ROUNDUP OF NON-ROOT MODS/APPS/SOLUTIONS
It uses the native Flipfont system present in the Note to change fonts. You can install any font from a very big list and if you buy the Donate version (which I highly recommend), you can make an installable apk for any font you want. I have already made and shared Roboto L fonts, Comic Sans and Comic Neue.
2. Adblock Plus
Works on WiFi and (if APN settings are edited) on mobile data, blocks apps on browsers and other apps. An excellent solution for ad-blocking on non-routed phones.
2b. An alternative solution that only works for browsing via WiFi networks is Adguard.
3. SMS Backup & Restore
A free app that can backup and restore your messages, no root required. Works flawlessly, I used to it to backup my SMS on my S4 and restore them to my Note 4.
As mentioned in this thread, Greenify works without root as well. Automatic hibernation is even an option, albeit some issues with "talking calculator" have been mentioned.
5. My Backup
As mentioned here this app is a feature-rich backup solution for non-rooted phones.
6. SD Maid - System Cleaning Tool
This app attempts to make best possible use of its features without root present. It's a tool that cleans up unnecessary files from your phone that apps leave behind.
7. AutoStart - No root
As the name suggests, this app lets you select which applications you want to auto start after phone boot-up and it works on all phones/tablets without root permission. You can also choose one or multiple apps to auto-launch at boot with customisable delay values.
8. Busybox (No Root)
For advanced users who want to run busybox commands on their phones via the Android Terminal Emulator app.
9. Call Recorder
Call recording app that uses the Samsung standard API therefore does not require root access. It is a bit pricey but well worth the money for people who need that feature. There's a full-featured trial available from XDA so you can try before you buy.
9b. There is also a free alternative that has been reported to work well on the Note 4, AndroRec Free.
9c. Another great free alternative is Automatic Call Recorder, with the added bonus that it can record in better formats, like mp3 or wav, save on the SD card and the option for prompt to "Save or Delete" at the end of every call.
10. NoRoot Firewall
Firewall without root. Host name/domain name filtering, simple interface, fine-grained access control and no suspicious permissions on the app itself.
11. Better Wifi On/Off
A free, fully featured, ad-supported app that aims at giving you the control of the Wifi state, optimizing your battery life without losing on user experience. In theory, Wifi is less power hungry than 3G but some apps behave differently when Wifi is on (DropBox / Google+ uploads, Google Maps location caching) and the well known wlan_rx kernel wakelock is a symptom of wakeups caused by uncontrolled Wifi hotspots. The Wifi sleep policy is not working consistently and does not solve all the above problems, enter this app.
12. Helium - App Sync and Backup
Helium is the missing app sync and backup solution for Android and doe not require root. You can backup both your apps and their data to your SD card or cloud storage and sync them from your other Android devices. You need access to a computer for a brief USB connection and then you're good to go.
13. Desktop VisualizeR
Application that allows you to personalize your home screen by creating icons or widgets with your favorite photos or images, works on any launcher, even TW!
14. FREE screen recorder NO ROOT
Recordable is the easy way to create screen recordings without root. The free version adds a watermark on the recordings and limits frame rate to 8fps, but is otherwise fully functional. A Windows, Mac or Linux computer required to complete the installation (like with Helium Backup), but after this it's not needed to make screen recordings.
1. Full Screen Immersive Mode
Full screen immersive mode in any application or game, root is not required.
2.Enable AirView and AirGesture
2b. Instead of Nova Launcher, you can use the QuickShortcutMaker app to create any shortcut directly on the Touchwiz launcher.
3. MW-Pen App Enabler
This app that enables apps for multiwindow and/or pen window without rooted access. The only limitations are that it does not work for system apps and that enabled apps can not be updated. To update them, you need to uninstall the enabled app first, install the updated app and run it through the enabler app again.
4. Mont Blanc digital content
A guide on how to get the extra Mont blanc pens for the S Note and the two exclusive Mont Blanc wallpapers and unlock effect..
Start any action (flashlight, system toggles, media controls, etc) with a sequence of volume buttons clicks.
6. Spen Toolbox
A wonderful little app that extends the functionality of the S-Pen, by offering options for: turning the screen off when you attach the pen, changing the detach and attach sounds, creating a custom shortcut popup to appear on detach, and many more!
7. No root and want to modify your DPI? You can!
Thanks to PizzaSauce, we have a way to modify DPI without root. All you need is access to a Windows PC. Changes persist after reboot too.
If you don't want to install the whole Android SDK, you could use this tool to install ADB, which is all that is needed for this mod.
I recently got my Note 4 and it's by far the best device I've ever owned.
I started this thread because I decided not to root the phone -at least for now. Even though, I've been rooting and heavily modding all my phones in the past.
My reasons are:
I know that you can flash a stock firmware before handing it to service and that KNOX counter doesn't matter (I've had my Note 10.1 with a tripped counter repaired twice under warranty). However, I'd like for once to be able to just send my phone to service if need be, without the extra hassle of concealing the tweaking I've done.
I know that rooting doesn't affect the S-Pen functionality, however, the use of the Pen makes custom ROMS such as AOSP and CM useless to me. I actually use the S-Pen heavily and it was one of the reasons I bought the phone. There are of course custom TW ROMS but to be honest, and with no intention to offend anyone, they are not my cup of tea.
This one will seem weird to many, but it's my personal experience. This is the 4th Samsung device I own (SGS3, SGS4, Note 10.1, Note 4) and with the previous three I noticed that when I rooted and enthusiastically started "debloating", things started to turn unstable. And I have never, ever noticed any improvement in battery life. I know it sounds odd, but it is true to me. The Note 4 gives you the option to disable a lot of preinstalled apps anyway.
I want to get the update that was meant for my region via OTA, no cables necessary. Plus I believe that all the annoyances I rectified with root (mainly theming, such as Tinted Statusbar) will be solved in Lollipop. Again, that's my opinion and personal taste.
Now do I miss root? Hell, yeah! Why?
1. ADS ADS ADS...
Ads everywhere! I have been paying for my apps and I am not using pirated software at all. And I gladly donate/pay for ads to be removed and premium features for apps I really love. However, there are apps that either don't offer an a ad-free option or they charge an insane amount for ad removal. I know developers need to make revenue, but there's nothing uglier than an ad banner. Seriously.
2. Tinted statusbar.
And generally Xposed.
3. Call recording.
I liked the native call recording function of the TW dialer, no app comes close from what I've seen.