Open beta of One UI 4 based on Android 12 is now available for Samsung Galaxy S21 series

Sep 14, 2021
Updated • Sep 14, 2021
Google Android, Mobile Computing

Google is rumored to release Android 12 on October 4th. Many OEMs have taken part in the developer preview of the upcoming iteration. And now, Samsung has announced the open beta program for One UI 4 based on Android 12, for its flagship Galaxy S21 devices.

One UI 4 for Samsung Galaxy S21

This will be the first of 3 major Android OS Upgrades promised by the South Korean electronics giant, for the Galaxy S21.

The new firmware will bring a refreshed interface and the announcement says that users can tweak the look of the home screen, icons, notifications, wallpapers, and even set up customizable widgets. But, it appears that the One UI 4 beta may not be included in the highly-anticipated Material You design.

The press release for the new firmware barely has any information, but the release notes shared by Twitter user FrontTron gives us a much better idea about the changes. We are outlining some important features in One UI 4.

Privacy and Security

You may be aware that Android 12 has a Privacy Dashboard that lets you analyze which apps have accessed the camera, mic and location data in the past 24 hours. The Permissions Manager in One UI 4 allows you to view the same information, but for the past 7 days instead of just 1. Apps that rely on your location, such as the Weather app, can be allowed to use your approximate location.

The OS will display a green dot in the top right corner to indicate when an app is accessing your mic, camera or GPS.  One UI 4 will also notify you when an app accesses your clipboard, to prevent sensitive data from being leaked. These are welcome improvements that will help protect your privacy. You may disable all apps from accessing the sensors, from the quick settings panel.

Android 12 Update for Samsung Galaxy S21

Notable changes in One UI 4 beta

It appears that Samsung's One UI 4 will have ads in the form of recommendations in widgets, hopefully that can be disabled.

Android 12 Update for Samsung Galaxy S21

The lock screen has some interesting new options such as a Monthly Calendar, a Voice recorder, and a shortcut  to switch audio output to a different device/speaker. The always-on display can be set to light up the screen when a notification arrives. The Share panel is customizable, and you may add/remove programs from it. Digital Wellbeing has a new driving monitor to help you focus on the road, instead of using the phone. The Samsung Internet browser app will start in Secret mode, if you were using it during your previous session.

How to opt in to the Samsung One UI 4 beta

To participate in the Android 12 beta, open the Samsung Members app on your phone, and tap on the One UI 4 beta banner. Read the terms and conditions, and accept them to join the preview. The beta program is open for the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra. The One UI 4 beta will be available in China, India, Germany, Poland, South Korea, UK, and US. The download size of the One UI 4 Update is about 2.4GB, and includes the September Patch from Google's Android Security Bulletin.

Samsung has not mentioned when the stable version of the firmware will be released.

Opt in to the beta program to test Android 12 Update for Samsung Galaxy S21
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Opt in to the beta program to test Android 12 Update for Samsung Galaxy S21
One UI 4 based on Android 12 for Samsung Galaxy S21 is now available in open beta. Here are some privacy related features that may interest you.
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