Samsung has come a long way from the days of TouchWiz. Its latest UI, simply called One, is a clean, lightweight experience that offers many features that you won’t find in stock Android 9.0 Pie. One UI is available now for the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10+, S9, S9+, Note9, and Note8.
BETTER ONE-HANDED USABILITY
As screens get larger and larger, it’s becoming increasingly harder to use your phone one-handed. Samsung is tackling that problem with a new approach that splits the screen into two sections: a viewing area at the top, and an interaction area at the bottom.
When you open an app, content is displayed in the top half, while any interactive buttons are at the bottom, within easy reach. For example, open the native Messages app and you’ll see a bubble at the bottom that opens up your recent conversations and contacts when tapped.
Additionally, whenever you reach the top of a menu in One UI, you can keep scrolling up to move any items at the top towards the bottom of the screen, putting them within easy reach without having to do any finger gymnastics. This new easy-to-reach approach can be found throughout One UI, from the settings to the clock app. Samsung has even made the quick setting toggles in the notification shade lower.
SYSTEM-WIDE NIGHT MODE
Samsung is famous for its gorgeous OLED displays, so it should come as no surprise that it’s one of the first brands to implement a system-wide Night Mode. Night Mode turns the entire UI, from menus and settings to native apps like Messages and Calculator, a gorgeous inky black color, which is easier on the eyes and is also more power efficient, resulting in better battery life. Night Mode can be enabled from Quick Settings or through Settings.
If you really want to maximize your screen real estate, turn on Gesture Navigation, which completely removes the on-screen navigation buttons. Swipe up from the center to go to the home screen, up from the right to go back, and up from the left to see your recent apps. Swipe up and hold to launch Google Assistant. It takes a bit to get used to, but it’s cleaner and faster than the default option.
LANDSCAPE HOME SCREEN
Samsung may have borrowed this idea from Apple, but it’s still a good one. If you watch a lot of shows or movies on your smartphone, you probably hold it in landscape mode a lot – except for when you need to go back to your home screen. One UI adds the option to rotate the entire home screen into landscape mode, so you don’t need to go back and forth if you just want to tab out of your show to check a notification or change a setting.
GALLERY RECYCLING BIN
Have you ever accidentally deleted a photo and then been unable to retrieve it? One UI adds a new recycling bin option for the Gallery app which stores any deleted photos for 15 days before permanently deleting them. This makes them easy to retrieve in case you accidentally delete them.