The pandemic modified our relationship with our telephones, and Samsung’s upgrading accordingly


The COVID-19 pandemic required us to to work, attend faculty and socialize from dwelling — that means our tech reached a brand new stage of significance in our lives. Though the lockdowns are over, the time we spent at dwelling in 2020 gave Samsung loads of concepts for the way the smartphone expertise could possibly be improved.

These takeaways floor in One UI 4, Samsung’s subsequent main software program replace, which rolled out earlier this month beginning with the Galaxy S21 sequence. 

“We checked out preexisting options and understood what was receiving extra utilization due to the pandemic and we strengthened that,” Hyesoon Sally Jeong, Samsung’s vp and head of framework analysis and improvement, instructed CNET by way of a translator. 

The replace largely focuses on bettering areas like privateness, ease of use, personalization and communication, components that Samsung observed had develop into notably necessary as many individuals started spending extra time on their telephones through the shutdown interval. It is 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 may need to file the audio or video whereas they’ve distant interactions with their lecturers or college students,” Jeong stated. “So lecturers may need to file the audio or video convention to watch the teachings or classes that they had taught to college students.” 

However maybe the most important change that influenced Samsung’s technique when designing One UI 4 was the elevated period of time we have spent on our smartphones. A current research revealed within the JAMA Pediatrics Journal discovered that display time doubled amongst youngsters through the pandemic, not together with digital studying. 

As such, Samsung is making an attempt to make its smartphones simpler to have a look at for lengthy durations of time with beauty updates coming in One UI 4. “By way of visible design, we made lots of design-related selections based mostly on the important thing precept of consolation,” Hyun Kim, head of Samsung’s core person expertise group, additionally stated to CNET by way of a translator. “As a result of display time elevated, consolation in your eyes [and] decreasing eye fatigue has develop into extra necessary than ever earlier than.”

The corporate made aesthetic adjustments to its software program equivalent to decreasing the variety of colours within the person interface and adjusting the dimensions and structure of fonts. It additionally labored with Google to allow display dimming that is darker than what was beforehand doable when utilizing the cellphone in low mild environments. Samsung’s emoji pair characteristic — which helps you to ship two emojis without delay — 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 could be seen in Apple’s iOS 15 software program, too. One of many replace’s headlining options is SharePlay, which helps you to simply watch motion pictures and TV or hearken to music with others over FaceTime. Such performance would have been notably useful through the shutdown interval when many individuals had been looking for methods to carry digital film nights over Zoom

CES 2021 additionally showcased the very best efforts of tech firms to make merchandise that mirrored way of life adjustments attributable to the pandemic. Along with Razer’s high-tech face masks and a temperature-taking doorbell, we additionally noticed laptops with higher cameras that had been seemingly designed for distant work.

Except for 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 out there for the Galaxy S21 lineup and can be coming quickly to older Galaxy S telephones, Galaxy A telephones and Samsung’s foldable gadgets and tablets.


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