has revealed more details about One UI 5, the updated user interface it will begin rolling out to devices later this month. Galaxy S22-series devices will be the first to get the update. The company is placing an even bigger focus on personalization, including on the lock screen. You’ll be able to select up to 15 photos and videos for the lock screen, with a different one appearing each time you turn on the display.
Alternatively, you can let Samsung handle the dynamic lock screen with a selection of curated images — you’ll see a different one each time. You can choose up to five image categories (such as dogs, cats, animals, landscapes and plants) and Samsung will refresh the collections every two weeks. You’ll also be able to tweak the wallpaper, clock style and notification pop-ups on the lock screen. Expect more color palette options to change the device-wide look of the UI and more customizable faces for Galaxy Watches.
Samsung says it has redesigned notifications to make them more intuitive and easier to parse with a glance. There’s the promise of improved widget stacking on the home screen too. One UI 5 will also have “more defined answer and decline buttons” when you see the pop-up call display.
Speaking of calls, there’s a new feature called Bixby Text Call. You’ll be able to answer a call by typing a message and Bixby can read this to the caller. The voice assistant can convert what the caller says into text as well. This could come in handy if you’re in a noisy environment and wouldn’t be able to hear what the other person is saying. Bixby Text Call became available in Korean as part of One UI 4.1.1. An English version will arrive in early 2023.
One UI 5 will place an onus on modes and routines too. With routines, you can trigger several actions on your device based on your activities (such as starting a certain playlist when you leave home). In addition, you can have modes with custom settings for certain situations, such as when you’re sleeping, relaxing or working out. In relax mode, you might mute notifications so you can focus on watching a video or playing a game. And when it’s time for bed, perhaps turning off all sounds and reducing the screen brightness will do the trick.
At the Samsung Developer Conference keynote, Sally Hyesoon Jeong said that your device will ask a series of simple questions to help you set modes up as you see fit. The company plans to launch modes on more devices (namely watches and tablets) in the near future
Elsewhere, Samsung is merging the “biometrics and security” and “privacy” settings from One UI 4 into a single security and privacy menu. You’ll be alerted to potential security issues and see possible solutions all on one screen.
You’ll see a new warning on the share panel if your phone believes you’re about to share an image that includes sensitive information, such as a photo of your credit card, driver’s license, Social Security card or passport. When it comes to IDs, Samsung noted that availability may vary depending on the language. At least for now, this feature will only be available when you set your system language to English (US) or Korean.
On the health front, Samsung worked with Google on a platform called Health Connect, a single set of APIs that should enable Android developers to create “richer health experiences,” Jeong said. There will be centralized privacy controls that will still enable you to sync data between various health and fitness apps.
As a result of Samsung’s partnership with Microsoft, when you set up a new Windows PC, you can use a QR code to link it to your phone. This will automatically add your mobile hotspot to your PC WiFi options. Jeong suggested that One UI 5 will deliver improved continuity across apps. You can switch from PowerPoint on phones to the desktop app and continue from where you left off, for instance. There are plans to enable similar features for non-Microsoft apps soon. Also on the productivity front, the is coming to other Z Fold and Tab S8 devices as part of the Android 12L update. Moreover, you’ll be able to copy text from images and paste it elsewhere.
A new connected devices menu will include interoperability options for the likes of Quick Share, Smart View and Samsung DeX. Finally, you can expect easier access to a menu that will help you switch your from one device to another.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.