One UI 5 beta hand-on gives what to expect on Galaxy phones
What do you want to know
- Samsung is gearing up to release One UI 5 (in beta) in the coming weeks.
- The Galaxy S22 series is probably the first to get it.
- A new handling of the One UI 5 has been spotted.
- It brings minor improvements in terms of design.
One UI 5 is the next Android-based interface for Samsung’s Galaxy phones, and we expect the first betas to roll out to Galaxy devices in a few weeks. By several reports (opens in a new tab), the next version of the software is expected to be released in the third week of July. Other sources said that the software version has already been provided (opens in a new tab) to the internal team.
Now there is a new version obtained by the folks at 9to5Google. It’s apparently the latest One UI 5 beta that sets the tone for what to expect from software-eligible Galaxy devices. The report suggests that this beta version was provided by an anonymous source and assures that it might not be the actual version that consumers would get. So take all the information with a grain of salt as some may not see the light of day.
Although there is no changelog, for starters, the 9to5Google report details all the new features spotted with the latest beta. Along with the new features, it also compares the difference between One UI 5 and the previous iteration.
The notification panel gets an overhaul mainly for the app icons that appear on the panel, which now look cleaner. Quick Settings also gets a neat opacity overhaul that looks very different from One UI 4. The next design change is for the permission dialog, which seems to have changed its positioning from bottom to center, with colorful buttons to click.
The other notable addition is Samsung’s Gallery app OCR. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a new feature that allows you to completely copy text from an image in the Gallery. It detects all kinds of text in photos, similar to what we saw in Google Translate.
Users can choose selected text from the image, which now has a “Scan Text” button at the bottom, and copy it to the clipboard. 9to5Google mentions that this was something Bixby could do in the past. However, it is likely to be integrated into the beta UI based on Android 13, which is preparing to arrive on some of the best Android devices like the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Then there’s the Keyboard OCR tool, which lets you choose any text from your clipboard. Suppose you want to share news from newspaper or internet with your WhatsApp friends. Instead of grabbing it or physically copying it and pasting/sharing it using the online version of the app. Users using the beta version can simply press the “scan text” icon on the keyboard, which replaces the cursor indication. Normally you’d hold it to paste something from the clipboard, but now it has a new option: a ‘scan text’ popup. Both OCR functions seem to have been removed from iOS. The report says they work the same on the latest One UI 5 beta.
Next, Samsung appears to be introducing its native privacy hub with the new beta, similar to what we’ve seen on Android 13 betas on Pixel devices, like the Pixel 6 Pro. It mainly provides access to specific security preferences such as lock screen, app security, and biometrics, to name a few. These preferences/settings are not new since One UI 4 but are now accessible through a native hub.
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Other notable features of the One UI 5 beta results include new multitasking gestures. They now allow you to access a split-screen view with a simple two-finger swipe from the bottom of the screen. Swiping again will allow you to switch apps. Samsung Notes also offers nifty features such as collaboration with up to a hundred people who can write, edit and share notes.
There’s a new active app view in quick settings; similarly, users can see the phone model image on the About Phone page. Finally, a new ultra-wideband toggle switch appears in the settings app that lets you identify the precise location of nearby devices.