Samsung is the best manufacturer right now to take on Apple, which is why Apple is being so aggressive against them lately. Their hardware is top notch and improving significantly each year, they have a good brand name, and can also distribute their devices in over 130 countries. But there’s one element that hasn’t been so great throughout most of its history, and that is their Touchwiz skin. Although, it has constantly improved and new features have been added, I think a lot of people could live without it. This, and the fact that they want to be as good in software as they are in hardware, seems to lead them to a recruiting spree of the top ROM makers from the Android “hacker” community.
Most Android users familiar with ROM’s in general would probably agree that the most popular ROM’s out there are CyanogenMod, and a more recent, but rising quickly in popularity, the MIUI ROM. Just few days ago we learned that Samsung has already hired the founder of CyanogenMod, and today we find out that they’ve been in talks to acquire or partner with the team that created MIUI, and is bringing the MI-ONE phone to market.
The CyanogenMod founder should be very experienced with putting the AOSP and ROM’s on a variety of phones by now, and making them run fast and stable on these devices. As Samsung are expanding their range of phones, they’re going to need more people working on this, and making sure Android runs as smooth as butter on them. They want Android to run the best on their phones not only because they use the best hardware, but also because the software is very optimized for that hardware. That is something that the CyanogenMod founder is very good at and has proven it time and time again. Plus, Samsung gets extra street cred for hiring the most popular developer in the Android ROM community. It’s always good to associate things that your customers love with your brand.
Ever since it launched, the MIUI ROM has been considered the most polished and beautiful ROM out there. It has beautiful design and also has some great interaction concepts that make the UI very intuitive. I would say that it does have a bit of a toy-ish look to it, which is not that surprising considering it started off in an Asian country, where similar styles and designs are popular and loved. So perhaps, some of you would prefer a different design, but I think most people would agree it has the “prettiest” UI out there. Samsung realized this, and that the MIUI team is very talented in both design and UI, so they’re probably working on getting them on board, perhaps for a TouchWiz 5.0 version. And again, they get even more street cred from the Android community for adding them to their software team.
With CyanogenMod and MIUI guys watching over Samsung’s software, I expect their devices to look and work much better in the future.