Following a deal with Google over cross-licensing patents, it has been revealed that Samsung is working with the search giant in modifying its user interface considerably.
Samsung’s TouchWiz has been a mainstay on its Android mobiles and tablets for a while now. The South Korean manufacturer has been oft-criticised for the unnecessary amount of customization it undertakes with TouchWiz, and the sheer amount of bloatware it includes in its handsets. For instance, the Galaxy S4 came with a total of 118 Samsung exclusive utilities. The end result was that the device, which came with 2 GB RAM, was often laggy when it came to UI transitions.
However, that might all change very soon if Google has anything to say about it. The search giant has been working with manufacturers in dialling down the amount of customizations they offer in their devices, and it looks like it is Samsung’s turn to do so now. With utilities like WatchON, ChatON, Air View, Air Gestures, S Health and S Voice, Samsung has either made its own version of a different service that is already available, or created a feature that is gimmicky in nature. The real-world usage of a utility like Air Gestures is limited at best, and it only works on Samsung-made utilities like the stock browser. With Google’s urging, these features might be axed in future versions of Samsung handsets.
Samsung did unveil a new UI dubbed the Magazine UX at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month on the Galaxy Tab Pro series. The widget-based UI looks much more modern and cleaner than TouchWiz, and a series of leaked screenshots indicate that the South Korean manufacturer is working on a similar UI for its next flagship, the Galaxy S5.
The Galaxy S5 might ditch all Samsung made software utilities in lieu of Google’s offerings. Samsung has created its own store and ecosystem within Android, which is redundant considering the wide variety of content available through Google’s services. Now it looks like Google will be working with Samsung in de-cluttering the user interface, and axing all utilities that are unnecessary.
The end-result would be a Samsung device that features a modern UI, with more of Google’s services. Samsung’s software efforts have clearly not been successful, as it had admitted, and axing them in favor of Google’s own services might be a concession that Samsung is willing to make. Such an undertaking is a win-win for both Google and Samsung. Samsung will finally have a user interface that isn’t bloated, and Google will see its services being used by a much wider audience. Samsung is by far the biggest Android manufacturer, with it accounting for over one-third of all device sales last year.
The user interface was one of the few areas that Samsung was lacking in, and with that set for a major overhaul, the South Korean manufacturer will likely extend its lead in the Android segment.