Galaxy S8 home screen goes ultra-minimal, may not have app drawer by default

The Galaxy S8’s launcher looks more futuristic than we initially thought.

We’ve seen plenty of the Galaxy S8’s outside form, but what about the inside? I don’t mean the heart — we know that, too — but the software, presumably based on Android 7.1.x, though judging from these leaks launcher screenshots, the resemblance is passing at best.

Thanks to screenshots retrieved from a leaked version of Samsung’s upcoming Smart Switch app that will make it easy for old Galaxy owners to transition their contacts, calendars, apps, documents and photos to the new GS8, we now know basically what the Galaxy S8 home screen will look like.

What you see above is not exactly what users will be interacting with when the Galaxy S8 is released in April, since the icons lack context-specific text underneath, but it’s a good approximation. Very sparse icon art, with broken or abstract lines depicting things like a phone or a camera, along with some other designs that are a bit harder to suss out. The contrast with Google’s own set of much more well-defined and colorful app icons is stark, to say the least.

Broken lines and minimal colors comprise Samsung’s vision of the home screen’s future.

Finally — and we’re not going to read anything into this until we know for sure — there is no app drawer on the home screen. This could mean that Samsung, like Huawei and LG before it, could forgo the traditional app launcher in favor of a more iOS-like Springboard design, where icons, folders and widgets live together on various home screens. Obviously, given that the second set of the screenshots depict an app drawer, the GS8 will support one, but it may have to be enabled after the fact.

It’s also worth pointing out that Samsung’s on-screen navigation pictograph for ‘home’ is nearly identical to the one Google uses, and suggests vendors use, for multitasking. Not confusing at all.

Life (Companion) moves pretty fast pic.twitter.com/eITSzku96C

— Alex Dobie (@alexdobie) March 13, 2017

Of course, everything evolves, and Samsung’s updated launcher looks quite different to just five years ago when the company was gearing up to launch the Galaxy S3.

Do you see anything else new in these launcher screenshots? Let us know in the comments below!

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