Vague when it shouldn't have been: Samsung to work on improving its software


Earlier yesterday, Samsung released a fairly detailed earnings statement for the fourth quarter of 2015. The gist of it? Smartphone sales declined, but profit margins increased and sales of slates also went up despite the weak tablet market. Following the report, Samsung also released an executive summary of sorts, outlining the key challenges facing the giant corporation, and how it intends to tackle them. After reading it top to bottom, something caught our eye: Samsung says it will focus on improving the competitiveness of its software, known as TouchWiz.

That's kind of funny, given how just earlier today we released the results of our poll asking you what Samsung should prioritize when building the Galaxy S7 (regardless of the fact that it's probably already production-ready). While the majority of you saw battery life as the obvious choice, interface wasn't too far behind, indicating that users still feel the Android-based TouchWiz skin could use some work. And we tend to agree.

Sure, Samsung has made a number of steps in the right direction with the slimmed-down TouchWiz firmware of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, but the overlay still isn't quite where we feel it should be. Perhaps more disappointingly, however, Samsung was pretty vague in this regard, listing software as just one of several areas it is looking to improve:


Sorry to be blunt, but that's just a blanket statement, suggesting that the company will try to a better job at what it's been doing so far. And in the case of TouchWiz, the problem really is that Samsung has been slow and even reluctant to get rid of gimmicky features that feel like nothing more than pomp. 

This isn't us demonizing extra functionality, especially considering that we're well-aware of power users' thirst for them—and the importance of these people—but can you, for a second, imagine a Samsung of less is more? A Samsung that makes downsizing and optimizing TouchWiz a clear target and focuses on fewer features, but perfected ones? We don't know about you, but we'd sure like to see what's that like.

Apart from simplifying the user experience, a Samsung of less is more would also mean less headaches when it's time to upgrade to the next major Android build. Because when fewer features are baked into the software, fewer features need be updated next time around, and fewer features need be troubleshot to ensure system stability. And you know how it is with beta testing—stuff always falls through the cracks, ending up in your otherwise competitive product. 

Time for a change in direction?

source: Samsung via phonescoop

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26 Comments

1. Lycan155

Posts: 254; Member since: Nov 24, 2013

Im sure samsung will deliver in that regard

2. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

apple is best f**k you android/samsung

3. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

You're failed at scolding. Samsung is using Android. Maybe you haven't tried using other Android devices. *sigh

7. tedkord

Posts: 17318; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Note 5 is best.

14. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Z5 premium is the best.

21. phichart

Posts: 335; Member since: May 03, 2014

Z5 premium? are you kidding?

22. RajRicardo

Posts: 490; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

No he is not. It checks all the boxes. Great display, IP certified, front firing speakers, good battery life provided you dont watch 4K all day, tamed SD810, improved camera (in top 5), fast and uniquely placed fingerprint scanner(at least i like its placement) and it comes with a design thats ageless.

24. kkmkk

Posts: 699; Member since: May 06, 2013

amolded is better than ips lcd the ip is no longer under warranty the speakers are so bad in term of quality if i dont watch 4k all the time then what the point of it ??! the exynos 7420 is way better than sd810 the fb is un- accurate and dosnt work all the time and the design is 4 years old and look like every other sony device

25. romeo1

Posts: 814; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Amoled vs ips is what you prefer. The screen of the z5p is imo the best I've ever seen. The ip isn't under warranty because people are idiots and can't close their flaps correctly but you can still wash the phone and us it in the rain. The speaker quality isn't bad at all they just aren't as loud as from the previous serie. Same could be said about 2k or 1080p for that matter. But the adreno 430 is better than the mali. With the fb you probably mean finger print scanner? Which works perfect on my z5c and as the z5p probably has the same one I'd say you're wrong. You just need to set your finger up correctly by turning it a bit to the sides. The design is still the slickest of them all even after 4yrs that says something more about the competition than about sony. And it's mad of stainless steel not aluminium. Because of that it feels much bettet and more expensive in the hand.

26. RajRicardo

Posts: 490; Member since: Feb 28, 2014

Please check out this link. IMHO they all look fantastic. Like i said, the design is timeless. Of course opinions always vary :) http://www.xperiablog.net/2016/01/08/sony-xperia-z-flagships-through-the-generations/

4. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Just give this a chance. Remember when Mother Goog, err, Alphabet, err, Google, stepped in to "help Samsung improve its Touchwiz software," and the Marshmallow 6.0.1 betas for the Galaxy S6 showed? (http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/11/google-samsung-o​ptimize-touchwiz/)

5. willard12 unregistered

The article criticizes Samsung for being too vague and making a blanket statement. At the same time, the article doesn't point to any specific feature that they think should be cut or "perfected." Just "downsize it" without naming anything that needs to be downsized because they know if they actually start naming features, 10 people will comment that they use that unnamed feature often. Furthermore, they know that most of these features will be adopted by others later. Unlike hardware which has metrics, Touchwiz is proprietary and anyone's opinion on it are subjective. So anyone can say anything and proclaim that it's true. But, I would think that the OS that crashes Apps the most is probably the one that needs to work on its stability the most.

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

I agree, less is sometimes more.

8. stardomains

Posts: 29; Member since: Nov 05, 2015

Switched to Android about 6 months ago and have used many brands since. Still don't know what everyone is talking about regarding TouchWiz. TW is the best of the bunch IMO and has so many of the features I need and like. I would't mind a more plain color theme for business formality but otherwise my Note 5 is fantastic hardware and software wise.

10. -Shadow-

Posts: 95; Member since: Mar 26, 2013

The only bad thing about touchwiz is/was the fact that was slow and only got slower and laggier with time, since S6 this is not the case. Complaining that touchwiz has too many features is stupid IMO. The more the better. Now i do agree that it is ugly, but that is not a big problem with all the themes available.

12. TyrionLannister unregistered

Try material/Rotox themes. Nevlex is also great if you want some colour.

19. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

The newest version of TW on Note5 is great, themes, multiwindow, S-pen things, all useful to me. Still a lot of bloat though.

9. shiftt

Posts: 333; Member since: May 03, 2015

"Blunt" Exactly what features should be cut Chris? This article could have waited until android 6.0/.0.1 came out.(Probably hasn't seen the newest beta.) He's restating over and over again for them to slim down TW not saying what needs to be slimmed down.

11. gs200

Posts: 64; Member since: Jun 09, 2015

For those like me who have been less then thrilled with TouchWiz, one word comes to mind. Nova Launcher. OK, two words. Here's to hoping TouchWiz becomes less clunky.

13. wando77

Posts: 1168; Member since: Aug 23, 2012

If you want a simple user interface for simple people then you know which phone to buy

15. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

You know if Samsung just used pure Andriod, they could roll out software updates in a flash and they wouldn't have to waste so much time and money on software development.

16. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

Yea they need to make like HTC and move their core apps to the play store

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Vague? At least they actually talk about improving their products. Other than HTC, no one else ever does. Look another feed the troll Samsung hate article...lol

18. Clars123

Posts: 1078; Member since: Mar 16, 2015

Exactly which features do "tech sites'' call gimmicky?..I really want to know!!!!

20. banglazbless

Posts: 114; Member since: Feb 05, 2014

I would love to know those gimmicky features ya'll are talking about? List them.

23. SkyfallWalker

Posts: 73; Member since: Jan 28, 2016

Samsung always delivers. I trust they will improve their software.

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