Samsung debuted a major refresh of its take on Android through the One UI interface based on Android 9.0 Pie. The update brought with it a fresh look and was a step in the right direction for the company’s Android skin, coming from the much-criticized TouchWiz and the more recent Samsung Experience. With Android 10 now officially available, it is no surprise that the company is working on the update to One UI based on the latest version of the OS – dubbed One UI 2.0.
Samsung begins testing beta versions of the OS with a limited number of users and then broadens out the beta rollouts. Earlier reports suggested that the first One UI 2.0 betas would arrive as early as today for users in South Korea, Germany, and the United States. This was officially teased by the firm as well. While the beta release has been delayed to later this month (also confirmed by the company), one of PhoneArena’s S10+ handsets received the firmware update, bringing a build of the One UI 2.0 beta, giving us a first look at the changes in tow.
As expected, One UI 2.0 doesn’t bring any major changes to the experience. It is an iterative update that improves upon some features while also adopting the improvements from Android 10. A summary of some of the new features includes:
- Fullscreen gestures
- Enhanced one-handed mode
- New Media & Devices
- Enhanced Biometrics
- New Battery usage graph
- Improved Digital Wellbeing
- Enhanced Samsung Internet, Contacts, Calendar, Reminder, My Files, Calculator
- Android Auto is now preloaded
- Removed Android Beam
With One UI 2.0, it looks like Samsung is finally providing users with the option of using the Google way of gesture navigation. The current navigation gestures have seen mixed reviews, so users that prefer Google’s implementation should be delighted with this change. The firm is also bringing in enhancements to one-handed mode. The volume sliders, too, are being redesigned.
Other minor improvements include improved device stats, the addition of more Digital Wellbeing options, enhanced options for biometric authentication (including the option to have the fingerprint icon shown on the Always-On-Display (AOD) for quicker sign-ins), and notification quick replies. When it comes to features specific to Samsung, there are improvements to the inbuilt apps, additional settings for Wireless Powershare, lock screen enhancements, and more.
Since this is the first One UI 2.0 beta, there are chances that more enhancements/changes are on their way in future updates. It is also possible that not all of these will make it to the final update that heads out to all users.
The first beta is expected to be released to the S10 family of devices (excluding the S10+ 5G) for the time being, with the Note10 following suit. While there are no concrete dates for the rollout, expect the update to start showing up sometime later this month for users that have opted-in through the Samsung Members app. Participation is usually limited, so it is best to check if you are lucky to get through to the seed list via the app.
Though Android 10 has been out for a little over a month, it is surprising to see Samsung begin testing the next major Android update for its devices already. The company has always been critiqued for being slow with updates, but it may be a different story this time if the firm succeeds in getting the updates out for its handsets earlier than the many months it has previously taken.