Got a Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+? If so, you might be able to join Samsung's new One UI beta program
UPDATE: The One UI beta program is now live in South Korea! Please let us know if you can download the update in the USA and Germany.
At its annual developer conference in early November, Samsung announced quite a few things including its brand-new smartphone software – One UI
– which is set for release in January. The company also confirmed that it will launch a beta program for the software, and we're happy to report that the day has finally arrived!
Are you interested in joining the program? If so, you'll find a step-by-step guide on how to become a beta tester in this article. However, this is not a risk-free endeavor, as early beta builds aren't exactly the most stable firmware that you can have on your phone.
If you are new to the process, we've covered some of the most important questions that may arise, so make sure to read up before you take the plunge!
1. What is One UI and what features does it bring?
One UI is basically a new name for Samsung's customized user interface that is based on Android 9 Pie. Older versions are known as the "Samsung Experience" or "TouchWiz". The company says that it has built One UI in close partnership with Google and the Android developer community with the goal of minimizing clutter and streamlining the experience for users. As Samsung's high-end phones have big screens, the software is also optimized for better one-handed use - you'll find things like menus and notifications on the bottom of the screen.
Other notable new features include an updated lock screen with modified fonts, revamped app icons, and new on-screen navigations buttons that are much more simplistic. All of this will also be accompanied by a new Dark Mode.
Samsung One UI
2. Which phones are eligible?
Currently, only those who have the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9+
are eligible for the beta program. At the moment, owners of the Note 9
are unable to become testers. At the worst case, they will get an official stable version of the software once testing is concluded. According to the latest info, an official version of One UI
should also come to the Galaxy S8
, and Note 8
at a later stage.
3. When does the One UI beta program launch and which countries have access to it?
According to the latest information, the One UI beta program should launch on November 15, 2018 (today) for users in the US, Germany, and South Korea. At the time of writing, this has not yet occurred, but we will update the article once it kicks off.
This is only the first stage of the rollout. It has been confirmed that users in the UK will be eligible to join on November 20, and the program will also spread to China, France, India, Poland, and Spain.
Keep in mind that beta slots will likely be limited, so you'll have to act fast if you want to join. However, Samsung should allow additional users to enroll at a later stage.
4. Read before installing! What to do if my phone crashes or any problems arise
Before you proceed with the installation of the beta software, it's recommended that you back up your data using the Smart Switch
app. Also, make sure to update all your apps to their latest version as compatibility issues may arise.
If you encounter a problem that you can't fix, contact the Samsung Service Centers in your country of residence to receive assistance.
5. How to become a tester
1. Download the Samsung Members
in the US) app from Galaxy Apps or the Play Store.
2. After installation, launch the app, click the notice, and then tap Registration of One UI Beta Program to submit the application form.
3. If you have a Samsung Account and meet all the participation criteria, the entire registration process will be completed. If you do not have a Samsung account, you will need to create one in order to participate.
4. Once the registration process is completed, you will be able to install the software. You can do this by going to Settings -> Software update -> Download updates manually
6. How to quit the beta program and go back to an official version of Android
If you find the beta software too unstable for your tastes, you can go back to the latest official version of Android. First, cancel your participation by accessing the Samsung Members/Samsung+ app and then Settings -> Galaxy Beta Program -> Deregister.
Then, you can re-install the stable software by using the PC version of Smart Switch. Once the software is re-installed, your phone will reset and all data that was generated during the program will be erased.
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ Review