#io13: Google to offer TouchWiz-free Galaxy S4 from 26 June

16 May 2013

Image via Hugo Barra on Google+

Samsung’s Galaxy S4 will undergo a UI makeover from Google that will see the device sold on Google Play with stock Android from 26 June.

TouchWiz is the front-end touch interface developed by Samsung that appears on its Android devices, just as HTC overlays its Android stock with HTC Sense. While some users are happy with the Samsung-made interface, die-hard Android fans prefer to run the operating system as was originally intended by its creators, which is what you get with Google’s range of Nexus hardware.

But, seeing as Samsung is the most popular Android smartphone provider in the world, it’s a smart move for Google to launch its own version of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4, with a stripped-out stock Android interface. This way, Google likely hopes to get its unadulterated Android experience into more hands.

Google’s version of the S4 will run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and it has been promised that any updates to the system will be rolled out to users promptly.

A 16GB unlocked version of Google’s Galaxy S4 will cost US$649 on Google Play in selected markets. (Unfortunately, Ireland is not one of the markets where devices can be purchased through Google Play.)

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.