One of the biggest problems facing Google and Android for a long time now has been fragmentation with smartphone makers working on their own UI skins and customization to differentiate their products from others. These UI elements, however, also lead to slow OS upgrades, which is visible from Google’s Android version statistics that are released every month. In a bid to change that, Google could be working with Samsung to help with its TouchWiz UI, unconfirmed reports suggest. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 5G India launch nearing as support page goes liveAlso Read - Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go powered by Intel Jasper Lake Celeron processor revealed
Samsung, which is the world’s largest smartphone maker, is feeling the impact from commoditization of Android smartphones as Chinese rivals are adding to their market share by offering lower priced smartphones. Samsung has been trying for years to unshackle itself from Google but has not met with much success. Its Tizen OS failed to take off as a worthy Android alternative in the high-end space and has only recently met some success in the low-end segment. Also Read - Samsung Odyssey G3, Odyssey G5, Odyssey G7 gaming monitors launched: Details here
The Korean smartphone maker’s intentions haven’t gone unnoticed in Mountain View and discussions seem to have been happening from as long as January 2014 when Samsung showed off its Magazine UI at CES, much to the displeasure of Google’s management. Samsung and Google then reached an agreement where Samsung backed off a little when it came to coming up with its own apps that rivaled Google’s core services.
Things looked good for a while, when Samsung announced a flatter, less bloated version of TouchWiz UI later that year with the Galaxy S5. The smartphone maker, however, also partnered with Microsoft to have its Office suite and cloud services pre-installed and prominently displayed on the home screen, which again undermined Google.
Google helping Samsung optimize TouchWiz UI could possibly be a win-win situation for both the companies. Samsung would get some much-needed UI help that would make the user experience more in sync with the latest Android UI and could also lead to faster roll out of OS updates. For Google, it would ensure that its largest partner sticks to Android and more importantly, to its vision of Android.