All of the hubbub surrounding the Note 7 lately can make it hard for Samsung device owners to feel confident about their phones. Nobody cared about your Samsung phone before the Note 7 was known for spontaneously combusting, but now that it’s all over the news suddenly everybody cares about which Samsung device you’re using. I can’t really blame them, either; I would probably want to mentally plan out an escape route if I knew an exploding phone was in my midst, too. However, as a Galaxy S7 owner, I try my best to assure people that they have nothing to worry about. I come in peace.
As hard as it can be to embrace my Samsung-branded phone, I have recently decided to give another aspect of Samsung that is often put down another go: TouchWiz.
Within the first few days of receiving my S7 several months ago, I did what I always do with my Android devices and downloaded Nova Launcher to use rather than the UI that comes with it. I’ve grown to love Nova Launcher because it gives a deeper level of customization to your Android than most stock UIs, allowing users to dictate things such as transition animations or use gesture-based actions. Nova Launcher doesn’t allow as deep of customization as root access would allow, but it’s a close second in my opinion.
I also tried a new launcher called ASAP Launcher, which is an excellent choice for people who don’t care to do much customization and enjoy a clean, minimalistic look. Eventually I went back to Nova, but recently I decided that I wanted to give TouchWiz another try (ah, the joys of Android).
I’ve been using TouchWiz for about a week and a half now and honestly, it’s not bad. There’s not as many customization options, but there are some. The Theme Store, as it turns out, is quite useful for providing some level of customization on the fly. Some of my favorites are the ones that showcase the dark AMOLED black colors of the display, but lately I’ve been using a Material Dark theme.
The only thing I’m not a big fan of is the app drawer. At first it was quite disorganized, but that’s easily remedied by pressing the A-Z button on the top right corner of the app drawer, which organizes the apps in alphabetical order. The problem is that I feel a lot of the screen is wasted on large app icons. Nova has spoiled me here because you can change the grid size to fit more apps, but on TouchWiz you can’t (you can, however, change the grid size on the homescreens, so the decision not to implement this within the app drawer itself is a bit puzzling).
Other than the app drawer icon size, I don’t have many negative things to say about TouchWiz. I have a few widgets that I use (Month and Agenda widgets by Candl Apps, and a weather widget by 1Weather) and I don’t experience lag. For the sake of testing my claim, I put additional widgets across 6 homescreens and still didn’t experience any issues (as long as power saver isn’t on – when it is on, the entire S7 experience is an entirely different story, TouchWiz or not). I also cranked up my Smart Feature usage by turning on all of them (previously was only using two, Quick Camera and Easy Mute) and it still didn’t have any negative effects. Overall, I was impressed.
Between TouchWiz and Good Lock, I find that Samsung’s interface isn’t as deplorable as it’s often said to be. In the past, I have agreed that TouchWiz was laggy, clunky, and overall quite unpleasant, but in my recent experience those issues are no longer the case. I would even say that I enjoy it (but I will enjoy it more once Grace UX comes to the S7).
Readers, what are your thoughts on TouchWiz? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!