What you need to know
- Samsung may be overhauling its news feed once again after Bixby Home and Samsung Daily.
- The new Samsung Free features a three-tab navigation structure.
- Users may be able to access Samsung Free through the One UI beta program.
Once upon a time, Samsung had Bixby Home. It was the smartphone giant's answer to Google Feed, which normally sits to the left of the home screen. Then, as interest in Bixby waned, Samsung rebranded to Samsung Daily, adding some improvements to make the card-based news feed more useful. Apparently, their efforts resulted in little yield, because the feed is once again being rebranded — and completely revamped.
XDA Developers spotted a notice on Reddit informing users that Samsung was retiring Samsung Daily for a newer, more streamlined experience called Samsung Free. The feed will apparently do away with the card-based view of the previous iterations and feature a multi-tab navigation structure. The main tab, called Read, will feature a collection of news articles from different sources, similar to Google Feed's layout with the addition of a large, featured article at the top. Another tab, Play, seems to feature various Instant Play games for users to try out, although it's unclear how comprehensive or useful this tab will be. Lastly, the Watch tab will feature videos and movies, seemingly from Samsung's own TV Plus service.
It is unclear what prompted Samsung to make the change, but it's likely due to the popularity of Google Feed on many of the best Android phones. Samsung has had varying success pushing its own competing services onto users, such as Samsung Daily, Samsung Pay, and Bixby assistant. Because of this, Galaxy smartphones are often filled with two versions of the same applications. A revamped home feed might entice users who may choose to use different launchers just to access Google Feed, since it's otherwise unavailable on Samsung's default One UI launcher.
Samsung Free seems to be attached to the Android 11-based One UI 3.0 beta, so it could very well be the default when the stable version is released. If you're running the beta on an eligible Galaxy device, have you noticed the change? What are your thoughts on the new feed?
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.