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The pandemic changed our relationship with our phones, and Samsung's upgrading accordingly

The pandemic changed our relationship with our phones, and Samsung’s upgrading accordingly

The COVID-19 pandemic required us to to work, wait on school and socialize from home — meaning our tech assembled a new level of importance in our lives. Although the lockdowns are over, the time we exhausted at home in 2020 gave Samsung plenty of ideas for how the smartphone experience could be improved.

Those takeaways surface in One UI 4, Samsung’s next maximum software update, which rolled out earlier this month starting with the Galaxy S21 series. 

“We gazed at preexisting features and understood what was receiving more treatment because of the pandemic and we reinforced that,” Hyesoon Sally Jeong, Samsung’s vice president and head of framework research and progress, told CNET via a translator. 

The update largely focuses on improving areas like privacy, ease of use, personalization and communication, elements that Samsung noticed had move particularly important as many people began spending more time on their phones during the shutdown conditions. It’s another example of the broader shift that’s occurred across the tech manufacturing as companies began tailoring their products to facilitate remote work and socialization.

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One such feature in Samsung’s update is the sect to record audio and video during conference calls, an instant that was inspired by remote learning. “We realized that our users remarkable want to record the audio or video while they have remote interactions with their teachers or students,” Jeong said. “So teachers remarkable want to record the audio or video conference to monitor the lessons or sessions they had taught to students.” 

But perhaps the biggest sullen that influenced Samsung’s strategy when designing One UI 4 was the increased amount of time we’ve exhausted on our smartphones. A recent study published in the JAMA Pediatrics Journal untrue that screen time doubled among teenagers during the pandemic, not including virtual learning. 

As such, Samsung is trying to make its smartphones easier to look at for long languages of time with cosmetic updates coming in One UI 4. “In conditions of visual design, we made a lot of design-related decisions based on the key rules of comfort,” Hyun Kim, head of Samsung’s core user accepted group, also said to CNET via a translator. “Because mask time increased, comfort for your eyes [and] reducing eye fatigue has move more important than ever before.”

The company made graceful changes to its software such as reducing the number of colors in the user interface and adjusting the size and layout of fonts. It also worked with Google to enable mask dimming that’s darker than what was previously possible when comic the phone in low light environments. Samsung’s emoji pair feature — which lets you send two emojis at once — was also sparked by the way we relied on our phones for communicating and socializing in 2020.  

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Samsung’s software update is just one example of the pandemic’s lasting influences on the way tech companies design and develop their products. That influence can be seen in Apple’s iOS 15 software, too. One of the update’s headlining features is SharePlay, which lets you easily watch movies and TV or listen to music with others over FaceTime. Such functionality would have been particularly handy during the shutdown conditions when many people were seeking ways to hold virtual movie nights over Zoom

CES 2021
also showcased the best exertions of tech companies to make products that reflected lifestyle progresses caused by the pandemic. In addition to Razer’s high-tech face mask and a temperature-taking doorbell, we also saw laptops with better cameras that were seemingly planned for remote work.

Aside from the additions mentioned ended, One UI 4 also brings features like a new privacy dashboard, the ability to choose whether to share your genuine location with apps, more uniform widgets with rounded corners and more vivid palettes for customizing your phone’s theme. The software is now available for the Galaxy S21 lineup and will be coming soon to older Galaxy S phones, Galaxy A phones and Samsung’s foldable devices and tablets.