While previous versions of Samsung’s take on Android already include support for a number of new features in Android 12 like scrolling screenshots, Samsung is still incorporating other additions to Android 12 in One UI 4 to deliver things like updated widgets, enhanced privacy and security, and improved customization.
When it comes to personalizing your device, One UI 4 now has new Color Palettes, which make it easier to change the appearance of app icons, notifications, and more. Similar to Android 12, notifications and quick settings icons in One UI 4 are now a bit more compact and feature more intuitive grouping. Meanwhile, a wider range of emoji, stickers, and GIFs on the Samsung keyboard should help you express yourself better in texts and chats.
The lock screen in One UI 4 has also gotten a few upgrades including the ability to access Samsung’s voice recorder app without needing to fully unlock your phone, along with some enhancements to Samsung’s always-on display.
As for security, just like in the stock Android 12, Samsung is also adding new alerts in One UI 4 that pop up when an app is accessing your phone’s microphones or cameras, while the new Privacy Dashboard is designed to put all of your important security settings and controls in a single place. Samsung is even supporting Android 12's Private Compute Core feature, which acts as a sandbox to help isolate your data from certain apps or functions, and tracks suspicious app activity.
Unfortunately, unless you have an unlocked Galaxy S21 device, you’ll probably have to wait for your carrier to test and certify One UI 4 before pushing the update out to your phone, which could take another few months. However, if you do have an unlocked S21, you should be able to grab One UI 4 today in the Software Update tab in your phone’s settings menu.
As for other Samsung devices, Samsung says One UI 4 will become available “soon” on older Galaxy S phones, Galaxy Note phones, mid-range Galaxy A-series phones, and tablets and foldables including Samsung’s Z Flip and Z Fold phones.