A recent rumor from SamMobile suggests that Samsung and Google may be working together in order to “optimize” Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Despite Samsung being one of the most popular mobile manufacturers today, there’s never been an overwhelmingly positive response to TouchWiz. For a while, there wasn't much reason for there to be.
TouchWiz’s earlier days were laggy, kind of ugly, and it just didn’t mix very well with the state of Android at the time (which was also fairly buggy). Samsung also loves to bundle its devices with a plethora of extra features and unnecessary bloatware, which are often seen as a hassle rather than a privilege. I will argue that many of Samsung’s features have been quite useful as additional options, such as the S-Pen, some “Smart” options, multitasking, multi-user, and more. It would be unfair to completely discredit Samsung for all that they’ve innovated in the smartphone industry.
But TouchWiz itself still leaves a lot to be desired, even if its latest iteration already underwent a massive clean-up. While TouchWiz now seems responds faster, has noticeably less clutter, features theme options that are in line with Android’s material design, and users now have the ability to disable and hide bloatware apps that they don’t want to use.
So Samsung did tackle some of the problems, just not all of them.
Since you still can’t fully remove the bloatware without root (as originally thought), those apps you don’t care to use are still taking up precious memory. Sure, there’s the extremely offhand chance that you might want to use one or two of those apps that you’ve disabled, but chances are pretty good that once you’ve disabled them you’re going to forget about them. If they can be disabled, they’re not necessary, and therefore users should be able to completely remove them if they want.
To take matters a step further, I think people would be more appreciative if Samsung would just shove all of their bloatware in the Samsung Galaxy Apps application from the start. This way users can sift through and download the apps that they actually want instead of going through the hassle of removing everything they don’t want every time they download an update or reset their phone.
And despite TouchWiz now experiencing less lag than it used to, there are still some noticeable hiccups that could be addressed.
But should Google be the company to do it? After all, there have been numerous suggestions that Google still has some work to do on their own applications and devices.
However, Samsung has a huge influence on Android as a whole – even more than Google itself does in many places. Despite TouchWiz being a skin of Android, many people consider TouchWiz synonymous with Android due to Samsung’s Galaxy series being so popular. If TouchWiz had less lag, less bloat, and an even more optimized experience then it would be good news for Samsung, Google, Android, and the consumer.
I’m in favor of Google helping Samsung out on this one. As much as people love stock Android within the mobile community, there’s an even larger number of people who like and use TouchWiz and the features it has to offer. I don’t see anything wrong with trying to optimize that experience.