One UI is by far our favorite Android OS overlay. It’s one of the many reasons why we’re Samsung fans, and the latest version, One UI 5.0, reminded us why we prefer Samsung’s Android skin over all others. And that includes the pure Android OS experience offered by Google.
Samsung’s One UI frequently enhances Android OS features or adds new tools. One UI 5.0 is an example of a recent instance in which One UI reduces some of the features of Google’s Android OS.
Focus Mode has been removed from One UI 5.0, and nobody seems to care, for the obvious reason that very few people use it. Focus Mode is a feature of the Android operating system (still available in Android 13) that can prevent you from using certain apps.
Focus Mode enables Android OS users to create a “Work mode” that disables distracting applications during work hours. Other “modes” can be created based on various activities, but the underlying principle remains the same: you restrict app usage based on a predetermined schedule. In One UI 5.0, Samsung eliminated Focus Mode and replaced it with a more robust solution.
Focus Mode is being replaced by Modes & Routines
If the description of Focus Mode sounds familiar, it may be because Samsung added a “Modes” feature to its existing Bixby Routines in One UI 5.0 and renamed the system Modes & Routines.
In other words, One UI 5.0 has accomplished what One UI typically excels at. It eliminated an Android feature and replaced it with something that is arguably superior. Samsung’s Modes offer a greater variety of parameters than Google’s Focus Mode, including a location-based activation option as opposed to a time-based one. When a Mode is active in Modes & Routines, One UI 5.0 users can also modify the behavior of incoming calls, notifications, and a few other fundamental features.
It remains to be seen whether the addition of Modes to Bixby Routines will be of any practical use to One UI 5.0 users who did not find Focus Mode useful in previous One UI versions. But the fact remains that One UI frequently performs tasks better than Google’s standard Android OS (and a whole lot better than other launchers from different OEMs). The most recent Samsung update is no different. We will therefore likely never replace One UI with a different Android launcher or proprietary skin.