The much-criticized Samsung TouchWiz UX is dead. And soon, so will the short-lived “Samsung Experience”. At its now famous Samsung Developer Conference, the Korean manufacturer announced its upcoming One UI, the user experience that will, among other things, also run on its foldable smartphone. This UI will be based on Android 9 Pie, whose beta testing phase will start very soon. Amusingly enough, most people will still probably call it “TouchWiz” anyway.
Its new UI is called “One” for a variety of reasons, mostly revolving around themes of unification and focus. There is, for example, a heavy emphasis on only focusing on one thing at a time. But, at the same time, this One UI is designed to be the single user experience across Samsung’s Galaxy phones, both the normal single screen phablets and its upcoming foldable phone.
And, as always, Samsung has taken great pains to differentiate itself from stock Android. Although it does adopt Android 9 Pie’s round corners, it actually goes overboard and uses them everywhere. Curiously, Samsung is also unifying the color of your phone with the color of the UI, theming the interface to match the color of the phone by default, almost like what it’s doing with the screen off memo ink color for the Galaxy Note 9’s S Pen.
Some users, even long-time Samsung fans, might not be so receptive of the new look, at least based on early feedback from leaked firmware. The consolation is that One UI will also be bringing Android 9 Pie to Samsung’s phones. Sadly, the two are of course bundled together so you can’t have one without the other. There might still be some time for Samsung to make changes, especially once it gets the beta program underway.
That’s coming soon to the Galaxy S9 and S9+ sometime later this month. The beta program, however, will be limited to China, France, Germany, India, Poland, South Korea, Spain, the UK, and the US and interested participants will have to sign up using the Samsung Members app or, in the US, the Samsung+ app. No specific date has been given but the final version should be out for the Galaxy S9, S9+, and Galaxy Note 9 by January. Presuming nothing untoward happens again like last time.