Now that Android Ice Cream Sandwich has been released to developers, manufacturers are working to get the new OS skinned and ready to ship on all those Android phones still running Gingerbread.
Thanks to the folks at SamMobile, we finally got a sneak peek at one manufacturer’s plans for ICS. SamMobile got their hands on an early release of Samsung’s new TouchWiz skin and they already have it up and running.
Before we jump into any analysis, check out SamMobile’s video of the skin running on a Galaxy S II:
So far, it looks nearly identical to Samsung’s skin for Gingerbread with just a few tweaks here and then. Over at TechCrunch, Chris Velazco isn’t pleased with what TouchWiz looks like on Ice Cream Sandwich, saying he thinks Samsung “just ruined everything” by bringing the same old TouchWiz skin to ICS.
I think Velazco is jumping the gun. It’ll likely be a few more months before TouchWiz is ready to ship for ICS devices, and that’s after it goes through all the testing carriers require before releasing it in the wild. What we’re seeing now could very well be just a starting point for the next version of TouchWiz. Let’s see what Samsung does with it before we claim Samsung is ruining everything great about the new OS.
But I do agree with Velazco that Samsung needs to let some of the best design aspects of ICS shine through TouchWiz:
Let it breathe, guys! I’m not saying that TouchWiz needs to die, but Samsung should poke a few holes in it and let some of Ice Cream Sandwich’s style show through.
So true. Right now, ICS looks better than any skin Samsung has come up with so far. They’d be missing out if they ignored that and only offered slight improvements over the last version of TouchWiz.
Take a look at what HTC does with its Sense skin. Each version is better and more beautiful than the last, and it doesn’t hide the best design aspects already baked into Android. You can bet HTC will pull off the same with ICS.
While Samsung tends to make the best Android hardware, its skins aren’t nearly as nice as HTC’s. TouchWiz tries too hard to look like iOS with boxy icons, an app dock, and even a similar voice recorder. Instead, I’d like to see Samsung step out of its Apple-wannabe comfort zone and show us something new on Android 4.0.
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