The Samsung Galaxy S21 Extremely (left) and Galaxy S21 (proper)

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones are getting a facelift that ought to make their software program really feel extra seamless and extra customizable. It may also really feel acquainted if you happen to’re switching from an iPhone

Samsung detailed its forthcoming One UI 4 software program replace throughout its annual developer convention on Tuesday, the place it additionally outlined its technique for the sensible dwelling, Tizen TVs and Bixby voice assistant. The brand new smartphone software program has been obtainable in beta since September, however the tech big offered an in depth take a look at its new options in the course of the convention’s opening keynote. The replace will launch on the finish of 2021 starting with the Galaxy S21 collection earlier than rolling out to different Galaxy units. 

Design is a serious focus in One UI 4. You can match your cellphone’s system theme to your wallpaper, and sure actions like setting an alarm or utilizing the gadget’s fingerprint sensor will set off haptics and sounds. However a number of different options coming within the replace really feel very iPhone-inspired, particularly the extra constant widgets and new privateness choices. It is one other signal that the hole in options between iOS and Android is beginning to get smaller as smartphones have matured over the past decade. 

As an example, One UI 4’s widgets function corners which might be extra rounded throughout the board, whether or not they’re made by Samsung or third events.

Based mostly on what we have seen in Samsung’s presentation, that appears lots just like the iPhone’s dwelling display screen widgets.


The brand new widgets in Samsung’s One UI 4 will all have rounded corners, whether or not they’re third-party or Samsung widgets. 


Listed here are the iPhone’s widgets for context.



In the case of customization, you may additionally be capable to set your AR emoji as your profile picture for Samsung accounts. That is just like the best way iPhone homeowners can set their Memoji as their iMessage and Apple ID picture.


In One UI 4, you may set your AR emoji because the profile picture in your Samsung account. 

And here is how Apple’s Memoji sticker seems to be when set because the profile picture for an Apple ID.


You possibly can set your Memoji sticker as your Apple ID picture. 

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

One of many greatest modifications to return to the iPhone 11 in 2019 was the addition of QuickTake within the digital camera app. This function enables you to swap from picture to video mode extra simply by simply holding the shutter button after which dragging it to the fitting. Samsung gadget homeowners will get an analogous shortcut when One UI 4 launches. The replace will allow you to transfer from picture to video mode just by dragging up from the digital camera shutter.

This is the demo Samsung showcased throughout its developer convention.


Samsung’s One UI 4 replace will make it simpler to change from picture to video mode within the digital camera app, very like the iPhone. 


And here is the iPhone’s QuickTake function.


One UI 4 can even assist Samsung units catch as much as the iPhone when it comes to privateness. Galaxy smartphone homeowners will be capable to select whether or not they need to share their exact or approximate location with apps, an choice that Apple launched final yr in iOS 14.


Samsung is including new privateness controls in its One UI 4 replace. 


Listed here are the same privateness choices obtainable on the iPhone. 


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Apple and Android gadget makers have been locked in a race to introduce new options and capabilities to their cell units first because the daybreak of the smartphone. It is a competitors that may by no means have a straight reply, and the fitting alternative for most individuals will largely come right down to the working system they’re most comfy with.

However all through the course of smartphone historical past, there are a couple of areas through which the iPhone has pulled forward of Android and vice versa. The iPhone paved the best way for the fashionable smartphone by popularizing touch-centric interplay on cell units whereas the business remained fixated on tiny keyboards. In more moderen years, Apple has usually been extra forward-thinking in the case of shopper privateness. 

However Android gadget makers pioneered many elements of at this time’s cell person interface, providing staple options like widgets and quick-settings pulldown menus lengthy earlier than Apple did. Corporations like Samsung additionally launched smartphones with bigger screens years forward of the iPhone 6 Plus launch in 2014. Now Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft are experimenting with foldable designs whereas Apple has but to say the potential of a bendable iPhone.

Try the video under to study extra about Samsung’s One UI 4 replace. 

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