Samsung is testing a very big TouchWiz redesign in China and Korea right now. A “New Note UX” redesign on the Galaxy Note 5 is part of the new Samsung Galaxy Beta Program.
The test makes several changes to the original design. First, it eliminates the app drawer. Supposedly users in Eastern Asia prefer smartphones without an app drawer. The redesign places apps instead on consecutive home screens. This redesign has been seen previously on ZTE’s Axon phone, LG’s G5’s, the Huawei Mate 8 and various Lenovo products. Whether or not you feel this is a good move of course is up to your personal preference.
Second, all of the icons have rounded square shapes or rounded square backdrops. The Dialer and Messaging icons have the most notable changes. They now feature chat bubbles instead of email icons.
Third, the setting menu has been changed to look more like stock Android. The headers are much more concise and have multiple selections within them. The Notification Shade toggles have also been altered and the white circular background in its icons are gone. The Storage screen also looks different. The top ribbon notifies users of the latest downloads.
It is unclear whether Samsung will expand the Galaxy Beta Program outside China and Korea, or to other non-Note devices.The new redesign will supposedly rolled out to all recent Samsung devices by August. It is unknown if the redesign will be released as part of the Galaxy Beta Program, if this will be a default TouchWiz layout change, if the ability to add an App Drawer will be optional, or if this is a potential skin. It is also likely that this is a preview of the new UX that will launch with the Galaxy Note 7.
Google may also be removing the app drawer from its upcoming OS platform, Android N. Some argue that Google is trying to make Android N feel more like iOS, while others claim that Google is simply trying to remove the confusion for those who cannot find their apps. Google may also be suggesting changes to designers at Samsung and recently worked with HTC to remove bloat from the HTC 10.
Overall, when, where, and how this redesign will come out is still very much the subject of speculation.