It looks like Samsung is futureproofing its foldable phone software, with a leak revealing an adaptive user interface called “Split UI” that's allegedly coming to the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
So rather than developing a different software for every foldable (or rollable) phone design it produces, it looks like Samsung is going for a one-size fits all approach. Which makes a lot of sense, when you think about it.
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This news comes from long-time Samsung leaker @iceuniverse (opens in new tab), who revealed the Split UI design in two short clips.
Both clips start off by showing an example of a display on a Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip device, before changing the design and showing how the UI adapts to the new screen. The second clip shows that the user can also customize what they see on screen, and slide to alter the size of different sections.
Samsung’s current range of foldable phones are relatively simple devices. There’s only a single fold, and at most there are two displays. Really all the software needs to handle is migrating from the front display to the interior (on the Z Fold 3), or recognize that the phone has been positioned without being fully unfolded and act accordingly.
But the future may not be so simple, and these clips show us what Samsung appears to be working towards. After all, we’re starting to hear about phones with multiple folds, rollable extending displays, and who knows what other designs phone makers can dream up.
Samsung could come up with software for each one, but that takes time and effort. It is much easier to have one bit of software that can adapt to the hardware it’s on.
What’s more, it also means that the split-screen experience is consistent alongside all Samsung foldable and rollable devices. That was part of the logic behind Samsung’s One UI, after all.
Plus, Android’s split-screen support is still pretty basic. If Samsung wants to start futureproofing its software now, it’s going to have to be proactive and not wait for Google to roll out these features to stock Android.
We may be able to see the new adaptive UI on Fold3: Split UI pic.twitter.com/gCARLGjJUIMay 23, 2021
2 pic.twitter.com/Tnt4rvLKMmMay 23, 2021
Other Galaxy Z Fold 3 rumors and leaks point to a new under-display camera for the main display, S Pen support and the switch from physical buttons to capacitive buttons. We've also heard that the Z Fold 3 will offer an IP water and dust resistance rating for the first time.
One especially tantalizing rumor is that Samsung will partner with Olympus for the camera on a special edition of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, but that might have to wait until the Galaxy S22.
The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is currently expected to arrive in July, alongside the Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy S21 FE.
- More: What you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3