We know Android L is coming soon, but how will it look with Samsung's own custom Android interface, TouchWiz?
OK, so that may not be a burning question that everyone is asking, but at least we now know the answer is: not terrible.
SamMobile scored a preview of a TouchWiz-skinned build of Android L running on a Galaxy S5, and posted a video and several screenshots.
The final product looks very much like the current TouchWiz, with a hint of Android L in the background, as opposed to a major overhaul. The enhanced notifications and other Material Design tweaks are there, but the overall look and feel has Samsung stamped all over it.
The transitions and overall functioning of the operating system look very smooth, which is a good indication of how Android L will run when it hits the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note, and other phones in Samsung's vast empire.
Google says that Android L can run across a wide variety of device types, including top-of-the-line flagships and ultra-cheap devices in its Android One program. So it should be able to handle TouchWiz and any other overlay that manufacturers throw its way.
Does this leak mean that Samsung's latest phones will get Android L quickly? Not necessarily. SamMobile described this early build as having, "a plethora of bugs" and "slow as a turtle." More importantly, carriers need to deploy their own tweaked versions of the OS, after testing it thoroughly on their networks. We hope this isn't the case, but it could be months between Android L's release and an update for your Samsung phone.
The story behind the story: Samsung is well known (some would say infamous) for a heavy-handed approach to skinning Android with its TouchWiz custom interface. Google's Material Design-inspired Android L should reduce the need for such tactics, as it's way better looking, more intuitive, and more visually consistent than past version of Android and most custom manufacturer skins.
It's going to take some time to hit the ecosystem, however, as different manufacturers are unlikely to give up the effort to put their own look and feel atop of Android. The Moto X is pretty skin-free, and there's a forthcoming whale-sized Nexus 6 if you want "pure" Android.
What do you think of what Samsung has put together here? Let us know in the comments if it's too much TouchWiz, or just right.