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Phones

How to make your Galaxy S7 feel more like stock Android

One of the best parts of Android is the customization it allows for, and your Galaxy S7 is no different.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

While Samsung has spent the last two years toning down the amount of changes it makes to Android with its proprietary TouchWiz interface, it can still be a little too much for some.

Whether you love Samsung's hardware but hate the software, or you simply want a stock Android experience on the S7 or S7 Edge, it only takes a few minutes of your time to put Google's Android design flair on your device.

Keep in mind, however, you won't be able to replace every aspect of Samsung's interface with a stock Android design, but you can get pretty close.

Material themes

Samsung's Galaxy line has a Theme store where users can go to find themes that suit their personal tastes. Whether it's a random robot theme, complete with robot-inspired app icons, wallpapers, sounds and fonts, or a theme that mimics Google's Material Design the company uses in its own apps and on stock Android devices.

Open the Themes store on your Galaxy S7, and search for "Material." There are a handful of Material-inspired themes available for free. Install each one, tap around and find one that works for you.

Google Now Launcher

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The easiest way to make your S7 feel more like a stock Android device is to install the Google Now Launcher.

Once you've installed the app, open it and follow the prompts to select the Google Now Launcher as your default Home screen app.

With Google's launcher active, you can find quick access to Google Now by swiping to the right on the main home screen. You'll also notice the app icons are a tad bigger, and the app drawer itself now scrolls vertically, instead of horizontally. Additionally, there's the option to search through the app drawer at the top of the drawer.

Google Apps

Stock Android is naturally full of Google's own apps, whereas the Galaxy S7 is a mixed bag of Samsung and Google apps. Replace apps such as Samsung's Calendar and web browser with Google's offering. Here's a list with Play store links of some apps you may want to install:

For apps such as Calendar, Messenger and Photos you'll need to set them as the default app. You can do that in Settings > Device > Applications.

With a few apps and tweaks, you can turn your Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge into a device that closely mimics one of Google's Nexus phones, rather than Samsung's TouchWiz interface.