Samsung may scale back custom Android UI and apps at Google's request

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: January 29, 2014

Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 12.2

Many Android manufacturers choose to lay a custom user interface on top of their devices running Google's mobile operating system, and for years Samsung has relied on its TouchWiz overlay to make its products unique. Earlier this month at CES, though, the company debuted its new Magazine UX on its GalaxyPRO tablets that's even more heavily-customized than TouchWiz, looking a bit like a mashup of Samsung's existing overlay and Microsoft's Windows Phone. 

Apparently Google wasn't a huge fan of Samsung's newest custom overlay, as a new report out of Re/code claims that the two firms began to hold talks at CES about working to make the version of Android found on Samsung's hardware more similar to the one on Google devices. Sources speaking to the site claim that Samsung has agreed to consider altering the Magazine UX or possible even ditching it completely. It's also said that on future Samsung products, the company will highlight Google's Play apps for music, movies and content rather than its own services, such as WatchON.

One source of today's leak claims that "a huge change, a sea change" has taken place in Google and Samsung's relationship lately, which likely helped the two companies to reach their recent patent cross-licensing agreement. While we'll just have to see if this tighter relationship also leads to a lighter, more Google-centric version of Samsung's custom Android user interface, many people have described TouchWiz and Magazine UX as being some of the most heavily-customized Android overlays in use, and so it'll be interesting to see what a scaled back version of that software looks like.

What do you think of TouchWiz and Magazine UX? Are you a fan of Samsung's custom software or does this news of a more Google-focused user interface excite you?

Via Re/code