Samsung’s new flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge, are reportedly selling much better than the company’s previous generation flagship, the Galaxy S5. Samsung has listened to its customers who’d clamored for certain changes on the software front, and the reworked and optimized version of TouchWiz does look more presentable and feels more snappy than previous generation versions, which have often been blamed as being garish and bloated. One feature which was much in demand, is theming support, and while Samsung has incorporated that in the latest TouchWiz Nature UX 5.0 found on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, the themes available on Samsung’s theme store may not necessarily be to everyone’s liking, especially if you’re a fan of stock Android. So for users who’d like to get rid of the TouchWiz UI to the extent possible and get a Nexus look and feel to your Galaxy S6 or Galaxy S6 Edge, here are a few easy ideas that can transform the look and feel of your prized possession.
First and foremost, you can always download the Google Now launcher from the Play Store. That’s the official launcher from Google which ships with Nexus devices, but is also available as a standalone app, to be downloaded and installed on any device running on Android Jelly Bean and above. The launcher may not be the most feature rich, but it’s completely free without any restriction, and is the first and the biggest step towards getting a stock look for your home screen on any Android device. The launcher also comes with the “OK Google” feature, which of course is Google’s hotword command for various tasks.
The second thing any device owner can do in order to make their S6 / S6 Edge feel a bit more like a Nexus device, is to download a Material Design theme as closely resembling stock Android as possible. However, as mentioned above, there are hardly any Material Design-based themes available on Samsung’s theme store which come with the look and simplicity of the AOSP design language. While such themes are available elsewhere, it would require root access on your Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. Although rooting your Android device is now easier than it has ever been, a lot of users may still be hesitant to root a brand new device, mostly because bricking your phone by tampering with its firmware basically voids the warranty in almost all cases. So for non-rooters, you can head on over to Samsung’s theme store and download the ‘Urban’ theme. It’s not a Material Design theme, but will replace the garish blue-and-white theme and replace it with a more soothing dark grey look. For the more adventurous ones, you can always root your device with PingPongRoot and download the Material Design inspired theme for the handset, developed by cambunch on XDA. The downloaded file can be then flashed onto your Galaxy S6 using FlashFire or through a root file manager to manually copy files and change permissions.
Finally, you always have the option of downloading different apps from the Play Store to replace the default Samsung apps. They could be Google’s own apps as found on stock Android devices, or they could also be from third parties, if that’s what catches your fancy. There are literally thousands of apps available for just about everything that you can think of including messaging, dialer, chat, browser, calendar, keyboard, camera, gallery, media – you want it, you got it on Google Play.