One UI 4: What’s New in Samsung’s Android 12 Interface?
One UI 4 release date was on 15 November 2021, when the new interface was introduced to the world with the Galaxy S21 Series.
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It was the fourth generation of Samsung’s One UI interface designed to make users’ experience better by integrating Samsung’s apps in a more visually and functionally appealing way.
One UI was first introduced in 2019, offering some valuable enhancements in how different apps were displayed on the larger screens, making it easier for users to access them, amongst other upgrades.
The new One UI 4.0 interface first came out with Galaxy S21 in 2021 and was introduced to some older Samsung phones in 2022.
What new changes were brought to us with the One UI 4 update?
The New UI 4 rollout offered Samsung users a new, refreshed widgets design. The focus was on redesigning the feature to fit seamlessly with the new style of Android 12. Thanks to that, we were given widgets with rounded corners that offer a more modern look.
Additionally, a Dark mode has been added to app icons both on the home screen and app drawer, so if you’re a fan of that feature, now you can incorporate it to an even bigger extent.
Of course, widgets remain highly customizable. To add and remove different apps from your Home screen, all you have to do is access the Home screen settings and tap the Widgets button on the bottom of the screen.
In the One UI 4.1. the rollout, a feature called Smart Widgets was included as well, allowing users to stack multiple widgets on top of each other.
Camera App Enhancements
Upgrades were also made to the Camera app, particularly the Zoom setting display, which has been changed from icons to numbers. The new way of marking the Zoom settings is more intuitive, offering users a better idea of how Zoom levels work on a Samsung phone.
One UI 4 upgrade was extended to other Camera app functionalities, like the option to record videos directly from the Photo mode. This improves the overall user experience, allowing the users to record video footage instantly.
The PIP (Picture in Picture) Feature
The PIP (Picture in Picture) feature is one of the more useful and broadly appreciated tools that Samsung brought to their phones in recent years. Samsung Galaxy users can watch their content on their screens while performing other tasks on their devices.
The new interface offers an easy way to manipulate the position of the PIP screen, changing its size and location. A user can change its size by dragging any of the four corners, making the task effortless and the PIP screen highly functional.
It’s time to talk about new privacy protection enhancements in the One UI 4 interface. With the software update, a new Privacy Dashboard was added. This offers you clean and easy access to all the privacy settings.
More importantly, though, new Privacy features in Android 12 allow you to disable camera and microphone access to any app with one simple tap. You can see a green indicator next to the apps that have free access to your camera and microphone, which makes it even easier to spot the status bar and asses your privacy settings.
One UI 4 introduced new location settings as well. In Android 12, you can decide whether an app gets access to your Precise or Approximate location. And you also can expect to get notified whenever an app accesses the clipboard content on your Samsung.
All of these changes offer better protection for Samsung Galaxy users, making Privacy settings more understandable, accessible, and visible.
Enhanced System Apps
Galaxy phone enthusiasts will also be happy to know that with a new interface, some system apps have been upgraded as well. An excellent example of that is the Samsung Keyboard app, which received some significant improvements in the emoji department.
With a single tap, you can add emojis to your messages, as well as stickers and GIFs. You can also create custom emojis (some younger users might be particularly excited about this upgrade) by joining two different emojis together.
It’s safe to say that with the new One UI 4.0 interface, the self-expression abilities of Samsung devices got much broader.
And with Android 12, you can rest assured that all your grammar mistakes will be corrected by the Grammarly app built-in into the Samsung Keyboard. New animations were also added to the Weather app, giving it a new and fresher look.
Samsung Galaxy S22 series was enriched by the Smart Calendar app that came about with the One UI 4.1 upgrade. The app is able to identify dates and times in users’ messages and propose events based on this information.
For the complete functionality, the Smart Calendar app is compatible with many different communicators, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, KakaoTalk, and Google Chat being some of them.
Another area where you will see significant changes is the Device Care menu layout, which now displays the Optimize Now button at the very top. One UI 4 update brought more emoticons and vivid colors to the display, which is consistent with what we saw in other enhancements that focus on increasing the visibility of the various features and functions.
Brand new features added to the Device Care menu are Software update and Diagnostics tools, offering you insight into the device’s performance. Now they are easily accessible, which was a big part of the One UI 4 rollout.
While Galaxy S21 series Samsung devices were already equipped with eSIM support when they had their worldwide premiere, this was not extended to models available in the US.
This changed when Samsung rolled out the One UI 4 interface. Since 2021 unlocked T-Mobile and Verizon Galaxy S21 models have been offering eSIM support to their users.
This was an awaited change as this allows Galaxy users to reprogram their devices when switching carriers without worrying about changing physical SIM cards and everything that this process entails.
Seeing as an eSIM solution slowly becomes the industry standard, this was a needed update and one that many users did appreciate. Although we now have iSIM to consider too, so perhaps things will change during the next 12 months.
Upgraded Share Menu
The new upgrade was extended to the Share Menu as well, offering users an easy way to customize their menus. With One UI 4 interface update, Galaxy S21 devices, you can customize the order in which different apps are displayed in your Menu.
Additionally, you can comfortably add different apps or contacts to the Favorites Bar, sharing the data across them.
New changes did not omit the visual side of the interface. With One UI Version 4, there is a big emphasis on providing users with visually clear and customizable layouts as well as color palettes. What that means is there is an option to personalize the colors and style of the interface to match your wallpaper.
This is the Material You-based dynamic theming. It offers users the option to base the visual elements of a phone’s interface on AI-generated suggestions, which in turn are based on your wallpaper. Each time you choose a different wallpaper, a new color palette with custom colors will be suggested to you, so you can always match your phone’s app and color settings to your current visual style.
Similarly, the notifications and the clock on the lock screen will be displayed in a color scheme that fits the colors of the lock screen.
In the Samsung mid-range devices with the One UI 4 interface, the brightness slider that is located on the notification pane got bigger as well. This change was made to improve the usability of the slider.
Software update covered notifications too. Samsung phone users can disable notifications from the pane and assign custom colors to different apps’ notifications, making it even easier to differentiate between them.
Virtual RAM Feature
One of the most interesting upgrades that we saw with the birth of One UI 4.0 was the virtual RAM feature that, using a paging file, can boost available memory on Samsung devices. In most cases, you are able to add up to 8GB of additional RAM. The feature was not innovative, as many brands utilize such a solution, but it certainly was a welcomed sight for Galaxy device owners.
Galaxy Phones with One UI 4.0/4.1
Here is the list of Galaxy phones that come with One UI 4 and One UI 4.1 interfaces.
Galaxy S series phones
- Galaxy S21 5G
- Galaxy S21+ 5G
- Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy S20 / S20 5G
- Galaxy S20+ / S20+ 5G
- Galaxy S20 Ultra / S20 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy S20 FE / FE 5G
- Galaxy S10 / S10 5G
- Galaxy S10+
- Galaxy S10e
- Galaxy S10 Lite
Galaxy Z series phones
- Galaxy Z Fold 2 / Z Fold 2 5G
- Galaxy Z Flip / Z Flip 5G
- Galaxy Fold / Fold 5G
- Galaxy Z Fold 3
- Galaxy Z Flip 3
Galaxy Note series phones
- Galaxy Note 20 / Note 20 5G
- Galaxy Note 20 Ultra / Note 20 Ultra 5G
- Galaxy Note 10 / Note 10 5G
- Galaxy Note 10+ / Note 10+ 5G
- Galaxy Note 10 Lite
Galaxy A series phones
- Galaxy A52 / A52 5G
- Galaxy A42 / A42 5G
- Galaxy A32 / A32 5G
- Galaxy A22 / A22 5G
- Galaxy A12
- Galaxy A02s
- Galaxy A02
- Galaxy A52s 5G
- Galaxy A72
- Galaxy A71 / A71 5G
- Galaxy A51 / A51 5G
- Galaxy A41
- Galaxy A31
- Galaxy A21s
- Galaxy A21
- Galaxy A11
- Galaxy A03s
- Galaxy A Quantum
Galaxy F series phones
- Galaxy F41
- Galaxy F62
- Galaxy F52 5G
- Galaxy F22
- Galaxy F02s
- Galaxy F12
Galaxy M series phones
- Galaxy M31s
- Galaxy M31 Prime
- Galaxy M21s
- Galaxy M21
- Galaxy M11
- Galaxy M02s
- Galaxy M02
- Galaxy M01s
- Galaxy M01
- Galaxy M62
- Galaxy M42 / M42 5G
- Galaxy M32
- Galaxy M12
- Galaxy M51
Galaxy Tab series tablets
- Galaxy Tab S6 Lite
- Galaxy Tab S6 / S6 5G
- Galaxy Tab S7+ / S7+ 5G
- Galaxy Tab S7 / S7 5G
- Galaxy Tab A7 Lite
- Galaxy Tab S7 FE
- Galaxy Tab A7 10.4
- Galaxy Tab A 8.4
- Galaxy Tab Active 3
New Features and Upgrades In the One UI 4 Interface – Overall Impressions
Altough One UI 4 and One UI 4.1. upgrades were not entirely groundbreaking, and Althoughvative, they still delivered new, excellent quality.
The Galaxy S21 Series, which was released in accordance with the Android 12 update, suggesting that maybe Samsung and Google joined their forces once again, brought something exciting and functional to all the Galaxy brand enthusiasts.
New One UI 4 features were able to fit the style of Android 12 and offer a new quality to some tools and functionalities of the Galaxy S21 Series phones.
The visual changes were not entirely revolutionary; the same can be said for various system tweaks, but the end result left us pleased with One UI 4.0/4.1 Interface, which is functional and stable but offers some refreshed software that brought a new spark to Samsung’s 2021 flagship series.