Samsung One UI: What is it, new features, and more

Samsung just wrapped up the Developer Conference and offered insight towards various upcoming products and software features for developers to begin work on. While the main focus was Samsung’s Infinity Flex technology on their foldable smartphone, the Korean giant also showed off their new UI for the latest flagships and upcoming flagship devices too.

Samsung‘s calling the new skin over Android ‘One UI’. As the name suggests, Samsung is focusing on making one-handed usage possible once again given that over the past few years device screen sizes have been crossing the 6-inch mark which at one point in time used to be considered as ‘Phablet’ devices.

This is Samsung‘s first major UI overhaul in a long time so let’s check out what’s new with the Samsung One UI.

Related: Samsung Android 9 Pie update

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System-wide night mode (dark theme)

While there are several dark mode themes available on the Galaxy Theme Store, none of them are true dark mode themes since they leave out parts of the UI elements such as the notifications and a couple of other areas.

Now Samsung has finally given us the feature we wanted which is an inbuilt night mode toggle which turns all the system elements dark. Taking into account that all Samsung’s flagship devices come with Super AMOLED displays, having a night mode may also improve the battery life too.

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One-handed ease-of-use

Samsung has come up with a brilliant way for users to use their devices with one hand only, although some may not be the biggest fans of the new design language since the top portion of an application with the new One UI design language would simply display text or whatever image the developer would like to add while the interactive portion of an application would be towards the bottom of the app.

Only when scrolling down a list the ‘viewing area’ of the application would be hidden.

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New Notification panel

The new notification panel with Samsung One UI now looks a lot like the notification panel on Android 9 Pie. The toggles are now rounded-off and resemble the Google Pixel 3 notification panel, however, Samsung has gone a step further and has now made reachability of the toggles far easier with one hand.

The new notification panel would drop all the way down with 2 swipes and the toggles are now shifted towards the bottom portion of the screen for ease of use with one hand rather than having to fumble around with your thumb to reach toggles at the top.

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Rounded corners

The new design language with One UI includes more rounded corners which look far more pleasing to the eyes and also match the hardware design language of Samsung’s latest flagship devices with rounded corners and curved edges.

These rounded corners show up in various default apps as well as system elements such as the Gallery App, Notification panel, Settings menu, and the new default icons.

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Expected release date

Currently, the only info out here is that Android 9 Pie beta will arrive somewhere before the end of November 2018. Samsung, however, has also confirmed that One UI along with the stable Android 9 Pie would roll out sometime in January 2019 but those who aren’t willing to wait a couple of months can also get their hands-on with the beta version of the software. The initial rollout will target those in the U.S., Germany, South Korea and then India, the UK, France, Spain, China, and Poland.

Eligible devices

The Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ and the Galaxy Note 9 are expected to receive the One UI update along-side Android 9 Pie. Apparently, the Galaxy S8, S8+, S8 Active and Galaxy Note 8 will receive the One UI update as part of the upgrade to Pie sometime next year. Do note that Samsung is yet to make an official statement regarding this matter so we might just have to wait and see what decision Samsung takes regarding the One UI update for the Galaxy S8/S8+ and Note 8 devices.

Images credits: The Verge