Google released the stable version of Android 11 for its Pixel smartphones last week, but for most Android users, the wait continues. The largest smartphone maker in the world, Samsung, has yet to officially announce the latest version of its Android-based software called “One UI,” even though they quietly opened pre-registrations for a One UI developer program last month. 3.0. Registrations for this closed beta program for developers were released in South Korea last week, but today the closed beta was released in the United States. Thanks to Max Weinbach, I was able to put my unlocked Galaxy S20 in the US into the closed beta 3.0 of One UI, allowing XDA to give you a first glimpse of Samsung’s Android 11 update.
Samsung Galaxy S20 forum
Note that this is a file closed beta program intended for developers, this build doesn’t have all the new One UI gadgets that Samsung has been developing behind the scenes. This build is intended to allow developers to test their apps on Android 11-based One UI 3.0 several months before it’s officially available to users. This is necessary because Samsung does broad changes to the Android framework, so an app that works on Google’s Pixel phones or Android 11’s AOSP isn’t guaranteed to work the same on Samsung’s Android 11 software. Finally, many of the new features mentioned in the change log are actually changes made to Samsung apps rather than the operating system itself.
News of the closed beta of Android 11 on Galaxy S20
Before I dive into the news, I think you might take a look at the official change log:
An official change log of UI 3.0 (beta)
One UI 3 brings you Android 11 with exciting new features from Samsung and Google based on feedback from users like you. It is recommended that you back up your important data to keep it intact during the update.
Voice Assistant has been replaced by Talkback to offer a better experience. You can perform actions like the improved quick menu using multi-finger gestures with Talkback.
Some apps, including Calculator, Samsung Internet, Samsung Pay, Samsung Health, and Samsung Notes, need to be updated individually after updating the operating system.
Themes cannot be used in the One UI 3 beta. If you are using a theme, when you install this update you will revert to the default One UI 3 appearance. Themes will be supported in the final version of One UI 3. During the beta it is You can use custom Always On wallpapers, icons and displays.
Here’s what’s new:
- Touch and hold an app to add an associated widget
- Turn off the screen by double tapping an empty area on the Home screen. You can do this in Settings> Advanced features> Movements and gestures.
- The dynamic lock screen now has multiple categories and you can select more than one
- Lock screen widgets have been improved.
- View your conversations and media more conveniently in their sections when you swipe down from the top of the screen.
- Always On Display widgets have improved
- Get quick access to the most important accessibility settings when setting up your device
- Get recommended accessibility features based on what you use
- Set the Accessibility link more easily in the settings
- Sound detectors now work with your SmartThings devices like TVs and lights to give you more visible alerts when the doorbell rings or a baby cries
- You can find the keyboard settings more easily in General Manager in Settings, and the settings have been organized to put the most important ones first.
- You can connect to supported TVs wirelessly
- The new multiple touchpad gestures allow you to more easily change the screen zoom and font size
- Added the ability to prevent websites from redirecting you when you tap the back button
- Added alerts and blocking options for websites showing too many pop-ups or notifications
- Rearranged menus to make things easier to find.
- Added several new add-ons, including one that translates websites
- Added option to hide the status bar for a more immersive browsing experience
- Maximum number of open tabs increased to 99.
- Added the ability to lock and reorder tabs
- Improved design for the tab bar which is now supported on all devices
- End of support for Samsung Internet Edge Panel
Contacts and telephone
- Added the ability to edit multiple contacts connected at the same time
- Added an option to help you quickly delete duplicate contacts
- Enhance the search experience.
- Extended the storage period for the recycle bin from 15 to 30 days
Phone / call wallpaper
- Added the ability to customize the call screen with your own photos and videos
- Created a recycle bin to store recently deleted messages
Call and text on other devices
- Added the ability to enable or disable calls and SMS on other devices with Bixby routines
- Events with the same start time are now shown together in the month and agenda view
- Reorganized options for adding and editing events
- Improved layout for full screen alerts.
- Improved layout for full screen alerts
Digital wellbeing and Parental control
- Added trends to your weekly report. You can see how your usage has changed since the previous week and check the usage time for each feature
- Added phone usage time while driving to the weekly report
- Added a lock screen widget so you can check the screen time without unlocking your phone
- Added separate profiles for personal and work modes so you can track screen time separately
- Improved functionality and usability of autofocus and automatic exposure
- Improved stabilization when taking pictures of the moon at high zoom levels
- Added the ability to revert edited images to their original versions
- Grouped preset routines help you get started quickly and learn how to quickly build your routines
- Now you can see which actions are undone when a routine ends
- New conditions have been added, such as a specific start time, disconnection of a Bluetooth device or WiFi network, a call from a specific number, and more
- New actions have been added, including talking to Bixby and accessibility actions
- You can add a custom icon for each routine and add routines to the lock screen for quick access.
When you first install the One UI 3.0 beta, the first thing I think you’ll notice is the redesigned Quick Settings / Notification panel. Like OPPO, Samsung has adopted to apply a Gaussian-like blur effect behind notifications. Personally I’m a big fan of this change because I think it’s beautiful. Not everyone is going to like this blur effect, so hopefully Samsung will add an option (perhaps in a Good Lock module?) To turn it off.
The next change you may notice is the new volume panel design. It’s a vertical volume slider that expands horizontally to reveal more vertical sliders for other volume streams. There is also a switch for Live Caption as the Galaxy S20 supports it, although this switch will not appear on all Samsung Galaxy devices that receive the One UI 3.0 update. Samsung users on older versions of One UI can download the SoundAssistant app to enable a vertical volume slider.
Here is a side by side of the Settings pages in light and dark themes:
And here’s a gallery of the lock screen, home screen (with a flattened warning notification displayed at the top), and overview of recent apps. To be clear, these screens are mostly unchanged, except for a slight change to the recent apps overview where the currently focused tab is zoomed in slightly.
Next, let’s talk about the stock Android 11 features that Samsung did (and didn’t add). Since Android 11 is open source and licensed with Apache version 2.0, OEMs have the freedom to tweak Android to their liking. However, to pass Google’s Android compatibility requirements and thus preload Google Mobile Services, OEMs need to implement a couple of Google’s Android 11 features. This includes one-time bills and permissions but doesn’t include features like Device Controls, Quick Access Wallet, Media Controls in Quick Settings, or Conversations in Notifications. Fortunately, Samsung has implemented most of these features anyway.
Unfortunately, Samsung has not implemented the Device Controls feature in its One UI 3.0 beta. This feature would turn the power menu into a smart home control center. One UI already has its own shortcut to access smart home products (open the Quick Settings panel fully and tap “Devices”), but it only works with Samsung’s SmartThings app. Device Controls is a more open API on the contrary. In addition, it also lacks the Quick Access Wallet feature which allows you to quickly change your current Google Pay card, although Samsung already offers its own method to quickly change Samsung Pay cards.
Here is a screenshot gallery showing most of the various settings pages, in case you want to compare with One UI 2.0 / 2.5 on your device.
Here is a gallery showing some of the new features of the One UI 3.0 beta. These features include a new “minimal battery use” mode that applies a dark theme, a minimal home screen and restricts apps for maximum power savings, a new “advanced processing mode” that improves performance, easier access to Samsung keyboard settings in Settings> General Management, wireless DeX (if your device did not receive it in the One UI 2.5 update) and custom call wallpapers.
Bixby Routines is getting some nice updates. You can now apply a custom icon for each routine, see which actions are undone when a routine ends, activate various accessibility features, activate Bixby, use new conditions including specific time, Wi-Fi network, Bluetooth connection, and incoming calls from a specific contact or from any contact.
Samsung’s implementation of Personalized Digital Wellbeing has some features you won’t find in Google’s version. These include setting a screen time goal, viewing phone usage trends in weekly reports, viewing phone time usage while driving, and adding a widget to the lock screen to quickly view screen usage time.
Right after upgrading to One UI 3.0 beta, I got some updates for stock Samsung apps from the Galaxy Store. The Samsung Gallery app now allows you to undo the changes you’ve made, the Samsung Messages app has added a trash can to store your deleted messages, the Contacts app helps you quickly delete duplicate contacts, and more.
Samsung Internet 13.0 is preloaded on One UI 3.0. It includes features like the ability to lock / reorder tabs, prevent pages from hijacking the back button, alerts on malicious sites, hide the status bar when scrolling, and more.
A couple of changes have also been made to the stock One UI Launcher. For example, the context menu has been redesigned and includes an option to place an associated widget by long pressing on an app icon. There’s also a new “double-tap to sleep” option that lets you turn off the screen by double-tapping any blank area of the screen, although this gesture must be enabled in Settings> Advanced Features> Gestures & Gestures.
The Samsung Keyboard app supports inline autofill and copy-paste image suggestions. However, the new emojis of Android 11 are missing.
Finally, here is a screen recording of our friend Rydah (@SamsungRydah) showing the new animations in the beta of One UI 3.0.
As many have asked. Here are the animations of OneUI 3 pre beta 1 pic.twitter.com/IVzXD6r1se
– Rydah | Samsung Daddy (@SamsungRydah) September 15, 2020
These are all the changes I encountered during my short practice test of the One UI 3.0 closed beta on the Galaxy S20. I’m sure Samsung will have a lot more to show us by the end of the year when they are actually ready to unveil their Android 11 update. Of course we will continue to dig into this release to see if there are any other undocumented changes in the change log. .
How to install One UI 3.0 (closed beta) on US / Korean Galaxy S20
If you are curious, it is possible to install the closed beta on a US or Korean Galaxy S20 series device if you have installed the Samsung Members app and use a direct link to access the correct screen. This is how several people, including us, got access to the beta. Thanks to Max Weinbach for initially discovering this method.
Oh yes, here’s the secret sauce for anyone who wants to try participating in the One UI 3.0 closed beta. Take it while it’s hot! https://t.co/0KtZRith8K
– Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) September 15, 2020