Englightenment or desperation? Whichever your take on Samsung‘s motives, the Korean OEM is now reported to be slimming down its phone’s experience even further. In addition to making the TouchWiz aesthetic fall in line with the new Material Design, it will also be moving much of its less frequently used but pre-installed apps out of the default installation and into Google Play Store, or perhaps its own GALAXY Apps Store, paving the way for a more Nexus-like experience of Samsung devices.
To be fair, a pure Nexus experience isn’t exactly completely stellar, and in some cases might actually be downright unusable (no “clear all recent apps button”?). It isn’t without reason that OEMs and even Android ROMs add such features into their products, and to some extent, we can be thankful for those. But some go overboard and in that regard, Samsung is probably the most notorious offender. Not only is TouchWiz itself overloaded with features, its phones also come with a ton of preloaded apps that barely anyone uses.
The good news is that Samsung seems to be doing some spring cleaning, perhaps motivated by its slumping standing in the industry. It has been rumored to be revising its TouchWiz skin and now the latest word is that it will be doing the same trimming for its apps, many of which are redundant if not unused. Samsung might not completely be putting them to pasture, though. The OEM might simply make them available as optional downloads via Google Play Store, a practice that other OEMs like HTC and Motorola have already been doing even for some of their core apps. Considering Samsung has its own app store, however, it might choose to put those there instead.
So the good news is that the features you might have loved in TouchWiz, like Air View, Smart Stay, and Ultra Saving Power Mode, are likely to stay built-in, but ones that can be removed, like S Translator or maybe even the underwhelming S Voice might find themselves in a different space. But before you break out in celebration, do note that it isn’t known yet which apps and features will make the cut, and we might only find out for sure come MWC 2015 with the Galaxy S6 debut.