Galaxy S6 to have just three Samsung apps pre-installed

Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android.

Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android.

Samsung is set to overhaul its TouchWiz user interface for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to provide a more streamlined experience that’ll be snappier than ever before — but exactly how far will it go?

Will the South Korean company really do away with all of its own apps and make them optional? Apparently so. Sources say just three Samsung apps will come pre-installed on its next-generation Galaxy S devices.

I have a Galaxy Note 4 sitting on my desk right now, and it’s running stock Samsung firmware with TouchWiz. Including the essentials — like the Clock, Camera, and S Planner apps — there are 18 Samsung apps pre-installed.

That’s quite a lot, and I’m in the U.K. using an unlocked device, so I don’t have the additional bloatware that can come with locked handsets in the U.S. But as part of an initiative dubbed “Project Zero” internally, it’s all going to change.

“Today, we’ve been able to source the list of all the apps that will be pre-installed on the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge,” SamMobile reports. “This list contains only two Samsung apps.”

Technically, there are three: S Health, S Voice, and Galaxy Apps, all of which could be deemed essential. You need S Health for fitness tracking. You need S Voice to control your smartphone with your voice. And Galaxy Apps lets you take advantage of the deals Samsung offers its users, like free Evernote Premium and Deezer subscriptions for a limited time.

In addition to these apps, you’ll get Google’s essentials — which have to be pre-installed on any Android device — and Facebook and WhatsApp, which the vast majority are likely to use. Interestingly, there will also be some Microsoft apps pre-installed.

It’s a shame the Microsoft apps are included — they’re said to be part of a new deal between Microsoft and Samsung — but other than that, we can’t really complain. But of course, Samsung will have to do more than just uninstall a few apps.

TouchWiz has long needed some big changes. Even on the latest devices with the best specifications, it can be slow and inefficient — not only because of unnecessary apps, but also because of far too many unnecessary features.

Rumor has it Samsung is doing away with many of those, too. The company reportedly wants to deliver an experience as smooth as pure Android on the Nexus 6, with a much lighter version of TouchWiz we can all get along with.

I’ll believe it when I see it at Samsung’s Unpacked event during Mobile World Congress next week. I’m certainly excited for it.