The price of the Samsung S6 has decreased somewhat since its release, but without a contract full retail price is still between $500-$800. A quote from Samsung’s website through a local US provider says the phone can be yours for $576.00. I don’t know about you, but given the current state of my finances, they are placing that decimal a little too far to the right for what I can comfortably afford.
Nonetheless, if you don’t have access or you haven’t tried them, the S6’s apps and user interface are enviable. But there is a way to possess the apps, their interface, and even things like the S6 camera experience without the expense. You can download them onto any device running Lollipop or TouchWiz (So basically, any Samsung).
You can have the best of all worlds no matter what model of phone you are using if you have a custom ROM, which we will discuss in Method 3. If you are interested in flashing CyanogenMod 12 or 13 to your phone, check out the link below.
When it comes to Samsung Galaxy S6 apps, essentially all you need to do is download a file manager or package installer and the app files and you are in business. Transforming the entire user interface through a custom ROM is a little more complex, but not by a lot. We can guide you through it. Or if you just want a taste of the S6 experience before you dive in, we can show you an app that provides just that.
Method 1: Install the Stock App APKs
There are a few ways you can make this process easier for yourself. One way to is download a file manager, like Astro File Manager or ES File Explorer. You can also use a package installer such as APK Installer or Easy Installer. With a package installer, you will find it simpler to batch install, uninstall, or share the files. It can also make it easier for you to fine-tune permissions and many installers provide security too.
It is highly recommended that you perform a full backup just in case something does not go as planned. It is also worth mentioning that if you already have downloaded any of these apps, uninstall them before installing the new APK. It won’t simply replace what is there; it will result in an error that you don’t want.
Enable Unknown Sources.
- From “Security” (in the “Settings” menu, enable “Unknown Sources” so you download and install apps outside of those in the Google-Play store.
Download a file manager or package installer (Optional, but highly recommended.)
- Download one of these apps directly to your Android.
Download the APKs you like to your PC.
Get access to them from this link to a folder on Dropbox. Or download directly from Google Play. Some files will need to be extracted.
- S6 Gallery (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Gallery_d.zip) – What better place to store and view your brilliant photos?
- TouchWiz Home (Dropbox Link Title: S6_TouchWiz_d.zip) – Enjoy a Home screen with a Material Design-based UI
- Galaxy S6 Camera App (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Camera_d.apk) – User-friendly and lots of features
- S6 AccuWeather (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Accuweather_d.apk) – Weather through the storms with this world-wide weather leader.
- Galaxy S6 Wallpaper (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Wallpaper_d.apk) – Much like the sleek and stylish outside of the S6, the interior doesn’t fail to impress with its high-definition quality
- S6 S Voice – Got a question? This app can help you answer it. It’s like having a highly-intelligent minion that fits in the palm of your hand.
- S6 S Health – This app is practically a free personal fitness trainer. Track calories, steps, and get advice on how you can be healthier.
- S6 Music Player (Dropbox Link Title: S6_MusicPlayer_d.apk) – For your jam sessions, but this is for Samsung devices only. It doesn’t work very well on custom ROMs.
- Galaxy Apps Store (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Apps_d.crdownload) – Find the apps you crave, like “Find My Mobile’s” management service or “Soundcamp” musician’s aid.
- Galaxy S6 Keyboard (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Keyboard_d.crdownload) – Big letters and a really useful text prediction service
- S6 Smart Manager (Dropbox Link Title: S6_SmartManager_d.crdownload) – Helps you to manage battery life, RAMs, storage, etc.
- S6 S Planner (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Planner_d.crdownload) – Your device’s calendar now can sync with Google’s calendar. Accept or create appointments.
- S6 FONTS (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Fonts_d.zip) – Huge selection of fonts with full support of Arabic keyboard and language.
- S6 Calculator (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Calculator_d.zip) – Math can be hard, but it’s not as hard with this handy calculator. It offers some scientific capability with the “Rotate Screen” option enabled.
- Galaxy S6 Kids Mode – Provides fun and safe content for your little ones.
- S6 Browser (Dropbox Link Title: S6_Browser_d.crdownload) – Lightweight and fast
- Galaxy S6 Smart Switch (Dropbox Link Title: S6_SmartSwitch_d.apk) – Helps you to transition to a new device by making data transfer easy. Move Contacts, Music, and more.
- S6 Snapbiz Card – Allows you to save time and space with its ability to store business cards by merely snapping a photo. You will also need the S6 Optical Reader.
- Galaxy S6 Smart Remote (Dropbox Link Title: S6_SmartRemote_d.apk) – Is your remote stuck in the couch? Leave it there. In addition to basic remote control functions, this offers a guide and suggestions based on your preferences.
- S6 My Files (Dropbox Link Title: S6_MyFiles_d.zip) – My Files gives you access to your files by allowing you to search, view, and edit them, clear recent file history, and track storage usage.
Connect your device to your computer via USB cable.
- The original USB cable that came with your device is sure to work, provided it’s in good condition.
Transfer the APK files you downloaded to the SD card of your device.
- Once you are finished, you can disconnect your Android from your PC.
Copy and paste each extracted file to the “System/App” directory.
- If you are using Astro File Manager, select the “App Manager” from “Tools” and tap on “Install.”
- If you are using a package installer like Easy Installer, simply select all the apps you want to install from the “Local” tab and tell your device to “Install Selected Apps.”
Troubleshooting Permissions Problems:
Like a two year-old that doesn’t know how to act without being informed, apps installed as APKs can misbehave if permissions are set incorrectly. Your phone may even become stuck in a bootloop. Here’s how to fix it:
Via ES File Explorer:
Step 1: After you have transferred the file to your “System/App” directory, long-press the APK file.
- For example, the APK file for the S6 Gallery will look like SecGallery2015.
Step 2: Change the permissions to rw-r–r–
Step 3: Some folders will also contain “lib” folders. If this is the case, set the permissions to rwxr-xr-x
Step 4: If said “lib” folder contains an “arm” folder, long-press on it and change permissions to rwxr-xr-x
Step 5: Finally, if the above “arm” folder contains sub “lib” files, change them individually to:
Step 6: Reboot.
Step 7: Clear data in the Applications Manager.
- Go to “Settings”, then “Application Manager.”
- Press on the “All” tab.
- Select “Internet.”
- Choose “Clear Data.”
Using a Custom Recovery on a Rooted Device to Recover from Incorrect Permissions:
Step 1: Boot into Recovery Mode.
- This can differ by device, but usually involves a certain key combination.
Step 2: Find and select the “Advanced” option from CWM or TWRP Recovery.
Step 3: Choose “Fix Permissions.”
Step 4: Select “Wipe Dalvik Cache.”
Step 5: Reboot.
Method 2: Install Galaxy S6 Experience
Are you afraid of commitment? Or do you just want to try out what the S6 is like before you take the plunge? There is an app that allows you to get an idea of what the UI, accessories, and features will be like.
Download and install Samsung Galaxy S6 Experience.
- Get the Experience.
Have fun playing and/or take the Accessories Quiz.
- Test it out for yourself.
- It bears a suspicious resemblance to marketing, but if you are truly interested in experiencing the S6 before you buy or download, it can be useful.
- Take a quiz meant to determine which accessories best fit you.
Method 3: Install Galaxy S6 CM12 or 13 Theme on a Device with CyanogenMod 12 or 13 ROM
You are perhaps the antithesis of the person just described in Method 2. You already know what you want; you just need to know how to get it. And if you already have CyanogenMod 12, here’s how. If your device isn’t currently running CyanogenMod 12 or 13, read the links below or check out Method 4. This theme will include the S6 UI as well as wallpapers, boot animation, notification ringtone, alarm sounds, and more.
Download the Galaxy S6 Theme to your PC.
- Download: Galaxy S6 Theme
Enable “Unknown Sources” in the Security Settings.
Connect your phone to your computer via USB.
Transfer the APK file to your phone’s SD card.
Apply the theme in CyanogenMod Theme Chooser.
- From Settings go to “Themes” and then choose the theme you just installed or you can also peruse other themes as well.
Reboot your phone if necessary.
- If you don’t see your changes applied, restart your phone.
Method 4: Install the S6 Theme Engine on Your Rooted Galaxy S5, S4, or Note 4
If you need something in the middle of Methods 2 and 3–you know you would like to have an S6 theme, but you are wary of custom ROMs–this method is for you. Get the theme without the risk. It does, however, require that you’ve previously rooted your phone. If you are sure what rooting is, read the link below. You also must be running stock TouchWiz on the Lollipop OS or it’s not going to work.
Ensure a root file browser app is installed on your device.
- If not, install one now.
- Download: Root Browser
Install Busybox to your phone.
- Download: Busybox
- You should now be seeing some prompts to install script on your screen. Follow them.
Download the Lollipop Theme Enabler files.
- Download: Lollipop Theme Enabler
- You will need to unzip the package onto your desktop.
Connect your device to your PC to transfer the files.
From within the Root Browser app, open the Lollipop_Themes_Enabler folder.
- You should see two folders inside—”App” and “CSC.”
Copy the app file to System/App directory of your phone.
Set permissions for each of the APK files to rw-r–r–
- 0644 is the numerical equivalent.
From the CSC folder, copy the “theme_app_list.xml” and paste it to the System/csc
- Don’t forget to set permissions for this one too!
Via Root Browser, located System/etc/ and tap and hold floating_feature.xml
Choose the “Open/Edit” option.
Select the string of code that reads
SEC_FLOATING_FEATURE_COMMON_CONFIG_CHANGEABLE_UI > < /SEC_FLOATING_FEATURE_COMMON_CONFIG_CHANGEABLE_UI >
Insert “Theme v2” into the middle of the string between the angle brackets.
- It should now read:
SEC_FLOATING_FEATURE_COMMON_CONFIG_CHANGEABLE_UI >Theme v2 < /SEC_FLOATING_FEATURE_COMMON_CONFIG_CHANGEABLE_UI >
- It should now read:
Save the changes.
- It’s okay to close Root Browser now.
We hope we are leaving you enjoying your new S6-like phone. While it may not be the Samsung Galaxy S6, it is about as close as you can get without spending the extra money just to see if you might like it.
Tell us about it in the comments below. Or if you are experiencing issues, let us know about that so we can help.