In (hopefully) the near future, Samsung is going to roll out the Android 9 Pie update to some of its handsets, and when that new software arrives a potentially controversial change will be coming with it.
It looks like Samsung wants to pull back on the usage of free themes on its devices. Right now, Samsung device owners have the ability to install custom themes to mix things up. Themes range from the free options to themes that cost a few dollars. These are all meant to change things up from the stock TouchWiz theme on Samsung devices.
But things are changing. It has been confirmed that Samsung will be restricting the use of free themes to trial periods, which will last 14 days. Once the trial period ends, the phone will automatically revert back to the stock TouchWiz experience. Users will get a pop-up notification that tell them 24 hours before the theme is going to expire, and then they will get another one that will pop up 10 minutes before the phone is about to revert to the stock experience.
When the trial period ends Samsung will “provide suggested themes along with the notifications in order to help you easily change your theme”. There is no word on what types of themes Samsung will be suggesting, but it stands to reason that they’ll be the paid variety, which Samsung makes a cut off.
Why is Samsung making the change? According to the company:
“We ask for your understanding as we have changed the policy in order to help our designers continue to create high quality products and also to provide stable and satisfactory services for you.”
Could Samsung simply vet the themes a bit better, even the free options, before allowing them into its store? Sure. And it also remains unknown what happens to the free themes after you finish the trial period. Does the free theme just . . . not become available anymore after you’ve tried it already? Does it revert to a paid option? Who knows!
Samsung will make this change officially official with the rollout of Android 9 Pie at some point next year. What do you think of the decision?