Exclusive: This is Samsung’s One UI 5 based on Android 13

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With rumors of the One UI 5 official beta starting soon and internal previews already underway, people are eager to see what Samsung has up its sleeve for Android 13. Luckily, I managed to get my hands on it. on the latest One UI 5 beta before the public beta even started. Let’s take a look at everything new in One UI 5.

To provide some context, this build was provided by a source and is not the one Samsung has released publicly, so it might not provide a full picture of One UI 5 given the initial nature. This is an early beta release which unfortunately doesn’t have a changelog, so everything new below is from using One UI 5 and comparing it to One UI 4.

Modified notification design

The design of notifications has changed slightly between One UI 4 and One UI 5. There are new icons for notifications as well as an updated design style. The notification shade and quick settings also have a slight change in opacity. None of these changes are major, but they bring a different overall feel to the notification shade as a whole when in use.

Stock Android Permission Dialogs

A big surprise with One UI 5 is Samsung’s choice to use Android permission dialogs by default. This is by no means a bad thing, and it’s very similar to how Google does it. It could have been to help speed up the update process by not changing things that don’t need to be changed in Android, or it could be so early that Samsung hasn’t been able to change it in Android yet. One UI 5. We’ll find out soon enough in future betas.

A 5 Gallery OCR UI

Samsung has now added OCR (Optical Character Recognition) which allows you to copy text from images to the Gallery app and the keyboard. When the device detects text in a photo, it now has a button at the bottom of the gallery that lets you extract text from the image. It used to be part of Bixby Vision, but was turned into its own feature in One UI 5.

Keyboard OCR works the same as on iOS. In any text field, you can select extract text and hold the camera in front of anything to extract text and insert it. The user interface of Samsung’s version is also incredibly similar to that of iOS.

Security and Privacy Center

One UI 5 Security and Privacy Hub
One UI 5 Security and Privacy Hub

Security and Privacy Hub is Samsung’s proprietary version of what Google did for Pixel on Android 13. It puts all your accounts, passwords, security and privacy features on one screen, allowing easy access easy to everything. It will also look for anything that might abuse app permissions or a security setting that is not enabled and recommend you to enable it for better security.

Unfortunately, there is nothing new in the hub. All of the settings and features here were also found in One UI 4, but it’s good to see Samsung making it all easier to access and being proactive in warning those who are less tech-savvy.

New multitasking gestures

In Labs, there are now two options for multitasking and feature access. You will now be able to swipe up from the bottom of the screen with two fingers to access split view or swipe up from the top right corner to create a popup. Neither currently works in this build, but they should when it launches.

Miscellaneous changes

  • Collaboration in Samsung Notes
  • Currently active app in quick settings
  • About phone page now shows device image
  • UWB toggle in settings

Ultimately, there really isn’t much new in One UI 5. It has minor improvements across the board with an animation upgrade. That’s not a bad thing. It looks like Samsung is focusing on update speed, given that the beta is likely to start a month early with an expected release also a month earlier.

Focusing on pushing out Android updates quickly and then bringing new features with subsequent updates that launch with new devices allows more devices to get updates and Samsung to focus on new features later. With promises of four years of OS updates, that’s a good thing to see and a good start for the Galaxy S22s. We’ll have to see how things go for Samsung’s Z foldables, the A line of phones, and the Tab series of devices.

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