With the Android 14 developer preview, we already know what to expect with One UI 6. Samsung uses a heavy skin on top of Android, but the phones with One UI 6 will still run Android 14 underneath.
From what we know, One UI 6 isn’t looking like a paradigm shift from One UI 5 (Android 13), but there are subtle and meaningful changes to push the software forward and prepare it for 2024 and beyond.
November 20: Samsung has started rolling out the stable One UI 6 update for the Galaxy S22 lineup in Europe. The update is available for both non-beta and beta testers. The over-the-air update is rolling out first to Galaxy S22 Ultra users (Build Version: S906BXXU6DWK4, S906BOXM6DWK4, and S906BXXU6DWK4) and will make its way to the Galaxy S22 and S22+ over the coming weeks. The update comes in at around 3.1GB and includes the latest November 2023 security patches.
October 30: Samsung has begun releasing the stable Android 14 and One UI 6 software update for the Galaxy S23 series owners. Users can download and install the update by heading over to Settings > Software update and tapping “Download and install” on their Galaxy S23 device. The update first became available in Europe on October 30 and is expected to roll out to other regions across the globe over the next few days.
October 16: Samsung Galaxy M23 and A52s users in India and South Korea can join the One UI 6 beta program. The M23 update is 2.6GB in size and has the build number E236BXXU4ZWJ2. Both updates include the October 2023 security patch.
October 13: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, Z Flip4, and F23 users in Korea can now join the One UI 6 beta program.
October 6: Samsung’s SDC23 (Samsung Developer Conference 2023) kicked off with several key announcements. The major announcement was One UI 6, the next generation of Samsung’s software.
September 20: The One UI 6 beta is now available for carrier-locked (SKT, KT, LGU+) and unlocked models of the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra in South Korea
September 11: Samsung has released the One UI 6 beta for the Galaxy A34 in the UK. The beta version A346BXXU4ZWI1 weighs around 2GB.
September 8: Samsung has opened up the One UI 6 beta program based on Android 14 for the Galaxy A54, a mid-range smartphone in the Galaxy A series. This news was announced by Samsung’s Beta Operation Manager on the company’s Korean community forum. Galaxy A54 users in South Korea can join the beta program to get early access to One UI 6 and test the new Android 14 features before the official rollout.
August 30: As per official details from Samsung’s Newsroom, SDC23 is scheduled for October 5th. At the event, Samsung will host various breakout sessions for developers and likely provide the first official look at One UI 6.0.
August 11: Samsung has officially kicked off the One UI 6 public beta program for the Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra. This marks an exciting opportunity for owners to preview Android 14 and the next generation of Samsung’s software before its full release.
Initially, the beta is limited to the US, Korea, and Germany. Galaxy S23 users in eligible regions can enroll through the Samsung Members app. They’ll then receive over-the-air updates to download and install the first One UI 6.0 beta build.
This allows enthusiasts and early adopters to test-drive new features and optimizations. Their feedback will help Samsung refine the software and squash bugs before the stable rollout.
July 26: The South Korean company has recently created dedicated forum sections for the One UI 6.0 Beta Program on the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. Although these sections are currently empty, they can be found on the official forums for Samsung in India and the US. This indicates that Samsung is nearing the One UI 6.0 Beta Program launch for the Galaxy S23 series.
How to Join the One UI 6 Beta Program:
1. Download the Samsung Members app if you don’t already have it.
2. Open the app and tap the bell icon in the top right for notifications.
3. Expand all inbox notices. When the One UI 6 beta is available, tap “Registrations for the One UI Beta program.”
4. Review the beta details and terms, then tap “Enroll.”
5. Wait about 10 minutes after enrolling.
Install the One UI 6 Beta:
1. Open Settings on your device.
2. Tap “Software update.”
3. Tap “Download and Install” to get the beta update.
What’s new with Android 14?
Bloatware is a problem on most Android phones, and it’s only exacerbated when carriers install useless applications. They make your phone heavier, and bloatware is a waste of storage in general.
Android 14 introduces simpler and easier ways to conveniently debloat your device without using tools like ADB.
Android 14 also makes usability easier since it has a predictive back gesture. When you’re moving back to another app or page in a browser, it smartly predicts when you’re returning and displays a preview of what you’re returning to.
Many applications ask you permission to access all of your photos. But there’s absolutely no requirement that they should have that permission.
You can now individually choose which photos you want to give access to. This feature is very similar to iOS and is helpful for privacy-focused users.
We’ve seen app cloning for a while now, but Android 14’s version is more compatible and functional than ever.
Some tiny UI changes make the share menu easier to use and navigate. There’s also better keyboard customization on Android 14.
Some more tiny features, like better background process optimization to keep more apps open. Putting unnecessary apps to sleep also helps with battery life.
The current version is a developer preview, effectively making it a preliminary release. Many more features could be added soon when Google fully announces public Android 14 Betas.
One UI 6: Design changes
We’ve seen steady improvements to the design language of One UI. We’ve seen the Android 12-based “Material You” theme with the color palette for One UI 4/4.1. One UI 5 made color picking and wallpaper selection much better.
We saw better widgets, smoother and more satisfying animations with Gaussian Blur, and a lot of functional add-ons, like new widgets, better multitasking, widget stacking, text extraction, and more.
One UI 6 will continue the legacy. We won’t see anything groundbreaking but subtle UI/ UX refinements that solidify Samsung’s top position in Android skins.
We expect some smartly designed first-party widgets and apps, a better notification shade, improvements to the application of transitions, and new icons on the design front for One UI 6.
One UI 6: New features
The new Android 14 features will indeed carry over to One UI 6. Google already has keyboard customization, but Samsung makes its keyboard too.
We could see a better and more customizable keyboard layout with One UI 6. Integrating the predictive back gesture for One UI will improve its already excellent functionality in terms of UI accessibility, making it even more helpful.
The UI of many first-party Samsung apps still does not look modern. We expect a visual revamp for many apps like Browser, Samsung Pay, Notes, Mail, and the Galaxy Store.
We expect the gestures, split-screen multitasking, PIP mode, etc., to feel much smoother and faster. The smoothness of the camera app is something they can improve with One UI 6 too.
Samsung’s gallery app offers valuable features, including built-in photo and video editing tools. Samsung might add even more of those.
DeX Mode is something we haven’t seen many significant improvements to for a long time, and we hope One UI 6 adds at least some new features to it.
Finally, Samsung apps like Phone (Samsung uses their dialler), Messages, Calendar, Gallary, Files, etc., could see some new designs.
One UI 6 Release Date
There are already rumors floating around about Samsung testing One UI 6 for their foldable phones. Stable Android 14, for Pixels, will come out around August or September 2023.
The complete Android 14 announcement will occur on 10th May at Google I/O. Since Samsung needs at least a month to apply its spin, we can expect early betas of One UI 6 to start around September or October 2023.
Flagship phones will get the update around November and December, and most midrange phones will get Android 14 before Q1 2024.
One UI 6 Supported Devices
Samsung promises four years of major Android updates for their flagship phones. Hence, the list below draws on speculation and deductive reasoning to try and predict which devices could get Android 14. The list isn’t official and is purely supposition.
From the Galaxy S Series, the entire Galaxy S23 series, S22 series, and S21 lineup will get One UI 6.
Unfortunately, it’s looking like the rather popular S20 lineup won’t get it, though Samsung could surprise us. The Note 20 series, too, has probably already seen its last major Android update with One UI 5.
We expect the latest Z Fold and Flip 4 and 2021’s Z Flip and Fold 3 to get Android 14. The Tab S8, S8+, and S8 Ultra, alongside the Tab S7 FE, will also receive the update. It’s unclear whether the Tab S6 Lite will get it or not.
A list of other phones that may get the update includes the Galaxy A72, A73, A74, A52 4G, A52 5G, A52S 5G, A33, A34, A14, A13, and A04S. The M53, M33, M52, and M23 could also receive One UI 6.
The AX1 series (including A31, 51, and 71), the A32, Note 10 Lite, S10 Lite, S20, and Note 20 series, the original Flip, Fold 2, S20 FE, A7 Lite, Tab A8, S6 Lite, Tab S7, and S7+, etc. are devices that probably won’t get One UI 6 officially.
What we’d like to see
Samsung’s DeX mode is a convenient feature and is close to replacing a laptop for people who only want one for basic web browsing. The concept is futuristic, and any power user will love having the option.
However, stability needs a lot of improvement, and it makes your phone hot. Better resolution options and more display options will make for a great addition.
The Samsung keyboard toolbar you see on DeX leaves much to be desired. Home screen widget support, a better preview of minimized applications, and more multitasking options will close DeX to a basic laptop operating system.
Many people favor the current One UI aesthetics, but it’s understandably quite old, and many dislike it too. We want a UI revamped with entirely new icons and themes.
However, this will upset people who liked the older design. Adding a simple toggle to revert to the old design will solve this problem.
If not the entire UI, the quick toggles and notification panel need some rework and adjustments, at the very least, since they look rather bland compared to PixelUI and other skins.
Pixels have a great feature where the wallpaper matches the colors on the album art of the song you’re playing. Apple’s iOS does this too, and it’ll look quite good if they implement it well on One UI.