TouchWiz

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TouchWiz
Developer(s) Samsung Electronics
Initial release June 4, 2010; 6 years ago (2010-06-04)
Stable release
TouchWiz nature ux 6.0 / February 2016; 10 months ago (2016-02)
Development status Active
Operating system Android
Available in 50+ languages
Type Graphical user interface
License Proprietary
Website www.samsung.com/uk/mobileappsandservices/touchwiz.html

TouchWiz is touch interface created and developed by Samsung Electronics with partners, featuring a full touch user interface. TouchWiz is available only on Samsung phones. It is sometimes incorrectly identified as an operating system. TouchWiz is used internally by Samsung for smartphones, feature phones and tablet computers, and is not available for licensing by external parties. The Android version of TouchWiz also comes with Samsung-made apps preloaded (except Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, which have removed all Samsung pre-loaded apps, leaving one with Galaxy Apps, to save storage space, due to the removal of MicroSD).

The latest version of TouchWiz is TouchWiz 6.0, which is on the Galaxy J2 Pro, J2 (2016) and TouchWiz Nature UX 5.0 on the Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini. feature a more refined user interface as compared to the previous versions, on Samsung's older flagships released prior to Galaxy S5's release. The status bar is now transparent during home screen mode in TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 and TouchWiz Nature UX 2.5. In TouchWiz 4.0 on Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note (both later updated to Nature UX), some of the features added include panning and tilt,[1] which makes use of the accelerometer and gyroscope in the phone to detect motion.

TouchWiz is used by Samsung's own proprietary operating systems, Bada and REX, as well as phones based on the Android operating system. It is also present in phones running the Tizen operating system.

TouchWiz was a central issue in Apple v. Samsung.

Versions[edit]

TouchWiz 3.0 Lite (Supports Android 2.1 - Android 2.2) (2010)[edit]

The Lite version of 3.0 was the "plain" edition of the original 3.0. The first device with TouchWiz 3.0 Lite was Samsung Galaxy Proclaim.

TouchWiz 3.0 (Supports Android 2.1 - Android 2.2) (2010)[edit]

The original version of TouchWiz was first introduced by the Samsung Galaxy S.

TouchWiz 4.0 (Supports Android 2.3 - Android 4.0) (2011)[edit]

The Second Version of TouchWiz was improved with hardware acceleration. Samsung Galaxy S II was the first device preloaded with TouchWiz 4.0. It also has an optional gesture-based interaction called 'motion' which (among other things) allows users to zoom in and out by placing two fingers on the screen and tilting the device towards and away from themselves to zoom in and out respectively. This gesture function works on both the web browser and the images in gallery used within this device. "Panning" on TouchWiz 4.0 allows the movement of widgets and icons shortcuts between screens, by allowing the device to be held and moved from side to side to scroll through home screens. This gesture-based management of widgets is a new optional method next to the existing method of holding and swiping between home screens.

Preloaded Apps (Selected Devices only)[edit]

  • Diary
  • Samsung Apps
  • Voice Command
  • AllShare Play
  • Samsung Kies Air
  • Samsung Social Hub
  • Samsung Music Hub
  • Samsung Readers Hub
  • Samsung Game Hub

Preloaded Apps (Samsung Galaxy Note Devices only)[edit]

  • S Note
  • Diary
  • Samsung Apps
  • Voice Command
  • AllShare Play
  • Samsung Kies Air
  • Samsung Social Hub
  • Samsung Music Hub
  • Samsung Readers Hub
  • Samsung Game Hub

TouchWiz Nature UX Lite (Supports Android 4.0) (2012)[edit]

The Lite version of the Nature UX of TouchWiz was the "plain" edition of the original TouchWiz Nature UX. The first device with TouchWiz Nature UX Lite was the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.

TouchWiz Nature UX (Supports Android 4.0.4 - Android 4.1.2) (2012)[edit]

The third version of TouchWiz was renamed to TouchWiz Nature UX along with the complete redesigned look and feel. Samsung Galaxy S III, Samsung Galaxy Star and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 are the first devices preloaded with TouchWiz Nature UX. The "Nature" version used by the S III and Note 10.1 has a more "organic" feel than previous versions, and contains more interactive elements such as a water ripple effect on the lock screen and brand new system sounds. To complement the TouchWiz interface, and as a response to Apple's Siri, the phone introduces S Voice, Samsung's intelligent personal assistant. S Voice can recognize eight languages including English, Korean and French. Based on Vlingo, S Voice enables the user to verbally control 20 functions such as playing a song, setting the alarm, or activating driving mode; it relies on Wolfram Alpha for online searches. New eye tracking functions such as Smart Stay can be found on selected TouchWiz Nature UX devices. The icon and the user-interface of the camera application is still the same as in TouchWiz 4.0 as known from the Galaxy S2.
To take screenshots, you have to hold down the home button and the power button at the same time (on devices with on-screen buttons (i.e. Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Camera), the volume down and power buttons). In earlier TouchWiz versions, a small press was enough to take a screenshot.

Preloaded Apps (Selected Devices only)[edit]

  • ChatON
  • Samsung Apps
  • S Voice
  • Samsung Game Hub
  • Samsung Video Hub
  • Samsung Social Hub
  • AllShare Play
  • Samsung Music Hub
  • S Suggest
  • S Memo

Preloaded Apps (Samsung Galaxy Note Devices only)[edit]

  • ChatON
  • Samsung Apps
  • S Voice
  • S Note
  • Samsung Game Hub
  • Samsung Video Hub
  • Samsung Social Hub
  • AllShare Play
  • Samsung Music Hub
  • S Suggest
  • S Memo

TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 (Supports Android 4.2) (2013)[edit]

The fourth version of TouchWiz is still based on the "Nature" version used by the S III with some slight design changes. Samsung Galaxy S4 is the first device preloaded with TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0. Even more eye tracking abilities were introduced with the S4 such as Smart Scroll. The settings menu is now split into four sections: Connections, My Device, Accounts, and More (phones only).

Samsung Galaxy S4 using TouchWiz on Android Jelly Bean[2]

The Camera app User Interface now allows the user to capture photos and videos, without switching between photo and video modes. It has also been improved in TouchWiz Nature UX 2.5.

Preloaded Apps (Selected Devices only)[edit]

Preloaded Apps (Samsung Galaxy Note Devices only)[edit]

TouchWiz Nature UX 2.5 (Supports Android 4.3 - Android 4.4) (2013)[edit]

TouchWiz Nature UX 2.5 is also slightly changed in design. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition are the first devices to be preloaded with the new TouchWiz. The brand new version of TouchWiz now completely supports Samsung Knox security function. The new settings menu (Connections, Device, Controls, General) from the Note 3 (with the four categories at the top of the screen) now supports tablets, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, while preserving the traditional two panel layout since the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. This reduces the amount of scrolling needed for a user to go to a specific item on the left panel. The Camera-Application User Interface from TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 stays, but is improved. Also noteworthy to remember is the new search box, located just above the first item and below the category. It was moved to the top right in Android 4.4.

Multi user support was added in Android 4.3. Up to eight users can be added.

The camera UI has a few improvements and features added:

  • Access settings directly
  • Virtual Tour
  • Golf Mode
  • Lower Shutter Lag
  • PhotoSphere360
  • Smart Stabilization replaces night mode

The Galaxy S4, Note 3 , Note 2 and other 2013 smartphones still remain in this version of TouchWiz after its update to Android 4.4, while the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, Galaxy Note 8.0, and other 2013 tablets are updated to TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0 after the update. The search box has moved to the top right corner of the settings screen as a search button on devices with the multi-tab Settings application (Connections, Device, Controls, General).

Preloaded Apps (Selected Devices only)[edit]

Preloaded Apps (Samsung Galaxy Note Devices only)[edit]

TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0 (Supports Android 4.4 - Android 5.0) (2014)[edit]

TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0 is also slightly changed in design. Samsung Galaxy S5 and the Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 are the first devices to be preloaded with the new TouchWiz. The skin has undergone evolution towards improved user friendliness with larger icons, less clutter, and visual cues. Samsung has recreated all the icons making them look flatter. Settings is no longer a long text list and is replaced with quick settings icons that give very clear visual cues. Settings is still a multi-panel app in TouchWiz, compared to the one panel layout in stock Android 4.4 KitKat.

In Android 4.4, the menu system is redesigned once again. One can now tap on the divider to adjust the width of the two panels in a multi-pane app (for example, Settings). Also, the search box in the settings menu has moved to the top right corner of the screen.

The animation of the green battery icon, which is displayed if the Home or Power key is pressed during offline charging, has changed. Now, the battery percentage is displayed inside of the green battery icon in the center of the screen. On TouchWiz versions prior to Nature UX 3.0, the battery percentage was not displayed during offline charging.

Another major change is, that the icons in the context menus are removed.[citation needed] Additionally, entries in context menus do not show up at all, if they are not usable at the moment.[citation needed] On TouchWiz Nature UX 2.5 and lower, those options were still displayed, but disabled.[citation needed]

Some budget Samsung devices, such as the Samsung Galaxy V Plus, Samsung Galaxy Trend 2 Lite and Samsung Galaxy J1 Ace, feature a reduced version of TouchWiz named "TouchWiz Essence UX", which is based on TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0 but adapted for devices with less than 1GB of RAM. Since this version, there is also an Ultra Power Saving mode, which makes the phone to limit the usage of battery, extending its duration (on the Galaxy J1 Mini, for example, activating this mode with 1% charge extends the duration up to 1 hour).

  • The screen will turn in grayscale tones.
  • Only a few apps such as the Browser, Messages and Dialer are accessible.
  • The processing power/performance is limited.
    • The cores will be underclocked
  • The screen's brightness will be set as low as possible.
  • Some features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will switch off.

TouchWiz Nature UX 3.5 (Supports Android 4.4.4 - Android 5.0.1) (2014)[edit]

For the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, a slightly modified version of TouchWiz Nature UX 3.0 was released with it, also known as Nature UX 3.5. The Note 4, Note Edge and the Galaxy A-series were the only devices to ship with this version on Android 4.4.4; older high-end devices from 2013 (Galaxy S4 and Note 3) received this modified TouchWiz skin with its Android 5.0.1 update. Notable changes are:

  • Settings menu has a white background compared to the original version on Galaxy S4. The white background has been in use on nearly every Samsung Galaxy tablet. On the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition, a more material design-like theme is used for the Settings menu, while keeping the flat icons.
  • The lock screen's digital clock is now centered.
  • The font for the digital clock was also changed.
  • Some elements have been removed from the 'drop down' menu, even if they still do exist.
  • Camera application has lost more features but now adds AF/AE Lock.
  • The name "self-portrait"-mode has changed into "selfie"
  • Removed Feature: Ability to display EXIF information - also removed in the newer UX versions.

TouchWiz Nature UX 5.0 (Supports Android 5.0 - Android 5.1.1) (2015)[edit]

The version became available with the commencement of the rollout to the Galaxy S4 in April 2015, and eventually became available to the Galaxy S5, Note 3, Note 4, and other Lollipop-compatible devices. Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini is preloaded with Android Lollipop 5.1.1 with some feutures seen in Android Marshmallow.

This version of TouchWiz continued the design that was initially seen on the Galaxy S5, with slightly more rounded square icons, but also incorporated Lollipop's additions and changes, such as making the notification dropdown merely an overlay instead of a full-screen drawer, and also moving to a card-like design for both individual notifications and the recent apps screen. It also added S Finder and Quick Connect functionality to older devices that launched before the Galaxy S5 introduced both with its version of TouchWiz.

TouchWiz Nature 5.0 also included a visual overhaul for the whole system, moving from the black background in system apps that has been in place since the original Galaxy S (since Samsung mainly uses AMOLED panels, black was selected to reduce battery consumption) to a white theme, and also brought design closer to Google's guidelines.

This version of TouchWiz also reduced features and entries in context menus and settings. The features and settings were removed to make the user interface cleaner and easier to understand.[3]

On some devices, a Super Power Saving Mode was added, with similar functionality to Ultra Power Saving Mode:

  • Limit the available applications for the necessary and only selected applications.
  • Cancel a mobile data connection when the screen is off.
  • Cancel Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

In this version some phones running Android Lollipop 5.1.1 like Samsung Galaxy J1 Mini won't get a flashlight panel in the notifications due the lack of the Rear Camera Flashlight.

TouchWiz Nature UX 6.0 (Supports Android 6.0 - Android 6.0.1) (2016)[edit]

This version of TouchWiz began initial beta testing on the Samsung Galaxy S6 in December 2015 to users who had signed up for the beta program,[4] and became formally available starting with the rollout in February 2016. Samsung also began releasing updates to older devices with only minor changes to the original TouchWiz UI, marking the first time that Samsung devices have been updated to a newer Android version while featuring the same if not similar look as released prior. The Galaxy S5, Note 4 and original Galaxy A series received slightly modified versions of this TouchWiz with their updates, namely the rounding of the square material icons to the original squircle shape found on the Galaxy S6 and Note 5. Updates to this version for 2014 devices started in early 2016.

TouchWiz 6 features a redesigned notification dropdown and colour overhaul, replacing the original blue and green hue to white, with the quick settings now featuring separate "view all toggles" and EDIT modes once again. Users can now use either a double slide-down gesture or a two-finger swipe to view all toggles. This version also removed the weather while centering and enlarging the clock on the lock screen, as well as bringing back the ability to customize the shortcuts on the lock screen. Icons are slightly modified with an even flatter look, removing the shadows that featured previously. A new white app drawer icon (similar to Google's stock android app drawer icon) replaces the previous black version, while the Smart Manager was removed as an app, moving to a settings option instead. It still remains on older devices however.

On this version, Samsung also added the ability to change the display density setting, although initially only accessible through a third-party app as the setting was hidden by the system. An update to the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge made it official and allowed users to change it under the display settings.

TouchWiz 6 also featured Google's additions to Android: Doze and App Standby to improve battery performance (although Samsung's own app optimization feature remains available, thus meaning there are two separate "app optimization" settings: one within the Smart Manager app, and the other within the battery usage screen), Now on Tap to quickly access Google Now, and Permission Control to limit the permissions granted to a particular application. It however does not support adoptable storage, a feature that Google introduced to allow the system memory and SD card to act as a single storage, but Samsung has not implemented it on newer devices as it believed it might affect the performance of the device negatively.

Phones running Samsung TouchWiz[edit]

Proprietary[edit]

Bada[edit]

Windows Mobile[edit]

Symbian[edit]

Tizen[edit]

Android[edit]

Cameras[edit]

Smartphones[edit]

Phablets[edit]

Tablets[edit]

References[edit]