Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 begin One UI 4 Android 12 beta

JC Torres - Oct 31, 2021, 7:46pm CDT
Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 begin One UI 4 Android 12 beta

Android 12 has become a huge thing for the platform, even without the Pixel 6, though the latter definitely helps raise its profile. In addition to the major changes in Android’s user interaction, Google is also pushing a sort of “spin” that would make apps behave better on screens beyond a typical smartphone. That includes not just tablets but also foldables, which is why the One UI 4 with Android 12 beta for Samsung’s latest Galaxy Z devices might be more exciting than just an Android version bump.

To be fair, One UI 4 itself is already turning out to be a big thing for Samsung’s devices. It has some visual similarities to the new Android 12 Material You design language and brings the custom Android experience up to date with Android 12. That, too, brings its own set of changes under the hood as well as on top, but that might just be the tip of the iceberg for foldables like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3.

Last week, Google revealed Android 12L, a “feature drop” intended to finally cater to Android devices with large screens. That covers not just the usual tablets but even Android in desktop modes like Samsung DeX or Motorola Ready For, as well as foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 3. In fact, the latter is advertised to be one of the first to benefit from this new thrust, particularly with the Activity Embedding feature.

Android has actually supported foldable and dual-screen devices since Android 11, partly due to the existence of the Galaxy Z Fold and the Microsoft Surface Duo. That support, however, hasn’t exactly taken advantage of the new form factors and only made sure things didn’t break. With Android 12L, foldables might get new, custom experiences, like a two-column full-screen notification panel, showing multiple activities in apps at once, and more.

For now, however, owners of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3 will have to settle for the “plain” One UI 4 update, which is now available in beta in South Korea and India. This is definitely one of Samsung’s faster paces in pushing out beta testing programs, with the one for the Galaxy S21 ending just last week. This could give owners of these phones some hope that the final One UI 4 and Android 12 updates will be available before the year ends, hopefully with very few bugs.

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