Screens on phones have been getting bigger for years at this point, and now, they’re starting to get taller thanks to slimmer aspect ratios. The challenge to adapt software to these new panels has been very present for any manufacturer who produces a product with the technology onboard. Today, though, Samsung introduced its solution to make using your tall smartphone a bit easier with one hand thanks to One UI.
Previously known as Samsung Experience and famously known as TouchWiz, One UI is Samsung’s new skin that will first ship with Android 9 Pie on the Galaxy S9, S9 Plus, and Note 9 in January 2019. The UI updates various aspects of the operating system with a cleaner, more modern design that falls in line with what Google includes on the Pixel. But it isn’t in the aesthetic One UI shines. It’s actually how it’s designed.
Within Samsung’s stock applications, One UI simplifies things and makes them much easier to access on taller displays. All of the important content is brought down to the lower half of your screen, giving your thumb an easier time when trying to reach something. This reigns true for apps like messages, notes, calendar, email, settings, clock, and more.
Above the content, you’ll find a “viewing area” which basically shows you a giant header. Whether this is a poor use of space is subjective, but to me, it kind of feels empty.
Other than these tweaks, users will be happy to know there are also touch target improvements to make tapping elements of the interface easier along with a dark mode for enhanced nighttime viewing.
An open beta of One UI based on Android Pie in the US, Germany, and Korea will begin rolling out this month for the devices listed above. When we get to spend some time with it, we’ll report with our impressions.