Android 12 on Samsung is a distinct difference from Pixel


Android 12 is the biggest Android update in years, and this is the one that is eagerly awaited by many. However, as one suspects, it looks like a lot of the update’s best features and biggest changes might not go beyond Google. This is shown quite clearly by Samsung’s take on Android 12, which just debuted in beta this week.

Samsung released the One UI 4.0 beta for the Galaxy S21 this week, showing what the company has in store for Android 12. Well, it’s pretty boring overall.

What’s new in One UI 4.0?

One UI 4.0 just isn’t a big overhaul of Samsung’s skin, where Material You is a huge switch to Android’s design language. Taking a Galaxy S21 with One UI 4.0 installed looks and feels almost identical to one running One UI 3.0 / 3.1. The animations on Android 12 are slightly changed, but you won’t notice the change in daily use. In fact, I would say the changes are pretty hard to notice, even if you are looking for them directly.

Visually, there are only a few noticeable changes.

In the quick settings menu, Samsung adopted a rounded and thicker slider bar for brightness. Notifications also have a condensed design by default which removes “alert notifications” and other section titles, but does not remove functionality. The widget picker also has a new look that is reminiscent of what Google added to the Pixel Launcher in Android 12 previews. The “Device Care” dashboard is also getting a minor overhaul, as is the device app. Photo.

As for the features, there are several other additions. Samsung adopted the privacy goal of Android 12 by adding a “privacy dashboard” that isn’t the same as Google’s, but serves the same purpose of showing which apps are using permissions. Samsung also added a pop-up for each app to allow notifications, which we don’t see happening on Pixels with Android 12.

You will also see a constant ID on the screen when the camera and / or microphone is in use. Samsung also gets the quick shortcuts to completely block the system-wide camera and microphone that Google added in beta versions of Android 12. To supplement privacy, apps can now be assigned an approximate or precise location. depending on what you think you need, which is always nice to see.

Samsung has also added some features of its own. On the Galaxy S21 series in the US and Europe, this update appears to enable eSIM support, although some who have tried it report that it does not work properly. Samsung also added the ability to show always-on display only when a new notification arrives, the omission of which has always been an oversight anyway.

But so far at least that’s all that Samsung’s Android 12 update seems to bring. There are no major visual overhauls like we see on Pixel, no themes that match your wallpaper, nothing really groundbreaking at all. Even Samsung’s apps don’t use Dynamic Color, and Google apps that added support for the feature are stuck in blue because Samsung doesn’t allow you to change the accent color of the system like Google does. from Android 10.

Material You is a Pixel-only thing, at least for now

Google has not really hesitated on what happens with Android 12. At I / O, it was specifically said this material that you would first come to Google Pixel this fall before the design language eventually made its way to the web, Chrome OS, smart screens, wearable devices, and other Google products / services. This is a no-brainer, as Pixel phones are always the first devices to update to a new version of Android.

So while elements of Material You may still shine through on other devices, such as apps updated to support the style, Samsung isn’t embracing it. Could this change in the future? Absoutely! In fact, there strength to be proof that points in this direction. It was reported in June that Samsung had the code name A 4.0 UI “Palette”, which certainly involves some work with color, but we don’t see it in action yet. On the contrary, we see Samsung’s cluttered theme store which doesn’t allow much. staff customization, just a lot of paid plans that still can’t change the system accent color from blue.

At the moment, Android 12 for Samsung devices won’t be as exciting as it is on Pixels. Does this mean that Google is withholding its best work for the benefit of its own devices only? Not necessarily. There is no evidence at this time that Google does not explicitly share Dynamic Color with its partners, but in a year, when Google restarts its Pixel line, it will not actively push partners to adopt this new design. strength just work in favor of Google.

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