Samsung Galaxy S21 series embraces more Google features
Samsung has traditionally shipped its Android phones with their custom skin on top of the base operating system, and the latest One UI interface is the company’s most refined release so far. However, with the release of the Galaxy S21, Samsung has started to imbibe bits of Google into the interface that were not part of any older Samsung phone. The news was first announced at Samsung’s Unpacked event on Thursday and later in a blog post by Google explaining the details.
The first user-facing change compared to other Samsung phones is the Messages app, which will bring Google’s Rich Communication Services (RCS) into S21 users inboxes. The inclusion of Messages marks a big step for the spread of RCS, especially if Samsung brings it to older devices with its OneUI 3.1 release. In addition to RCS, which improves SMSes with features like read reports, reactions and spam protection, Messages will also bring closer integration with Duo.
The company has also nixed Samsung Daily, the personalised feed from Samsung that appears when you swipe right on your home screen, adding an option to select the Discover feed by Google. This is, of course, assuming you have the Google App and Assistant features enabled. Users would previously have to set a third-party launcher or use gestures to access the Discover feed.
Google said that it has also worked to bring support for controlling its Nest smart home products to the SmartThings app found on Galaxy devices. During the Unpacked event, Samsung also showed off Android Auto support for SmartThings that would allow users to change settings and switch off lights at home a short distance from home, from the comfort of their car. Google will also allow owners of Samsung TVs to mirror their Duo video calls to the big screen.