People are excited to see what Samsung has up its sleeve for Android 13 in light of rumors that the official One UI 5 beta will begin soon and ongoing internal previews. Fortunately, I was able to obtain the latest One UI 5 beta before its release to the general public. Let’s examine all the new features in One UI 5.
For some background, this build came from a source and is not one that Samsung has made available to the public. Because of this, it may not give a full picture of One UI 5 at this point. It is an early beta that unfortunately lacks a changelog, so everything new below has been determined by comparing One UI 5 to One UI 4.
Modified notification layout
Between One UI 4 and One UI 5, the notification design was modified slightly. There are new icons for notifications and a revamped aesthetic. The opacity of the notification shade and quick settings has also been slightly modified. Both of these modifications are minor, but they give the notification shade an overall different feel when in use.
Stock Android permission dialogs
One of the most surprising aspects of One UI 5 is Samsung’s decision to use the standard Android permission dialogs. This is in no way a negative aspect, and it is very similar to how Google operates. This could have been done to speed up the update process by not changing things that don’t need to be changed in Android, or it could simply be that Samsung hasn’t changed it yet in One UI 5. Future betas will reveal the answer shortly.
OCR in Gallery and insert image text via keyboard
Samsung has now implemented OCR (Optical Character Recognition), allowing you to copy text from images to the Gallery app and keyboard. When the device detects text in a photograph, a button will appear at the bottom of the image gallery to extract the text. This used to be part of Bixby Vision, but One UI 5 separated it into its feature.
Keyboard OCR on Android functions identically to iOS. You can select extract text in any text field and then point the camera at any object to capture text from it and insert it. The user interface of Samsung’s version is extremely similar to that of iOS.
Hub for privacy and security
The security and privacy hub is a Samsung-exclusive variant of what Google developed for Pixel on Android 13 It consolidates your accounts, passwords, security, and privacy settings onto a single screen, thereby facilitating access to everything. It will also scan for anything that may be abusing app permissions or a security setting that isn’t enabled, and it will recommend that you enable it for better security overall.
Unfortunately, the hub contains no new information. All of these settings and features were also available in One UI 4, but it’s great to see Samsung simplifying access to them and being proactive about alerting less tech-savvy users.
New multitasking movements
There are now two options for accessing the feature and multitasking in Labs. You can now swipe up with two fingers from the bottom of the screen to access split view or swipe in from the top right corner to create a popup window. Neither currently function in this build, but they will by the time the product is released.
One UI 5 does not contain a significant amount of new features. There are minor enhancements across the board, and animations have been upgraded. This is not undesirable. It appears that Samsung is prioritizing update speed, given that the beta is likely to begin a month earlier and the planned release is also a month earlier.
Focusing on getting Android updates out quickly and introducing newer features with later updates that launch alongside new devices enables Samsung to focus on new features after more devices have received updates. With the promise of four years of operating system updates, the Galaxy S22s is off to a good start. The success of Samsung’s Z foldable, A line of smartphones, and Tab series of devices remains to be seen.