Samsung exec reveals that one UI 6.0 will bring seamless A/B partition updates to Galaxy phones

At the 2022 SDC (Samsung Developer Conference) event, Samsung showcased One UI 5.0 and new features of Bixby, Samsung Knox, SmartThings, and Tizen. After the event, a Samsung executive revealed more about the company's One UI 5.0 rollout plans, as well as plans being built for the next version of One UI.

Hyesoon (Sally) Jeong, vice president of Samsung Electronics who is in charge of One UI development, said the company hopes to roll out the stable version of One UI 5.0 to almost all compatible high-end smartphones by the end of this year.

Currently, Samsung smartphones lack the seamless update feature of Android, which means that whenever a firmware update arrives, the user's phone is locked for 10-20 minutes while the update is being installed. Hyesoon (Sally) Jeong confirmed that Samsung is working on a seamless update for Galaxy phones and tablets. She hopes the feature will roll out as part of the One UI 6.0 update some time next year.

With Android 13, Google made it mandatory for smartphone OEMs to create virtual A/B partitions. So when a firmware update arrives, it will be installed in the background on a ROM partition that is not currently being used. And when the phone reboots, it boots directly from the partition with the latest firmware, making the update process seamless.

Hyesoon (Sally) Jeong also talks about TouchWiz, Samsung Experience, and One UI. When asked if Samsung could switch to a new software UI, Hyesoon (Sally) Jeong said: "I think One UI is here to stay, at least during my tenure." She has been with Samsung for 25 years.

Currently, One UI runs on Samsung's smartphones, tablets, and wearables. Some of its design elements are also used in the company's laptops running Windows 11. However, Hyesoon (Sally) Jeong confirmed that One UI will not be coming to its Chromebooks and smart TVs. She also said that One UI will remain as distinct from the native Android UI, but as functionally convergent as possible.

The Samsung executive said the company worked very closely with Google's Android team and contributed a lot to native Android. Over the past few years, Samsung's multi-window and Galaxy theme features have been incorporated into native Android. Samsung has worked more closely with Google since launching its foldable phone.

Samsung has greatly improved its software update support over the past few years. It's even better than Google in terms of major updates for its mid-range and high-end smartphones. In addition to consumer trust, Samsung's new commitment to updates has to do with sustainability, company executives said. If consumers use their phones longer, it reduces the overall landfill and reduces Samsung's overall environmental impact.

Hyesoon (Sally) Jeong also revealed that the company has very efficient software development and testing process and will be able to quickly release updates for all phones.

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