You can now beta test Samsung's upcoming Android 14 software. Here's what's new

The new software version, One UI 6, focuses on a more user-friendly experience, personalization features, and more.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
Samsung Galaxy S23 in hand
June Wan/ZDNET

Samsung this week launched its beta program to test drive One UI 6, with Galaxy S23 Series users getting first dibs. If the timeline for this generation's software sticks to the script, you can expect the new software to make its way across the most recent Galaxy phones in the coming months, with a public release date towards the start of 2024.

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In the meantime, eligible users can now participate in the One UI 6 Beta Program by downloading the Samsung Members app (if it's not installed already), tapping the One UI Beta Program banner at the top of the homepage, and registering from there. Once you're in, you can download the beta software via the "Software update" tab in the phone's native settings app.

With One UI 6, Samsung is touting three focus areas: User-friendliness, more streamlined apps and feature designs, and wider personalization options. "Our mission with One UI is to reflect the unique preferences of our users in every aspect of their mobile experience," said Janghyun Yoon, Executive Vice President and Head of the Software Office, MX Business at Samsung Electronics in a Thursday press release.

The most notable change in One UI 6 -- at least based on what we're seeing on the press release -- is the Quick Panel, which can now be accessed in full with a swipe down from the upper right corner of the screen. Previously, two down swipes (or a single swipe with two fingers at once) were required. 

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Visually, the quick settings and widgets are more appropriately grouped, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth getting dedicated, larger toggles at the top, the brightness slider is now paired with "Eye comfort shield" and "Dark mode", and "Smart view" and "Device control" at the bottom.

Samsung Galaxy One Ui 6 Screenshots

One UI 6 will also allow users to better customize their lock screens, with a new option to set multiple ones with different wallpapers, clock styles, and camera widget setups for various Modes and Routines. For example, turning on "Work Mode" may trigger a less distracting lock screen, perhaps one with a black background and no elements besides the clock to interact with.

Lastly, it's worth noting the One UI 6 beta program, like most beta programs, exists for testing and feedback purposes only. If you own a Samsung Galaxy S23 Series device, are willing to operate on unfinished software, and reside in the United States, Germany, or South Korea, you can now enroll in the beta program.

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