Verizon revealed this morning that Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup will be the first Samsung phones to receive Android 11 and Samsung’s One UI 3.0 in the US, and now the software has already started trickling out to customers, according to Droid Life. One UI 3.0 has been in public beta for the last two months, but this marks the official release of the final software.
One UI 3.0 has the messaging, notifications and security features of Android 11, along with some add-ons specific to One UI. Samsung has added easier ways to access widgets, take screenshots, and double-tap the screen to put your phone to sleep, to name a few, but if you want a more exhaustive list of all of the One UI 3.0 changes, you can check out this roundup at Android Police.
An example of the new lock screen and notifications shade in One UI 3.0. Image: Samsung
Outside the US, the international launch of One UI 3.0 also seems to be spinning up as well. Android Police says that Samsung sent a full schedule of release dates to users in Egypt, with the flagship S20 line receiving Android 11 and One UI 3.0 some time in December, though after the US. According to the schedule, the next phones to receive the update will be the Note 20, Z Fold, Note 10, and S10 phones in January 2021. The update will take some time to hit every Samsung phone that supports it you’re using a Galaxy A10, A20 or A30S, don’t expect to see it before August.
When we reviewed Android 11 in September, we appreciated all its added features for managing the complexity of modern Android phones, but noted the possibility for fragmentation, as Google and Samsung’s takes on Android have started to diverge yet again. Samsung was known for taking a long time to release updates, like when it took five whole months to send out Android Pie. But that’s changed over the years as it’s gotten better at managing its timeline. Last year’s Android 10 update took three months to hit the first phones, and that’s what we’re seeing with Android 11 this year too.
Issues like fragmentation are important because Samsung is the largest smartphone vendor globally, and the largest producer of Android phones in the US. That means the widespread adoption of new features largely relies on the company choosing to include them in new versions of One UI. From our early preview, it seems like the most important bits of Android 11 have made it into One UI 3.0; but when it comes to Google’s other Android projects, Samsung might not have as much to gain.