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Guide To Android: Custom UI’s, Touchwiz

Samsung’s first attempt at an Android phone with a custom UI was not the best one. Many Behold 2 owners were disappointed with the user interface. However, when Samsung introduced their Samsung Captivate running Touchwiz 3.0 many people were happy with the new and imporved ui.

You can find Touchwiz on several Samsung Android phones such as the Captivate, Galaxy S, and the Epic. Touchwiz is a custom user interface similar to HTC Sense. There is no need to create an account like MotoBlur and you are not forced to use it.

With the ability to be able to “turn off” Touchwiz you can enjoy both “Vanilla” android and Touchwiz. Touchwiz also includes many unique widgets to keep up on your social networks and the people important in your life. Buddy Now is one of the unique widgets that Touchwiz brings with it. You have the ability to place this widget on your home screen and be able to easily view your most recent contacts along with their social status updates. I find this widget to be very appealing for some users since you can easily choose the most recent contact you want to view and easily stay in touch.

With Touchwiz you are also able to link your social networking accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and Corporate emails. By doing this you are able to easily view feeds and comment on status updates along with being able to re tweet anything you find important right from your device using the scrollable widgets. These options are found on nearly all custom UIs for Android.

A unique feature on Touchwiz is the ability to toggle your settings directly from the notification bar. This feature makes it much easier and faster to be able to switch on or off settings like bluetooth and wifi. Also you can easily change your devices display brightness by using the notification bar. Another nice design is Touchwiz’s unique app drawer. Unlike the regular app drawers on most Android devices, this app drawer is horizontal. There are ways to customize the app drawer if you prefer not to have the horizontal one. You can also choose from an alphabetical list and the regular grid style seen on most Android devices.

The phone book implemented in Touchwiz has many different tabs for your contacts info. You can view a contacts phone number, email ect., along with status info on their social networks, and any media you may have linked to them. I find the ability to link media such as pictures and videos a great idea and I hope to see other versions of custom UIs implment this feature in the future. Overall, Samsung’s custom UI, Touchwiz, is a simple and easy to use interface that can make staying in contact easy even for someone new to Android.

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