TouchWiz UX was announced yesterday at CTIA with the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1. I know a lot of you are worried about how this will affect you and your decision to buy the second generation models of the Galaxy Tab. Well let’s dive right in!
In the past, Samsung has completely reskinned and reprogrammed how Android looks and works. That is not the case this time. The features do not dampen the already beautiful Android 3.0 Honeycomb experience.
Samsung’s first modification is called Live Panel. These panels are dynamic widgets that live on your homescreens. They allow you to further customize your homescreens and are constantly updated to give you the information you need. They include calendar, stocks, contacts, and more. An added bonus is that they can be resized with a simple longpress, just as you would in launchers such as Launcher Pro.
The next feature of the customized software is dubbed Mini Apps Tray. It puts simple functions in a tray on the bottom of the screen that appears in just a tap. You can open up the desired Mini App and it will pop up in a window that appears on top of the current app you are in. It can be moved around so that you can see the information in the app and use the simple function of the mini app at the same time. At first I thought this was pointless, but it has grown on me.
After extensive research and polling of tablet users and people in the market for one, Samsung found that the most common features desired were social features. So they included a Social Hub into the new TouchWiz UX. There are two tabs inside of te Social Hub application – Messages and Feeds. The messages tab is a unified inbox with all of your emails, instant messages, and social networking messages. The feed tab on the other hand delivers all of your social media status updates.
Reading and tablets almost go hand in hand. Even though I am not normally a book reader, it has been hard to keep away from reading ebooks on my original Galaxy Tab. Samsung realizes this and includes a Readers Hub built into the new tablets. The hub contains around 2 million books, 2 thousand newspapers in 49 languages, and 2.3 thousand magazines in 22 languages.
Entertainment is another key feature for tablet users, so a Music Hub and Media Hub were added. The Media Hub is only available in the United States, but the Music Hub is globally. You can download all your favorite music on the go with it. The Media Hub allows you to watch day-after-air tv shows and recently released movies.
Lastly, Samsung made many graphical changes. The preinstalled application icons are skinned as well as many of the applications themselves, which gives it a classic TouchWiz look. Other than that there are only minor changes, like different icons for the home, back, and application switcher. All of the other elements of stock Android shine through though and you will still get a very similar experience to stock, even if you do not wish to use some of the TouchWiz features.
What do you think of TouchWiz UX?