Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Samsung’s One UI 5 launches with iOS 16’s coolest feature


Samsung has finally announced One UI 5, its take on Android 13. The company is focusing on improving the customizability of its operating system, refining its distinct design language, and adding some nice-to-have improvements as well.

Samsung’s headlining feature here is lock screen customization. Although not exactly new to the company’s phones, Samsung is bringing that functionality over to One UI’s stock lock screen just after Apple unveiled something similar on iOS 16. You can tweak the wallpaper, clock style, notification design, and more. It’s even been tweaked to look like Apple’s implementation. Lock screen customization is a useful feature that you’ll find on many Chinese Android phones. It’s one that Google should implement in Android as a whole, especially considering its focus on individuality with Material You.


Samsung’s customizability features go beyond skin deep, though. The company is also rolling out Modes. These are essentially iOS focus modes and allow you to tweak your theme, restrict notifications, and so on.

One feature that Pixel users will find familiar is Bixby Text Call. Like Google’s Assistant Call Screen, it lets you answer calls without answering them. Instead, you can type out messages that are turned into audio and read out to the caller on the other end. Don’t get too excited, though, as it’s currently only available in Korean and will be coming to English speakers in early 2023.

Other One UI 5 features include smart widgets, stacked widgets, and text extraction from images. You’ll also get all of Android 13’s features, which admittedly aren’t a lot on the user side. They’re more quality-of-life features, like seeing more of your apps take on a monochrome icon if you choose, and a new security dashboard that lets you check how safe your phone and accounts are.

One UI 5will roll out to Samsung phones later this year. The Samsung Galaxy S22, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 will be top of the list, while older phones and A-Series updates should expect to see updates stretch out into 2023.

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