Believe it or not, Samsung has done something lots of us didn’t think become feasible: it has made first-rate software. Tomorrow, it’s going to unveil a pile of recent phones — the thoroughly leaked Galaxy S10 lineup — and all they must be strolling the brand new “One UI” software, which is constructed on top of Android 9 Pie. I’ve been trying out One UI on a Galaxy S9 for a week or so, and up to now, I like it. In a few approaches, I like it better than what Google itself is transported on Pixel three. If it weren’t for the truth that I believe Samsung to supply predominant software program updates fast, I might be shouting about One UI from the rooftops. As it is, I want to point out that it’s time for us to prevent instinctively turning our noses up at Samsung’s version of Android.
There are still some traumatic components of One UI. However, they don’t destroy what is otherwise a full-featured, coherent, and (dare I say) considerate model of Android. This is not a conventional understanding of approximately Samsung software. If you haven’t been paying close attention to the world of Android in the past few years, you would possibly have overlooked something: we don’t speak approximately “skins” much anymore. We used to think that there was this type of component as “pure” Android, which changed into then sullied using pointless and annoying layers of software slathered on top of it.
Nowadays, “pure” Android does lots much less than it used to. The basic Android Open Source Project (AOSP) version of it isn’t always something you’d need to use on its own anymore — too many critical pieces were pulled out of the open-source and are dispensed via both Google or the producer instead. So to speak about “pure” Android and “skins” is to miss the factor. Most telephones constructed on Android have custom software that goes way deeper than the pores and skin, whether they’re made by Samsung, with the aid of Xiaomi, or — yes — even by Google.
All of that is the context I experience. I want to lay down because Samsung’s software customizations have a protracted and nicely-earned recognition for being buggy, tasteless, and burdened with gimmicks. I’m talking approximately TouchWiz of the route. It turned into important in the early days while Android (and Windows Mobile, in which TouchWiz changed into born) wasn’t simply appropriate sufficient for the common person. But Samsung couldn’t assist itself; it blended extra capabilities to make the UI greater iPhone-like. All those capabilities had been confusing and bogged the whole lot down.
On the pinnacle of everything else, TouchWiz just lacked taste. A model of TouchWiz made a water-droplet noise each time you touched the telephone. By default, it went “bloop” with each tap. Eventually, Samsung found out that the emblem was tainted and renamed it the “Samsung Experience.” As Vlad Savov pointed out, it became probable because Samsung was already beginning to enhance the software revel in when it did. But I think it didn’t cross quite far enough — a more profound redesign became wanted.
Now, we have One UI. I can’t go pretty to this point as to mention that the whole lot has changed all the time when it comes to Samsung’s customizations. There are still multiple versions of some apps because both Google and Samsung insist on having their software program gift. Samsung phones even have a reputation for purchasing a touch laggy (the technical term is cruft) through the years, and I don’t know yet whether One UI and Android 9 will go through the same destiny. But I do recognize that one week in, this OS truly feels intentional and designed instead of simply having a gaggle of capabilities tacked on.
Historically, we have the concept of all the ones customizations as useless add-ons. But that’s not pretty right anymore — customizing AOSP is essential nowadays. Instead, we ought to choose a Samsung smartphone on its very own merits as a telephone, not as stuff bolted on to a few idealized “natural” models of the telephone that can’t, in reality, exist anymore. One UI includes four key parts. One is the simple update to Android nine Pie, which means that you’ll get a ton of small capabilities without spending a dime. Second, there’s a generalized update to the appearance and feel — the entirety is only a little cleaner and greater tasteful than before.
Samsung has found out that neon is the most effective cool in small doses. Third, because it is Samsung, there are just a million features hidden in each nook of the OS. Some of them — like a darkish mode — are, without a doubt, useful. Others will remind human beings of the awful antique days of TouchWiz. But standard Samsung is doing a higher process of surfacing them gradually as you operate the smartphone instead of asking you to wade although arcane and opaquely named settings screens inside the first 15 mins of using the telephone.