GS5 users make headway on enabling the carrier-blocked download booster
Last week saw Samsung’s Galaxy S5 hit carrier shelves in the US, and while this meant that the long-awaited smartphone was finally making its way into user hands, it wasn’t without incident, and we heard about a couple circumstances where the smartphone was showing up without its complete feature set intact. The first issue to come to light concerned the download booster Samsung had put together, intended to let users retrieve a file through the combined efforts of the phone’s LTE and WiFi connections, pooling their available bandwidth. First the AT&T GS5 showed up with the download booster missing, and later we confirmed it to be absent on Verizon and Sprint editions, as well. While we wait to see if the carriers themselves will ever get around to activating it (Verizon, at least, has told us that it’s “evaluating” the situation), independent devs may end up coming to our salvation, and over at the XDA-Developers forums progress is already underway to bring the download booster back.
Unsurprisingly, the feature still appears to be buried deep within the code on all these phones, but without any easy way to access it. With the help of Nova launcher, these GS5 owners were able to call up the download booster settings menu on these carrier edition handsets, and apparently toggle the feature on. However, even after flipping that switch, the download booster icon (the signal strength meter with the lightning bolt you see up top) remains grayed out on the status bar, and despite early optimism, the tests some users have performed suggest that the booster still isn’t functional.
What’s next? Well, as soon as a root exploit turns up, GS5 owners should be able to modify one line in a settings file to bring back download booster proper, as if Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T had never meddled with the phone.