Samsung Galaxy A50Source: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

What you need to know

  • According to a new report, Samsung may be experimenting with ads in One UI.
  • Leaked images allegedly taken from One UI 2.5 show ads on the lock screen and within Samsung's stock apps.
  • While Samsung's flagships will, of course, be spared, the company may choose to subsidize its A- and M-series phones this way.

Launched early last year, One UI represented a big change for Samsung's design language for its Android UI, with an emphasis on a cleaner, less noisy layout. The company followed up on the new Android interface with One UI 2.0 and 2.1 earlier this year, and now the next version, One UI 2.5., may represent yet another shakeup in the company's philosophy for Android — and not in a good way.

One UI AdSource: TizenHelp

If an alleged leaked image of the upcoming update to One UI received by TizenHelp is to be believed, the company is taking a page from Xiaomi's book and experimenting with embedding ads within stock apps as well as within the UI itself. Xiaomi is notorious for subsidizing its cheaper phones in this manner, especially in developing markets like India, and the 'feature' is universally detested by users. We can only hope that Samsung doesn't follow suit.

And while flagships like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series will obviously be exempt, Samsung may see some merit in recouping its investment in the lower end of the smartphone market by following in Xiaomi's footsteps.

A particularly egregious example mentioned in the article is ads on the lock screen. The report even mentions being forced to watch a 15-second ad before being able to unlock the phone. Banner ads inside the weather app are also mentioned — presumably, the same would be true of other stock apps.

Another bit of troubling news comes via a statement by a Samsung representative back in October, where he justified the use of revenues from banners ads as a way of adding new functionality to the software experience.

Since the update is currently under development, and we have heard next to nothing from Samsung on it, it's probably safe to assume that these changes, if true, are simply tests for the moment. Hopefully, they stay that way.

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