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New One UI features are coming to older Galaxy foldables and smartwatches

The large, folding inner display of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung announced a new One UI and Watch 4.5 updates for older devices.
  • The One UI 4.1.1 brings the latest Galaxy Z Fold and Flip features to previous gen models.
  • The One UI Watch 4.5 brings Galaxy Watch 5 features to its older models, including Tizen smartwatches.

With its latest foldables and smartwatch models, Samsung has brought many features and customization options, thanks to their operating systems: the One UI 4.1.1 and the One UI Watch 4.5, respectively. They include intuitive multitasking and productivity features. Samsung has now announced that it is introducing a new update that brings these features to its predecessor models of foldable and smartwatches.

In a new blog post, Samsung has stated that the "software updates will start with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 beginning on September 5 and roll out gradually to global countries." Later, the One UI 4.1.1 update will roll out to much older foldables, including the original Z Flip and Fold devices.

Additionally, the One UI Watch 4.5 update (based on Wear OS 3) will be rolled out to last year's Galaxy Watch 4 and the Watch 4 Classic first. The Tizen-powered Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy Watch Active 2 will follow, but only with select features from the One UI Watch 4.5 coming to these devices.

What does One UI 4.1.1 bring to older foldable devices?

Samsung introduced a new taskbar on its latest Galaxy Z Fold 4 smartphone. It brings a PC-like taskbar when the screen is unfolded. It allows users to shift between apps easily and adds much more functionality. That includes dragging and dropping apps on the home screen for quicker access and easier multitasking.

The new user interface allows users to pair such apps in groups and launch them right from the taskbar with 'app pair' functionality. Such multitasking capability also requires gestures to make things smoother, and there are new ones available for Samsung's best foldable phones with the latest One UI 4.1.1 update. These swipe gestures will help users shift between full-screen apps with ease and also helps in generating or resizing windows while multitasking.

The recent Galaxy Z Fold devices also provide updated Dual Preview features for photography. It allows users to preview the shot they are taking on both the primary and Cover Screens. With this capability, users can capture high-resolution selfies with rear primary cameras with the camera controls on the cover display.

Samsung also highlights the Quick Shot feature on the Galaxy Z Flip series. It enables users to click selfies by using the cover screen as a viewfinder. To enhance this capability, the manufacturer introduced enhancements to Flex Mode and Quick Shot, allowing users to switch seamlessly between the two and preview images or video in their true aspect ratio from the Cover Screen.

One UI 4.1.1 also brings other customization options to cover the Galaxy Z Flip series screen. They include the ability to call your favorites from the smaller display, call back missed calls, reply to texts, and so on. It further lets you access quick setting toggles as well.

The One UI Watch 4.5 brings customizations to older Galaxy Watches

Starting with the Galaxy Watch 4 series, Samsung is bringing One UI Watch 4.5, featuring six new interactive watch faces. Users can change the colors of their favorite watch faces to match their style and save them for swift access.

It further brings the QWERTY keyboard for easier typing alongside voice recognition and handwriting features.

A new software update is also rolling out to Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Watch Active 2 users. It will include two watch faces: Gradient number and Pro analog. Further, the watches are gaining Samsung's Health Monitor app to record blood pressure and ECG wherever these functions are available. These smartwatches will receive the update at the end of September.

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.