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Samsung Opens TouchWiz UI to Developers

Gordon Kelly


Samsung Opens TouchWiz UI to Developers

Dear Samsung, you may be a little late...

Following in the footsteps of the iPhone App Store, Microsoft Windows Marketplace, Nokia Ovi, Google Android Market, RIM BlackBerry App World and Palm's App Catalog (to name just a few) Samsung has decided to launch a TouchWiz SDK.

TouchWiz, for those of fleeting mind, is Samsung's own proprietary user interface which it slaps onto all its touchscreen phones - regardless of their underlying platform. TouchWiz allows users to select from a range of 'widgets' (yep, that phrase again) which can be dragged and dropped onto handsets' homescreens. The likes of Last.fm, Facebook and YouTube have already provided widgets, but now Samsung wants the help of third party developers and is prepared to pay handsomely for the best of them.

$20,000 will be up for grabs to the winner with $5,000 a shot to the winner in each widget category: Social Media, News/Reference, Health/Fitness, Travel/Entertainment, Humor/Fun. The SDK is available now and submissions can be sent in immediately at samsungmobileusa.com/devcamp. Oh and don't worry about the wide array of underlying TouchWiz OSes, the SDK provides an emulator for them all.

As for more general plans, Samsung will ultimately produce a 'Widget Gallery' which will be part of Samsung's own application store. It will first ship on the Omnia II and will become a downloadable update after that for other handsets. So the long trudge to life of yet another app store begins. Do we care? I suppose for the increased functionality it can bring then yes and the $20,000 incentive isn't a bad one either...


Press Release


August 18, 2009, 4:32 pm

I think it's pretty interesting, Samsung has a huge market share (especially in the low/mid-range) and with almost all of their phones having touchwiz it's basically a way of bringing apps/widgets to the mass market instead of keeping them locked into higher tier phones like the iPhone/Pre/Android phones. And if users get used to the touchwiz interface in their low range phones they are more likely to buy more higher range touchwiz phones in the future, they're starting at the bottom of the market and working up, instead of releasing an expensive smartphone and letting stuff trickle down slowly to the rest of their lineup.

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