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Top Samsung One UI 3.0 and Android 11 features

Samsung has come a long way since its initial days of taking almost six months to roll out Android updates for its flagship devices. The company was quick to announce One UI 3.0 based on Android 11 for its devices after Google publicly released the latest version of Android. It also started a beta program for One UI 3.0/Android 11 for its flagship devices in some countries.

With One UI, Samsung has not added a ton of new features to its skin. Instead, it has streamlined the UI, given some system apps a UI tweak, made it more compact and information-dense, and used new icons to give it a fresh new look and feel. Below is a look at some of the top One UI 3.0 and Android 11 features on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus.

Streamlined Settings menu

The Settings menu has received a slight UI revamp in One UI 3.0. Items are now grouped a bit more clearly and it looks more compact and information-dense than before. The entire menu now looks a lot more streamlined and the new icons also help spice things up.

Left: One UI 2.0, Right: One UI 3.0

Customizable Always-on display

Samsung has added more customization options to Always-on Display in One UI 3.0. You can now set GIFs as an Always-on Display background.

Updated Phone app

The updated Phone app uses new icons and shows the action buttons below a number or contact more prominently. Samsung is also allowing users to customize the incoming call screen with options like using a custom background and changing the layout.

Revamped notification shade

The entire quick settings panel and notification shade area have received a big overhaul in One UI 3.0. Samsung has tried its best to integrate the major changes introduced by Google in Android 11 with the revamped notification shade in One UI 3.

The notification shade is a lot more compact now and will prominently show any media notifications. It is also more transparent than before thereby showing the wallpaper being used. Notifications from messaging apps are also shown separately for quicker access.

Left: One UI 2.0, Right: One UI 3.0

Updated launcher

The default One UI launcher has also received a similar UI tweak and overhaul. Instead of a black background, there's now a transparent background for folders, app drawer, and even for Finder. In terms of new features, there's now an option to lock the device by double-tapping an empty area on the home screen.

Smarter Bixby Routines

Bixby Routines has also been updated as a part of One UI 3.0 update. The app itself has a cleaner UI and it explains in great detail what the various preset routines offer. Samsung has also added new conditions and actions for triggering actions at a certain time, when the device disconnects from a Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth device, and more. There's now also an option to add a customized icon for each routine and new routines can also be added to the lock screen for quick activation.

Notification history

Samsung has added the useful Notification history feature of Android 11 to One UI 3.0 as well. The feature is not enabled by default though so make sure to do so from Settings -> Notifications -> Advanced settings.

Floating notifications

The Notification bubbles feature of Android 11 is also present in One UI. With compatible messaging apps, you can turn ongoing chat notifications into floating chat heads thereby allowing you to chat and continue doing whatever else you are doing. Samsung also has a Smart popup take on this feature where one could tap on a chat notification to open it in a mini pop-up view.

Smoother system animations

The system animations have once again been tweaked by Samsung on One UI 3.0 and they feel smoother than before. The animations are also slightly shorter which helps in giving the feel that One UI 3.0 is faster than the previous One UI versions.

Additionally, the Android gesture navigation system now works in a much better manner with third-party launchers. While Samsung added support for third-party launchers to work with the Android 10 gesture navigation system, it was poorly implemented and buggy. With One UI 3.0, Samsung has ironed out all the bugs.

One UI 3.0 comes with plenty of other changes and features including some of those that Google has introduced in Android 11 like one-time permission for location and camera, improved camera performance, enhanced Digital Wellbeing with trends for the weekly report, and more.

Samsung is already running a One UI 3.0 public beta program for the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note20 series and the final update for these devices should be out by next month.

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