Samsung recently unveiled its new One UI for its major flagship smart phones such as the Galaxy S9 and S9+, the Galaxy Note 9, the S8 and S8+ and as well as for the Galaxy Note 8.
Though the final and stable version update is currently rolling out for all Samsung Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9 devices around the world, while the S8, the S8+ and the Note 8 are still in their beta stages..
So with that out of the way, let’s take some time to look at what One UI is really all about, what makes it different from the previous Samsung Experience, and how it’s going to change the way many Samsung users makes use of their Galaxy smart phones.
What Exactly Is One UI By Samsung?
First of all, One UI is the latest and current version of Samsung’s customized user interface, and it is based and built on the current Android 9.0 Pie software.
Now personally, I’ll say One UI is the new Samsung Experience, or should i say it is the new kind of simplified experience on Samsung Galaxy smart phones, and it replaces the traditional Samsung Experience UI that has been on the Galaxy smart phones since the days of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones.
For one thing, it is a way or approach that Samsung uses to battle the now growing problems of the difficulty of comfortably using your smart phones especially with one hand, due to their now ever growing taller screens.
And for another thing, it is a way that Samsung also uses to improve overall speed on their smart phones. Yes over the years, one thing that has tormented most Samsung flagships is that they’re always a little slower when compared to other phones of the same range.
Due to the fact that their software or UI are always so cumbersome, overloaded and filled with many unnecessary features, all these things add up together to take a toll on the phone’s overall speed.. So with One UI, Samsung is saying “Okay, alright, we’ve heard your cries, and we’re here to solve the problem“.
Although you might still not get to enjoy that top notch kind of speed you’d get to enjoy on smart phones like the Google Pixels and OnePlus 6T, because why not? though a lot of very important changes has been made to the software to make things look plain, straight to the point and simplified, but it is still Samsung after all, and it is still cumbersome and loaded with a lot of many unnecessary features and especially bloat ware apps, which many people are probably not gonna make use of throughout the time of the lives of their smart phones.
Okay, so that’s all about the concept behind Samsung’s new One UI, now let’s go ahead to see all the visual changes that has been done to it, and see if it really changes anything.
New Visual Changes Of One UI
Well in terms of physical and visual changes, I’ll say quite a lot of things have been redefined, though not drastically, but in terms of the ways they behave instead.
After installing the new One UI to your phone and turning your mobile device on for the first thing you’re gonna notice is that, fonts have become a little bit bigger and bolder, making them much more easier to see and read even while looking at the phone from some meters away, and icons have become flat.
Another thing you’re gonna notice when you begin to navigate your way through and begin to open apps and settings is that the most important things which you’ll be using at that moment have all been shifted towards the bottom area of the phone.
This makes for operating of the phone feel more faster and one handed use to feel more easier. For example, when you drag down the notifications panel from the top of the phone, the brightness slider is now located at the bottom third part of the screen, which helps for easier brightness increase and reduction with just one hand.
Same thing applies to the camera app, the phone dial-er app, the settings page, messaging app and every other preinstalled Samsung native app like clock, calendar and so on.
The onscreen navigation buttons also had a retouch, well that’s really not a major feature and doesn’t really change or improve how we’re used to operating our phones before, but there’s still something under the hood, but more on that later.
Another thing quite a few persons might or might not take notice of, is the fact that animations such as switching between apps, lock and unlock animations, swiping and navigating, all those animations have become smoother and feels sweet to use.
There is even a new option in the settings menu that enables to disable animations completely on the smart phone, but more on that later too. Okay so that’s all about the visual changes that Samsung’s One UI brings along with it, now let’s take a look at some of the new major features one after the other.. Shall we?
Top 5 Best New Features Of Samsung’s One UI
1. Night Mode
So one out of the many significant and major features that One UI brings along with it, is the new “Night Mode” feature. Turning this on will automatically turn the overall phone’s theme to black.
Now the feature is not just an overlay that is placed on top of your already existing theme or launcher and just changes the desktop or home screen to black.. No the new Night Mode does more than it.
It goes as far as into the phone’s native apps, settings, notifications, messages, everywhere. So considering the fact that Samsung phones are mostly OLED displays, i will say it’s a very good thing, because it makes the display to be easier on the eyes especially at night, and it will as well help to conserve a great deal of battery life, because the black pixels are probably turned off in that mode. So kudos to Samsung on this one.
2. New Gestures Navigation
Aside the new Night Mode we just finished talking about, One UI also brings with its own Gestures Navigation which for sure we know is based on Android Pie gesture navigation.
So as you already know, it replaces the traditional onscreen three buttons navigation with just swipes from the bottom of the screen. A swipe up from the middle will throw you back to your home screen, another one from the left will works as the back button and will take you back to the previous screen, and as you guess, a last one from the right is for the recent app button.
And just as it was with onscreen buttons, the left and right swipes can as well be interchanged, with the “swipe to go back” going to the right side, and the recent apps swipe taking its place. There is also a nifty feature known as “Gesture Hints“, that displays three faint looking little bars at the bottom of the screen swipe area, it helps you to locate where to swipe in case you’re finding it difficult.
3. Lift To Wake
To keep it short and simple, this feature simply wakes the phone from sleep whenever you lift it up to your face. You can enable and disable it from the settings menu in case it doesn’t go well with you.
4. New Always On Display Feature
Apart from the little visual changes that has been done to the clock and calendar layout of “Always On Display”, there is also this new feature that completely disables “always on display”, but when you tap the phone’s screen, it brings it up for about 30secs and then turns the display back off again.
So this simply means “Always On Display” doesn’t have to be there all the time, except for when you’ll be needing it. Another great way to still squeeze out the smallest amount of battery life if you’d ask me.
5. A New and Refreshed Horizontal Recent Apps Layout + Multitasking Features
So instead of the old card layout which are vertically and stacked against one another, making it really hard to find an app especially when you have quite a large number of them minimized, One UI now brings with it, though still a card layout, but they’re now arranged horizontally one after the other, so all you just have to do is swipe from left to right, or right to left in order to locate an app.
And at the top of every app in the recent apps menu, there you’ll have the app icon, and tapping on the icon will give you additional options for that app, such as the “App Info“, “Opening the app in Split screen or pop up mode“, and the option to “Lock the app“.
So its a really nice thing to see that Samsung is making everything in their smart phones very easy to reach and use, after all these years.
6. New Floating Keyboard
Now if you’ve been using third party keyboards on your smart phone, such as the SwiftKey keyboard, then this feature shouldn’t look as anything new to you.
So One UI has this new keyboard that allows you to choose between three different modes, there is the “Standard Mode“, which of cause is enabled by default, there is the “One Handed Mode” that shifts the entire keyboard to one side of the screen, either to the right or to the left, depending in which one you prefer, then we have the “Floating Mode” that allows you to move the keyboard to any part of the your phone’s display.
You can place it at the middle of the display, to the far top left or right, the bottom, just anywhere at all that you want it to be.
7. Reduce Animations
Alright so personally, i will say this is more of an enhancement for speed, than just a feature. There is a new toggle that has been added to the settings menu known as “Reduce Animations“. And when turned on, it simply reduces the overall system animations.
Now it doesn’t turn it off completely, it just brings it down to a minimal level so that things can move a little bit faster, maybe in case you felt the animations were taking too much time.
8. Flash Notifications
What this feature does is that it allows you use your camera LED or the phone’s display as a flash notification. What i mean is this; for example when a message pops into the phone or whenever the phone is ringing, it flashes the camera LED or the display.
With this feature, you can put your phone on silent mode maybe when you’re in a meeting, and still get to know whenever its ringing or when a message comes in.
9. Lock Desktop
We’ll be rounding up with this one, the “Lock Desktop” feature, and as you already guessed, it simply prevents you from mistakenly making additional changes to your phone’s desktop or home screen after you must have set or customized it the way you would want it to be, and it also prevents intruders from making any changes to your desktop too.
So apps arrangement and every other desktop icons and widgets remains the way you want them to be, until the next time you feel like making additional changes to.
Alright guys, so that’s all for One UI today. Do share your thoughts with us in the comments section below, support us by sharing this article if you enjoyed reading it, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t done so, and as always, I’ll see you all tomorrow… #Peace Out