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Summary:

I hope these screens are real, because they represent a much-needed makeover for Samsung’s aging Android overlay.

Samsung new UI

Samsung introduced a lot of new hardware at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, but the real big news might lie in a future software update. Early Tuesday morning, noted (and frequently accurate) insider @evleaks posted a series of images, purportedly of Samsung’s new smartphone UI. Is this the end of TouchWiz? I kind of hope so.

TouchWiz has long been Samsung’s standard Android overlay. It’s been around since as far back as Android 2.1, and while it has improved over time, it’s still rather bloated, cartoonish and laggy compared to the competition. And as you can see here, it hasn’t changed much visually over the last couple of years. Now take a look at this and see what you think:

Samsung new UI

There’s no information to accompany these screenshots, but judging by looks alone, it’s already a vast improvement. The color palette is new, the fonts are thinner and more elegant, and the icons have a cooler, minimalist flair. And if you look at that middle screen, it appears Samsung might have integrated a version of its new My Magazine software (seen on the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Note 10.1) right into the home screen. Similar to HTC’s Blink Feed, this could allow you to quickly browse through a variety of updates from your home screen.

Of course, these screens could just represent one of many different possible concepts. But I really like direction these are headed in, and hope a big software update is one of the new features we learn about when Samsung introduces the Galaxy S 5.

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  1. Samsung are at risk of losing customers, despite great hardware, because of their bloated version of Android. I recently switched over from a brand new Samsung S4 to a Nexus 5. The Google version of Android is so much better, including features such as public phone directory built straight into the contacts section. Samsung instead makes you confirm every action you’re going to take, very frustrating!

    graham

  2. anonymous howard Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    Still seems inconsistent and very unpolished to me.

    Samsung’s branded product icons in the third screen have different shapes, gradient directions and sizes. The font may be too thin; it is hard to tell from an overly compressed jpg. There’s no visual cue as to which direction to “swipe to unlock”. The map is difficult to decipher at a glance because it is overlaid on a texture. What determines whether a screen element gets the overlaid-on-the-background treatment like the top half of the second screen vs the bottom half of the screen?

    I agree that Touchwiz needs an overhaul. I like what I saw for the “Magazine” concept on the recently unveiled tablets; it looks influenced by MS’ Modern design language.

    Not sure that these screens are even close to a final design. I doubt the area at the top with the battery indicator and time on the home screens will be so empty in the final release. How would I know whether I have cell or wi-fi signal?

    Needs to cook for another hour or so.

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