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As we’ve told you last week, Samsung announced the official TouchWiz custom user interface for the Galaxy TAB 10.1 tablet running Android Honeycomb. The software update will be released over-the-air tomorrow, on August 5th to all users, for free of course.
While I’m not really that much into interface customizations (HTC Sense is an exception) I have to say the new ToucWiz for Honeycomb makes it easier to accept the changes, mainly because Samsung decided not to mess up with the already good layout and functionality of the Honeycomb, but merely to add value with new widgets, apps and new shortcut menus. It’s a good approach and hope other manufacturers who want to customize their software take Samsung as an example.
So let’s see what you can expect from TouchWiz UI. LivePanel is a magazine style widget, fully customizable, offering quick access to social updates, emails, news and the photo gallery. Mini Mode Tray is an overlay menu appearing when you tap the arrow in the middle of the taskbar. The menu offers access to Task Manager, Calendar, World Clock, Pen Memo, Calculator and Music apps. An advanced clipboard was introduced, which offers copy/paste functionality for not only text, but pictures, files, web links which can easily be shared via email, messaging or social networks. The Indicator Quick Panel is known from other Samsung devices, and is a fast access shortcut to toggle on/off things like WiFi, Bluetooth, Sync and so on.
From the list of apps added by the TouchWiz for Samsung Galaxy TAB 10.1 I have to mention the basic Photo Editor, Amazon Music Cloud Player, Amazon Kindle, Words with friends, Media Hub (an interesting portal for downloading movies and TV shows from popular networks), the Music Hub (Samsung’s iTunes competitor, if you like with songs starting at $.99). There’s also the Samsung Social Hub, a widget that puts together updates from your friends from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and your email accounts. You can browse by network, of course, and post updates, but you’ll love the included ‘all together’ mode if you’re a social media fanatic.
One more thing I have to mention: you can chose not to update to TouchWiz, but if you do you won’t be able to get future Samsung Android update unless you opt-in first for the TouchWiz first. A little bit restrictive, but since the interface update seems quite desirable I don’t see why you wouldn’t switch.
Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet details and availability info
Update: Here’s the official video demo of TouchWiz, directly from Samsung.