Samsung recently attempted to explain why One UI is so different from its previous implementations of Google's Android operating system. The company aimed to include clear visuals and a spacious and orderly design that maximize the readability of the interface of its take on Android 9 Pie. An example provided by the firm is the revamped notification shade, with the quick settings panel now extending closer to the bottom of the display. The larger space occupied by the quick settings panel allows for bigger buttons for individual settings, larger text, and wider spaces between available options.
Another user interface change Samsung introduced with One UI comes in the form of viewing and interaction areas. The user interacts with the device by relying on elements found in the lower half of the display, while the upper half of the screen shows the content of the applications. There were also changes made to the way the device displays app content and interactive elements. Samsung says its handsets now show app content in focus blocks, which actually reveal less information on the screen compared to its earlier user interface designs. However, by reducing the amount of content presented at any given time, users may focus their attention on the task at hand more easily. In addition, these focus blocks, along with app icons, feature rounded corners, which result in a more consistent aesthetic throughout One UI. Furthermore, Samsung also reduces the number of interactive elements accessible to the user at any given time, although the software overlay only removes the elements considered not relevant to the action performed by the person. For example, when a user enters a mobile number in the phone app, only the options for creating a new contact or initiating a call will appear. The placement of the interactive elements at the lower half of the display should also make it easier for people to use their smartphones with one hand.
One UI also introduces a system-wide dark mode to Samsung devices. However, in implementing the feature, the tech giant did not simply change colors shown on the screen. The company also changed the tone, brightness, and contrast of the display to ensure visual comfort of the people viewing their devices. Aside from the changes in the user interface, Samsung also hinted at other modifications it made to its software overlay, which includes more user-centric smartphone management.
Background: The tech giant introduced One UI during the Samsung Developer Conference 2018 in early November, having opted to deploy it as quickly as possible. In fact, some units of the Galaxy S9 and the Galaxy Note 9 already received the software upgrade to the latest version of Google's operating system. Several entry-level and mid-range devices will also receive the software upgrade, although Samsung will deploy it to these smartphones and tablets later in the year. Furthermore, handsets from the tech firm that will launch this year will ship with One UI pre-installed.
Impact: With the extensive modifications Samsung made to the user interface, One UI should offer a simple, visually comfortable, and streamlined experience to consumers. Nonetheless, Samsung will likely continue refining its Android implementation based on the feedback it receives from its customers and research it conducts with partners. These additional refinements may result in the development of more useful features that add value to its devices by making them more capable or just easier to use.