Update (August 5, 9 p.m. ET): The update is now available in the US.
What you need to know
- Samsung has officially started rolling out the first beta for One UI 5 based on Android 13.
- The update was first available to owners of the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus and S22 Ultra in Germany and South Korea.
- The beta seems to be rolling out slowly in several areas.
As summer begins to wind down, that means we’re that much closer to the final release of Android 13. Google has achieved platform stability for its Pixel devices, which is only a small piece of the puzzle, and now Samsung is the action with One UI 5 beta.
Samsung has started rolling out its rendition of Android 13 via the One UI 5 beta program in Germany (via SamMobile) and the company’s home country of South Korea. According to screenshots of the software update page, the first One UI 5 beta has a version number on it S90xBXXU2ZHV4. Samsung has yet to share details about what Android 13 will bring to some of Samsung’s top phones.
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However, these screenshots confirm changes such as “Optical Character Recognition”, which can essentially extract text from an image, which can then be shared. It’s similar to Google Lens and Apple’s Live Text, which debuted alongside iOS 15.
According to Samsung Germany’s support page (opens in new tab) (translated via Google Translate) for the One UI 5 beta program, this release is currently limited to the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra. This means that Galaxy Z Fold 3 owners and older devices will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the latest version of Android.
As is the case with pretty much all beta programs, some features just won’t work properly. This is also true with One UI 5 beta. As Samsung says, “Contactless payment, such as Samsung Pay or Google Pay, is unlikely to work with the beta version. In addition, some features of third-party apps may not be fully available.”
We’re sure to learn more about the upcoming changes to Samsung’s software over the next few days. With Samsung Unpacked set to start next week, it’s also possible that Samsung will formally introduce the next version of its software during the event.
If you want to get ready for the One UI 5 beta program to land here in the States, first download the Samsung Members app. Once made available, this will be the app required to enroll in the program, but we don’t expect it to be a wide release, at least to start. And as always, make sure to back up all your data as there is a chance that your phone won’t work properly when using beta software.
After a bit of a wait, it looks like the update is finally available in the US. Samsung has also published the full list of countries currently eligible for the beta, as well as a quick guide on how to install the update. The changelog is quite long and the update comes in at almost 3GB for our Galaxy S22 Plus.
Some notable features in the changelog include the aforementioned “Optical Character Recognition”, additional color themes, stackable widgets similar to the Smart Widget, a new notification layout, language per app, several DeX improvements, a new security dashboard, updated Digital Wellbeing, an on-device mode for Bixby, improved accessibility features, and more.
We hope to have a hands-on as soon as we can install the update and give it a thorough test ourselves.
Of course, feel free to download and install the beta yourself, although there will likely be plenty of bugs and broken features, so it’s not yet recommended for your daily driver. That said, try it at your own risk.