Samsung has continued to improve its update speed every year since One UI first debuted, and the way it rapidly releases security patches each month is the standard by which all other (non-Google) Android manufacturers are judged. There’s still room for more improvement, though, like with the way the S20 had to wait until December 2020 for its Android 11 update. According to some recent rumors, Samsung might be gearing up to release the next big Android version faster than ever.
Samsung has followed a largely consistent schedule for the last few years: The Galaxy S phones come out at the beginning of the year with an X.1 bump to the current version of One UI, and the Note or Fold devices catching up later with an X.5 update. It was expected that this would continue this year with the Galaxy Z Fold3 shipping with One UI 3.5. According to leaker Ice Universe, that might not happen.
One UI 3.5 does not exist
Galaxy Z Fold3 with One UI 3.1.1
Samsung S series will test One UI 4.0 next month
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) June 24, 2021
Ice Universe claims that the Fold3 will arrive with One UI 3.1.1, suggesting small quality-of-life improvements rather than anything major. The reason? Galaxy S devices could start testing One UI 4 with Android 12 as soon as next month. If this is true, that could point to a much faster turnaround than last time.
The One UI 3 beta started last October, with the stable update becoming available in December. If the next beta does arrive in July, we could see Samsung ready to update its phones to Android 12 in step with Google.
Oh yeah Samsung started development on Android 12 for the Galaxy S21 series.
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) June 18, 2021
Our own Max Weinbach revealed last week that internal Android 12 development has started for the Galaxy S21. If that’s the case, the beta may be ready soon.
As always, we must take this information with a grain of salt, and until Samsung announces something, nothing is set in stone. Whatever happens, I hope Samsung continues to improve its software as it has for the last few years.