[How To]Replace Galaxy S3 Touchwiz Apps with Pure ICS Apps

AndroidFan4

Member
Feb 1, 2012
33
57
0
This thread shows what AOSP (pure Google ICS) apps are safe to replace Touchwiz Apps with on your Galaxy S III to get that Nexus/CyanogenMod type pure ICS look and feel (see screenshots below). These have been tested with S-Voice and it is still able to open links and commands in the ICS apps.


I am not responsible for any issues or problems with your phone. You are messing with System Apps. I highly recommend creating a Nandroid Backup before starting in case something goes wrong

Requirements

Steps
  1. Download the APK file you want (linked below)
  2. Uninstall the original Touchwiz application through Titanium Backup then reboot your phone. I recommend backing up applications before you uninstall just in case something goes wrong or you want to restore them.
  3. Open Root Explorer and navigate to your download folder under SD Card
  4. Long press on your downloaded APK file, select move and navigate to your System App folder.
  5. Select Mount R/W at the top of Root Explorer and touch Paste.
  6. Long press on the APK and set permissions to rw-r-r-- (See image at end of post.)
  7. Touch the moved APK file and install it. If you get an error message, make sure the Touchwiz Version of the app is uninstalled. Reboot, then try again.


Tested and confirmed to work

  • Gallery
    • Update 6/24: Uninstalling the Touchwiz Gallery causes the Touchwiz Camera to force close after taking a picture and touching the thumbnail preview on the bottom right side. Workaround: Close the camera app and open the AOSP Gallery to preview the picture.
  • Browser (Must first uninstall the Touchwiz Browser. It is listed as "[BOOKMARKS] Internet 4.0.4-T999UVALEM" in Titanium Backup. Reboot. Then proceed to step 5.)
  • Calendar (Must first uninstall the Touchwiz Calendar. It is listed as "Calendar 4.0.4-T999UVALEM" in Titanium Backup. Reboot. Then Proceed to step 5)
    • Update 6/25: Make sure you uninstall only the Touchwiz Calendar (you can tell by the icon listed in Titanium Backup.) If you uninstall the one with the AOSP Calendar Icon you may lose Calendar Sync and S-Voice support for the Calendar.
  • Messaging (Must first uninstall the Touchwiz MMS App. It is called "[SMS/MMS Prefs] M... 4.0.4-T999UVALEM" in Titanium Backup. Reboot. Then Proceed to step 5.)
  • Calculator
  • Movie Studio
  • (Update 6/29) Email/Exchange (Must install both AOSP Email and Exchange APK's in order to work. In order to install you Must first uninstall the Touchwiz Email AND Exchange App in Titanium Backup. Reboot. Then Proceed to step 5. I was having issues connecting to Hotmail/MSN/Live account servers but had no issues with all others. May be temporary server issue. More testing needed.)

Tested but had issues

  1. Clock/Alarm (Force closes upon reboot)
  2. Camera (Will not work. Thanks naturefreak85 for testing)

Still need to download and test
  • Phone/Dialer (isn't supposed to work due to Touchwiz frameworks)
  • Contacts (isn't supposed to work due to Touchwiz frameworks)

Grabbed from the Play Store

Having Issues?
  • Read the OP completely
  • Make sure permissions are set properly on the app you're trying to install. In Root Explorer, long press on the APK you're trying to install and set permissions. It should be set like this:
  • Make sure the Touchwiz version of the app is uninstalled. Don't uninstall more than you need to (Calendar).
  • Reboot after making changes
  • Restore the original app using Titanium Backup or do a Nandroid restore if all else fails.


These files were pulled from various threads (like this & this) across XDA using the handy search tool. Credit goes to the community for providing instructions and files.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

FreydNot

Senior Member
Jun 21, 2010
232
60
0
Seattle
AndroidFan4, I can't thank you enough. Using your guide I was able to replace the touchwiz messaging app with the ICS messaging app without issue. I find delivery confirmations to be useless in the touchwiz version (the confirmation shows up as a second message). In the ICS app it works like blackberry messenger where the delivery confirmation appears as a green check mark next to the sent time.

Thanks!
 

Saturn1217

Senior Member
Nov 19, 2010
53
10
0
This is fantastic and thanks for figuring this out.

I don't have the phone yet (still debating between the S3 or the Galaxy Nexus) but this might push me towards the S3.

One question though. The stock browser on the S3 does text reflow pretty weird. It doesn't let you pinch to a zoom level you'd like and then double tap to get text to reflow, something I've heard the Nexus does with no problems. I know it may sound silly but this is the main thing keeping me from the S3.

If you use the AOSP browser on S3 following these instructions does it follow the regular S3 style text reflow (I tested this on a demo unit and from what I could see text is just automatically squished to one side regardless of zoom level) or does it revert to the reflow behavior seen on a Nexus?

Thanks!
 

AndroidFan4

Member
Feb 1, 2012
33
57
0
Will replacing the messaging app keep the notification icon on the lock screen working, or do I have to keep the Samsung version for this functionality?
It will remove the Samsung messaging icon that notifies you in the middle of the lockscreen. You can however add the AOSP messaging app to the quick launch bar on the bottom of the lockscreen for essentially the same thing and you'll still get the LED notification and notification bar alerts for messages.

You can find that option under Settings/Security/Lock Screen Options/Shortcuts.
 

AndroidFan4

Member
Feb 1, 2012
33
57
0
This is fantastic and thanks for figuring this out.

I don't have the phone yet (still debating between the S3 or the Galaxy Nexus) but this might push me towards the S3.

One question though. The stock browser on the S3 does text reflow pretty weird. It doesn't let you pinch to a zoom level you'd like and then double tap to get text to reflow, something I've heard the Nexus does with no problems. I know it may sound silly but this is the main thing keeping me from the S3.

If you use the AOSP browser on S3 following these instructions does it follow the regular S3 style text reflow (I tested this on a demo unit and from what I could see text is just automatically squished to one side regardless of zoom level) or does it revert to the reflow behavior seen on a Nexus?

Thanks!
I no longer have the Samsung Browser installed so I can't test but you are supposed to enable the setting on the AOSP Browser by pressing Menu/Settings/Advanced/Auto-Fit pages in the AOSP Browser. I just tested and it doesn't appear to be working like it has on some of my other devices. Pinch to zoom will zoom in without reflow and a double tap zooms it back out. I'll double check with another AOSP Browser APK to see if it fixes it.
 

joe.kerwin

Senior Member
Nov 18, 2009
865
80
0
I did the calendar swap and my s voice doesn't work for some reason, also doesn't seem to sync with Google

GS3 T-Mobile
Well S-Voice is designed to work with the Samsung Apps so that makes sense. Honestly, with all my previous devices I've always been quick to get AOSP ROM's/Apps on my phone, but I'm thorougly impressed with this phone and its software, replacing most of these with pure ICS apps seems more of a downgrade if you ask me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: avd

dotson817

Senior Member
Mar 28, 2011
461
52
0
Well S-Voice is designed to work with the Samsung Apps so that makes sense. Honestly, with all my previous devices I've always been quick to get AOSP ROM's/Apps on my phone, but I'm thorougly impressed with this phone and its software, replacing most of these with pure ICS apps seems more of a downgrade if you ask me.
I hate the stock calendar lol but the Google one doesn't seem to work anyways... Can anyone pull calendar from touchwiz and upload in didn't back mine up :/

GS3 T-Mobile
 

carrrnuttt

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2010
138
25
0
Out of curiosity, I restored my copy of CM9's Trebuchet Launcher that was backed up on my old HTC Glacier running a CM9 build. Works perfectly on my phone, and brings it even closer to that stock Android feel everyone's clamoring for.

I can't vouch for anyone else's phone, but you can get the launcher here (requires root, includes instructions): http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1410674

EDIT: At the end of the thread, there's one or two GT-I9003 users using it as well, it seems.
 

AndroidFan4

Member
Feb 1, 2012
33
57
0
I did the calendar swap and my s voice doesn't work for some reason, also doesn't seem to sync with Google
Weird I didn't have either of those issues. In Titanium Backup I remember seeing two Calendars listed. One had the Touchwiz Calendar icon and one had an AOSP Calendar Icon. I only uninstalled the Touchwiz one. Maybe that was the issue. I'll update the OP indicating to only uninstall one of the two.
 

androholic

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2011
562
177
0
Canton
This is fantastic and thanks for figuring this out.

I don't have the phone yet (still debating between the S3 or the Galaxy Nexus) but this might push me towards the S3.

One question though. The stock browser on the S3 does text reflow pretty weird. It doesn't let you pinch to a zoom level you'd like and then double tap to get text to reflow, something I've heard the Nexus does with no problems. I know it may sound silly but this is the main thing keeping me from the S3.

If you use the AOSP browser on S3 following these instructions does it follow the regular S3 style text reflow (I tested this on a demo unit and from what I could see text is just automatically squished to one side regardless of zoom level) or does it revert to the reflow behavior seen on a Nexus?

Thanks!
Hey that browser reflow issue you have isn't silly at all. I use my phone primarily for browsing, even a lot while I'm home & that is a feature all of my HTC phones have. Unfortunately the gs3 doesn't do the reflow, even w/ the double tap like on my Transformer Prime. This is honestly the only feature that this phone is lacking to make it the complete package for me. I asked in the q&a thread if anyone knows of a browser that may have this feature, but I got nothing? I'm not sure if it has to be coded into the phones framework? Now I own a lot of devices, but let me tell you that even without that feature, don't short yourself by passing on the gs3. I'm using it primarily for now, and while I rely on that feature, I'm loving this phone even without it. The Gnex is a nice phone, I had it & sold it, but not because it wasn't nice. But, the fact is the gs3 is so smooth that it's the first phone that really made me think that the hardware is finally there, finally so smooth. In my opinion, the One X is the only device that I've test drove that's in the same class as the gs3, and that was the international one x.
 

Slurpee7600

Member
Aug 16, 2010
31
2
0
Opera

This is fantastic and thanks for figuring this out.

I don't have the phone yet (still debating between the S3 or the Galaxy Nexus) but this might push me towards the S3.

One question though. The stock browser on the S3 does text reflow pretty weird. It doesn't let you pinch to a zoom level you'd like and then double tap to get text to reflow, something I've heard the Nexus does with no problems. I know it may sound silly but this is the main thing keeping me from the S3.

If you use the AOSP browser on S3 following these instructions does it follow the regular S3 style text reflow (I tested this on a demo unit and from what I could see text is just automatically squished to one side regardless of zoom level) or does it revert to the reflow behavior seen on a Nexus?

Thanks!
I've never actually had a browser do reflow like that so i had to find a google video showing exactly what you mean.

After some research using stock sgs3 browser, ics+ browser, dolphin hd, firefox for android and opera mobile the only browser on sgs3 that i can get to do this is opera. I've messed with settings on all of them and opera is the only one that does it and it does it automatically when you pinch to zoom, so no need for double tap. I actually find this more annoying than helpful myself, but I hope this information helps you out.
 
Last edited:

Jimieo

Senior Member
May 24, 2009
347
82
0
New London, CT
Has anyone tested out the dialer yet? That seems to be the only thing I would really want (for the google voice app integration).

If anyone has, how does S Voice handle being told to make calls and stuff? (need that for hands free driving)
 

androholic

Senior Member
Dec 22, 2011
562
177
0
Canton
I've never actually had a browser do reflow like that so i had to find a google video showing exactly what you mean.

After some research using stock sgs3 browser, ics+ browser, dolphin hd, firefox for android and opera mobile the only browser on sgs3 that i can get to do this is opera. I've messed with settings on all of them and opera is the only one that does it and it does it automatically when you pinch to zoom, so no need for double tap. I actually find this more annoying than helpful myself, but I hope this information helps you out.
After some hunting, I've found opera, and maxathon both work for reflow. The opera browser kind of stutters and I don't care much for it. Maxathon is tolerable though and I could probably get used to it. This feature is just very important for me, as I'm reading on the Web at least a couple hours every day, and I think it makes it much easier for me. I want the HTC browser! Lol