I'd really like less TouchWiz, Samsung

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: January 30, 2014

It technically happened before the announcement with Motorola, but I couldn't help but notice that it didn't get as much coverage as I thought it would. Or should. But, the news that Samsung has a new situation in front of it in regards to its relationship with Google is pretty big news if you ask me. Just as big as Lenovo's purchase of Motorola? Probably not, at least not potentially, but the ramifications for Samsung (and Google) could be pretty huge.

More than that, though, I just can't wait to see if these new rumors pan out. Samsung and Google have reached an agreement to cross-license patents moving forward. And, reportedly, at the same time, Samsung has agreed to align itself more to the liking of Google's vision of Android, rather than the proprietary custom slideshow that we've seen over the last few years.

See? That's big news! After all, we've been hearing that Samsung would be changing TouchWiz in some capacity with the release of the Galaxy S 5 (or whatever), and continue that trend up to the next Galaxy Note "phablet," and with any other device released in between. Of course, what those changes actually consist of haven't been revealed, except in a few leaks and a few rumors churned out of the Rumor Mill.

I can't help but wonder how long Samsung's been in talks with Google to get this change of pace situated. Have these rumors we've been rummaging through, about TouchWiz getting a major face lift, always been reflecting this "realignment" with Google? Or, did Samsung have their own plans to make their Magazine UX the best custom UI ever, and to shun the Google experience, more or less, even more?

We may likely never know. Ultimately, though, it certainly feels like this next step for Samsung, in the evolution of their proprietary software, could be one of the biggest ones to date. The company has made a name for itself by shoving features upon features into their software, usually leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in that sense, so the idea that Samsung could be toning that down for this next release is pretty huge.

And I think it's going to work well for them. Why? Because if one of the biggest arguments against Samsung-branded Android-based devices is TouchWiz, then if they tone it down in all the right ways, what's left to complain about? I think it's a pretty safe bet to think they'll continue to shove the best hardware into their devices, so I don't see that being an issue this year.

Of course, the true test will be the phones themselves, so we'll just have to wait and see how it all pans out. After all, we've heard this sort of thing before, but in the complete opposite: That Samsung was calling the shots, and could get away with whatever they wanted. I think it's more interesting this way around, though. So, fingers crossed we get some great devices out of this change in direction.