Categories androidInformationSamsungSmartphoneTech

Samsung One UI (android pie) New Look & Exciting Features

Ever since Google revealed Android Pie, we have been waiting for Sammy to work on their magic to get android pie update released to their devices. After a long wait, the new update have been rolling out slowly onto US Samsung phone devices. Last week, T-Mobile Galaxy S9/S9+ users started receiving the latest update to get their hands on the Samsung One UI (android pie) experience. This article is a mini reference guide for Sammy S9/S9+ users to play and enjoy the latest android OS update on their beloved phones.



If you are a S9/S9+ users and haven't received the system update notification yet, don't panic... it's a slow roll out to ensure everything will run smoothly ... so ... just wait for a couple of days (maybe only hours in your case) and you will, for sure, be able to get your S9/S9+ updated to the latest android version, android pie, which is Samsung One UI.


Fresh New Look

Touchwiz haters will be happy to get to the One UI arena

If you have been criticizing Samsung Touchwiz, you will be very happy on this move (One UI) by Sammy. Why? Because, instead of reluctantly trying to hide the Google’s android OS behind the big Sammy brand, Samsung this time around made a beautiful move of integrating (more like perfecting android pie) its apps and making improvements on the top of the android 9 (android pie). Have you ever walked in a beautiful garden after the rain just stopped? The fresh smell from the soil and trees… the Samsung One UI will let you experience that if you are currently on its Touchwiz skin.



Made to Focus

“Viewing area & Interaction area” – Focus on what matters

This is the new paradigm that Samsung embraces and, as the matter of fact, every android phone maker should adopt this idea since it’s really neat and easy to maneuver through the modern complicated smartphone functionalities.

The “viewing area” locates at the top portion of the screen (about 1/3 of the screen). It dedicates on the purpose to let users know what the current function is and also to show results of interactions when users perform some operations at the “interaction area”. All in all, it’s a very simple idea being extremely well executed on the Sammy side. Since all the operations users need to do are all located in the “interaction area” where is at the thumb level (easily being accessed by the user’s thumb while holding the phone), users can comfortably perform any operations on their phones without trying to adjusting the hold especially in this “big is better (phone)” era.


Always On Display

It is all about the details

Not only Sammy includes couple of different clock styles into the new update but you can change the display colors as well. In addition, there is “lift to awake” feature included too. We all know this has been living in the iOS for a while and, via 3rd party apps, android phones can have this feature running without any issues. However, it’s still pretty cool that Samsung put that in its One UI update. It’s all about the details, isn’t it?


Navigation Bar

The first glance is that the new icon set looks sharp and pretty. If you don’t know where to dig, you would have just stopped there and feel like there isn’t more improvement on this … it‘s not a “navigation bar”… it’s just a set of 3 “navigation buttons” being re-skinned into a better looking icon set.

One of the biggest selling point on android pie is the easy access gesture system incarnated via navigation bar

You are totally wrong. Since one of the biggest selling point on android pie (Sammy made improvements, re-skin it, and named it as One UI) is the easy access gesture based navigation bar, Sammy wouldn’t just abandon it just for its own sake (laziness … perhaps)?

If you go to “Settings” and type “navigation bar” and jump to the navigation bar setting page, you will find that you can change the style of it. The default is the “Navigation buttons” and the other is the secret source which make the juice more delicious than ever before … the “Full screen gestures”. You might think that it’s not as sophisticated as you would like; hence, it’s might not be as useful as other gesture based system you might have been using or even compared it with iOS gesture system. Ha ha, Sammy somehow figured out on this one. It is not because of the number of operations the OS has to win users over, it’s is because of the attention to details along with simplicity to achieve the core aim. Sammy did not integrate too many gestures such as (only one bar) “swipe up”, “swipe up and hold”, “swipe left”, “swipe right”, “swipe left and hold”… etc … the list go on and on and on … on its navigation bar, Sammy simply just give you the 3 short bars indicating 3 software buttons which are representing what they have been representing since their existence. Then, users can just simply swipe up to perform their assigned purposes. Sound not that good? Wait until you use it for a day or two to give your judgement. After couple of days of using it, we fall in love with it and we cannot go back to other 3rd parties’ gesture offerings even though they offer more options on their gesture systems. The reason is that Samsung’s approach somehow is more intuitive and simple also elegant enough for you to perform those 3 basic gestures without even knowing it on the daily basis. Your brain didn’t even need to register to get jobs done. It’s simply there and it simply works (steal from Apple on this front).

To win users over – the attention to details along with simplicity to achieve the core aim


Recent Apps

The display style of recent apps changed 180 degree (literally). It’s from vertical overlapping style to the horizontal neatly placed carousel style layout. It’s not only prettier (in a way) but also easier to access when you want to jump back and forth within different apps. On the vertical layout, it’s hard to tap on the app that you would like to use if you have many apps opening at the same time especially while you are driving (disclaimer: please do not interact with your phone while you are driving. We are just giving a demonstration/comparison here to show you how great the new style is). On the contrary, the horizontal style gives you freedom to easily access/tap any app that you would like to interact with even when you are in a situation that you might not be able to pay too much attention to.

Pop-up View

In the first look and interaction with Sammy’s One UI, you might think (and angry about it) that the naughty Sammy just took one of the most useful feature, “pop-up view”, away since they want to achieve their simplicity goal. Well, we thought of that and felt a bit mad too. After digging a bit deeper, we found out that the “pop-up view” feature is still there; however, it’s not as conveniently to activate as they were able to on the previous Touchwiz launcher.

In the previous version, “Touchwiz“, if you want to activate pop-up view on an app which supports this feature, you can simply open the app and swipe it from the top right hand corner of the app window then the pop-up view would be triggered on. That’s right it’s that simple (of course, you need to turn this feature on from the “Settings”). Or you can just tap the recent app button, tap the app which you would like to open it on the pop-up view and drag the app window to the center blue shade area to open the pop-up view.

In the One UI, the only way to trigger it open is through the recent app. Once you are in the recent app, tap the icon of the app which you would like to interact in the pop-up view and then choosing “Open in pop-up view” option. Voila! then you have it triggered and ready to play with it.


Bixby Button & How to Deal With It

Since most users really don’t use it and don’t like to trigger it by accident, we are giving you a way to avoid it.

After you upgraded to the One UI, your Bixby button will be re-activated even if you turned it of on the previous Touchwiz version. There is no way to totally disable it on the One UI, at least at this point of time; however, we can set it up to not that easily to be triggered.

Just open Bixby by pressing the Bixby button once then jumping to its “Settings” by tapping the menu button located on the right side bottom of its “Viewing area”. Scrolling down and tap “Bixby key” section. Choosing “Press twice to open Bixby” option. It’s done. It’s not optimal if you really don’t like Bixby but it’s still a temporary fix and elegant solution all things considered.


Night Mode

The One UI provides a “night mode” for users to play around with. In the very first thought, we thought that it would be just a gimmick feature without any real benefit. However, Samsung really put efforts on design with their One UI release. It’s not only elegant but also really useful especially at night on the bed. If you turn it on, you really feel that your eyes won’t be that strained while staring at your phone screen. In addition, Sammy’s apps blend into the night mode pretty well. It’s stylishly well done on this part.



Take a look at the calculator under the night mode. It's a beauty, isn't it?

The following is under the default mode


Floating Keyboard

Again, we have been able to use this via some 3rd party apps for a while but it’s nice that Sammy threw this feature into their One UI (android pie) upgrade too. To enable it, whenever you open an app requires some sort of inputs, the standard keyboard will show up. Tapping the downward arrow button on the right side of the top row. Tapping the mode option and you will see three different keyboard modes, “Standard”, “One-handed”, and “Floating”. You can tap the “Floating keyboard” to enable it. Just like the name suggested, you will be able to move the keyboard around on the screen. This is extremely useful when you are using couple of apps in pop-up view settings (since the windows of those apps are smaller than usual, the floating keyboard makes easy for you to type when needed).


Hidden Features

If you are a bit disappointed with the navigation bar because you think that Sammy did not include the swipe right to go back to the previous app feature just like the iOS has implemented (also Google pure android pie experience does it in its own way), you really shouldn’t be. The BIG SECRET hidden feature is that, Sammy does integrate that into its One UI navigation bar too. It’s just … they didn’t showcase it and no one really talks about it (at least until now) so … it’s sort of being forgotten.

You don’t even need to do anything to enable it. Once you choose to have navigation bars instead of buttons, it’s turned on already. Simply swipe the home bar to the right. You will see all the apps which you opened (not being closed yet) are showing up horizontally just like the recent app feature. In fact, it’s the recent app feature underneath an even prettier layer of home bar navigation. You can easily swipe it to choose which app you would like to use and … it’s very accurate and fun to use. Just jump in and try yourself… you will love it dearly for certain.

Quick short swipe to the right – Jumping back and forth to the previous using app


Quick Access Features

You can access "navigation bar" and "night mode" settings from the quick setting approach which is through pulling down the notifications and just tap the "navigation bar" or "night mode" texts right underneath their icons accordingly


One UI – an one level up better launcher (compared with the pure android experience) in so many different and exciting ways.

Samsung’s One UI implementation totally kicked any doubts out of the door on what they used to do which is to disguise the android into something half caked… unfinished and unpolished OS skin, Touchwiz. Under the One UI, they openly and graciously integrated their apps into the newest android OS (android 9 which is android pie here). Not only they did an excellent job on the integration end, they even further improved on details that Google might not noticed such as the “Viewing area & Interaction area), the “navigation bar”, the “Keyboard”… etc. This time around you won’t be disappointed because of wanting to have the pure android experience… the reason is … the One UI experience is an improved version of the pure android experience. It’s an one level up better launcher in so many different and exciting ways.