We’re likely to see more features on samsung One UI 4.0 Beta progresses, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see massive changes akin to huge Material You overhaul that is laden with new things to see and play around with on the Pixel. That said, Samsung has made some important and a few notable changes even in this first build that we think you might be happy to get to grips with soon.
Samsung shared at the end of July that the One UI 4 beta will kick off in the “coming weeks.” And on September 14, it announced the One UI 4 public beta for the Galaxy S21 series. Like previous years, the beta is limited to the latest Galaxy S flagship, so if you’re using the Galaxy S21, S21+, or S21 Ultra, you can take part in the beta and switch to One UI 4 right now.
One UI 4.0 will be Samsung’s ninth UI upgrade. As expected, some Galaxy phones and tablets will be eligible for this future Android 12-based firmware update, while others will be left behind. For some devices, Android 12 will be the last major firmware update.
Samsung will deliver the Android 12-based One UI 4 update to all of its 2020 and 2021 phones, and there are a lot of phones on that list. Samsung usually shares a timeline for when the update will be available for specific phones, but we will get that information once the stable version starts rolling out at the end of the year.
New features in One UI 4 Beta
Home screen widgets have been redesigned to give you more information at a glance while also making your Home screen more stylish. You’ll also get recommendations for widgets that may be useful for you.
The most visible change to One UI 4 is this year’s customization options for both the home and lock screen. Starting with the home screen, widgets are updated with a new and refreshing look that aligns with Android 12’s Material You redesign. Widgets are flatter with a rounder appearance, and certain widgets, such as the dual clock, will now change from light to dark mode depending on the time of day. Unlike Material You, these widgets will not adapt their color to the background, but who knows, that might be a change we see in the future.
Although not quite exactly the same as the “Privacy Dashboard” found on Android 12 for Pixel devices, Samsung has added their own take on things with One UI 4.0. It’s not identical to Google’s, but serves the same goal of showing which apps are using which specific device permissions. Another notable here is that when launching an app, Samsung has introduced a pop-up that lets you allow notifications, something we don’t see happen on Pixels with Android 12.
In line with Android 12’s focus on privacy, One UI 4 now gets an improved privacy dashboard complete with the ability to see at a glance which apps are using what permissions over the past seven days.
Some of the biggest upgrades in One UI 4 are privacy focused. The new Permission Usage History menu lets you view all of the permissions used by individual apps over time. You can easily deny permissions for Camera, Location, and Microphone directly within the menu. This feature is based on the privacy dashboard found in the Android 12 update for Pixel phones.
Camera and Gallery
With Single Take, you can now add extra time while recording so you don’t miss important moments. After the recording is finished, the content selection menu has been improved to help you easily choose the perfect shots.
One strange removal from the Camera settings menu is the option to automatically use the wide-angle lens for group selfies. This option is available on my Galaxy Z Fold 3 running One UI 3.1, but it’s not available in the One UI 4 Beta. Scanning QR codes is more robust in One UI 4, with more options available based on the content of the code scanned.
Pro mode settings are simplified and have been reorganized for a cleaner look. When grid lines are on, horizontal level indicators help you line up a shot with better symmetry. You can now see the zoom level on the lens icons for easier zooming, even in modes that only support the primary lens. Video is also improved, as recordings now start when you press the record button, instead of after you release it. This is a small issue, but it’s something that annoyed me in prior versions of Samsung’s software.
You can now change the audio output to a different device, such as headphones or a speaker, right from the Lock screen. You’ll also get customized controls depending on which music app you’re using.
A new Voice Recorder widget for the Lock screen lets you record voice memos without unlocking your phone.A monthly calendar appears on the Calendar widget to help you keep track of your events from the Lock screen.
- Get to your emojis, GIFs, and stickers directly from the keyboard with a single button. Self-expression is a tap away.
- Looking to express something new? Combine two emojis, then add an animation so you can really get your feelings across.
- New animated stickers are available for download.
- Keep your grammar on point with the new Writing assistant, powered by Grammarly (English only).
- Stories now show a video preview on the cover and a highlight video inside. You can also see where each picture in a story was taken on a map.
- More options are available for sorting albums that contain lots of photos.
- Album covers are now shown at the top of the screen when you open albums.
- Search suggestions have been improved to help you find pictures and videos. Recent searches are also suggested.
- Remastered pictures can be reverted to their original versions at any time, even after they’re saved.
- You can now edit the date, time, and location that pictures and videos were taken.
- The new Safety and emergency menu lets you manage your emergency contacts and safety information all in one place.
- Improved search features help you find the settings you need, when you need them. You’ll get suggestions for related features depending on what you search for.
- Photos, videos, web links, and other content will now appear in search results in the Messages app.
Photo and video editor
- Add fun emojis and stickers to your pictures and videos.
- Create video collages by combining multiple images and videos from your Gallery.
- The new Light balance option lets you edit the tone of pictures more easily.
- The Highlight reel editor has also been enhanced to give you even more control.
- Revert edited videos back to their original versions at any time, even after they’re saved.
- Cut out a face, pet, building, or any other object from a photo and paste it onto a different one.
- Get more search suggestions when you enter text in the address bar. Results will appear with an all new design.
- The new search widget helps you find what you’re looking for, right from the Home screen.
- To protect your privacy, Samsung Internet will automatically start in Secret mode if you were using Secret mode during your last browsing session.
- Perform actions more quickly by moving your mouse pointer to one of the 4 corners of the screen.
- Adjust contrast and size at the same time with custom Display mode (High contrast or Large display).
- Access accessibility features more quickly with a floating button that’s always available.
- More visibility options are available to meet your needs. You can reduce transparency and blur or make the screen extra dim.
- Set different colors for each app’s notifications so you can easily determine where notifications are coming from.
- Magnifier window has been merged with the new Magnification menu, giving you more options and more control for magnifying content on the screen.
One UI 4.0 features: Miscellaneous update
Again this update is relatively small compared to Android 12’s update overall. There are a few other additional updates that we noticed:
- Samsung Good Lock now supports third-party icon packs that can be downloaded via the Google Play store.
- You can now add emojis to your photos or videos through Samsung’s built-in photo editor. Additionally, there is now an “Object Eraser” option in the Labs section, which will allow you to remove objects or people in images using something similar to Adobe Photoshop’s content-aware fill.
- Device care features a new “Protect battery” option that allows users to limit the maximum charge to 85% in an attempt to conserve long-term battery life.
- AR emoji can be set as contact photos.
- One UI 4 gets new charging animations. They look clean and give a modern feel compared to One UI 3’s animations.
- Picture and Picture and multitasking windows sport rounded corners instead of square ones.
Galaxy devices that should be getting Android 12 / One UI 4.0
Please note that the list isn’t final and could change in the future. We will keep it updated in the coming months as we get closer to the final release of Android 12 and One UI 4.0.
Galaxy S series
- Galaxy S21 Ultra (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy S21+ (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy S21 (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy S20 Ultra (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy S20+ (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy S20 (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy S20 FE (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy S10 5G (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy S10 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy S10+ (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy S10e (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy S10 Lite
Galaxy Note series
- Galaxy Note 20 Ultra (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy Note 20 (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy Note 10+ (LTE/5G – Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy Note 10 (LTE/5G – Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Galaxy Tab series
- Galaxy Tab S7+ (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy Tab S7 (LTE/5G)
- Galaxy Tab S7 FE
- Galaxy Tab S6 5G
- Galaxy Tab S6 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
- Galaxy Tab A 8.4 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy Tab A7 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
- Galaxy Tab Active 3 (Last Android OS update)
Galaxy M series
- Galaxy M42 5G
- Galaxy M12
- Galaxy M62
- Galaxy M01
- Galaxy M02s (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy M02 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy M21 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy M21s (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy M22
- Galaxy M31
- Galaxy M31 Prime Edition (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy M32
- Galaxy M32 5G
- Galaxy M51 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy M31s (Last Android OS update)
Galaxy Z series
- Galaxy Fold (LTE/5G – Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy Z Fold 2 5G
- Galaxy Z Flip
- Galaxy Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy Z Fold 3
- Galaxy Z Flip 3
Galaxy A series
- Galaxy A71 5G
- Galaxy A71
- Galaxy A51 5G
- Galaxy A51
- Galaxy A52
- Galaxy A52 5G
- Galaxy A52s
- Galaxy A72
- Galaxy A90 5G (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A01 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A11 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A31 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A41 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A21 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A21s (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A Quantum
- Galaxy Quantum 2
- Galaxy A42 5G
- Galaxy A02 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A02s (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A03s
- Galaxy A12 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy A12 Nacho
- Galaxy A32
- Galaxy A32 5G
- Galaxy A22
- Galaxy A22 5G
Galaxy F series
- Galaxy F41 (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy F62
- Galaxy F02s (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy F12
- Galaxy F22
Galaxy Xcover series
- Galaxy Xcover Pro (Last Android OS update)
- Galaxy Xcover 5
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