With the Samsung-Google partnership, a lot has been speculated. Much of the talk involves Android, and Samsung’s increasing pull away from what Google envisions it to be. If Google is trying to bring Samsung back to center with regard to Android’s new styling and operation, there might be a hint it’s already begun.

Via Eldar Murtazin, who was instrumental in leaking the news of Samsung’s partnership with Google, we find an interesting picture allegedly showing some new Touchwiz UI (below). Rather than the old black bar at the top, the new TouchWiz looks as though it may have a transparent bar and solid white icons.

The newer, flatter, whiter icons were a polarizing choice by Google. Some loved the simplicity, some lamented what seemed to be a step backwards. If Samsung has indeed adopted the new look of Android, it’s a step in a direction many would like to see. Between the dated look of TouchWiz, and Samsung’s insistence on creating their own services which duplicate Google’s efforts, the top Android OEM has created as many detractors as fans.

A change in the notification bar would be minimal, but also important. A step like this lets us know Samsung’s handsets are still Android, even if TouchWiz remains. It’s been increasingly difficult to see where Android is under all that TouchWiz, but if the notification bar is changing as it seems to be, we’ll look for a lot more Android, and a lot less TouchWiz from Samsung.

Samsung notification bar