Customizing my Samsung Galaxy S5

So I got a new Samsung Galaxy S5 mobile phone. This describes the customizing that I did.

Installing a bloat-free Custom ROM

  • Use Odin 3.07 to flash a Custom Recovery: TeamWin Recovery Project TWRP 2.8.10
  • Use Odin 3.09 to flash updated Bootloader/Modem packages: Latest Bootloader/Modem packages
  • Copy Custom ROM + Addon Package to your phone (eg. SD card): XtreStroLite ROM + Aroma Add-On Package v1.5 (2014-11-21)”
  • Install the XtreStroLite ROM through TWRP
  • Accept the license
  • Let it do a full-wipe
  • Select the stock kernel
  • Regional settings: Europe
  • CSC region: DBT for Germany
  • Select tweaks:
    Setting Value Comment
    Enable Call Recorder button in the Dialer Yes This is pretty self-explainatory
    Add Secondary Symbols to the Samsung Keyboard Yes This enables getting symbols such as @ and $ by holding alphabetical keys (see this image).
    Enable Camera shutter sound button in the Camera app Yes This is pretty self-explainatory, too
    Add Exit button to the S-Browser app Yes By default, there is none
    Enable all Quick Toggles of the notification panel No With “No”, the firmware will offer 21 Quick Toggle options. With “Yes”, it will be 10 more: S Beam, Gestures, Handsfree mode, Smart Scroll, S Finder, Quick Connect, Smart Network, Network restriction, Reader mode and Car mode.
    Remove Boot Sound Yes A matter of taste.
    Build.prop: WiFi scan interval Tweak (Fewer Wifi scans (once per 180 seconds) tweak (for better battery)) Yes Sounds good to me.
    Build.prop: Faster dialer delay Tweak (No call-ring delay & better proximity sensor delay tweaks) Yes Sets the delay before your phone rings on a call to zero seconds. Also fixes the problem of black screens after a call due to insensitive proximity sensor settings.
    Build.prop: Faster Bootanimations Tweak Yes This most probably refers to this post.
    init.d: Disable LogCat Yes See this page.
    init.d: Sqlite3 (Tweak that Re-index and optimizes all your database (.db) files with the Sqlite3 binary at every boot once in the 24 hours) Yes This calls sqlite to VACUUM sqlite databases in order to avoid database fragmentation.
    init.d: Zip Align (Zip Align init.d script that Zip align’s all your apps every 24 hours at boot) Yes Android developers can zipalign their installable packages (.apks), but apparantly many Apps are not zipaligned.
  • Select mods:
    Setting Value Comment
    Advanced Reboot menu Yes If enabled, if you select “Reboot” from the Reboot menu (hold the Power button), you get options to just reboot, hot reboot (whatever that means) or reboot directly into Download or Recovery modes.
    Remove high volume warning (not compatible with ART runtime) Yes This disables the warning message about potential ear damage when you increase the volume.
    Remove increasing ringtone Yes See here.
  • “Select mods (Page 2)” offers the following options:
    • Original SystemUI file without mods
    • Remove S-Finder & QuickConnect buttons in notification panel
    • 3Minit Battery Mod (Choose between 1070+ different battery icons)
    • Both above mods (3Minit + Buttons removal)

    Choose the second one.

  • Begin installation.
  • Reboot.
  • Follow Samsung’s setup wizard, specifying your Google account data.
  • Do not agree to provide diagnostic and usage data to Samsung.
  • At “Google services”:
    • Allow apps to locate my position faster: Yes
    • Increase precision by searching for networks even when Wifi is deactivated: No
    • I would like to receive messages and offers from Google Play: No
  • Complete the setup wizard. Don’t choose “Easy mode” at the final page.
  • Pull down the notification panel and decline permissions for Picasa Web albums.
  • Update the SuperSU app through Google Play. It will then ask to update the SuperSU binary. It offers two ways, Normal or CWM/TWRM, Normal worked fine for me. Reboot.
  • Reboot into Recovery again.
  • Install the Aroma Add-on Package.
  • Choose to install Add-ons.
  • Select the following Add-ons:
    • AllShare/WiFi-Direct/Screen-Mirroring/S-Beam
    • Extra Camera Modes
    • Fingerprint Scanner support
    • Google Play App Backup & Restore
    • Hearing Adjust
    • Private Mode
    • Samsung Keyboard
    • Samsung Multi-Window Support
    • Samsung My Magazine (will be deinstalled later)
    • Samsung Wallpaper picker
    • S-Health
    • Samsung Test applications
    • Samsung Help
    • SPlanner (we’ll use this instead of Google Calendar)
    • SVoice (will be deinstalled later)
    • Ultra Power Saving and Emergency Mode
  • At the “E-Mail app” page select “Original Samsung Mail app”, even if you will use a different EMail app later, so that Settings -> Sounds -> EMail won’t segfault.
  • At the “Launcher” page select “Flash nothing”.
  • At the “Messaging” page select “Modded Samsung Messages App”. If you use the custom ROM’s default Android L Messager, selecting Settings -> Sounds -> Messages will segfault. A list of the mods can be found in the XtreStroLite thread.
  • At the “GPU Driver” page select “Flash nothing”.
  • At the “Camera” page select “HX-Camera mod by @hyperX”.
  • At the “Customization options” page select “Flash nothing” in all sections.
  • At the “Ad blocking” page select “Install Adblock hosts file” to get rid of Advertisements.
  • Reboot.

Adjusting settings

  • At root level, select Menu -> Display Type -> List View
  • Network connections -> Tethering and Mobile HotSpot -> Mobile-Hotspot -> Configure Hotspot -> Set SSID and PSK2 key
  • Sound and Display -> Sound -> Feedback -> Key sounds: Disable
  • Sound and Display -> Sound -> Feedback -> Touch sounds: Disable
  • Sound and Display -> Sound -> Feedback -> Lock screen sounds: Disable
  • Sound and Display -> Display -> Smart Stay: Enable
  • Sound and Display -> Display -> Display Timeout: 2 minutes
  • Sound and Display -> Display -> Touch Key Lighting time: 6 seconds
  • Sound and Display -> Dual clock -> Set home town
  • Sound and Display -> Lock screen -> Owner information: Enter your data here
  • Sound and Display -> Lock screen -> Help text: Disable
  • Sound and Display -> Notification area -> Quick toggles: Reduce and order to “Wifi”, “Mobile data”, “Offline mode”, “Sound”, “Mobile Hotspot” and “Rotate screen”
  • Movement -> Movement and Gestures -> Air browse: Disable
  • Movement -> Movement and Gestures -> Direct call: Disable
  • Movement -> Movement and Gestures -> Smart alert: Disable
  • Movement -> Movement and Gestures -> Mute/Pause -> Operate with hand: Disable
  • Movement -> Movement and Gestures -> Mute/Pause -> Turn device around: Enable
  • Movement -> Movement and Gestures -> Screenshot by wiping: Disable
  • Movement -> Air View: Enable
  • User and Backup -> Accounts -> Google Account -> (your Account) -> Synchronize Picasa folders: Disable
  • System -> Locale and Input -> Keyboards and Input Methods -> Default: Samsung Keyboard
  • System -> Locale and Input -> Keyboards and Input Methods -> Samsung Keyboard -> Input locales -> Refresh list, then select your locale (eg. German)
  • Enable developer options: System -> Device information -> Build number: tap 8 times.
  • System -> Developer options -> Rendering -> Window animation scale, Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale: 0.5

Adjusting TouchWiz homescreen

  • Delete all homescreens but the first.
  • When viewing the homescreen, hold the task switcher button to get a helicopter view of all homescreens and click on the “Start page settings” icon in the lower right. Deselect “My Magazine”. You needed to install the “My Magazine” addon first in order to see this option, you can remove it through Receovery and the Aroma installer afterwards. You’ll then also need to deinstall the now defunct Flipboard app.
  • Start SVoice, press the Menu button, Settings -> Open via the home key: Disable. This is supposed to make the Home key react quicker. I’m not sure if I really noted a difference, in any case I removed SVoice through Recovery and the Aroma installer afterwards.
  • Select the Menu icon to get the Apps Overview, press the Menu button, choose “View as” -> “User defined”.

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