Samsung's Galaxy S21 series updated to One UI 4 with new Android 12 features

Following a beta launch in September, Samsung has released its One UI 4 software with new features from Android 12 like the Privacy Dashboard. As usual, owners of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S21 smartphone lineup, including the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra, will be first in line to receive it. 

The biggest change with the new skin is how it looks. One UI 4 now allows a more customized experience with new color palettes and widgets, along with a wider range of emoji features, GIFs and stickers. That sounds very much like Android 12's Material You, except it's not auto- or AI-generated. 

Samsung's Galaxy S21 series updated to One UI 4 with new Android 12 features

The other difference from before is around security. Following the lead of Android 12, Samsung is introducing a Privacy Dashboard that brings all settings and controls into one place. For example, it will show when an app is attempting to access your camera, microphone or other sensor, and why it needed that data.

Other features include access to Samsung's extended ecosystem of devices and third-party apps. That will ensure a "seamless experience" when using non-Samsung apps like Google Duo, the company said. It's also promising a uniform look across devices like the Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Tab.

Since the release of One UI, Samsung has been trying to get the latest versions of Android onto its high-end smartphones as quickly as possible. It's fair to say it's done that here, as Google released Android 12 less than a month ago onto its Pixel 3 devices. One UI 4 is available starting today for Galaxy S21 device, "and will soon arrive to previous Galaxy S and Note series as well as Galaxy A series, foldables and tablets," the company said. 

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Samsung will bring Galaxy S22 features to older phones

You won't need a Galaxy S22 to use some of Samsung's latest software tricks. Samsung is promising to bring One UI 4.1 to many of its Galaxy phones and tablets from recent years, including its more advanced camera features. You'll have access to the Expert RAW editing app, more advanced object removal and simpler photo sharing. You can expect Google Duo live sharing and a Grammarly-equipped keyboard, too.The One UI 4.1 update will first come to Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Z Flip 3. However, it will also come to the Galaxy S21, S20 and S10 families, the Galaxy Note line (from the Note 10+ onward), unnamed Galaxy A handsets and all previous foldable phones. Galaxy Tab S7 FE and further unspecified Tab S models will also receive the new software.Samsung didn't provide a specific timeline for the rollout, although that's likely to vary by device, country and carrier. The plan also suggests you might be out of luck if you use a Galaxy Tab A or other affordable tablets. Nonetheless, it's welcome news for many users who'd rather not buy new hardware just to catch up on One UI features.


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