Big phones are all the rage nowadays, but what about people with smaller hands? Samsung has a solution: One UI.
It’s a new skin for the Android operating system that makes big phones easier to use. For starters, the layout is cleaner and less cluttered, and delivers the most relevant information in the most easily accessible ways.
In practice, that means menus will pop up at the bottom of the screen where they’re easier to reach, rather than the top. The Google search bar is also now found at the bottom of the screen.
The danger is that your view will be blocked by the the back of your thumb. We’ll have to try it for ourselves before we have a definitive verdict.
The skin has been redesigned to draw your attention to what matters most on screen, according to Samsung. The new Focus Blocks in apps like the Gallery will show larger icons and will be easier to interact with.
Samsung says the experience was “reengineered to reduce clutter and distractions, allowing the user to better focus and quickly navigate their phone.”
It includes a new approach to messages. The message thread will appear in the lower two thirds of the screen with easy-to-reach compose buttons and the ability to jump between threads. The top third of the screen will be a viewing area. The idea is to reduce thumb strain.
There’s also a new night mode with multiple alarms, plus the whole design is a bit fresher and more colourful.
Samsung will run a beta in Germany, the US and Korea on devices running Android 9 Pie. Then One UI will come to all compatible devices in January 2019.