Google made its Android operating system the most popular one across the world by democratizing the software completely. Yes, it’s true that Android has a far wider consumer base than the iOS or any other smartphone OS today, but it is also true that Google’s liberal customization policy has a lot to do with this popularity. OEM’s can make changes to the base platform and customize it to their own devices. Several phone makers actually do this in order to make their phones stand out from among all Android phones. However, Samsung has really started to dominate this space.
The version of Android currently running on leading Samsung phones is arguably better than the original Jelly Bean version. Samsung launches Android on its signature TouchWiz interface, which provides a much better user experience. In its initial days, Samsung was criticized for slowing down Android with TouchWiz. The older technology was bulky and many found it unnecessary. However, the South Korean telecom giant has streamlined TouchWiz significantly and today, it momentously improves the stock Android platform.
Samsung’s Smart Rotation and Smart Stay features use front cameras on phones to know when a user is looking at the phone. For many Android users, it is a constant annoyance to set the screen right after they have accidentally rotated it. By detecting the user’s facial features Smart Rotation knows when the rotation was accidental and when it was intentional. Similarly, Smart Stay knows that a user is reading something on the phone or looking at it, so it keeps the display light on even when there is no activity on the screen. These features are small, but they make a big impact on the overall user satisfaction with the product.
With TouchWiz, users can also enjoy Page Buddy, which is not available on Google Android. Page Buddy changes the home screen page of the phone in certain circumstances. When a user docks the phone, plugs in earphones, is roaming outside the home area or takes the S-Pen out of the silo, the phone detects that and changes the options on the screen accordingly. In the last case, for example, a notes page will automatically appear on the screen and so will the apps that usually require the use of the S-Pen. The screen automatically goes back to default when the action is undone.