Samsung’s One UI 3.0 interface based on Android 11 arrived at the same time as the new Galaxy S21 releases last month. But Samsung isn’t done with its software updates, and this time foldable phones are the big beneficiaries.
The One UI 3.1 update is out, and landing on Samsung phones, including the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip. That’s noteworthy because Samsung says the latest update has a number of improvements specifically aimed at its foldable devices.
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Among the highlights for foldable phone users are improvements to Multi-Active Windows, a multitasking function. You use Multi-Active Windows to run multiple apps, letting you do things like search for something while watching a video.
Under One UI 3.1, you can now bring up to three different Multi-Active Windows on your foldable phone’s main screen. On the Z Fold 2, you can bring two Multi-Active Windows from the internal screen to the cover display on the outside of the phone.You also gain the ability to launch Multi-Active Windows from the Quick Panel's notifications center.
One UI 3.1 also simplifies the process of turning off the screen by adding a Palm Touch to Turn Off Screen capability. Enable that feature and you can put either screen on your Galaxy Z Fold 2 to sleep simply by touching them with your palm or double-tapping.
The update also brings greater camera flexibility to Samsung foldables. When you opt to shoot in Flex mode, you can change the way controls are positioned so that it's more comfortable to start shooting. Samsung has also implemented Share and Delete buttons to Flex mode's preview mode.
Video calls in Flex mode have also been improved. When making calls in Flex mode, Z Fold 2 users can now opt to fill the top half of their display with the video stream of whomever they're connected to.
The enhanced update should be hitting a variety of devices shortly, with Galaxy S10, Note 20 and Note 20 models also getting One UI 3.1
The focus on foldable features in this update show that Samsung is quite serious about making devices like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip more mainstream. Around the start of the year, Samsung’s TM Roh promised the company would make foldables “more accessible to everyone” during 2021. Just this past week, Samsung launched 100-day trials for its foldable phones in an effort to encourage more people to consider them.