News has been tossed around lately that Samsung’s TouchWiz will be losing a lot of weight with the release of the Samsung Galaxy S6, and now SamMobile is back with a few more details as to what changes the Korean company will be making. The software is being optimized to be “near stock” in terms of performance, but new information suggests that Samsung will also be preloading a slew of apps from Microsoft’s productivity suite.

According to insiders familiar with the matter, Samsung is starting the revamp of TouchWiz on the S6 with the “removal of all pre-installed Samsung apps.” It’s not yet clear what exactly this will mean, but it’s likely that features that Samsung has typically forced on its users (like S Voice, S Health, and others), will be downloadable from the Galaxy Apps store rather than included by default.

Interestingly, while the removal of all of these Samsung apps will definitely contribute to a performance boost, it’s also rumored that the company will be replacing them with a slew of mobile apps from Microsoft. Apps like OneNote, OneDrive, Office Mobile, and Skype are slated to be coming to the device preloaded—which seems odd considering that Samsung seems to be focusing so heavily on not shipping the Galaxy S6 with preloaded software.

Performance of TouchWiz is definitely going to be getting a boost with the release of the Galaxy S6. The software is said to be “amazingly fast” compared to the latest release of TouchWiz Lollipop for the Galaxy Note 4. The update to TouchWiz will also include more of Google’s Lollipop animations, and while some of these are already included in current builds of TouchWiz, they’ll be even more prominent is the forthcoming release.

Samsung is also making a slew of other changes to the UI with the upcoming version of TouchWiz, including:

  • Samsung’s default keyboard app supposedly looks more like a mix between the keyboard on the Galaxy Tab S and the iOS keyboard.
  • More theming options are available
  • All Samsung’s apps are more colorful
  • You can select between 4×4, 4×5 and 5×5 icon layouts for the app drawer
  • The app drawer no longer supports endless cycling through the list of apps (meaning you can’t go back from the last page to the first without going back through the previous pages).
  • The music app still runs in full-screen mode at all times
  • The dialer app looks “green as grass”, or that’s what we were told.

Latest details suggest that there will be an “Edge” variant of the Galaxy S6, with screens covering three sides of the device. A recent AnTuTu leak pits this phone as running the latest version of Android, 5.0.2 Lollipop. Purportedly, the device sports a 5.1-inch 2560 x 1440 resolution display, a 5-megapixel front camera, a 20-megapixel rear camera, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of flash storage, and an ARM Mali-T760 GPU. As for the device’s processor, the S6 Edge looks like it will indeed be ditching Qualcomm as was previously rumored and sports Samsung’s own Exynos 7420.

The device is set to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress early next month in Barcelona, Spain.

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Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.