Samsung starts rolling out big updates for older foldables and the Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung starts rolling out big updates for older foldables and the Galaxy Watch 4
Starting September 4, Samsung officially started rolling out new software versions for older Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip models, as well as the Galaxy Watch 4 wearable. Both updates come with some substantial improvements for these Galaxy products that help keep them up to date and feeling fresh.

Android 12 and 12L coming to older Galaxy foldables

In August, we got to see and thoroughly review Samsung's latest foldable phones — the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, with the former coming out of the box with Android 12L (intended large-screen devices) and the latter with your regular Android 12. Now, both of these Android versions, as well as Samsung's own One UI 4.1.1 are coming to older models as well.

To be more precise, with this most recent update, Android 12L is coming to the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Z Fold 2, and even the original Galaxy Z Fold. One the Flip side (pun intended), Android 12 is coming to the Galaxy Z Flip/5G.

Arguably the more exciting news here is in regards to the Fold, as Android 12L brings some features that left a great impression on us while reviewing the Z Fold 4. More specifically, we are talking about the new fixed taskbar that appears whenever you open up an app. This taskbar makes the Fold feel like a complete multitasking beast, allowing for quick access to other apps, much like you would get on a desktop experience.

The Z Flip, on the other hand, is not exactly meant to be a multitasking powerhouse, but that does not mean it is getting left out. The update is bringing improved camera controls in regards to the cover screen, in addition to some new options for quick settings.

Wear OS 3.5 trickles down to the Galaxy Watch 4

The Galaxy Watch 4 series is still one of the best Android smart watches you can get to this day, mainly surpassed by it successor — the Galaxy Watch 5 series that launched this August. Now, the same Wear OS 3.5 and One UI Watch 4.5 software versions are coming to the Galaxy Watch 4, bringing some nifty new features and tweaks.

One of the more notable new additions is the option to use a full-fledged QWERTY keyboard integrated in Samsung's own built-in app. Of course, before this update you could still get this functionality by installing Gboard, but it is nice to see that there is a first-party option now as well.

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As you might expect, there are new watch faces to choose from with this update. However, now you also have more control over how your watch face looks, as you have the ability to change the colors and patterns to make it your own unique version. Moreover, organizing your watch faces should now be easier, thanks to the new "favorites" section.

Last, but not least, Samsung has also focused on the accessibility of its smartwatches with the Wear OS 3.5 and One UI Watch 4.5 updates. You now have the ability to change the hue and contrast of the watch's display, to make it more visible and easy to read. You also get the option to reduce the transparency, blur effects, and completely turn off animations to minimize confusion.

Some of the other accessibility features include extending the duration you need to press for the screen to respond to your tap, disabling repeated touch inputs, and balancing the left and right channels of your connected Bluetooth audio device.

When are these updates coming?

Samsung says that it has already started to roll out the updates for its older foldables and the Galaxy Watch 4 series, with a more global release set to take place by the end of the month.

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