As established many times (with previous stories), I don’t think it’s inherently bad or bad when a phone maker takes inspiration from another company in making their software or hardware. In fact, quite the opposite – I’m all for it, as long as these changes are helpful to users and add to their experience rather than take away from it.
For example, we’ve seen a bunch of “imitated” stories in the industry that didn’t turn out to be particularly successful flights:
But there are what I call “good influences” or “good flights”, and that’s what we seem to have with Samsung’s brand new One UI 5 software on top of Android 13, which users Galaxy S22 and future Galaxy S23 owners get it right now or very soon!
Amazingly, we actually don’t have to dig too deep to find the positive iPhone 14 and iOS 16 influences that Samsung took when creating One UI 5 for the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S23. – it’s all there on the lock screen!
You can also resize lock screen widgets such as the clock, which you can’t do on the Pixel 7 or iPhone 14 series. Samsung even lets you choose which bottom left and right icons you have on your lock screen (although this feature has been around for a while).
The new wallpaper style customization on Galaxy has an iPhone touch
Moving on, another aspect of One UI 5 heavily inspired by iOS and iPhone is the Customizing the wallpaper style in your Galaxy’s wallpaper settings.
For starters, you can see how Samsung has categorized wallpapers on One UI 5 by “Featured”, “Gallery” and “Graphic”. The whole layout also looks a lot like iOS, showing you wallpaper previews, thumbnails, and scrolling carousels.
Interestingly, it’s Apple’s wallpaper picker that looks more feature-rich here, giving you the ability to mix and match photos, create new wallpapers from emojis, to use the Weather app as your wallpaper or even use dynamic astronomy wallpapers with options to see the Earth, Earth in detail, Moon and Moon in detail, as well as the system solar.
One UI 5 on Galaxy S22 now lets you stack widgets like you can on iPhone; Smart Suggestions are like Siri Suggestions on iPhone
Unlike One UI 4, which gave you limited widget stacking options, just like iOS 15 and iOS 16, One UI 5 now gives you more freedom when it comes to apps you can use to create Stacked widgets (you can now create stacks using different apps). In case you didn’t know, Samsung’s “stacks” are widgets that you can browse instead of having to clump your home pages with multiple widgets that take up a lot more space. Think of widget stacks as the Swiss army knife of widgets!
One UI 5 of the Galaxy S22 also brings a Smart Suggestions widget that contains multiple apps – the ones you use most frequently, so you can access them at a glance. If that sounds familiar, that’s because iOS 16 already offers virtually the same thing, which Apple calls Siri Suggestions / App Suggestions (any idea why we need two names for this, Apple?).
Anyway, I’m digging deeper into Apple’s take on widgets, as it seems to be a bit more refined, at least on the surface. For what it’s worth, Cupertino’s app suggestions also let you choose shortcut suggestions based on your usage habits in certain apps. You can set up shortcuts to open a certain page in Safari, search Google Maps, view your location’s weather, or send a Tweet.
New Selection tool and options for selecting text from image on Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S23 take inspiration from iPhone and iOS
Samsung’s current and future flagship phones running One UI 5 will now allow you to directly select text directly from images and copy it. And Samsung’s photo editor now allows you to create topic cutouts/stickers by circling/selecting them.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because Apple introduced the equivalent of these features in 2021 with iOS 15. They’re called Live translation and “Raise a subject from the background of the photo” – not sure of his name…
Live translation (which, as the name suggests, can also translate text from photos in real time) also came as a feature of Android 12, or at least Google’s (Pixel) version anyway, so Samsung is a bit late to the party.
Anyway, Apple’s take on these two features is much more advanced. When it comes to “Lift subject from photo background”, all you have to do is hold the subject, which is then automatically detected – you can then manually lift it to the application you want or copy and paste it. And from this year, you can select text to copy and translate not only from photos but also videos on iPhone, which is super impressive.
Samsung’s revamped Galaxy routines resemble the focus modes on the iPhone 14
Replacing what used to be Bixby routines, new modes and Routines The One UI 5 feature can now be used to trigger action sequences on your Galaxy, which can help the phone adapt to different parts of your day.
You can use different Routines to create a specific sequence of Actions/Settings, Notification Filters, and App Limits that can be toggled at any time or set to activate automatically based on what you are doing, what you are doing. time or your current location.
Again, if this rings a bell, it’s because that’s more or less how Focus Modes work in iOS 16 and iPhone 14, letting you block notifications, limit app usage, etc., all at once instead of having to fiddle with these settings one by one.
Samsung, Android and iPhone users react to new iOS-inspired software features of One UI 5
It’s important to note that, as stated by Twitter user Entro, Samsung Galaxy flagships have indeed already shipped with some version of all of these features.
What’s interesting is that Samsung streamlined, doubled down on and now openly highlights these features only after Apple showed some interest and focus on these aspects of the software – now’s the time weird. Other than that, the visual and functional resemblance (how the One UI 5 features look and work) to iOS is uncanny, and that’s why I venture to consider it an “inspiration”.
It’s also quite ironic that, for example, iPhones never really had widgets until 2021, but after Apple implemented them, Android phone makers decided to take inspiration from the concept of cupertino widget.
Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S23 will share some software features with iPhone 14 but Samsung remains the king of Android customizations
Samsung copies Apple; Apple is copying Samsung; life goes on.
Ultimately, I don’t mind “who’s copying who”, which means I’m very happy that some of the best features of iOS 16 are now also on the Galaxy S22 and will soon be on the next Galaxy S23! For what it’s worth, Samsung’s One UI 5 also brought other features that other (Android) phones have had for some time! One of them is the ability to add a watermark to your photos.
Of course, as of this point, Samsung doesn’t partner with any major camera brands, and so the watermarks just say “Galaxy S22”, which means they don’t look as fancy as these Xiaomi-Leica labels that we can find on the centered camera Xiaomi 12S Ultra.
The most important thing for current and future Galaxy users is that One UI remains one of the most (if not the most) feature-rich versions of Android! For example, Samsung (still) absolutely smokes Google and Apple when it comes to pro-grade Camera app options and controls (now with the new Astrophotography option, among a ton of other updates). As another example of Samsung’s focus on abundance, Galaxy literally lets you create GIFs from your own videos!
And don’t get me started on Android 12L and the Galaxy Z Fold 4 which are on a whole new level of “cool and functional”.
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