Samsung has been incredibly quick in rolling out Android 13-based One UI 5.0 to its Galaxy smartphones and tablets. If it maintains the current pace, the company may update the vast majority of eligible Galaxy devices to the new One UI version before the end of this year. As the updates arrive left, right, and center, Samsung’s Vice President of Android Framework R&D, Sally Hyesoon Jeong, spoke with SamMobile to give some insights into the development of its custom Android software. Sally, who leads the Korean firm’s teams working on Android platforms, S Pen, Multi-Tasking, Edge SDK, and other software services, talked about the motivations behind One UI 5.0 and what’s to come in the future.
Samsung VP talks about One UI 5.0 goals and motivations
According to Sally, Samsung’s vision behind One UI 5.0 was to reflect customer trends. It noticed that customers want to personalize their phones in line with their lifestyles. So the company wanted to give Galaxy users “ultimate personalization” with this update. It has added several new wallpaper choices, more Color Palette options, new clock styles, and more to One UI 5.0. These customizations are also now directly accessible from the lockscreen, with a live preview for all the changes you make.
This lockscreen customization itself has been borrowed from Samsung’s Good Lock customization suite. Good Lock is a suite of apps that give Galaxy users more ways to personalize their phones. Sally says the company uses it as a pilot to decide what new customization feature to add to One UI. The more popular a Good Lock feature is, the more chances it will be part of Samsung’s One UI customer software. Lockscreen customization appears to be a fan favorite of late.
While personalization was one of the primary goals, Samsung also wanted to make its One UI software more productive. To that end, it has added a plethora of new features that enable you to get more out of your smartphone or tablet. With improved Bixby Routines, you can now automate more tasks. New and improved gestures let you quickly switch between multiple screen views, such as split-screen and pop-up screen. With smart widgets, you can also now fit more items in limited space on the homescreen.
Samsung may have been rolling out One UI 5.0 faster than expected, but this isn’t a surprise. It has been consistent progress over the past couple of years. The company is usually ahead of schedule in terms of security updates too. Sally says delivering fast updates has always been a goal for the Korean behemoth. However, it shouldn’t come at the cost of reliability. Samsung’s engineers listened to customers and worked harder for the timely delivery of One UI 5.0 without compromising on reliability.
Personalization and productivity will remain primary goals in the future
As we speculated above, Samsung indeed expects to seed One UI 5.0 to all eligible models at least in one market before the end of 2022. That would be a remarkable achievement when you realize it hardly updated a few flagship models to the latest Android version before the new year. But the work doesn’t stop there. Software development is a never-ending process. The company still has dozens of Galaxy devices awaiting its One UI 5.0 update and it is already working on One UI 5.1, which will debut on the Galaxy S23 series early next year.
With each new version of One UI, Samsung wants to deliver a new software experience. That experience will be optimized according to the device from factor. For foldable devices, the company will optimize the software to let users get the best out of their “unique” smartphones. But what’s next for Samsung’s custom Android software? Well, according to Sally, enhancing personalization and productivity will remain the primary goals.
“Our engineering effort is being driven by the idea of making each user’s device different based on their individual characteristics so that no two devices are alike,” Sally said. “Our primary focus will be on enhancing personalization and productivity as much as we can in a way that feels natural for users. Samsung’s AI tech help do that in the most natural manner. We will aim to accomplish this while continuing to provide reliable and fast updates.”