Samsung’s next update will make your Galaxy phone a bit more like an iPhone


Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra (left) and Galaxy S21 (right)

Sarah Tew / CNET

that of Samsung Galaxy smartphones receive a facelift which should make their software more transparent and more customizable. It may also sound familiar to you if you are moving from a iPhone.

Samsung detailed its upcoming One UI 4 software update at its annual developer conference on Tuesday, where it also presented its smart home strategy, Tizen TVs and the Bixby voice assistant. The new smartphone software has been available in beta since September, but the tech giant detailed its new features during the conference’s opening keynote. The update will be launched at the end of 2021 from the Galaxy S21 series before rolling it out to other Galaxy devices.

Design is a major focus in One UI 4. You will be able to match your phone’s system theme to your wallpaper, and certain actions like setting an alarm or using the fingerprint sensor on your phone. the device will trigger haptics and sounds. But several other features in the update seem very iPhone-inspired, especially the more consistent widgets and new privacy options. It’s another sign that the feature gap between iOS and Android is starting to narrow as smartphones have matured over the past decade.

For example, One UI 4’s widgets feature more rounded corners, whether they are made by Samsung or by third parties.

From what we saw in Samsung’s presentation, it looks a lot like iPhone home screen widgets.


Samsung’s new One UI 4 widgets will all have rounded corners, whether they’re third-party or Samsung widgets.


Here are the iPhone widgets for context.



As for customization, you will also be able to set your AR emoji as the profile picture for Samsung accounts. This is similar to how iPhone owners can set their Memoji as iMessage photo and Apple ID.


In One UI 4, you can set your AR emoji as a profile picture in your Samsung account.

And this is what Apple’s Memoji sticker looks like when set as the profile picture for an Apple ID.


You can set your Memoji sticker as an Apple ID photo.

Screenshot by Lisa Eadicicco / CNET

One of the biggest changes to come iPhone 11 in 2019 was the addition of QuickTake in the camera app. This feature makes it easier for you to switch from photo mode to video mode by simply holding down the shutter button and then sliding it to the right. Samsung device owners will receive a shortcut similar to the launch of One UI 4. The update will allow you to switch from photo mode to video mode simply by sliding the camera shutter up.

Here is the demo presented by Samsung during its developer conference.


Samsung’s One UI 4 update will make it easier to switch from photo mode to video mode in the camera app, much like the iPhone.


And here is the iPhone QuickTake feature.


One UI 4 will also help Samsung devices catch up with iPhone when it comes to privacy. Galaxy smartphone owners will be able to choose whether they want to share their precise or approximate location with apps, an option Apple introduced last year in iOS 14.


Samsung is adding new privacy controls in its One UI 4 update.


Here are the similar privacy options available on the iPhone.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Apple and Android device makers have been racing to introduce new features and capabilities to their mobile devices since the dawn of the smartphone. It’s a competition that will never have a straightforward answer, and the right choice for most people will largely depend on which operating system they’re most comfortable with.

But throughout the history of smartphones, there are a few areas where the iPhone has overtaken Android and vice versa. The iPhone paved the way for the modern smartphone by popularizing tactile interaction on mobile devices while the industry remained obsessed with tiny keyboards. In recent years, Apple has generally been more forward-thinking when it comes to consumer privacy.

But Android device makers have pioneered many aspects of today’s mobile user interface, offering basic features like widgets and quick settings drop-down menus long before Apple. Companies like Samsung also launched smartphones with larger screens years before the iPhone 6 Plus launched in 2014. Now Samsung, Motorola and Microsoft are experimenting with foldable designs while Apple has yet to mention the. Possibility of a foldable iPhone.

Watch the video below to learn more about Samsung’s One UI 4 update.


Margie D. Carlisle