Galaxy S20 Android 11 update is here — how to get One UI 3.0 beta now

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The arrival of Android 11 means an updated version of Samsung's UI interface, and now Samsung phone owners in the U.S. are able to grab a One UI 3.0 public beta — provided they've got the right device.

After releasing the One UI 3.0 beta in its home market of South Korea earlier this week, Samsung extended the beta rollout to the U.S. The new version of Samsung's Android 11-based software is available to Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus and Galaxy S20 Ultra owners on T-Mobile's network, according to Sammobile, which first reported on Samsung's beta plans.

Expect the beta to reach other Galaxy phones on other carriers shortly.

Samsung introduced One UI two years ago, revamping its interface to improve ease of use, particularly on phones with larger displays. Subsequent updates have introduced more interface tweaks and features aimed at improving one-handed phone use and removing visual distractions.

If Samsung's past record with One UI updates is anything to go by, you expect a full version of One UI 3.0 by the end of the year, with updates rolling out to phones based on model and carrier into early 2021.

Here's how to sign up for the One UI 3.0 beta and what to expect from it once you've got it installed.

How can I get the One UI 3.0 beta?

You can enroll in the One UI beta program through the Samsung Members app on your phone, though the link didn't appear when we fired up the app on our Galaxy S20 Plus. If you end up in the beta program, Samsung recommends backing up data on your phone before you install the One UI 3.0 update. After the beta is installed, you'll need to update the Calculator, Samsung Internet, Samsung Pay, Samsung Health and Samsung Notes apps.

Where is the One UI 3.0 beta available?

You can currently get the One UI 3.0 beta in South Korea and the U.S., though Samsung plans to eventually bring the beta to China, Germany, India, Poland and the U.K.

What's new in the One UI 3.0 beta?

Android Police has posted a very helpful changelog for One UI 3.0 that lists most of the interface tweaks and app updates coming in this version. We've also got a sense of what the new interface will look like courtesy of screens posted by XDA Developers.

(Image credit: XDA Developers)

One UI 3.0 is built on Android 11, so the features Google introduced in that update will be available here. These include expanded media controls in the notification shade, one-time permissions, and the incorporation for bubbles for easy access to your ongoing chats. To that end, among the changes in One UI 3.0 is a dedicated section of the Quick Panel for both conversations and media.

Other changes of note in One UI 3.0 include the ability to touch and hold an app's icon to quickly access widgets and a new volume slider interface. You'll be able to double-tap the home screen of your Galaxy device to turn off the display.

The Galaxy Note 20 introduced the ability to connect wirelessly to supported displays in DeX mode, and that feature looks like it's been extended to other DeX-supporting phones in One UI 3.0. Samsung is also making it easier to find keyboard settings and adding the ability to customize the call screen with your own pictures. The Contacts app is adding options to quickly delete duplicate contacts as well.

According to the notes for One UI 3.0 changes, camera improvements include better auto focus and auto exposure and improved stabilization when you zoom in for a shot.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.