Samsung launches stable One UI 4 (Android 12) starting with the Galaxy S21

One UI Beta 4 Material You
One UI Beta 4 Material You (Image credit: Alex Dobie / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung has started rolling out the stable version of One UI 4.
  • The update brings new features and visual changes based on Android 12, including new privacy controls and personalization options.
  • The Galaxy S21 series will receive the update first, followed by the Z-series phones, previous S-series models, and others.

Hot off the heels of Google launching Android 12 for Pixel phones, Samsung has begun to roll out stable One UI 4 to its own flagship smartphones, starting with the Galaxy S21 series.

For those of you not familiar with Samsung's flavor of Android 12 or who have not been part of the beta program, One UI 4 brings a ton of new features with visual updates and enhanced privacy. Similar to Material You dynamic colors on Pixel phones, Samsung introduces its new Color Palette that allows users to change the look and feel of their devices based on colors plucked from their wallpaper.

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

Widgets get a visual makeover to give them "even deeper customization," like the calendar widget that shows the month view as well as upcoming events. Samsung Keyboard also now features more animated emoji with a mashup feature, not unlike Gboard's Emoji Kitchen.

Samsung is also introducing new privacy features thanks to Android 12. Camera and microphone indicators are now present in the notification shade to alert users when an app uses either peripheral. There's also a new Privacy Dashboard that houses privacy settings and controls. It lets users see how long the camera, microphone, or location have been used and by which apps. Users can also disable the use of these for added privacy.

Source: Samsung (Image credit: Source: Samsung)

Janghyun Yoon, Samsung's executive vice president and head of the software platform team, highlights how One UI 4 will create a seamless experience across devices, and even on some of the best Laptops from Samsung running Windows.

We are committed to giving everyone access to the best mobile experiences possible, as soon as possible. One UI 4 delivers on that promise, equipping Galaxy smartphone users with the latest customization and privacy features. But we won't stop there. Soon, other smartphone and tablet users will also be able to benefit from this software update, enabling a more seamless experience across our entire ecosystem.

Google has run into a few snags with Android 12 on its Pixel devices, particularly with the new Pixel 6, so hopefully, Samsung can provide a more stable experience with its rollout.

With this initial rollout, One UI 4 will first reach the Galaxy S21 series devices starting today, although availability will depend on region. More of Samsung's best Android phones will follow, including older Galaxy S-series smartphones, Galaxy Note and A-series devices, foldables, and tablets, although Samsung hasn't specified when. However, with the One UI 4 beta already under way for 2020 flagships, it's only a matter of time.

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Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.