Here’s another user-friendly change Samsung has made to Android

Opinion
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Last updated: November 9th, 2015 at 12:43 UTC+02:00

Android has always been like a desktop operating system in many ways, when you look at how it allows you to customize your experience as you like it. One of the best things about Android is how it allows users to set a default app for various actions, if a device has multiple apps installed that can carry out a particular action. Have two different video players installed? The OS will show you a popup when you click on a video to allow you to select which of those video players you would like to use. Users get an option to either use a particular app once, or set it as default for the action that brought up these options.

With the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, Samsung made its software a tad more user-friendly by replacing icons with text to make it easier for users to understand what a particular icon does. With the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 edge+, the company has made yet another change that makes the devices slightly easier to use for the average Joe.

On the latest version of TouchWiz, you will no longer see the OS offering you an option to set an app as default for any action. Instead, the app you choose the first time will be set as default forever. If you install another app that supports that action, the popup to select a particular app will come up once again, letting you set a default for the next time you install a compatible app (or uninstall it.) In some cases, a default app never gets set (for example, selecting the Photo attachment in a WhatsApp chat will always bring up the app selection popup), but for the most part it happens the very first time.

For the power user, this might see like a bad change for one of Android’s best features, but for the general consumers, it’s a pretty good move. There have been too many times when I’ve noticed that some of my friends and family have never ticked the “Set default” (or “Use as default”) for any action. They simply select one of the compatible apps every time the popup shows up, instead of taking the time to read what the popup says and actually set a particular app as default.

You have probably seen people around you do the same, and I personally think it’s nice that Samsung has modified this Android feature in this manner. The company makes it easy to clear default apps as well, from the Settings » Applications » Default applications menu. Again, power users will probably cry foul over what Samsung has done, but it’s all good in the grand scheme of making things simpler for users, all while keeping all the power and functionality of the operating system intact.

Opinion Galaxy Note 5Galaxy S6 edge Plus
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