“Touchwiz” say that word in front of most hard-core Android enthusiasts and they will slay you. Say “Cyanogenmod” and all of a sudden you gain respect and everything is okay. Why is it that so many Android enthusiast dislike Touchwiz but are okay with other ROM’s? Touchwiz has some of the most innovative features available in a smart phone today. Take for example Smart Stay, this feature watches your eyes and cleverly stops the display from dimming while you read your news. My personal favorite is SMS/Dial, if you’re having a text message conversation with someone then bring the phone up to your ear it automatically starts to dial that person. I would love to have that feature on my Nexus 4. If Apple marketed features like this on their iPhone, everyone would eat it up and even Android fans would crave them.
ROM’s like Cyanogenmod don’t offer features like these yet people won’t hesitate to flash it on their device, so why all the dislikes? I have come to the conclusion that is has to do with choice. People don’t want to be forced to use something even though in some cases it may be better. I can assure you if we reversed the roles and Cyanogenmod was the default skin on all Samsung devices, people would dislike it. If Touchwiz was available in a flashable ROM it would be one of the most loved ROM’s available today based on all of its unique features.
This is the reason why the Samsung Galaxy S3 did so well and surpassed the iPhone is sales. Because the average person doesn’t know what ROM, Root, AOSP, etc is. Samsung did a great job with their anti Apple commercials, showing the world that the Galaxy S3 has features your iPhone doesn’t. It is evident that Samsung wants to replicate that success, with their upcoming release of the Galaxy S4. They are trying to create a brand and market their features from Touchwiz to stand out from the rest.
But Samsung isn’t the only one feeling the hatred, HTC Sense, Motoblur and many other manufacturer skins are not wanted by Android enthusiast. What approach do you think manufacturers need to take to get some love from the more advanced user? I’d like to hear your thoughts.