November 15, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Samsung Touchwiz UX has already been covered on Androinica. Few things have changed in this implementation of the customized Honeycomb software, this time built on Android 3.2, that ships on the GTab 7.0 Plus. Large green neon buttons replace the blue of stock Honeycomb, and a slimmer, gray-tinted group of icons are on the action bar. Reversing that trend, Samsung made the widgets more colorful and cartoonish instead of the more sensible look of stock Honeycomb. I’m not a fan of those choices, but I welcome with open arms the Mini Tray that always keeps a calendar, pen memo, calculator, world clock, and music player in reach.
What’s new about the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus is that the software can be appreciated differently thanks to the more compact form factor. In the case of ebook, Samsung’s built-in reader that supports Epub file imports, users get a great app perfect for a smaller screen. eBook feels more like reading a traditional book, but it also has elegant design and enhancements one would expect from an e-reading app. The device also comes pre-loaded with:
- Next Issue – a digital magazine newsstand and subscription service
- MovieFone – a movie and theatre info app (I’d rather use Fandango or Flixster)
- Photo Editor - an app than can crop, change color levels, resize, and rotate your images
- Polaris Office - an excellent app to create, edit, or read MS Office documents
- Pen Memo – a Memo application that responds to on-screen scribbling and can mix-in keyboard typing, photos, maps, or more
- Peel Smart Remote – a TV guide and control app [read full review here]
- Almost all of the pre-loaded software are valuable add-ons people will actually use
- Touchwiz UX allows for native screenshots without needing root, quick controls to key settings features, and a persistent bar for accessing utility apps
- Touchwiz UX slows down the device in a couple of instances, namely when adding to the home screen or swiping. The lockscreen has a similar short but annoying hiccup every now and then.
- Screen brightness automatically dims when launching the browser. It’s probably done to conserve energy, but it’s annoying as hell and persistently returns despite changing settings.