With Android 13 currently being tested by developers, phone makers that rely on Google’s mobile operating system will be busy working on their own variations on it – and we just got a glimpse of what Samsung is planning with the launch of One UI 5.
The team at 9to5Google (opens in new tab) has been able to get access to an early version of the software, which may well be pushed out to the masses before the end of the year, and is likely to appear on new Samsung phones throughout the course of 2023.
Those new Samsung phones will of course include the Samsung Galaxy S23 series, which is due to see the light of day in January. We’ve heard various rumors about the specs of the Galaxy S23, and now we’ve got a preview of the software too.
One UI to rule them all
Among the changes coming in One UI 5 we’ve got a tweaked notification design (with some changes to the aesthetics and the opacity), the ability to capture text in images and copy it straight to the clipboard, and new multitasking gestures.
While there aren’t any huge differences between One UI 5 and the software versions that have preceded it, there’s plenty of time yet for Samsung to both add and remove features before it makes the mobile OS available to the world at large.
The finished version of One UI 4 was pushed out in November of last year, so you can expect a similar sort of schedule this time around – that would mean the new software is ready for the phones that Samsung is planning to launch next year.
Analysis: making Android stand out
There’s always a lot of talk about rear camera modules and processor speeds and display sizes when it comes to new smartphones, but we shouldn’t forget the importance of the software that’s running on these devices as well.
Every manufacturer with an Android phone or five in its product line-up thinks that they can put together the best take on Google’s mobile OS – even if for some phone makers that involves messing with the original code as little as possible.
The likes of Samsung and Xiaomi have worked hard to try and make their versions of Android stand out. Meanwhile, Google has added a few exclusive tweaks to the version of Android that it releases on its Pixel phones, including a widget for the lock screen that identifies songs playing around you with no further interaction required.
When the Galaxy S23 does arrive, Samsung is going to want to be able to point towards some key software upgrades as well, and that’s what this latest leak is all about – although One UI 5 will be rolling out to older Samsung handsets as well, over time.