It wouldn't be a Samsung Galaxy S smartphone launch without a little controversy. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint have all removed the smartphone's "Download Booster" feature, while T-Mobile is bragging it hasn't.
When Samsung launched the Galaxy S4 last year, the company added some unique software features to help differentiate its smartphone from its Android rivals. Samsung Smart Pause lets users control the smartphone's screen by staring at it. While watching a video, the Galaxy S4 detects you staring at it; if you look away from the smartphone the video automatically gets paused; look back and the video begins to play where you left off. Its Smart Scroll feature allows users to scroll email and web pages without ever touching the screen; while looking at its display a user can simply move their wrist holding the phone back and forth to quickly scroll through information.
Samsung followed the same recipe of adding innovative software when it unveiled the Galaxy S5 at MWC 2014 in February.
The company introduced My Magazine, which acts very similar to HTC's BlinkFeed by displaying a mix of news and social updates on the smartphone's home screen without needing to use a separate app. Ultra Power Saving Mode is a cool feature to extend battery life by turning the screen black and white and disabling nonessential applications. If the smartphone's battery gets down to 10 percent charge, the software can extend the life of the battery for up to 24 hours.
Download Booster works by enhancing download speeds by allowing users to simultaneously use the Galaxy S5's 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connection, a feature Samsung heavily promoted during its introduction. That feature has been removed by AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in the United States. The feature is now an exclusive on the T-Mobile and U.S. Celluar Galaxy S5 variant. T-Mobile is already boasting that it offers the feature on it site.
FierceWirelessTech contacted Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T on the removal and a spokesman for Verizon and Sprint told the publication they are not making Download Booster available but did not give any reasons for why. AT&T responded by saying, "We are evaluating Samsung's Download Booster feature. We thoroughly test new software, features and functionality to ensure that it meets our standards for a quality user experience."
It's unclear why the carriers have chosen to remove Download Booster, but its been well-documented that carriers like Verizon and AT&T like to restrict certain features that could be viewed as possibly congesting network speeds. We'll now have to wait to see if all these carriers have a change of heart and enable Download Booster in the future. We'll keep you posted with any new details. Does Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint's omission surprise you? Let us know in the comments.