Let’s say you’ve picked up a new Samsung smartphone or tablet and you aren’t a huge fan of the TouchWiz aesthetic. Luckily, Samsung makes it very easy to apply a theme to change things up.
Samsung currently offers both free and paid themes within its online storefront, but the company is making a pretty big change once Android 9.0 Pie starts rolling out to its devices sometime next year. Folks over on Reddit were able to get a screen capture of a notification that Samsung has released, letting device owners know that once the Pie update rolls out, free themes are getting a pretty distinct restriction.
Once the update arrives, free themes downloaded and installed from the Samsung digital store will have a 14-day usage period. Once that 14 days has passed, the phone or tablet running the free theme will automatically revert back to the stock TouchWiz experience. Users will get a notification 24 hours before the time trial is up, and another one 10 minutes before the trial is about to end.
Samsung says it will also offer “suggested themes” to promote other options within the store, but doesn’t say whether or not it will be suggesting free or paid themes. The easy guess, peppered with a small dose of cynicism, is that Samsung will be promoting paid themes, that way it can make a cut off those sales.
As for the why Samsung is doing this, here’s what the company said:
“We ask for your understanding as we have changed the policy in order to help our designers continue to create high quality products and also to provide stable and satisfactory services for you.”
So, what do you think of the change? If you own a Samsung device, have you customized your experience with a free theme from Samsung’s store?