Sep 05 AT 3:26 PM Dustin Earley 22 Comments

Samsung’s Pure Breeze UI is a pure bust

When it comes to home screen replacements, there are very few I’ll actually pay any attention to. ADW has always been great, and the continued support the replacement gets keeps it fresh. GO Launcher EX is my favorite home screen replacement. There’s a certain level of polish the GO team adheres to, and it really shows in their launcher. As far as any other replacements go, I’ve most likely tried them, but simply wasn’t impressed. Unfortunately, such is the case with Samsung’s latest attempt at a home screen replacement, “Pure Breeze.”

Coming out of the Samsung San Jose Mobile Lab, Pure Breeze takes an organizational approach to your homescreen. The UI starts out on an app drawer. Just like most app drawers, you’ll find a simple black background with little to no customization available. To the right and left of the app drawer icon (located near the bottom of the screen) are colored squares representing groups. You can drag apps into groups and swipe between them and your app drawer. You can also move apps from the drawer to the bottom left corner of the screen to throw them away or to the top right to put them on the kite.

The kite, as Samsung so lovingly calls it, is your homescreen. It’s essentially a vertically scrollable transparent window that houses widgets and app icons. I only tried the free version of Pure Breeze, so I was limited in the amount of widgets I could add to the kite. It seems, though, that you can add as many widgets as you want to the kite should you pay for the launcher. The kite just continues to grow longer. And that’s all there is to it.

There is an extremely limited set of options and no customization to be found. Because of this, the Pure Breeze experience feels incomplete. It’s lacking innovation, which makes it rather boring. If Samsung was going for a minimal approach, it’s not all that bad. But the effects throughout the launcher seem to say otherwise. It’s like your homescreen is a sheet of widgets piled on top of a sheet of icons. And to make it pretty, there’s a ton of gloss and transparency slathered all over everything. It’s like someone spilled clear-coat nail polish on a slab of frosted glass, then glued a bunch of app icons to it. And to make it organized, everything is color coded. Quite frankly, it just doesn’t look good. The functionality is there, but there’s just so much that needs to be worked on. If Samsung could figure out the direction they want to take with the UI, tone down the gaudy effects and add some actual options to Pure Breeze, there might be something worth paying for. For now, I suggest you save your $1.99.

I will say it is nice to see hardware manufacturers thinking outside the box. Samsung has made headlines lately for placing more focus on their software division. They’ve scooped up Cyanogen Mod’s Steve Kondik, talks of more developer acquisitions are nothing new, and they’re releasing experimental home screen replacements into the Market. I have to give them kudos for trying.

If you’d like to download the free version of Pure Breeze, you can use the Market widget below. If nothing else, it’s worth checking out just to see the kind of things Samsung is experimenting with.

 

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • uknowme

    Wow, used it for about a minute. That is a horrible UI. Don’t like the fact that I couldn’t use a wallpaper.

  • g

    in before mirf

    • Dustin Earley

      Ha!

    • BiGMERF

      you spelled my name wrong and have been removed from my list of fans.. SMH :)

  • Interpol91

    Definitely one of the worst launchers I’ve ever tried. I downloaded last week and after 10 minutes I deleted it. I’m sticking with Go Launcher EX and Touchwiz Launcher 4.5 for now.

  • Nathan

    Wasn’t even think about getting it after seeing the youtube.

  • Ryan Kim

    Is this going to replace touchwiz?

    • Dustin Earley

      There’s no way.

    • JayMonster

      I don’t think it is meant to replace TouchWiz as much as it is a possible testing ground for ideas that may make it into TouchWiz eventually, and they can (in theory anyway) fund their research and beta testing through this hideous replacement that they “sell”

  • alamoe

    Tried it for a minute the other day. It’s so bad it’ll make you think you’re doing something wrong.

  • diordna

    While the UI fails it’s a good direction to see manufacturers going in. Imagine being able to get stock Android and choosing your own launcher. Hopefully this is Samsung’s intention going forward.

    • Dustin Earley

      That would be so incredible. You could also get widget packs for certain devices.

  • Jimbo

    i started with LauncherPro and pretty much swear by it, although i’ve given a bunch of others a try (Launcher7, Metro UI, Slidescreen, ADW, GO Launcher, Tencent/MIUI Launcher)

    currently using and enjoying GO Launcher (finally rooted a couple weeks ago) as well as the other GO Dev Team products… preference still belongs with Fede but the GO Dev Team has the best suite of apps out there

  • scott

    You’re right, it does suck.. I downloaded the lite version ,played with it for about 5 minutes, the uninstalled . There’s nothing to it at all. Very boring.

  • snowbdr89

    Why not have all cell phones come totally unlocked with pure google an let the owner decide his or hers prefered rom!!

    • Dustin Earley

      ROM might be a little complicated, but a homescreen replacement would work well. Imagine downloading Sense and TouchWiz from the Market.

  • SliestDragon

    I don’t like that at all. I’d never use that. Cool to see a manufacturer make a downloadable homescreen replacement. Just wish they did a better job with it…

  • Dre

    Meh…

  • uknowme

    I read everyone talking about their favorite launchers. The one I’m always surprised that I never hear about is Zeam. It’s free and has some decent options.

  • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

    Why on earth would Samsung even bother making a launcher when everyone complains about TouchWiz? I mean seriously?

  • thechad

    good article thanks

    • thechad

      nice