Samsung is rapidly expanding its One UI 2 beta scheme.
It was only a few weeks ago the South Korean company launched the first batch of beta tests on its Galaxy S10 range. And now, it has already added its flagship Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10+ to the line-up. Compared to previous years, when it would take Samsung months and months to even begin testing new updates on its hardware, this seems like a promising sign that Android 10 could roll-out to the latest smartphones soon.
Granted, it’s not brilliant news for those who have older Samsung-branded smartphones. Although, the faster pace might reassure some that Samsung will get around to adding support for their hardware sooner rather than later.
So what can you expect from One UI 2? Well, to start with there are a bucket load of software fixes and patches in the new update.
Samsung has fixed a bug that prevented dark mode from being activated when using the battery saver mode. There are also more patches to solve battery life issues with some users, as well as heat problems from the handset. Also, expect fixes for an issue that prevented pictures appearing in the Gallery view and a sound effect playing when taking a screenshot. Any users who have experienced crashes when loading-up the camera app will also be pleased, as Samsung has resolved this issue in the One UI 2 update.
But it’s not all about playing whack-a-mole with bugs. There are also some new features and tweaks in the latest update.
Samsung revealed its dramatic One UI redesign last year. The Android-based operating system took a radical new approach to the smartphone user interface by acknowledging that modern devices are increasingly moving towards larger displays that makes it tough to reach all corners of the touchscreen.
One UI shifts down all of the interactive elements of the operating system down to the lower-third of the display. This makes devices with big screens more manageable one-handed, especially when walking along and using the phone at the same time. And what about the top of the screen? Well, Samsung occupies the empty space cleared by shifting everything down to the bottom of the screen with comically large menu titles and subtitles.
That’s one aspect of the design that proved to be a little divisive when the update launched on the Galaxy S9 back in December last year. Thankfully, it seems that Samsung has taken the criticism on board with One UI 2, which uses the headings to display a lot more information.
Rather than simply announcing the name of the app – Messages, for example – Samsung will now add some additional information that users are going to be likely to want at a glance, like the number of unread messages in Messages, for instance.
The South Korean company has also redesigned a number of notifications to make them less intrusive. So incoming calls won’t take up almost a third of the display now. Instead, a small banner with icons to accept or decline the call will float into view. This will be especially noticeable when watching videos or playing frantic mobile games in landscape.
Dark mode, which was introduced last year, has been tweaked to appear in more areas of the operating system now. Samsung will even darken your wallpaper so that it doesn’t scorch your retinas when you flip back to the home screen.
One UI 2 also improves on the tools to manage phone use. It lets you track your usage, screen time or enable focus mode to help avoid distractions.
Find out how to install One UI 2, and when you can get your hands on the new mobile operating system on your smartphone here.