Samsung TouchWiz vs HTC Sense | TouchWiz 4.0 , TouchWiz UX vs HTC Sense 3.0 | Features and Performance
Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense are two user interfaces developed by Samsung and HTC respectively for their many different phones and tablet devices. Though we call them user interfaces, it’s actually a collection of useful widgets and features available in phones and tablets by these two organizations. The following article is an analysis of their similarities and differences.
TouchWizTM is a full touch screen interface developed by Samsung Electronics in collaboration with its many partners. This touch screen interface is available in feature phones as well as smart phones developed by Samsung. TouchWizTM is a proprietary technology of Samsung Electronics. TouchWiz was developed incrementally; versions are namely TouchWiz 1.0, TouchWiz 2.0, TouchWiz 3.0, TouchWiz 4.0, and TouchWiz UX.
A noticeable feature introduced with TouchWiz interface is widgets. Widgets were not available in predecessors to TouchWiz. In later versions of TouchWiz the ability to toggle between widgets are also included. Samsung phones with the proprietary Samsung operating system, Bada and Android utilizes TouchWizTM user interface.
TouchWiz 1.0 was the first release of TouchWiz user interface by Samsung. A customizable home screen with the facility to add and remove widgets was given in the initial release. All applications will appear with square icons in a grid like format. Though, this was a touch screen interface a virtual keyboard was not present.
Later versions of TouchWiz improved on the virtual keyboard and introduced many custom widgets, as well as a bottom pane with short cuts to Browser, applications, phone etc. Most Android phones will have TouchWiz 3.0 and TouchWiz 4.0. Latest versions of Samsung Tabs will include TouchWizTM UX.
TouchWiz 2.0 was prominently introduced to replace the default user interface components for Windows phones by Samsung. The concept of the “Today” screen was prominent in this version of Samsung TouchWiz. The screen has two modes, one for more casual use and another for work mode, with the option to add and remove widgets. Widgets were available for simple tasks such as launching a web site, display weather forecast, display pictures from stored images and etc. The widgets will be active immediately after dragging them to the home screen from the task bar. The “Life” mode of the “Today” screen had three virtual home screens. The ability to move between these desktops was available by clicking a horizontal bar on the desktop. The “work” mode is best for professional work. All modules in this mode are displayed in a single column. These modules can be moved around the screen as required by user. When we look back with all the new improvements of TouchWiz, these features may seem immature. But at the time of its release, these were quite innovative in comparison to that were available in the market.
TouchWiz 3.0 is more aligned towards the Android boom during the time of release. This version includes 7 home screens, which can be customized to the user preferences. Users can customize screens as well as add or remove them. Additionally when browsing all applications TouchWiz 3.0 allows horizontal scrolling as well as vertical scrolling by changing settings. Interesting widgets such as “Feeds and Updates”, which is a unified inbox for all social accounts of the user is also included in this version of TouchWiz. This version of TouchWiz comes with different versions of virtual keyboard such as QWERTY, 3 x 4, Handwriting box and etc.
TouchWiz 4.0 is available in Galaxy S II and contains few updates to TouchWiz 3.0. The contacts application comes with history of the communication between the contacts and user. The home button allows switching between 6 different applications simultaneously. Task manager is also available to enable closing down applications that’s not in use; however closing applications using task manager is not recommended on Android platform as applications not in use will be automatically closed. Flipping the phone to face the floor puts the phone to silent. This works the same for incoming calls as well as multimedia. This is a feature already available with HTC Sense 3.0 as well. Tilt- Zoom is another neat feature introduced with TouchWiz 4.0. To Zoom-in an image users can tilt the phone up and to zoom-out the image users can tilt the phone down.
TouchWiz UX is the Samsung UI version for Android Honeycomb. As a result all benefits of Honeycomb are available for the users. All hardware buttons such as Home, Back buttons are removed and replaced by buttons on the screen. The Home screen is available in multiple screens and they can be navigated via hand gestures such as swiping left and right. The widgets in Home screen will rotate as the device is rotated to fit the orientation, and most importantly they are customizable. Users may customize their location on screen, size and etc.
Another useful feature available with TouchWiz user interface with Android devices is the ability to turn off the TouchWiz user interface and use the default user interface.
HTC Sense is a user interface and a collection of features designed by High Tech Corporation (HTC). Devices running Android, Brew and Windows mobile will mainly have HTC sense interface. The interface is based on TouchFLO 3D design. HTC Sense is designed with a user centric principal in mind.
Today plugin is one of the key components of HTC Sense. It gives a seamless experience on the latest activities on “Messages”, “Friends streams” ,”Notifications” and more. HTC sense 3.0 brings an array of interesting features to the smart phone arena. These innovative features include over viewing your drive, Flip to silence, a map with a compass, an innovative directions feature, a zero wait navigation system, a unique ringing feature and more.
The “Today Plugin” includes several tabs, which gives users the digest of the latest updates on friends, call alerts, weather etc. These tabs include the Home screen, People, Messages, Mail, Internet Calendar, Stock, Photos and Video, Music, Footprints (A geo tagging application which creates a scrap book of places the users has visited), Twitter, Setting and etc. To give an example as to how the “Today Plugin” work let’s consider People Tab. People tab is the contacts application of HTC Sense. It shows an image of the contact, allows a default action such as taking a call or sending a text message by click the image, organizes details of contact and all messages/ emails sent between user and contact and also updates the Facebook status of the user. All other tabs include quite comprehensive features as the People’s tab and can be called great for productivity.
The design of HTC has given much priority to enhance the navigation experience of the user. Pre view your drive is a cool feature provided for users while they are driving. When users are on the move they can see what the turns ahead are and junctions ahead, simply with a click of a button. The phone automatically recognizes the current location and shows the drive ahead. Another interesting navigation feature is a map with a compass. There is no need to elaborate the difficulty of navigating in an unfamiliar area if the North cannot be figured out. HTC sense includes a map with a compass which will rotate as the user turns by identifying the direction using an inbuilt compass. A zero waiting navigation system is also included by loading Tom Tom maps to HTC phones. While many web based maps need waiting some time till the application is loaded, a pre loaded map will not require waiting. While using GPS for navigation, if a user gets a phone call in ordinary cases one will have two choices, either to answer the call and miss the next turn or ignore the call and use navigation without losing the way. HTC Sense allows users to do both. Users will be able to answer the phone call, while looking at the navigation on the phone screen. However, the safety of this feature is questionable since driving while using navigation and answering a phone call is not necessarily the safest driving practice. Nevertheless, these features together will definitely enhance the navigation experience of the user.
The ability to make the phone silent by turning it over is another interesting feature available with HTC Sense. This feature will allow users to turn the phone to silent mode without getting distracted from their meetings and other activities and enables them to do it quickly than going to phone settings. HTC sense has a unique ringing feature as well. When the phone is inside a bag it will ring louder. When the phone is taken out the ringing volume will decrease. This is definitely an innovative feature for users who travel back and forth in noisy cities.
HTC Sense utilizes extensive social network integration. For example, when a user get’s an incoming call alert, she will also see the Facebook update of the caller. Via a feature called “Friend Stream” one will be able to see all Facebook, Twitter updates and Flickr photos of friends in one screen. One will also be able to update multiple social accounts using a single screen, all because of the nifty social network integration provided by HTC Sense.
Designers of HTC Sense have understood the importance of the browsing experience on a smart phone. HTC Sense allows multiple windows for browsing. Additionally, zoom in also enhanced in HTC Sense. Regardless of the size of text, everything will neatly fit in to a single screen removing the need to scroll back and forth.
HTC Sense has not forgotten the frequent traveler as well. When a device moves from one time zone to another the phone will automatically change the date time settings and weather forecast will switch to local forecast.
With all these innovative and interesting efforts behind HTC Sense for phones, HTC Flyer is the only tablet device with HTC Sense demonstrated for tablets. Nevertheless, it is important to notice that HTC Flyer has an Android version optimized for phones. One can expect HTC Sense on Android 3.0 with near release of HTC Puccini tablet.
What is the difference between Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense?
Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense are two different user interface technologies by Samsung and HTC respectively. Both TouchWiz and HTC Sense are designed for touch screens. Samsung TouchWiz is available in smart phones and feature phones by Samsung with Windows, Android and Bada operating systems. HTC Sense is available in devices with Android, Windows and Brew operating systems. The latest version of TouchWiz is available in the latest Galaxy Tab 10.1 by Samsung and its called TouchWiz UX, while the latest version of HTC Sense is called HTC Sense 3.0 and available in Android smart phones. Both interfaces, Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense have a heavy emphasis in customized widgets and multiple home screens. Among these two technologies HTC Sense provide a wider range of features using other sensors in the device. Considering features such as map with a compass, silent mode by turning the phone over and other navigation facilities HTC Sense is a step ahead in features. However HTC Sense has not released a version optimized for Android Honeycomb as yet. Samsung TouchWiz has their own Honeycomb optimized TouchWiz UX.
Comparison of Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense
• Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense are two user interface designs by Samsung and HTC respectively
• Both Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense are designed for devices with touch screen
• Samsung TouchWiz is available in devices by Samsung with Windows, Android and Bada operating systems.
• Samsung TouchWiz went through a rapid iterative development and has versions such as TouchWiz 1.0, TouchWiz 2.0, TouchWiz 3.0, TouchWiz 4.0 and TouchWiz UX.
• HTC Sense also went through different stages and has versions named HTC Sense 2.0, HTC Sense 2.1 and HTC Sense 3.0.
• Samsung TouchWiz is available in Smartphone’s and feature phones by Samsung, while HTC Sense is available in smart phones by HTC.
• HTC Sense is available in devices by HTC with Windows, Android and Brew running.
• Both Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense have a heavy emphasis on multiple home screens, widgets and social network integration.
• In terms of navigation applications HTC Sense is a step ahead of Samsung TouchWiz with features such as map with compass, no wait map and preview drive.
• Samsung TouchWiz has its latest version optimized for Android Honeycomb while HTC Sense doesn’t have a version optimized for Android Honeycomb.