When One UI launched about 2 years ago, it was a huge deal. It was the next evolution in Samsung’s software design and user experience. When One UI 2.0 launched last year with Android 10, there wasn’t a major design overhaul. It was the basic One UI design with the new Android 10 features. This year, that changes.
One UI 3 comes with a brand-new UI to match the same one-handed UX that Samsung has been working on for the past few years. It’s modern, it’s sleek, it looks like Color OS when it was bad. There are a few improvements and a few changes that come to match Android 11 and the one-handed UX, so let’s go over those in comparison to One UI 2.5.
Stop me if you think you've heard this one before. You set up a cooking timer on your Nest speaker or display in the kitchen, then go chill in the living room or the bedroom. When the timer rings, it just doesn't stop until you move your ass over to the kitchen and talk to that particular speaker, because yelling "stop" to the other Assistant units littered around your house doesn't do anything. We've complained about this for years, but the problem should finally be far behind us as Google is rolling out timer and alarm control across the entire house.
A while ago, we covered a hidden new look for Google Pay, accessible through the overflow menu in the power button wallet on Pixel phones. It looks like Google is now making that look the new standard interface for Pay, and it's currently rolling out to many people. The new design likely triggered by a server-side update to the Play Services.
A big reason for getting a Pixel phone is that you get major Android updates on release day. Android 11, which debuted last week, reached everyone right on time — well, not everyone really. Google stalled the update for a week in India as it still needed some fine-tuning ahead of a formal release. After a long and borderline excruciating wait, Android 11 is finally hitting Pixel phones in India.
Last month, we saw an extensive leak about the Sony Xperia 5 II, an upcoming flagship that looked more or less like a smaller Xperia 1 II. Now, the company's gone and made it official: the Xperia 5 II will be available later this year for $950.
Facebook has quietly revived Instagram Lite, a boiled-down, visually-identical version of the social media app. The company pushed its first update to the publicly-listed APK in 11 months after having officially shuttered the service in May, purportedly for a revamp.
Samuel L. Jackson is fantastic on screen, and now he's getting even better on Alexa devices. Amazon introduced the ability to use Jackson's voice last year with an Alexa Skill. Now the company is releasing a new update that enables a hotword so users can hear that silky smooth sound even quicker than before.
Android and iOS aren't the only mobile operating systems viable today. Last month, Corbin wrote about the PinePhone, a phone that runs Linux and has physical kill switches for privacy-minded people. The PinePhone isn't alone in its use of Linux; Purism's Librem 5 phone runs PureOS, a free, open-source operating system that's not based on Android. But just because phones like the Librem 5 don't run Android natively doesn't mean users have to miss out on the benefits of the Android ecosystem.
Xbox Game Streaming officially launched yesterday, allowing you to stream nearly 200 Xbox games to your Android phone or tablet. The service has yet to launch on any other platforms, and Microsoft is sticking hard to the mobile requirement — despite their ability to run Android apps, both Chromebooks and Android TV are unsupported.