I am one of many fortunate few who obtained their mitts on the Samsung Galaxy S25 earlier than its February 22 launch date, and I will have the telephone in time for a full evaluate within the subsequent week or two. However one factor that struck me—and it wasn’t simply me, as you will see later—is how messy, inconsistent and previous It feels like establishing a brand new telephone.
Whether or not you are ranging from scratch or restoring from a backup, there are some things that strike me because the absurd default settings to ship on a brand new telephone within the 12 months of our Lord 2022. I imply, it is so dangerous that we often wrap such complaints in a properly formatted record of the primary issues it’s best to change on a brand new Samsung telephone., Whereas restoring your settings from an previous Samsung system will remedy a few of the points talked about under, each Samsung consumer, from novice to skilled, should cope with no less than just a few of them.
That is the house display that almost all Samsung customers see out of the field.
First, let’s begin with the plain: Samsung telephones are the one Android telephones that ship with navigation buttons by default, a relic of the 2010 cellular pedantry that Google persuaded to maneuver away from virtually each different producer. has executed. Gesture navigation has change into the de facto navigation commonplace on Android since Google shifted it with Android 10 – and began forcing firms to incorporate it alongside the standard 3-button navigation choice – however Samsung is letting the oldsters down. Continues to take away it with out giving it again within the settings menu. Choice to make use of it.
It would not have been as problematic if it had been a smaller firm, however how Samsung chooses to characterize the modifications in Android has a big impact on the ecosystem at giant, as will the corporate’s market share of the platform as an entire. share is included. On-screen navigation buttons had been a needed transitional step between the capacitive buttons of the early days of Android and the low-profile gestures of contemporary smartphones, and whereas I would not like anybody to proceed utilizing them, customers with out that autonomy. Samsung’s resolution to onboard it’s, for my part, an issue.
I am not the one one who feels this fashion. This weekend, we polled over 10,000 folks, and two-thirds of you employ gestures on on-screen navigation buttons. Clearly the information from a fanatic web site does not pertain to the broader Android consumer base, however I consider if Samsung takes folks down a unique path with regards to onboarding, that quantity will probably be a lot larger.
A pal of the positioning, Michael Fischer (aka MrMobile), posted the identical factor on Twitter final week, and obtained equally numerous responses to our personal survey.
The response to the above tweet is attention-grabbing: many individuals point out that they proceed to make use of the nav button due to inertia, or as a result of they do not just like the change, or as a result of they have not given themselves an opportunity to get used to gesture navigation. . Nonetheless, Samsung can do what Motorola does, and provide a guided tour of the function at startup, ending the tutorial with the choice of sticking to gestures or going again to the on-screen buttons. Folks persist with the default, and so they do not see every other choice on this matter.
It is advisable set the App Drawer to be sorted alphabetically in 2022.
Then there’s the still-puzzling resolution to permit the chaos to proceed within the One UI app drawer. I will not even get began on the truth that Samsung’s app drawer nonetheless scrolls horizontally like some UX jigsaw puzzle, but it surely’s commonplace habits to fill within the app record by the newest set up — that’s, on a newly-reinstalled telephone. however, means not so as in any respect – There is a battle.
Staying on the house display for a second, I am additionally going to attempt to keep calm about the truth that, even in any case these years, Samsung’s native house display format wastes extra space than a foul Android pill app. . The equal of two App Shops, a Google-mandated folder stuffed with Google apps, and (in most nations, no less than) a Sponsored folder stuffed with Microsoft providers that change Google’s default (besides LinkedIn, which…sure). Duplicates. A Google search bar and a large climate widget. I am no designer, but when it was minimalism Samsung was after right here, it has failed (see two folders’ value of apps above).
It does not matter if Samsung’s keyboard is so dangerous.
My final grievance is definitely the least severe, but it surely displays the corporate’s half-hearted want to work with Google whereas protecting a foothold within the software program world. No, I am not speaking about how Bixby remains to be a factor, and is enabled by default once you maintain down the house button, however the firm’s superior keyboard, which as some relic of the previous Continues to ship when each Gboard and SwiftKey (owned by Google and Microsoft, respectively) are current and the world is best. The inclusion of a Samsung-powered keyboard is smart on the corporate’s Galaxy Z Fold 3, which requires separate layouts for the interior and exterior shows (one thing Gboard desperately wants as Google prepares its personal foldables). is), however on the most well-liked Android telephone on earth? Not a lot. Simply as Google has confirmed again and again, its Android apps are typically higher than Samsung’s, and the on-screen keyboard is not any exception.
None of that is endemic to the expertise of utilizing a Samsung telephone normally, and it is comparatively straightforward to vary with a bit of know-how and a few menu-diving. In actual fact, the Galaxy S22 sequence seems to be the most effective Android telephones of 2022. However that is actually my level: One UI has come to date, so completely different from TouchWiz’s brutal legacy, that these Home windows XP-like relics really feel particularly egregious upon first boot. It is like beginning the sport at 80% well being.
As somebody who makes use of principally each Samsung flagship, none of those issues are insurmountable, and it solely takes me a couple of minutes to get issues the place I would like them. However my concern is for the typical telephone consumer who simply buys a Samsung telephone as a result of they’ve All the time Samsung telephones, this messy onboarding expertise places them at an pointless drawback, one which, with a bit of steerage and some refined UX tweaks, might be averted.
samsung Is Android to lots of people, and an envoy for the model. Google has pushed again in opposition to poor UX hygiene at occasions, and at different occasions by assuring the Korean large that Google’s apps and providers aren’t definitely worth the competitors. Google may pressure navigation gestures on folks, but it surely will not and should not, as a result of alternative is significant to Android’s tradition.
However watching each little factor select by Samsung — see the corporate’s sole insistence on not supporting seamless updates to Android — or ignoring it in favor of sustaining so-called legacy experiences holds Android again in modest however significant methods.