Samsung’s New Interface Makes Its Phones Easier for One-Handed Use

The company is introducing a new Android skin for company flagship phones called One UI. It shifts the icons, options and virtual buttons to the bottom portion of the screen, giving your thumb easier access to them

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The company is introducing a new Android skin for company flagship phones called One UI. It shifts the icons, options and virtual buttons to the bottom portion of the screen, giving your thumb easier access to them.

BY MICHAEL KAN 

Samsung wants to make it a little easier for you to use the company’s large-screen smartphones with a single hand.

On Wednesday, the Korean vendor introduced a new user interface for the company’s Android phones called One UI. It shifts the icons, options and virtual buttons to the bottom portion of the screen, where your thumb lies when you hold the device one-handed.

“Now the upper part of the screen is for viewing, while the lower part of the screen is for touch interaction,” said Samsung user interface designer Jee Won Lee during the company’s developer conference in San Francisco.

One UI Samsung

For instance, Samsung has redesigned the messages app to show messages starting at the center of the screen and down, as opposed at the top of the screen. The clock app has also been tweaked to shift the menu tabs to the bottom of the display.

In addition, the new One UI interface comes with a simpler design aesthetic that attempts to reduce on-screen clutter. “We have enough distractions, don’t we?” Lee said. “Now everything you need to concentrate on —text, images or anything else— is the main element of the screen.”

Samsung One UI

Samsung is hoping people will come away feeling the UI offers a cleaner look. For instance, menus have been rearranged to highlight essential options and strip out ones you’re less likely to use. The company has also focused on introducing more blank space to different menu windows to make it easier on your eyes

“With One UI, users will see what they need, only when they need it, so they can stay focused on what matters,” Lee added.

The company is going to make One UI first available to test users in the US, Germany and South Korea this month, before bringing it to other countries. Samsung will then officially roll out the software for the Samsung Galaxy S9, S9 Plus and Galaxy Note 9 owners starting in January. If you want to become a beta tester for the One UI you can learn more at the company’s website.

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