Samsung One UI is the company’s custom flavor of Android, with a different design and added features compared to regular stock Android. Samsung introduced it last year as the company’s version of Android 9 Pie, and now that Android 10 has arrived, One UI 2.0 is rolling out to a lot of Samsung phones.
One UI 2.0 isn’t the massive design overhaul that the original One UI was, but it does manage to add a few new features — some based on stock Android 10 functionality, and some entirely new options. These are the best features in Samsung One UI 2.0.
Google was developing a screen recorder for Android 10 at one point, but the feature never made it into the final release. Thankfully, Samsung implemented it in One UI 2.0, and it’s as full-featured as it could possibly be.
Not only can you record the screen, which was already possible with third-party apps, but you can also include system audio, draw on the screen, and even include your front camera. I also appreciate that the floating control panel doesn’t show up on the recording, which isn’t the case with third-party apps.
Quick Settings changes
I generally like Samsung’s design language, but the company does have a problem with information density. The Quick Settings panel is a good example of this — I didn’t really need always-visible toggles for my SIM cards and SmartThings devices, but they were there anyway. In One UI 2.0, Samsung has added a new ‘Quick panel layout’ that lets you turn off the media/devices panel and multi-SIM information.
Samsung has also adjusted the overall layout of the Quick Settings. The clock at the top has been reduced in size, leaving room for another row of quick settings tiles (if you don’t have the media panel and other options enabled).
Better dark mode
OneUI 1.0 already had a system-level dark mode, but it was mostly limited to Samsung’s own applications and a handful of third-party apps that added the required detection code (like Chrome, the Play Store, and a few others). Android 10 introduces the new standard system dark mode, which Samsung has integrated into One UI 2.0.
As a result, the system dark mode setting now works with far more apps, including Gmail, Google Tasks, Pocket Casts, Instagram, YouTube, Nova Launcher, and countless others. The best part is that the scheduled dark mode still works like it did in One UI 1.0, so you can have all your apps turn dark after sunset automatically — something you can’t do on Pixels. The wallpaper will also dim when dark mode is enabled.
While this isn’t exactly One UI-specific, the new navigation gesture functionality is one of the most talked-about features in Android 10. Samsung lets you pick from the classic three-button navigation bar, the One UI 1.0 gestures (where you swipe up where the buttons would be), and the new Android 10 gestures.
Annoyingly, Samsung hasn’t integrated the post-update patch that allows third-party launchers to work with the Android 10 gestures, so you’re stuck with the One UI launcher if you want to use that feature.
Samsung has been known to add smaller features along with security fixes, so here’s hoping support for third-party launchers shows up soon.
If you take a lot of calls on your phone, you might appreciate this feature. The Phone app in One UI 2.0 has new options for displaying calls — they can either come in as full-screen alerts, pop-ups (like in stock Android), or as tiny floating pop-ups.
If you choose one of the pop-up options, you can also leave the call in the popup, like a chat head in Facebook Messenger. Fun!
You can get to this setting by opening the Phone app, tapping the menu icon, selecting ‘Settings,’ and choosing ‘Call display while using apps.’