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Lollipop preview on the Galaxy Note 3 gives us a taste of what's to come

After showcasing Android Lollipop on the Galaxy S5 last month, the folks over at SamMobile have gotten their hands on an internal Lollipop build destined for the Galaxy Note 3. The video highlights significant changes to the TouchWiz UI, which now conforms to Material Design guidelines.

All facets of the UI has been tweaked, along with the Settings pane. The most noticeable design change is the shift away from dark teal shades to lighter colors. The build also includes floating circular action buttons throughout the interface, and is similar in most regards to what we've seen demoed on the Galaxy S5.

There's no word yet as to when Samsung intends to roll out the update. Until such time, feel free to share your thoughts on the upcoming changes to TouchWiz in the comments below.

Source: SamMobile

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • I'd like to know if white colours really drain (much) more battery compared to darker colours an a modern day amoled screen. Power consumption has been lowered with each iteration, so would the switch to a brighter theme make such an impact? AC probably has a few Note 3's, S4's and S5's lying around, so please do a rundown by displaying a dark grey vs a bright image, once on low, once on bright screen settings! Would be interesting to see how Samsungs technology has improved! I only ask, because a lot of people already complain because there's only the bright theme to choose from.
  • I don't remember if it's AC or another site, but I saw a test recently and yes black background uses less battery. Posted via Android Central App
  • Black pixels are turned off on amoled screens (unlike lcd) if I remember right. You cannot use less power than turned off.... Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • Yes it does someone on xda forums has tested this with the amoled devices and it does Posted from my note 3 :3
  • When switching from my Note 3 to Note 4 I was very disappointed in the new color theme of the 4... And now it looks like they've carried that same theme over to lollipop... Again very disappointing. I don't like the light blue border and bright white background grounds at all.... It would be nice that at a very least if they would give you a choice between a light and dark theme. On all my Galaxy phones I've always had a mostly black background for both home and lock screens to help with battery life... And I just like darker backgrounds better, especially when I'm in a dark room, as my eyes are sensitive to bright light changes like that. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Note 4 has a much improved battery life and faster charger.
    Tian Bao
  • WOW, Samsung finally listening to it's customers. I don't believe my eyes. I need a drank. I am Aquaman!
  • It seems they've done a 180 a bit ago... the s5 tested the waters with some new concepts, then the Alpha fixed build issues, and then the Note 4 fixes nearly every complaint there was with the 3. High hopes for the s6!
  • I am VERY happy with my new Note 4. TouchWiz is at least tolerable now (no lag!), and I can already see improvements to the UI's design. Can't wait for Lollipop to hit my device! Looks like Samsung is finally starting to listen to customer feedback...and importantly, to Google's design rules!
  • I know some people don't like Samsung's interface, but I'm hoping they can add some bits for my Note 3 that seem to be missing from pure lollipop (which I must admit I don't like that much on my N5) e.g. data toggle without going through 3 menus, a proper 'silent mode' switch, keep the flight mode &sound profile options on the power button press etc...
  • If u watch carefully there is an icon in the status bar for data if u missed it Posted via Android Central App
  • But with Samsung that toggle varies by carrier. Like Verizon usually always has that data toggle, and AT&T does not. It's weird but just something I noticed working for Samsung the last year. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Exactly
  • Samsung still completely lost. Touchwiz still a streaming pile of ugly garbage. Dated and inconsistent. Jarring colour combinations. Revolting, amateur-hour icons. It's all STILL there. Unbearably bad. Nothing has changed as far as I'm concerned.
  • I disagree. The dialer and messaging interfaces look good. When those of us on att see this is the big question.
  • Then I guess the Note 3 isn't your phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Haters will hate... Posted via the Android Central App
  • hmmmm don't know what ur talking about.. the core apps all have been updated from what i can tell... the material design has been carried into the Splanner, messaging, dialer etc etc... there are some tweaks they can make but sure as hell beats a lot of other versions of android... the colour combinations i might have to agree with you though... better colours then Green and Teal to use out there...
  • I don't like the colors either. Not at all. But you clearly will never be satisfied with TW no matter what changes are made. They've improved it a ton in the last year, and you see a 4 minute video of it and have already decided that it's the worst thing ever created. I'm getting real tired of hearing it from all the haters who refuse to even consider having an open mind before they decide 100% that they despise it.
  • I agree which is one of the reasons I don't really like the ac community. No offense to anyone. Prime example is how people write off windows phone without even using it. Lol it's actually pretty lame when people talk like that but hey what can you do? It is actually a really good os as well. All the os's have some good things and bad things about them. Every website will have its fanboys but generally I find more here than on windows central. As for me, I'll continue to enjoy my Android tablet and my windows phone. It's good to be open minded cause you never know what you might like. :) Posted via the Android Central App
  • There is a solution for the ugly icons in TouchWiz, an app named Galaxy Icon Themer in the store. It even supports icon masking for the icons missing in the icon packs.
  • I think your assessment is unreasonably harsh. If this is the right build, it suggests that Samsung has toned down almost everything. They're becoming a lot more consistent (except for the old number pad in the stopwatch side) and this design looks closer to stock than TouchWiz has ever looked. I understand harshness in the past, but I find any harsh criticism of Touchwiz with Lollipop to be over the top at this point. Posted via Android Central App
  • Well spotted!! Yes, when the big blue settings toggles come down there is a mobile data one there! I hope its there and working in the final version. Thanks for pointing that out.
  • No problem bro cuz guess wat. .....!I paused the video as soon as he pulled the status bar down and SCANNED for the mobile Internet quick wat sense does it make to not have it and the note 2 has it but not the note 3 Posted via Android Central App
  • Some carriers don't want you to turn off your mobile data, like at&t for instance
  • The question is, can you use Google wallet now? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Google Wallet works on my Sprint Note 4.
  • Google Wallet is blocked on phones by most of the US carriers because they made their own wallet app, SoftCard. Sprint isn't part of that consortium so they have no problem using Google Wallet.
  • I figured as such. So, the problem for yankeesusa is with his carrier, not Samsung or his phone.
  • My understanding was that Google changed Wallet...instead of requiring hardware to support it, it now does it's authentication "in the cloud", meaning that Verizon (and others) can no longer block it. Am I wrong? Are Verizon and others still able to block the use of Google Wallet? I have a Sprint phone, and I use it all the time with no problem...but Sprint has always been friendly to Google...
  • If it's blocked by your carrier you can download the Wallet app but only manage payments with it. It doesn't have the option to use the NFC tap and pay feature.
  • Hmmmmm.... it used to be blocked in my tmobile phone. On my note 4, it isn't blocked. I can do everything with it. I should know, as I use it as my primary payment method. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You mean ISIS.. Same thing as the Muslim radicals of the same name Posted by my soon to be retired Note 3
  • I use wallet (tap&pay) almost daily on my Verizon G3, no hackery needed whatsoever. Posted via Android Central App
  • I concur. Google wallet worked flawlessly on both my Sprint Note 3 and Sprint Note 4....
  • Using it now on my AT&T Note 4.
  • As I have both an S5 and a note 3, I am hoping both arrive before Christmas! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ditto! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I just wish they would get rid of those nasty folder icons for grouped items and ditch all that wasted space with another row or 2 of homescreen icons. Those two pain points are the biggest reason I am running Nova on my Note 4. Love nova, but third party launchers break screen write which is a nice function (if anyone knows how to fix that let me know).
  • Those seem to be pretty serious issues u have with the note 3 where as I don't seem to even notice them again like I posted on in the comments section on Google+ I don't see wat the big deal is with the new UI being as though the stock UI is boring me now I like the change in UI my only issue is the same as the guy from sammobile samsung needs to input all the changes and stick with it and not a lil and keep some stuff out Posted via Android Central App
  • I'm using Nova on a rooted Note 4 and screenwrite works without issues for me. What broke for you? posted from an undisclosed device
  • Actually just tried it again and it worked. I have removed and reinstalled Nova since trying the first time. When I tried it with a third party launcher prior, it froze the phone even if TW was selected as default. Not sure why it didn't work then and does now, but who cares! Thanks for making me check again.
  • *sigh* Lock screen widgets still gone. Why did they remove that feature? I used it all the freaking time! i know I can get it from a third party lockscreen app, but those don't generally work well 100% of the time, at least the ones I've found.
  • I like how every other manufacturer (Moto/LG) is straight up releasing Lollipop, meanwhile Samsung just keeps releasing L Previews... thanks Sammy, can't wait til my Note has the update next year!
  • No they're not and Sammy will be on schedule... Relax Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh, the irony >>> Yes, I realize this is mostly a Sprint holdup. But I'm with Sprint. Hence the trepidation in my original comment. Also, see my comment below.
  • Pretty much the only devices that have gotten it are Nexus and Google Play Editions. Take a breather. You'll have plenty of time later to whine about "i'm never buying a Samsung again because I don't have the update!"
  • I mean, I'm not wrong in saying that they're typically behind the curve on releases. And I'm on my 3rd Sammy phone. Also, see my comment above.
  • I find your findings to be correct. Posted via some candy
  • whoooo i like the new messages app.... follows the new material design... i like samsung's messages app cause it integrates well into touch wiz and the features u get... nice nice! even though i use nova launcher .. it doesn't change that it's still touchwiz apps etc underneath
  • OMG this is so ugly!
    Why Samsung builds his own dialer, clock, messaging, music and so on apps or quick settings (I have to puke...)?!
    All the stock apps look way better, are more material, have better colors, better animations, more functions.
  • OMG! You're an idiot. Why does everything have to be the same? Personally I love their dialer with easy access to contacts and speed dial. The stock quick toggles in lollipop are terrible. You should be able to customize it and samsung let's you. You "stock" android nazis need to get over it, you know, together not the same. Posted via Android Central App
  • The first part of your post was a good self-assessment.
    The second part: What's missing? You have the shortcuts but a way more beautiful design with awesome animations. And this is for all the apps, why Samsung has to replace it when they are doing it in a ugly way with no benefits! That's a fact comparing those, it would have made sense if they wanted to improve it.
  • I agree with some of your comments, but I have a great don't have to buy Samsung!
  • Sure thing but that's why I can't say the obvious? Of course I can complain, in my family there a lot of Galaxys and everytime you show them something you have to deal with Samsung bullshit. They do some things right, improve (even though more complicated) on the quick settings for example. Ok here you have a benefit, replace it, but why the hell it is so ugly and why not use the more polished open source one and add features to it. But yeah unfortunately you have to deal with it as a Samsung user, maybe sometime they'll get some designers in their company.
  • Excuse me ma'am but these are your opinions. Just as you may find the brand of car I drive not to your liking... Who gives a crap? Us users of Touchwiz have learned to like it or are using some other launcher.
  • to tell you the truth.. i don't like the new messenger SMS app from Google... it doesn't let you change colours, styles, looks, it doesnt' have pop up messages.. and it wastes too much space ... the touchwiz app looks similar with the new design and it'll give u the functions the google one doesn't...
  • The SMS messaging app everyone can replace and uninstall - from Google you have also the option to use hangouts or any other 3rd party app. So this is not the topic.
  • yes it is the topic because u asked why samsung needs to build their own core apps... it's cause it integrates into their touchwiz workflow... i.e. screen turning on when sms comes in, or showing on the lock screen... if u install third party apps they don't do these things.. "All the stock apps look way better, are more material, have better colors, better animations, more functions." u do mean google apps right? so no where did u mention 3rd party sms apps... the new Google SMS app does not have more functions.. it's missing a lot actually... so therefore i uninstalled it and using the Samsung SMS app.. and i am happy their new UI has aligned with google's material design.. Google automatically chooses colours for you ... i don't want PINK chat bubbles..maybe you like pink chat bubbles... but i don't ... i want to be able to change that and make it more uniform across each conversation..
  • Touchwiz really has no good corporate design. Another example the clock app - man you'd miss so much goodness using Touchwiz. It looks outdated, I can only hope this in the video is work in progress. Of course it's a huge step forward to what you are using now but not good. You have to use better apps to understand I think.
    On the top you can't change the dialer app I think even when you're using a third party launcher. And there would be a lot of other things to say but one more thing: there is no pink at all, not in my conversations. To sum it up, Touchwiz really has to improve a lot compared to others and compared to the old version it improved, that's the good thing.
  • while you can't do some of these things, check out Hello SMS. Love the way it handles some things!
  • For those fortunate to have Verizon, who in my not so humble opinion has the Best tech support of Any technical corporation I've ever delt with in 20 years, has a fantastic SMS called Message+. Its so superior to Google SMS it almost brings tears of joy to my eyes.
  • It's still Samsung, and it's still touchwhiz. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Well, it wasn't going to be HTC running LG's UI.
  • xD this made me lol.
  • Lmao Very nice response Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm not gonna defend touchwiz this time around because I'm a bit ticked that they decided to make the notif. Panel and quick settings such a bright, tacky blue. They should left it with the darker toned turquoise that it is right nkw
  • So in other words won't probably get the Lollipop update until next year. Posted via my Samsung Galaxy Note 4.
  • Looks like what it is, Lollipop filtered through Touchwiz. Really the only thing that makes me cringe is the keyboard, but I'd use Swiftkey anyway (keyboard is always first to go for me). Otherwise this is nicely done IMO.
  • They need to roll out the updates faster the new software update looks real cool
  • Pfffh only change will be the about screen with skinned phones Posted via Nexus 7 2013 or verizon Galaxy S5 or maybe one day through my moto 360
  • I have used a different launcher on my N3 since day one, but there is, of course, no escaping the menus, dialer, etc. This is certainly an improvement, I actually like what I see. A very welcome change.
  • Third party dialer... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Agreed! Looking fwd to lollipop on my N3, IH because I like material design (I don't), but because I hate the ugliness of TW. Posted via Android Central App
  • Petty wack. I'm glad my note four has lollipop with no touch wiz, I paid all this money for a phone to go in a case, well pardon me
  • I like it, MINUS the keyboard. Ive always hated light keyboards but Ill get used to it, I have to; I hate the functions of other keyboards. What I would like to have is every manufacturer to let you choose between light or dark themed keyboards but I can live through it
  • um... Swift Key much?
  • Okay, I've been a critic of Samsung and TouchWiz for awhile now, but that actually looks pretty nice. The colors, core app layouts, and transition animations all fall in line with Material Design and look pretty good. Really the only thing I can complain about are the cartoony-looking app icons.
  • awesome white contact list and dialer Posted via the Android Central App
  • Has anyone noticed that the notification panel and quick settings menus are an even lighter blue on lollipop than they are now. It almost looks like a tacky, neon teal color. Why not keep the blue tone he way it is currently on ths s5 and note 4?
  • Not too shabby. Yeah the icons and the keyboard are still touchwizzy but nova and Google keyboard is the cure. The basic stock apps and everything else follows the material design which is good. Glad they're showing it on note 3 which means note 3 users won't have to wait too long. Posted via Android Central App
  • Yes thanks, I found the name. It's called "goStrap". I use it on both my e-reader and my phone. It definitely has stopped the dropping problem but probably just as importantly, it has given me back the use of my hand!!! They have a website but you can also get them at The Container Store. Hope this helps and best of luck!
  • Still ugly sorry if you don't agree with my opinion. There is also such a thing as too much and touch is a bloated pig. Posted via some candy
  • Little bit annoyed they didn't keep the animations like the stock lollipop. Just same old touchwiz with some new colours and tweaks here and there.
  • I hope they do some cool stuff to the note 4 also but you note 3 guys are receiving one hell of an update i hate big phones thats why i got a.. (phablet)
  • I don't expect miracles from Samsung but I've yet to see material design guideline animation. If you've been receiving updated Google apps without Lollipop installation you'll notice that the changes are only colour and layout deep. What worries me more than the colours Samsung has used is that the smooth animation trademark of Lollipop isn't present in any of these exclusive video previews but more alarmingly is that from time to time I see a glimpse of a badly copied animation or transition sometimes without the ease as if Samsung decided to bypass the built-in hooks for animated elements and ignore the well documented animation guidance. I could be wrong and once released it could look Lollipop perfect bar the awful colour scheme. I kind of want to see a Google app working on this build to compare. How would you feel if Samsung disabled Lollipop animation completely meaning even Google apps sucked? Could they do that I wonder?
  • Why does samsung have to make everything ugly!!! Lollipop looks better when its stock! Posted via the Android Central App
  • For those fortunate to have Verizon, who in my not so humble opinion has the Best tech support of Any technical corporation I've ever delt with in 20 years, has a fantastic SMS called Message+. Its so superior to Google SMS it almost brings tears of joy to my eyes.
  • Regarding the video of Lolipop, and I know its not his fault because obviously English is not his native language, but the enunciation is so bad that it sounds like he has a bunch of marbles in his mouth. . So much so that I can not understand him.