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

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

To provide some context, this build was provided by a source and has not been released publicly by Samsung, so given its original nature it may not give a full picture of One UI 5. It’s an early beta which unfortunately doesn’t have a changelog, so everything new below is from using One UI 5 and comparing it to One UI 4.

Optimized notification design

The notification design has been slightly adjusted 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 opacity adjustment. None of these changes are huge, but they do give the notification shade as a whole an overall different feel to use.

Stock Android permission dialogs

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

OneUI 5 Gallery OCR

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

Keyboard OCR works the same as it does on iOS. In each text box, you can select Extract Text and hold the camera to extract and paste text from it. The Samsung version’s interface is incredibly similar to iOS.

Center for Security and Privacy

A UI 5 security and privacy hub
A UI 5 security and privacy hub

The Security and Privacy Hub is a Samsung proprietary version of what Google developed for Pixel on Android 13. It puts all your accounts, passwords, security and privacy features on one screen for easy access to everything. It will also look for anything that might be abusing app permissions or a security setting that isn’t enabled and recommends you enable it for better security all around.

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 all of this easier to access and proactively warning those who are less tech-savvy.

New multitasking gestures

Labs now has two options for multitasking and accessing the feature. You can now swipe up with two fingers from the bottom of the screen to access Split View, or swipe in from the top-right corner to create a pop-up window. Neither currently work in this build, but they should at launch time.

Some changes

  • Collaboration in Samsung Notes
  • Currently active app in quick settings
  • The About phone page now shows an image of the device
  • UWB switch in settings

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

Focusing on delivering Android updates quickly and rolling out newer features with later updates rolling out alongside new devices allows more devices to receive updates and Samsung can focus on new features later. With the promise of four years of OS updates, that’s a good thing and a good start for the Galaxy S22s. We’ll have to see how it fares with Samsung’s Z foldables, A line of phones and Tab line of devices.

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