During this year’s Samsung Developer Conference, the South Korean company announced a new user interface for its devices. One UI aims to simplify the software and, at the same time, make everything more visually appealing.
A Google-style make over
I was really impressed by this new interface. I never expected Samsung to make a visual restyling so similar to Google’s Material Design. It features the classic icon roundness, white backgrounds for the various tabs and bright blue accents. At first I thought I was browsing the Android 9 Pie stock firmware, especially when the new notification bar made its first appearance with its quick toggle.
Samsung has also changed some of its app icons, a choice that I honestly didn’t like much. Not because they didn’t need it, but simply because they could have chosen better icons. The only thing that Samsung has not changed is the app drawer – even today it continues to scroll horizontally and not vertically, as it does on Android stock devices.
You can enable a system-wide dark mode.
One of the features I’ve been waiting for too long as a Samsung smartphone owner: night mode. It extends to the entire user interface and system apps (messages, settings, quick toggle and even Bixby) and is simply fantastic! Using night mode on the AMOLED display will certainly save battery, and besides, it gives the UI a look I love.
There are new gesture navigation options
Samsung is using the Pie release to enable new navigation gestures, but it isn’t really doing anything special here. By default, you get the standard set of back/home/recents keys, and they all work the same as in Oreo. The recents key has a new look, and the recent apps view has gone to a Pie-style horizontal scrolling list — but you can still long-press the recents key to launch multi-window.
The gesture controls are not the ones Google uses on its Pixel devices, they were designed by Samsung themselves. Basically, pressing the navigation buttons is replaced by vertical scrolling from the bottom of the screen. The idea is not bad at all and, like all gestures, you simply have to get used to it. The only thing I didn’t like is the fact that the back button gesture doesn’t give any haptic feedback, but it’s possible that the company will implement it in due time.
Adoptable storage is here … almost…
Just as rumored, the Android 9 Pie update for the Galaxy S9 finally gives you the option to use your SD card as either portable storage oradoptable storage. That is, theoretically: while my Galaxy S9+ gives me the screen that shows the two options (adoptable and portable), I can’t select the “adoptable” option no matter which card I use or what I do to the phone. Formatting the card, ejecting it and re-mounting it doesn’t do the trick, unfortunately. This is an oversight that will be fixed during the beta program, I’m sure.
Assuming this gets ironed out for the final release, it’s a user-friendly move that gives the SD card slot even more usefulness. Adoptable storage lets your phone integrate the SD card into the internal storage so it’s addressable as one solid block, letting apps and data settle across the two with no delineation. That’ll be particularly important for anyone who has a 64GB phone and is feeling the crunch of that internal storage after a year (or two) of use. Just be sure to use a high-quality, high-speed microSD card if you’re going to make the switch to adoptable storage.
Finally, some other new features of the One UI you should know about are:
- The Always On Display does not always remain active, but you can simply tap the screen once or pick up your smartphone in your hand. In addition, it now displays information about charging and you can find new styles to customize it to your liking.
- One UI supports HEIF image format.
- The Samsung keyboard has a “mobile keyboard” option. With it you can move the keyboard to any position on the screen. It also will change its color depending on the color of the app used.
- The camera app offers “scene optimization” – it recognizes what we are photographing and automatically adjusts the settings of the scene.
- Bixby Home also has a new design, but there’s nothing new in terms of functionality .
I think you all might be eager to have ONE UI in your devices,but still beta version is only available.