Basics of the Samsung Galaxy S 5’s Home Screen - dummies

Basics of the Samsung Galaxy S 5’s Home Screen

By Bill Hughes

The extended Home screen on the Samsung Galaxy S 5 (just Home screen, for short) is the first screen that you see when the phone is done with setting up. Samsung has set it to be four screen-widths wide and one screen high.

Four screens is the default setting. You can adjust this number, but there comes a point when so many screens become difficult to manage. Do yourself a favor and limit yourself to seven or eight.

Here is a representation of the full Home screen layout. At any given moment, of course, you see only one screen at a time.

Samsung Galaxy's full Home screen layout.

The extended Home screen is where you can organize icons and other functions to best make the phone convenient for you. Out of the box, Samsung and your cellular carrier have worked together to create a starting point for you. Beyond that, though, you have lots of ways you can customize your Home screen for easy access to the things that are most important to you.

To start, check out the layout of the Home screen and how it relates to other areas of the phone. Knowing these areas is important for basic navigation.

Here is a typical Home screen and highlights three important areas on the phone.

The Samsung Galaxy home screen with three important areas.

  • The notification area: This part of the screen presents you with small icons that let you know if something important is up, like battery life.

  • The primary shortcuts: These five icons remain stationary as you move across the Home screen. Samsung and your cellular carrier have determined that these are the five most important applications on your phone.

  • The Device Function keys: These three keys control essential phone functions, regardless of what else is going on at the moment with the phone.

There are a series of dots just above the primary shortcuts on the extended Home screen. You may also notice that one of the dots isn’t just a dot — it’s a little house. That is the “home” Home screen. The largest dot indicates where you are among the screens.

You can navigate among screens by dragging the screen to the left or right. This moves you one screen at a time. You can also jump multiple screens by tapping on the dot that corresponds to the screen number you want to see, or by dragging the dots to the screen you want to see. Keep reading for more detail on each area.