Samsung Galaxy S6 might get a new TouchWiz version, end-March release rumored
Even most die-hard Samsung fans admit that TouchWiz, the proprietary Android UI shell which the South Korean company installs on all its devices, is almost akin to bloatware, casting a shade on Google's unending efforts to improve Android UI performance. This launcher can be quite resource-intensive, and was used in the past as an excuse to deny Android upgrades to certain Samsung flagship phones allegedly not able to cope with its newer version. The good news here is that Samsung might finally do something about the situation, introducing a reworked TouchWiz starting with its next flagship phone, the Galaxy S6.
According to SamMobile, which is renowned for its accurate information about Samsung's upcoming products, the new TouchWiz should be much closer to the stock Lollipop look and feel while the amount of preinstalled applications should be considerably reduced, resulting in dramatically improved UI responsiveness. Additionally, Samsung apps such as S Voice, S Health and S Note will be made optional and will be available for download instead of being bundled with the system. However, several other apps will be preinstalled; surprisingly, they come from Microsoft - namely, OneDrive, OneNote, Office Mobile (with a free subscription to Office 365) and Skype. We can't help but attribute this to a recent royalty dispute settlement between the two companies. Its details were kept confidential but it's very likely that Samsung agreed to preload Microsoft apps as a part of this deal.
SamMobile details several other changes. Here is a short list:
- The virtual keyboard will look like a mix of the Galaxy Tab and Apple iOS default keyboards
- The Samsung apps will be "more colorful"
- It will be possible to choose between 4x4, 4x5 and 5x5 icon layouts for the app drawer
- It will be no longer possible to cycle through the apps list in the drawer endlessly, meaning that the user will have to scroll all the way back from the last page to reach the first
- There will be more themes
Personally, we're hoping that these themes will include a black KitKat-like one to help restore one of the main advantages of the AMOLED displays Samsung uses - considerably lower power consumption with black backgrounds (due to AMOLED technology completely deactivating the black pixels' backlight).
When do we get to see the Galaxy S6? By all accounts, it seems that Samsung will introduce it just a day before the MWC 2015 exhibition which stars on the 2nd of March. However, the website PhoneArena went one step further and actually worked out the market release date for the phone: it appears to be the end of March. This is based on the "holiday ban" that Samsung issued to its employees from 22nd to 30th of March, indicating that all employees are needed during that time to cope with the peak workload. Naturally, the release of a new flagship device (or two, if the rumors are true about the Galaxy S6 Edge) is exactly the kind of event capable of generating such a high demand for workforce. Curiously enough, there's another such period defined from April 19 till April 27 - could that be the release of the Galaxy S6 Edge or is it something else? We're not sure at this point but it's bound to clear up soon enough.
PhoneArena also found some renders of the possible Galaxy S6 design - they can be found below. While the rendered S6 looks similar enough to the existing Galaxy devices, it doesn't sit well with Samsung's "Project Zero" codename and its promise of a complete redesign. But just like the rest of the leaks, we take it with a grain of salt - the official announcement in two weeks will show which of the speculations were true.
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