It's been a long time since Samsung actually shipped a phone with TouchWiz — more recent software has gone by the unimaginative "Samsung Experience" moniker — but the company's heavy-handed changes in Android have kept the dirty word around as something of a software slur. Samsung has just announced a new interface design for its Android 9 Pie update that it's calling One UI, but if history is any indicator, you're still gonna call it TouchWiz.
We're on the cusp of a major smartphone announcement, so it's no surprise to see deals like this one popping up. It comes courtesy of a seller on eBay: a refurbished Galaxy S7 (unlocked Tmo variant) for $289.99, a savings of $287.
If you often find yourself asking "yeah, but what if it didn't have an app drawer?" in regard to your Galaxy phone, good news: Samsung is testing a very big TouchWiz redesign that eliminates makes it optional... in China and Korea. Sorry, I know that was kind of a tease. But Samsung is testing something called "New Note UX" (I WONDER WHAT THAT REFERS TO) on the Galaxy Note 5 as part of its new Galaxy Beta Program. It looks different-y.
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While the Note 5 and S6 edge+ are far from the first Samsung phones with reported issues killing background tasks with unusual aggressiveness, they are the first ones with four freaking gigabytes of RAM to do so. We've long assumed that Samsung's background task issues on certain handsets are related to a lack of RAM headroom due to TouchWiz, and yet, the Note 5 and S6 edge+ may exhibit the most aggravating task killing of any Samsung devices we've yet seen. Let's cut to the video for a complete explanation. (I realize it's long, but I'd recommend watching all the way through to see what's going on here.)
The issue was readily reproducible on both our S6 edge+ and Note 5 review units, and we aren't the first people to point this out.
Ready for yet another Samsung-exclusive app to dot the screen of the latest Galaxy device? Ready or not, it looks like Samsung's supply of custom software isn't running out any time soon. SamMobile got their hands on a leaked APK for "Samsung Life Times," a new app that will presumably debut with a future smartphone.
The app is a sort of life logger, collecting data from various apps and presenting them in a personal digital history. Most of the relevant Galaxy-centric apps can be incorporated, including Samsung's camera, email, memo, SMS, phone, music, and health apps, and connections can be made to social accounts at Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and the like.
Samsung devices are selling like gangbusters, and while this could be taken as a sign that many people are fine with TouchWiz as it is, that hasn't stopped a flood of critics (including us, on occasion) from lambasting the company's sense of design. Either the icons are too childish, the interface is overly cluttered, or it just feels bloated. The interface hasn't had a makeover in quite some time, but the latest image shared by @evleaks suggests that things may be about to change.
For comparison, here's how TouchWiz currently looks on the Galaxy S4.
Aside from the obvious change of font, the leaked image shows a completely new look for the default apps and a set of tiles or widgets that are somewhat reminiscent of HTC's BlinkFeed.
The Galaxy S4 is a beast of a phone, and very likely to be the best-selling Android device in the world this year. It's also pretty bloated when it comes to software: on a brand new, unsullied phone, more than 6GB of internal storage is taken up by Samsung's TouchWiz version of Android. Most markets don't yet have access to a 32GB or 64GB model, and the base 16GB version has less than 10GB of user-accessible storage available. After a less than flattering feature on the BBC consumer protection show WatchDog, Samsung gave the following statement to CNET UK:
"We appreciate this issue being raised and we will improve our communications.