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Samsung to offer Galaxy S6 with ‘near-Nexus’ software experience?


samsung galaxy s5

Samsung could be about to make some TouchWiz haters very happy, by offering the Galaxy S6 smartphone with a user interface much closer to stock Android.

According to SamMobile, (via Gizmodo) the Korean firm may be planning to scale back on in-house apps like S Voice, S Translator and Story Album.

The report builds on previous rumours claiming Samsung may offer these apps to customers who wish to enable them via the Galaxy S6’s settings menus or download them via a dedicated app store.

The rumoured solution would prove popular for Android users who enjoy Samsung’s hardware, but enjoy the Nexus-like version of Android. It would allow them, for example, to have Google Now rather than the S Voice solution front and centre on their smartphone

It could also help Samsung offer a sleeker, speedier experience to users rather than slowing the handset down with UI bloatware.

It would also be good news for Google which has railed against the overly customised versions of Android with the Google Play Edition program and the Nexus devices.

Google appears to have shut down the Google Play Edition program, with no devices currently available for sale on the store.

Perhaps assurances from Samsung over a toned-down TouchWiz has sated Google’s concerns third-party manufacturers would fork Android until it became unrecognisable?

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review

Would a streamlined Galaxy S6 encourage you to jump on board with the Samsung bandwagon? Are you a TouchWiz fan disappointed by this potential development?

Let us know your thoughts below.


January 29, 2015, 8:46 pm

Why do you confuse Android customisation (TouchWiz) with bloatware apps? Surely they are two different things, whose merits can be weighed independently? I would welcome having the S-apps become optional (uninstallable), but I don't especially want 'pure' Android UI.


January 30, 2015, 9:52 am

i'd buy a non touchwiz samsung phone but after owning an S3 for two i'll NEVER buy another touchwiz phone.


January 30, 2015, 9:53 am

Touchwiz is not just a UI skin on Samsung phones, it's also the launcher and Samsung specific API library that all of Samsung's apps are based on. It's a similar thing to Google Play Services, where most Google apps won't work unless Play Services is also present. Going even further with the comparison, Touchwiz means Samsung bloat apps in the same way as Google Play Services means the Google folder on the homescreen and pre-installed Gmail, Chrome etc.

This is the main reason why you can't install Samsung apps on other manufacturers phones in the same way the HTC Sense apps (Blinkfeed and Zoe etc) and Motorola's Ambient Display can't be installed on other phones without root hacks to port across the Touchwiz or Sense libraries as well...


January 30, 2015, 10:56 am

Thanks for the info. But surely you can still have TouchWiz and not have the likes of ChatOn, Crayon Physics, Learning Hub etc permanently burned into the phone?
Actually Google are just as bad. Why can't I get rid of Google Play Music, Google+, Google Search, GMail or any other Google apps that I simply don't want? Samsung is always portrayed as the bad guy here, but Google is just as bad.
Surely all these apps could be pre-installed if they really think users might be interested, yet still be uninstallable, no?


January 30, 2015, 11:03 am

yes indeed you are absolutely correct on all counts.

In terms of "you can still have TouchWiz and not have the likes of ChatOn, Crayon Physics, Learning Hub etc permanently burned into the phone" that is *precisely* the subject of this news article!

The difference in terms of being uninstallable is where in the ROM the apps are installed. If they're on the data partition then they can be uninstalled by the user but will be wiped with a factory reset. If they're on the system partition, then they cannot be user uninstalled (without root) and will remain after factory reset...


January 30, 2015, 11:32 am

So it should be possible to discuss the bloat apps and the UI customisations independently, even if due to technical choices made by the manufacturer the two are somewhat intertwined (i.e. they could be un-twinded if there was the will from the manufacturer).
My point is, TouchWiz UI, mostly I like. I accept that some won't, just like people differ in terms of the physical design of the phone. But bloat apps are almost universally hated, so why not at least make them optional - no harm done to those who want to keep them.

"that is *precisely* the subject of this news article!"
Well, not really, not if they insist on lumping everything together and confuse (actually I think the mot du jour is 'conflate') what are separate issues. I hate bloat apps, but that is a long way from saying I want a "Nexus" (i.e. stock Android) experience.

The TR article assumes that if you hate bloat (who doesn't?) that you want stock Android (who does?). Waters muddied, not helpful.


April 8, 2015, 11:16 am

Stock Android over TouchWiz any day. Possible exception to the new version that comes with the Galaxy S6...hopefully anyways since I preordered one.


May 22, 2015, 12:55 am

After using Apple, HTC, LG and Samsung, I'm happy to declare #NexusForLife (production life). Smooth, simple, updated, and compatible.

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