TouchWiz to Samsung Experience at a single user interface

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The general consensus is that Samsung’s smartphone software is in pretty good shape these days. One UI 3.0 is feature rich but not overly bloated, with one of the best update promises in the industry in place. But Samsung’s software hasn’t always been viewed so favorably, especially for those who have been around long enough to remember TouchWiz.

While TouchWiz is considered synonymous with Android, the skin for Samsung’s smartphone software actually started in the pre-smartphone era. TouchWiz 1.0 shipped with the Samsung Solstice in 2009, followed by version 2.0 for the Solstice 2 in 2010.

TouchWiz was already in its third generation by the time it married Google’s Android operating system. TouchWiz 3.0 was released on the original Samsung Galaxy S in 2010. From the start, Samsung took a very different approach than stock Android, relying heavily on Google’s feature set and offering a look. unique for his skin. For example, the first TouchWiz supported rearranging home screens, custom shortcuts, and a selection of custom widgets not found on other handsets. Widgets really were the name of the game back then.

Samsung Galaxy S Series: A story of Android’s biggest name

Samsung continued to refine TouchWiz with version 4.0 of its revolutionary Galaxy S2 smartphone, based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, followed by the equally impressive Galaxy S3 Android 4.0. Cutting-edge features continued to arrive, including gesture gallery and browser controls, S Voice assistant, picture-in-picture, and split-screen app view.

Samsung has also changed its naming scheme and the appearance of its skin with TouchWiz on the Galaxy S3. The graphical interface has taken on a more elegant and greener appearance with the new “TouchWiz Nature UX” interface. One of the notable UI introductions was an interactive ripple water effect on the lock screen. It probably sounds silly now, but it was new back then.

While these two smartphones were very well received and kicked off the rise of Samsung’s smartphones, telltale signs of a feature slippage were starting to appear. In addition to Google software, Samsung has shipped its flagship phones with a growing range of in-house apps, such as ChatOn, Social Hub, Music Hub, and others.

TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0: the sliding of features begins

With the switch to TouchWiz Nature UX, Samsung started bringing a wider range of UI tweaks in time for UX 2.0 and the Galaxy S4. The company has introduced some exciting innovations such as eye tracking auto-scrolling web pages. But Samsung’s penchant for features began to scold critics, who slammed the phone for a range of gadgets and bloated features, such as Air Gestures, Smart Pause, and S Translator – not to mention a growing settings menu. more difficult to navigate.

TouchWiz Nature UX wasn’t just a heavy Android skin, it also came with a lot of additional features.

Samsung has continued to incorporate a mix of features in subsequent software revisions. Samsung Knox security made its debut with Nature UX 2.5, as did a one-handed mode for the Galaxy Note 3. Nature UX 3.0 reduced the user interface and de-cluttered the settings menus a bit in time for the. Galaxy s5. But Samsung couldn’t help but add the Toolbox app’s floating menu and My Magazine news aggregator to its skin.

Samsung has returned to its traditional naming scheme with TouchWiz 5.0 for the Galaxy s6. And with a new hardware design, a renewed approach to software has come. Samsung ditched its loud UI sounds, simplified various settings, and decluttering its icons for Multiwindow and Toolbox. Samsung has also done away with some of its less-needed apps and drew more direct inspiration from Android Lollipop, although TouchWiz’s bolder-colored UI elements have remained.

TouchWiz has rightly earned a reputation as a feature creep, but Samsung has finally taken notice. Samsung continued to put its software away with TouchWiz 6.0 and TouchWiz Grace UX, leaving the Galaxy S6 and S7 in a better place as Samsung finally moved on to its next UI project.

Samsung experience

Bixby - the best personal assistant apps

Since TouchWiz was no longer recognizable from its first iterations, software designed for the Galaxy S8 became known as the Samsung Experience. Samsung Experience ran on Android 7.0 Nougat and 8.0 Oreo, and made its way to a wide selection of Samsung smartphones at different price points.

The new GUI revamped Samsung’s color scheme and icons, resulting in a much more modern and refined look that shared Google’s vision more than ever before. Samsung has retained a fair amount of customization, however, including the Edge UX elements from the Galaxy S6 days, the always-on display feature, its game launcher, and other existing elements. Even the back button was flipped to the right side rather than the left, according to Google’s original operating system.

Samsung Experience first introduced the virtual assistant Bixby at the heart of Samsung’s ecosystem. The software also debuted with Samsung Dex, turning the Galaxy S8 into a portable PC work environment, though none of those features have really taken off. Later updates to Android Oreo made small changes and improved several features, such as Bixby 2.0 and Secure Folders, but the experience was essentially the same as the original version.

Samsung Experience introduced the controversial virtual assistant Bixby.

Samsung learned its lessons with TouchWiz. Users had a lot more choices about what features they actually wanted to see and use with Samsung Experience. While still busier than the “stock Android” experts seemed to like, Samsung’s heavier user interface has continued to help define its Galaxy smartphone series.

A user interface and modern times

One UI 3.0 feature widgets shortcut

C. Scott Brown / Android Authority

With Android 9.0 Pie, Samsung once again changed its UX naming scheme. The beta of Samsung Experience 10.0 became One UI when it debuted with the flagship Galaxy S10. Once again, Samsung has tweaked its user interface, making it cleaner and more user-friendly than previous versions. In fact, the ease of use of the larger screens is one of the main drivers of One UI. Samsung has tweaked its menus and apps, moving key UI elements within easy reach.

A user interface has dramatically improved Samsung’s balance of custom functionality and ease of use.

A user interface has retained most of the functionality available in Samsung Experience. Dex has been further improved, a system-wide dark mode has been introduced, and button navigation can be replaced with gestures. By clearly listening to user feedback, a push of the Bixby button could also be reassigned to new functions.

A 2.0 UI has moved to Android 10, adding a Samsung version of Digital Wellbeing, Wireless Dex in 2.5, some minor UI changes, a dynamic lock screen, and a few other things. But the look and feel of Samsung’s user interface has remained largely unchanged, and the skin has become pretty good for finding homes for all of these features.

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At the time of writing, One UI 3.1 is the latest version of the skin from Samsung, with some modest changes from the original version. The notification panel is now translucent, a new volume control is positioned on the right side, and Samsung has smoothed out the animations on its user interface. But overall, it looks like Samsung and its customers have been pretty happy with the state of One UI over the past three years.

From TouchWiz to Samsung Experience and One UI, Samsung’s approach to Android has always been at the forefront of the latest features. In the past, TouchWiz has been ridiculed for its bloated approach to software. But the truth is, Samsung hasn’t really reiterated its love for new features and options. On the contrary, the company has gotten much better at fine-tuning the basic user interface experience, letting adventurous consumers explore all of Samsung’s features on their own.

What do you think of Samsung’s UI journey? Do you have a favorite skin era of a classic Galaxy handset? Let us know in the comments below.

Margie D. Carlisle