Samsung’s Galaxy S21 (left) and Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The COVID-19 pandemic required us to to work, attend college and socialize from house — which means our tech reached a brand new degree of significance in our lives. Although the lockdowns are over, the time we spent at house in 2020 gave Samsung loads of concepts for a way the smartphone expertise may very well be improved.
Those takeaways floor in One UI 4, Samsung’s subsequent main software program replace, which rolled out earlier this month beginning with the Galaxy S21 collection.
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“We checked out preexisting options and understood what was receiving extra utilization due to the pandemic and we bolstered that,” Hyesoon Sally Jeong, Samsung’s vice chairman and head of framework analysis and growth, instructed CNET through a translator.
The replace largely focuses on bettering areas like privateness, ease of use, personalization and communication, parts that Samsung observed had grow to be significantly vital as many individuals started spending extra time on their telephones throughout the shutdown interval. It’s one other instance of the broader shift that is occurred throughout the tech trade as firms started tailoring their merchandise to facilitate distant work and socialization.
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One such characteristic in Samsung’s replace is the power to file audio and video throughout convention calls, an addition that was impressed by distant studying. “We realized that our customers would possibly need to file the audio or video whereas they’ve distant interactions with their academics or college students,” Jeong stated. “So academics would possibly need to file the audio or video convention to observe the teachings or periods they’d taught to college students.”
But maybe the largest change that influenced Samsung’s technique when designing One UI 4 was the elevated period of time we have spent on our smartphones. A latest examine revealed within the JAMA Pediatrics Journal discovered that display screen time doubled amongst youngsters throughout the pandemic, not together with digital studying.
As such, Samsung is attempting to make its smartphones simpler to take a look at for lengthy intervals of time with beauty updates coming in One UI 4. “In phrases of visible design, we made quite a lot of design-related choices primarily based on the important thing precept of consolation,” Hyun Kim, head of Samsung’s core person expertise group, additionally stated to CNET through a translator. “Because display screen time elevated, consolation in your eyes [and] decreasing eye fatigue has grow to be extra vital than ever earlier than.”
The firm made aesthetic modifications to its software program akin to decreasing the variety of colours within the person interface and adjusting the scale and format of fonts. It additionally labored with Google to allow display screen dimming that is darker than what was beforehand attainable when utilizing the cellphone in low gentle environments. Samsung’s emoji pair characteristic — which helps you to ship two emojis directly — was additionally sparked by the best way we relied on our telephones for speaking and socializing in 2020.
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Samsung’s software program replace is only one instance of the pandemic’s lasting affect on the best way tech firms design and develop their merchandise. That affect might be seen in Apple’s iOS 15 software program, too. One of the replace’s headlining options is SharePlay, which helps you to simply watch films and TV or take heed to music with others over FaceTime. Such performance would have been significantly useful throughout the shutdown interval when many individuals have been in search of methods to carry digital film nights over Zoom.
CES 2021 additionally showcased the most effective efforts of tech firms to make merchandise that mirrored way of life modifications brought on by the pandemic. In addition to Razer’s high-tech face masks and a temperature-taking doorbell, we additionally noticed laptops with higher cameras that have been seemingly designed for distant work.
Aside from the additions talked about above, One UI 4 additionally brings options like a brand new privateness dashboard, the power to decide on whether or not to share your exact location with apps, extra uniform widgets with rounded corners and extra shade palettes for customizing your cellphone’s theme. The software program is now obtainable for the Galaxy S21 lineup and will likely be coming quickly to older Galaxy S telephones, Galaxy A telephones and Samsung’s foldable units and tablets.