June 14, 2014 By: Tomek Kondrat
The graphical stylings in Samsung TouchWiz UI are quite different from what we see on most other Android devices. The loud and colorful UI is generally either a love-it-or-hate-it affair. But luckily, those looking for something new can easily improve the look of their ROM in just a few simple steps.
One of the easiest ways of changing the overall feel of an OS is replacing the stock icons. XDA Forum Member sabeersas created an application that is capable of doing this for you in just a few seconds. WizIconizer uses CSCAppResource icon packs to change your icons. And if you find yourself bored of your new icons, you can easily revert back to the stock icons.
In order to use WizIconizer, you will obviously need a rooted device running a TouchWiz-based firmware. So far, the app has been successfully tested on Samsung devices running Android 4.1.2 and greater. The app is still in at a very early stage of development, so there aren’t that many features. However, the developer promises to add some new features in future releases.
If your TouchWiz icons look boring and you would like to change the current look of your OS, head over to application thread and give WizIconizer a try.
A little under two weeks ago, we caught a glimpse of a few leaked screenshot purported to be the face of the next generation of Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. A marked departure from the incumbent Nature UX, the alleged new design features a flatter UI drawing many similarities to HTC’s highly acclaimed BlinkFeed.
Now, another set of leaked images has appeared, courtesy of leaker extraordinaire @evleaks. As seen in the previously leaked images, today’s leak also shows a sleek and flat design that is distinctly more modern than their current UI.
Unlike the previous shots, which showed three distinct types of screen (lock screen, information cards, and traditional home screen), the latest leaked images focus solely on Samsung’s take on Google Now-esque information cards. Similar to Google’s nearly telepathic virtual assistant, it appears as if Samsung’s next UI will detect what you are doing, predict what you want to do, and give you relevant information for both. It is perhaps likely that this can be seen as a direct result to the Google Now integration in the closed source Google Experience Launcher on the Nexus 5.
Naturally, it’s important to take these leaked images with a grain of salt. After all, we’ve all been proven wrong before when it comes to leaks. But if these are indeed shots of Samsung’s work-in-progress, it’s not hard to imagine many favoring the change. Are you a fan of the new look of the alleged screenshots? Are you looking forward to Google Now-esque integration in the next version of TouchWiz? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
January 10, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Up until very recently, Samsung has been relatively quiet about an official KitKat update for its flagship Galaxy S 4. Despite this, a leaked memo pointed towards a possible January release for the S4 and the Note 3. Now, it looks like Samsung is actively preparing for release, as a leaked 4.4.2-based firmware has appeared for the S4.
A few days ago, we shared leaked screenshots that seemed to indicate that Samsung was working on a dramatic artistic redesign for their trademark TouchWiz UI. Unfortunately, this leaked build does not incorporate these graphical tweaks. However, progress is being made in the UI front, as the device now features a translucent notification bar with white icons. There are a few other changes such as a revised lock screen, tweaked keyboard, and performance improvements.
For those looking to give the firmware a try, XDA Recognized Developer Faryaab has posted the leak to the forums. To give it a try, download the firmware over in the original thread. From there, you will need Odin to flash the ROM. And if you want root access, be sure to download the latest version of SuperSu or CF-Auto-Root, which have been updated to work with the leaked 4.4.2 firmware.
[Many thanks to XDA Forum Member toastido for the tip!]
January 7, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Modern Samsung devices generally pack class-leading specifications, great battery life, fantastic screens, and more features than you can shake a stick at. They’re also one of the better OEMs for providing somewhat timely firmware updates on at least their flagship devices.
Arguably, all of this equates to some of the best devices on the market, and you wouldn’t be faulted for thinking that their market share demonstrates this. But one thing that’s a bit harder to argue is the aesthetic beauty of their custom TouchWiz UI. Often the butt of many jokes, the company’s take on the Android UI is a face only the Korean OEM could love. And in its current version, it leaves much to be desired thanks to its childish colors and icons, cluttered interface, and overall outdated appearance.
New leaked screenshots posted by @evleaks show a dramatic shift in their artistic direction, with a flatter UI very reminiscent of HTC’s BlinkFeed. Aside from the similarities to BlinkFeed, the new UI jives much better with Android’s flat and modern UI than the previous releases that seem more at home on Android 2.x.
So will this new version of TouchWiz be your “Life companion?” We’re excited to see anything that makes TouchWiz a little less ugly. Share your thoughts on their new artistic direction in the comments below.
September 4, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
The lock screen widgets functionality that was introduced with Android 4.2 is incredibly useful. Lock screen widgets deliver at-a-glance information quickly and easily—without the need to fumble across home screens, apps, and menus. Their utility is then compounded when used in conjunction with lock screen security, since you can access this information without having to first unlock your device.
For some reason, however, Samsung decided that this functionality wasn’t important enough, as they have removed the possibility to add widgets when the device is secured. Thankfully, XDA Forum Member MohammadAG has created a quick modification that brings this functionality back. And just like the native Android functionality, it also enables a secure camera mode, where you can take new pictures and view them but not pictures taken previously.
The modification comes the form of a module for XDA Recognized Developer rovo89‘s fantastic Xposed framework (thread). It has thus far been tested on the Galaxy S 4 and Galaxy S III running the leaked 4.2.2 TouchWiz ROM, but it should work on any device running TouchWiz firmwares based on Android 4.2.