for even quicker texting. Another alternative worth checking out is the Google Keyboard, which incorporates a similar set of features in a package tailored for pure Android.
Want that to take that 13MP camera to the next level? Shelve the stock camera app and download VSCOCam. On the surface the app might seem like another set of photo filters primed for social sharing, but VSCOCam’s editing capabilities go much deeper. There is a short learning curve while you get a handle on the various tools available to you, but once you become familiar with what VSCOCam can do the sky is the limit in terms of what the Galaxy S5’s 13MP camera can do.
What’s PayPal, a useful but not particularly flashy app, doing on this list? Consider the Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner and the fact that you can use it to authorize payments via the popular online money managing service. As PayPal becomes more ubiquitous, with almost all online retailers accepting it and many brick-and-mortar stores following suit, having a quick and secure way to make payments with a mobile phone is a major plus. The added layer of security provided by the GS5’s fingerprint scanner only makes using the app that much better.
And the rest…
These, of course, are just a small sampling of worthy Android apps for the Galaxy S5. The truth is, as one of the best Android phones on the market the GS5 pairs well with hundreds of top-notch applications and services for everything from music and media to social networking and messaging. We recommend you check out our other best app lists for more great software.
The award-winning game made its way to Android just as the Galaxy S5 launched, and there perhaps could be no better pairing. XCOM features console-quality graphics and immersive gameplay with a focus on tactical combat. If you want to put the GS5’s hardware through the paces, XCOM affords you that opportunity.
With a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED display the Galaxy S5 is great for taking in a movie or TV show. Combine that visual storytelling with interactive puzzles and under-pressure decision making and you have TellTale’s The Walking Dead. This episodic adventure came to Android earlier this year and covers a side story to the main Walking Dead tale unfolding in the popular series of comics and accompanying television show. But catch up quick. Season Two is already available on other platforms and should find its way to Android soon.
Some games have great graphics, but few offer eye candy in the same manner as Smash Hit. Simplistic gameplay (adequately described in the title) is accentuated with colorful, glossy visuals and a swirling soundtrack. It’s a unique take on the shooter-on-rails genre in which players bombard geometric objects with metallic pinballs in an effort to smash everything in sight.
Racing games have become synonymous with showcasing the graphical prowess of gaming consoles, and it’s no different for smartphones. The latest entry in the Asphalt series looks stunning on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and zips along just as fast as the tricked-out cars featured in the game.
This one’s just plain addictive. Temple Run 2 is the second entry in this endless runner series and features the same basic gameplay. Guide your adventurer through ancient ruins, avoiding traps and pitfalls along the way as you scoop up treasures galore. Thankfully the GS5 provides plenty of battery life because you are going to need it with the amount of time you sink into this title.
But there’s more…
As with apps, this is only a small selection of what new Galaxy S5 owners have to choose from when it comes to games. Check out some of our other lists detailing the best recent Android releases as well as the addictive games we can’t stop playing.