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Samsung locks the dock on Galaxy S5

Once again, for reasons unknown, Australians are stuck with a locked homescreen dock on Samsung's flagship smartphone while other regions roam free.

If there's been one consistent complaint about Samsung's Galaxy range in Australia, it's revolved around the persistent application dock.

Locked-down dock. (Credit: Claire Reilly/CNET Australia)

We're talking, of course, about that strip of five icons that stay at the bottom of the screen as you scroll through your various homescreens. It houses, in order, the Phone, Contacts, Messages and Internet apps, as well as a link through to the rest of your apps.

It's a standard feature on most phones but, for some reason, you can't configure the dock on a Samsung Galaxy phone. One the HTC One M8, for example you simple press and hold an icon in the dock to remove, replace or reposition it.

Goodbye dock.(Screenshot by Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

But that doesn't seem to be possible on the S5, unless we've missed some hidden option tucked away in the menu system. In fact, the dock even disappears when you open up the edit function on one of your homescreens.

That's been standard across most of the Galaxy devices and a source of frustration for some. For me, the only really annoying part is the Internet app. I use Chrome and I'd prefer to have that in the dock area instead. But for some users, it's almost a deal breaker.

In Australia we've come to just expect it on Galaxy devices, but we'd hoped it might be different for the S5. But in speaking to our colleagues at CNET US, they expressed a little surprise — they're perfectly capable of configuring the docks on the S5 review units and they've always been able to across the Galaxy S range.

We've contacted Samsung Australia to ask why the lock down seems to be regional, who made the decision, and what regions are affected. We'll update if we get a response.