AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are all blocking a very handy feature in Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S5 phone called Download Booster.
Download Booster lets you use a combination of Wi-Fi and wireless 4G LTE data from your carrier to get insanely fast data speeds when downloading large files.
In other words, if you wanted to see a movie on the Galaxy S5, you can download it at about five times cable modem speed.
In our review of the Galaxy S5, we highlighted Download Booster as one of the best features in the new device.
But those three U.S. carriers are blocking Download Booster, saying they need to test it more before they can let customers use it. In a statement to Business Insider, an AT&T spokesperson said: “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.”
A Verizon spokesperson also said the company is still evaluating Download Booster.
Carriers have to approve of smartphone software before they agree to sell devices. If carriers think a feature might harm the user experience, it may block it. For example, carriers blocked the iPhone’s video chat feature FaceTime when it first launched in 2010. It took a few years before carriers finally let customers use FaceTime over their data networks.
We’ve reached out to Sprint for comment and will update if we hear back. The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S5 lets you use Download Booster.