Jan 29 AT 5:11 PM Dima Aryeh 39 Comments

Samsung may be toning down TouchWiz due to Google’s influence

Samsung Logo 2

Samsung has been straying further and further from “Android” as a platform, despite using the operating system itself. Yes, all of Google’s services come preinstalled, but for every Google service, there’s one from Samsung to duplicate it. There are also plenty of Samsung apps to use over Google’s version. It seems that Samsung has been preparing to move away from Google’s services entirely.

As many of you know and constantly point out, TouchWiz is bloated and looks like it’s come straight from the Gingerbread days. And this is coming from a Samsung fanboy. TouchWiz isn’t the prime example of Android’s beauty or functionality, and Google knows that. For every Samsung device sold, a solitary tear rolls down the face of Matias Duarte (or at least that’s how I like to imagine it).

However, according to a report, Samsung and Google held talks concerning Samsung’s custom user interfaces while cross-licensing patents. These discussions involved Google expressing its dismay for Samsung’s departure of standard Android styling, especially with Magazine UX. As a result of the talks, Samsung has made agreements with Google to tone down TouchWiz.

The deal also states that Samsung should focus on Google Play apps and services instead of its own, meaning that Samsung apps will take a backseat or could even disappear entirely in favor of Google’s apps.

I’m all for Google’s services being front and center since they’re far better than whatever Samsung has made, but I’m not sure how I feel about Google telling Samsung that the unique and useful Magazine UX shouldn’t be used. I am all for TouchWiz itself being redesigned as something far lighter, though. I’m a huge fan of what Motorola has been doing with Android, and TouchWiz should follow the same philosophy.

We’re sure Samsung is getting something out of this as well, as Google has quite a bit to offer. Whatever the case, we may see faster and less-bloated Samsung devices sometime soon, complete with more modern-looking software and fewer “nature” audio effects. What do you think of Samsung agreeing with Google to tone down TouchWiz? Leave a comment!

Via: Droid-Life

Source: Recode

Dima Aryeh is a Russian obsessed with all things tech. He does photography, is an avid phone modder (who uses an AT&T Galaxy Note II), a heavy gamer (both PC and 360), and an aspiring home mechanic. He is also an avid fan of music, especially power metal.

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  • Tommy

    Everybody’s a touchwiz hater. Go buy a nexus. I mean damn. All of these flagship phones are the same. If you don’t like touchwiz, go buy one of the other 6. I like touchwiz, and samsung. Why is everybody crying for them to go “vanilla”. It’s free market. Go buy a Google edition phone.

    • Brandon Spencer

      Finally.

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Not sure why you’re being downvoted, you’re pretty correct. If you don’t like TouchWiz, don’t buy a Samsung phone. Plenty of options.

      • reddragonman

        It’s not so much that it’s all against Touchwiz. It has more to do with bloat. There are some nice features in Touchwiz, but as it was shown in another article on Android and Me, Samsung’s bloat is terrible. On a 16gig phone, you only get half that usable. Really is no excuse. The better way to go would to be to offer optional apps in the play store for owners of those phones so they have the option. To me, Android has always been about choice, from the phone manufacturer, to the software that is put on it. Yes, there is always the option to root and put on a custom rom, but not everyone want’s to go though that. The best thing I did when I had my S2 was root and start trying different roms. Every one ran better than Touchwiz.

        • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

          I agree. As the resident Samsung fanboy, I definitely agree. I have many issues with TouchWiz as well. But since Android is all about choice, we can buy many different phones. I also own a Moto X, and adore it.

          • Paul

            But you have to realize that Samsung comes with so much stuff on it, and you can’t remove it. If it is truly needed then I can understand, just like only being able to disable the clock and calendar on the Nexus 5 that I currently own. But I went to the Nexus 5 after only a little more than 9 months with the S4 because it was laggy. I put the GEL launcher on it and it was a little better. But Knox security is 5 APKs in your storage and device that you can’t see, disable, uninstall or otherwise change. Some of the S stuff you can’t even disable, much less remove, and I know you don’t need that stuff on their phones.

            The phone should come packaged with two launchers (touchwiz and GEL or other stock android launcher) no bloat and tie in the “features” to other apps. The air view doesn’t work in anything but the samsung apps. The Google email, gallery, dialer, and browser all look better and function better yet those “features” do not work with those apps at all. I found myself disabling those features because they were unneeded over time, these were the same things I was enamored with originally after getting the phone.

            All of the S stuff should be available in the Play store instead of their ugly and un-intuitive store for update through there. You should be able to download and uninstall any of it as you choose. And you shouldn’t be locked into their ecosystem if you do not want to. I understand there is choice, but there is none if you go with Samsung, which do make appealing phones otherwise. Motorola has done this to HUGE success considering their hardware is nowhere on the level of the S4. I don’t care about the buttons, on screen, physical, capacitive, don’t care. As long as I can choose how to use it, what apps are on it, and how it functions. I ditched the S4 because of this and wish I hadn’t felt compelled to do this, considering it was the first Samsung device I chose to buy.

          • Ezekiel Briones

            Well at least now you can “hide” aka ‘disable’ it so that it feels like it was never there. But yeah I totally get how annoying apps become when they are never used and just uses up the ram

    • namesib

      Exactly! The way things are going there will only be Nexus clones left on the market. What happened to choice and customisability?

      People who advocate this don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that some people actually like Samsung’s software offerings, hardware buttons, replaceable batteries, plastic materials, etc. But, no, difference is bad; everything needs to resemble a Nexus 5/HTC ONE or it is worthless. /s

    • sere83

      Respect, never actually heard anyone openly admitting they are a lag wiz fan. Godd to know someone likes that sweet slow performance, ugly UI, bloat, gimmicky ‘features’ that don’t work all topped off with a whole heap of lag. You hang in there slugger at least you think you’re on to a winner and that’s all that counts right?

      • GE918

        Apparently millions of people like Samsung that’s why they sell more phones than anyone else.

  • Vance

    Google sells Motorola to Lenovo for a 9.5 BILLION dollar loss and gets chummier and chummier with Samsung… blah

    • Timo

      Sigh.

    • SGB101

      How is it a 9.5b loss, u they sold off moto services for 3.5 last year! Plus the for 3, and they get a shed load of parents to protect the omes from Apple and Ms. Add to that the 6bil loss (difference) will be a tax write down, so the patents come free. The same patents that have just secured access to Samsung mobile patents for 10 years, and hopefully stabilised Android, and took some of Samsung focus off tizan, that looks to be stalling any how.

      Nice bit of business, for a write down.
      ..

      • jake

        For your info, a tax write-off does not equal free. It means you can lower your taxes, but definitely not dollar-for-dollar with what you paid, more like nickels-on-the-dollar.

      • Vance

        I can’t even make sense of what you’re saying. They paid 12.5B for Motorola Mobility. That division lost money every quarter thereafter, then they sold it for 2.95B. The end.

  • Brandon Spencer

    I just might consider buying another Samsung if this is true. Well see how it goes. As far as Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Horrible, laggy, bloated and gimicky if you ask a tech like myself

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      I agree the S4 is laggy, but I have yet to see a hint of lag on the Note 3.

      • Sebastian

        What are you talking about?? I have an S4 and it’s incredibly smooth and fast. NO LAG WHATSOEVER!!

        • Ryan

          Go play with a Nexus 5, then go back to your S4. Then you will notice lag. If not, you’re simply lying. TouchWiz serves one purpose, and that is to create lag on phones. I speak from experience from owning the Vibrant, Galaxy S 4G, GSII, and GSIII. Rooted every single one, removed TouchWiz, and the lag goes away. Imagine that.

        • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

          I have two in the family. They’re never quite smooth, though the AT&T one is very near it. The Sprint one sucks.

    • Canuckle

      What are you talking about, Willis? The only time my Note 3 has EVER been laggy, is when it’s downloading and installing a large update for a game. Otherwise, talking on my phone, while watching a video in window mode, and texting or writing something with the stylus…never laggy.

      Note 2 was laggy. S3 was laggy. Note 3=fantastic. Bring on KitKat.

  • Canuckle

    I’ve really tried to like Touchwiz. I went a week without putting on Nova when I got my Note 3. Eventually, I had to put Nova on. It just works so much better, and makes everything CLEANER, with GESTURES that WORK. Not gimmicks.

    And realistically, a lot of the functionality that Samsung has built-in for Touchwiz, can be mimicked by other apps. My note 2 had a nice rom on it, with out touchwiz, and you pull the pen out and it launched a note taking app.

    If you want to stand out, great. But do it within the ecosystem you’re selling to.

    Until such time, I’m glad I paid the little bit for Nova. It makes my phone that much better!

  • Humberto Hernandez Goitia

    “For every Samsung device sold, a solitary tear rolls down the face of Matias Duarte”

    This made my day.

  • www.phonewbie.com

    I don’t like Touchwiz at all but I like this move even less.

  • Siku

    Samsung make great hardware and their UI was at best annoying with a few extra toy features. Toy features on a base UI would be great, the responsiveness of the Motorolla recent mobs compared to Samsung high end phones says a lot.

  • JTT

    If it gets rid of that f**king whistle message tone I hear every time I leave the house it’ll do me

  • Haggie

    I use Nova launcher and Cover. I never see TouchWiz.

  • Adrien C.

    THANKS GOD!!!! I can’t tell how much I feel frustrated by my S4 dragging after a couple weeks of use, while a weaker Moto X and Nexus 4 performs just fine. Not to mention the memory use.
    S4 with Touchwiz uses around 1.3GB at boot. S4 Google Play Edition with stock Android uses 600~700

  • snowbdr89

    Galaxy s5 90% stock 10% tw?

  • Nazrae

    As a Note 2 user, I just hate the bloatware that Samsung has integrated. Completely useless apps and features which I don’t use and hogging memory and RAM like crazy. It is obvious that Samsung wanted to have its mark but this is ridiculous.

  • Dianna

    Nooooooooooooooooo. I like Touchwiz! And no,, note 3 is not lagging! Ever since I installed KitKat it gets even better. Before,, it was good too. Note 3 is the best. Looking forward to note 4!

    • http://www.androidandme.com Dima Aryeh

      Note 3 just flies, no matter what you throw at it. I just wish the software LOOKED better. Something AOSP looking but with many Samsung features,like the camera app.

  • Paul Atreides

    I hope Samsung doesn’t allow Google to influence them too much. Maybe tone down Touchwiz UI similar to what Moto has done but still offer their unique features.

  • jake

    I like touch wiz but I do think it could be toned down a little, not a lot cause I still want to know I have a Samsung device. I do think the styling could use an upgrade to something a little less childish in a way. Samsung is amazing at making phones so I have no doubt they are working on some cool stuff for all of us.

  • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

    Samsung has a lot to give back for its latest moves (like disabling non-Samsung accessories). This is a good way to do it and to please the fans that don’t like TouchWiz at all.

  • doseas

    I happen to like TouchWiz — it’s one of the reasons that both my wife and myself bought Samsung devices. True, with newer versions of Android, it has become less necessary, but it still has some nice features.

    OTOH, I could very much do without the duplication of apps from Google + Samsung + AT&T. In South Korea, phone manufacturers must make the pre-installed apps uninstallable. I wish the manufacturers/carriers would do the same thing here in the U.S.

  • donger

    Hate it.

  • REkzkaRZ

    I have little beef with Touchwiz or other Samsung ‘crapware’. I do think it’s really bad form to make it very challenging for users like me to disable it, remove it, or stop these (cr)apps from updating. Same goes for At&t crapware.
    Why not make it EZ for users???
    And I haven’t even mentioned Knox, which not only interferes eith how my phone works, but Knox shuts apps down and doesnt tell me which app(s) or why!!!!
    rekzkarz.com

  • cmootz

    TW is the reason why I hate Sammie so much. I want plain vanilla android. My other annoyance is that I hate the note 3 is the bloat from both samsung and POS provider ATT. They pack on even more shit! I towelrooted my note but cant unlock it because attwat has it locked. WTF am I 12 years old that I cant be trusted with a phone???

  1. TommyGuest 1 year ago

    Everybody’s a touchwiz hater. Go buy a nexus. I mean damn. All of these flagship phones are the same. If you don’t like touchwiz, go buy one of the other 6. I like touchwiz, and samsung. Why is everybody crying for them to go “vanilla”. It’s free market. Go buy a Google edition phone.

    • Brandon SpencerGuest 1 year ago

      Finally.

    • Not sure why you’re being downvoted, you’re pretty correct. If you don’t like TouchWiz, don’t buy a Samsung phone. Plenty of options.

      • It’s not so much that it’s all against Touchwiz. It has more to do with bloat. There are some nice features in Touchwiz, but as it was shown in another article on Android and Me, Samsung’s bloat is terrible. On a 16gig phone, you only get half that usable. Really is no excuse. The better way to go would to be to offer optional apps in the play store for owners of those phones so they have the option. To me, Android has always been about choice, from the phone manufacturer, to the software that is put on it. Yes, there is always the option to root and put on a custom rom, but not everyone want’s to go though that. The best thing I did when I had my S2 was root and start trying different roms. Every one ran better than Touchwiz.

        • I agree. As the resident Samsung fanboy, I definitely agree. I have many issues with TouchWiz as well. But since Android is all about choice, we can buy many different phones. I also own a Moto X, and adore it.

          • PaulGuest 1 year ago

            But you have to realize that Samsung comes with so much stuff on it, and you can’t remove it. If it is truly needed then I can understand, just like only being able to disable the clock and calendar on the Nexus 5 that I currently own. But I went to the Nexus 5 after only a little more than 9 months with the S4 because it was laggy. I put the GEL launcher on it and it was a little better. But Knox security is 5 APKs in your storage and device that you can’t see, disable, uninstall or otherwise change. Some of the S stuff you can’t even disable, much less remove, and I know you don’t need that stuff on their phones.

            The phone should come packaged with two launchers (touchwiz and GEL or other stock android launcher) no bloat and tie in the “features” to other apps. The air view doesn’t work in anything but the samsung apps. The Google email, gallery, dialer, and browser all look better and function better yet those “features” do not work with those apps at all. I found myself disabling those features because they were unneeded over time, these were the same things I was enamored with originally after getting the phone.

            All of the S stuff should be available in the Play store instead of their ugly and un-intuitive store for update through there. You should be able to download and uninstall any of it as you choose. And you shouldn’t be locked into their ecosystem if you do not want to. I understand there is choice, but there is none if you go with Samsung, which do make appealing phones otherwise. Motorola has done this to HUGE success considering their hardware is nowhere on the level of the S4. I don’t care about the buttons, on screen, physical, capacitive, don’t care. As long as I can choose how to use it, what apps are on it, and how it functions. I ditched the S4 because of this and wish I hadn’t felt compelled to do this, considering it was the first Samsung device I chose to buy.

          • Ezekiel BrionesGuest 1 year ago

            Well at least now you can “hide” aka ‘disable’ it so that it feels like it was never there. But yeah I totally get how annoying apps become when they are never used and just uses up the ram

    • namesibGuest 1 year ago

      Exactly! The way things are going there will only be Nexus clones left on the market. What happened to choice and customisability?

      People who advocate this don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that some people actually like Samsung’s software offerings, hardware buttons, replaceable batteries, plastic materials, etc. But, no, difference is bad; everything needs to resemble a Nexus 5/HTC ONE or it is worthless. /s

    • sere83Guest 1 year ago

      Respect, never actually heard anyone openly admitting they are a lag wiz fan. Godd to know someone likes that sweet slow performance, ugly UI, bloat, gimmicky ‘features’ that don’t work all topped off with a whole heap of lag. You hang in there slugger at least you think you’re on to a winner and that’s all that counts right?

      • Apparently millions of people like Samsung that’s why they sell more phones than anyone else.

  2. Google sells Motorola to Lenovo for a 9.5 BILLION dollar loss and gets chummier and chummier with Samsung… blah

    • TimoGuest 1 year ago

      Sigh.

    • How is it a 9.5b loss, u they sold off moto services for 3.5 last year! Plus the for 3, and they get a shed load of parents to protect the omes from Apple and Ms. Add to that the 6bil loss (difference) will be a tax write down, so the patents come free. The same patents that have just secured access to Samsung mobile patents for 10 years, and hopefully stabilised Android, and took some of Samsung focus off tizan, that looks to be stalling any how.

      Nice bit of business, for a write down.
      ..

      • jakeGuest 1 year ago

        For your info, a tax write-off does not equal free. It means you can lower your taxes, but definitely not dollar-for-dollar with what you paid, more like nickels-on-the-dollar.

      • I can’t even make sense of what you’re saying. They paid 12.5B for Motorola Mobility. That division lost money every quarter thereafter, then they sold it for 2.95B. The end.

  3. Brandon SpencerGuest 1 year ago

    I just might consider buying another Samsung if this is true. Well see how it goes. As far as Galaxy S4 and Note 3. Horrible, laggy, bloated and gimicky if you ask a tech like myself

    • I agree the S4 is laggy, but I have yet to see a hint of lag on the Note 3.

      • SebastianGuest 1 year ago

        What are you talking about?? I have an S4 and it’s incredibly smooth and fast. NO LAG WHATSOEVER!!

        • RyanGuest 1 year ago

          Go play with a Nexus 5, then go back to your S4. Then you will notice lag. If not, you’re simply lying. TouchWiz serves one purpose, and that is to create lag on phones. I speak from experience from owning the Vibrant, Galaxy S 4G, GSII, and GSIII. Rooted every single one, removed TouchWiz, and the lag goes away. Imagine that.

        • I have two in the family. They’re never quite smooth, though the AT&T one is very near it. The Sprint one sucks.

    • CanuckleGuest 1 year ago

      What are you talking about, Willis? The only time my Note 3 has EVER been laggy, is when it’s downloading and installing a large update for a game. Otherwise, talking on my phone, while watching a video in window mode, and texting or writing something with the stylus…never laggy.

      Note 2 was laggy. S3 was laggy. Note 3=fantastic. Bring on KitKat.

  4. CanuckleGuest 1 year ago

    I’ve really tried to like Touchwiz. I went a week without putting on Nova when I got my Note 3. Eventually, I had to put Nova on. It just works so much better, and makes everything CLEANER, with GESTURES that WORK. Not gimmicks.

    And realistically, a lot of the functionality that Samsung has built-in for Touchwiz, can be mimicked by other apps. My note 2 had a nice rom on it, with out touchwiz, and you pull the pen out and it launched a note taking app.

    If you want to stand out, great. But do it within the ecosystem you’re selling to.

    Until such time, I’m glad I paid the little bit for Nova. It makes my phone that much better!

  5. Humberto Hernandez GoitiaGuest 1 year ago

    “For every Samsung device sold, a solitary tear rolls down the face of Matias Duarte”

    This made my day.

  6. I don’t like Touchwiz at all but I like this move even less.

  7. SikuGuest 1 year ago

    Samsung make great hardware and their UI was at best annoying with a few extra toy features. Toy features on a base UI would be great, the responsiveness of the Motorolla recent mobs compared to Samsung high end phones says a lot.

  8. JTTGuest 1 year ago

    If it gets rid of that f**king whistle message tone I hear every time I leave the house it’ll do me

  9. HaggieGuest 1 year ago

    I use Nova launcher and Cover. I never see TouchWiz.

  10. THANKS GOD!!!! I can’t tell how much I feel frustrated by my S4 dragging after a couple weeks of use, while a weaker Moto X and Nexus 4 performs just fine. Not to mention the memory use.
    S4 with Touchwiz uses around 1.3GB at boot. S4 Google Play Edition with stock Android uses 600~700

  11. snowbdr89Guest 1 year ago

    Galaxy s5 90% stock 10% tw?

  12. NazraeGuest 1 year ago

    As a Note 2 user, I just hate the bloatware that Samsung has integrated. Completely useless apps and features which I don’t use and hogging memory and RAM like crazy. It is obvious that Samsung wanted to have its mark but this is ridiculous.

  13. DiannaGuest 1 year ago

    Nooooooooooooooooo. I like Touchwiz! And no,, note 3 is not lagging! Ever since I installed KitKat it gets even better. Before,, it was good too. Note 3 is the best. Looking forward to note 4!

    • Note 3 just flies, no matter what you throw at it. I just wish the software LOOKED better. Something AOSP looking but with many Samsung features,like the camera app.

  14. Paul AtreidesGuest 1 year ago

    I hope Samsung doesn’t allow Google to influence them too much. Maybe tone down Touchwiz UI similar to what Moto has done but still offer their unique features.

  15. jakeGuest 1 year ago

    I like touch wiz but I do think it could be toned down a little, not a lot cause I still want to know I have a Samsung device. I do think the styling could use an upgrade to something a little less childish in a way. Samsung is amazing at making phones so I have no doubt they are working on some cool stuff for all of us.

  16. Samsung has a lot to give back for its latest moves (like disabling non-Samsung accessories). This is a good way to do it and to please the fans that don’t like TouchWiz at all.

  17. doseasGuest 1 year ago

    I happen to like TouchWiz — it’s one of the reasons that both my wife and myself bought Samsung devices. True, with newer versions of Android, it has become less necessary, but it still has some nice features.

    OTOH, I could very much do without the duplication of apps from Google + Samsung + AT&T. In South Korea, phone manufacturers must make the pre-installed apps uninstallable. I wish the manufacturers/carriers would do the same thing here in the U.S.

  18. Hate it.

  19. REkzkaRZGuest 12 months ago

    I have little beef with Touchwiz or other Samsung ‘crapware’. I do think it’s really bad form to make it very challenging for users like me to disable it, remove it, or stop these (cr)apps from updating. Same goes for At&t crapware.
    Why not make it EZ for users???
    And I haven’t even mentioned Knox, which not only interferes eith how my phone works, but Knox shuts apps down and doesnt tell me which app(s) or why!!!!
    rekzkarz.com

  20. cmootzGuest 7 months ago

    TW is the reason why I hate Sammie so much. I want plain vanilla android. My other annoyance is that I hate the note 3 is the bloat from both samsung and POS provider ATT. They pack on even more shit! I towelrooted my note but cant unlock it because attwat has it locked. WTF am I 12 years old that I cant be trusted with a phone???