The new Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t only about hardware, Samsung has also tweaked the Touchwiz interface, it may not have all the changes that some users have been asking for, but there are some nice additions.
One of the most obvious changes to the launcher is the inclusion of Samsung’s My Magazine. It is accessed in a similar way to Google Now on Nexus devices by swiping to the left from the home screen. My Magazine brings together all your news and social media updates into one easy-to-read place. Just like on the Galaxy Note 3 you can add your social media accounts to My Magazine along with news from a curated list of sources.
The icons in the quick settings and toggles are now round and this new move to circular icons is also reflected in the new settings app. The settings page has been changed quite radically and is now just a long list of settings options. However each section in the settings can be collapsed by pressing the small arrow on the section title. This new design is quite different to the tabbed approach that Samsung used on the Galaxy S4 (and other Galaxy devices). There is also a new section in the settings called “Motions and gestures” and this is where features like Air Gestures (aka Air Browse) can be configured.
As for the soft buttons that straddle the home key, Samsung has removed the menu button and replaced it with a recent app button. So to the left of the home key is now recent apps and to the right the back button. Recent apps acts very much like it does on other Android devices and shows a list of apps which you can switch to by tapping on them or you can close by swiping them away. Once in recent apps you have the option to swipe away all the apps along with a icon for the active apps manager.
The fingerprint scanner can be configured under the Personalization section in the settings. Here you can register your fingerprint by swiping your finger several times over the reader. Once your fingerprint has been stored you can configure the S5 to only unlock using your finger. Unfortunately you can’t wake and unlock the phone by swiping your finger, you must first wake it, by pressing the power key, and then swipe your finger to unlock it.
Overall the Touchwiz interface on the Galaxy S5 will be familiar to those who have used other Samsung Galaxy devices, but it has been tweaked to make use of the new hardware, like the fingerprint reader.