Looking back, Samsung had a pretty tough 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic made it tough for just about everyone, but Samsung saw its two-star products — the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines — seeing dismal sales. Meanwhile, foldable phones sold better, but the disaster with the original Galaxy Fold was still fresh in our minds.
Sadly, the Note line is probably no more. Samsung’s first foray into Wear OS watches has been somewhat unimpressive, and the company still lags behind Apple in the tablet market.
What can Samsung do to make 2022 even better than 2021? We’ve got some thoughts on just that below!
1. Make the Note line proud
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
Samsung hasn’t come out and said so right away, but all the evidence suggests the Note line is ready. The company has not released any Note devices in 2021, and rumors say there is no Note planned for 2022 either.
Read further: The Galaxy Note line is clearly done and I like it
Instead, there’s a significant amount of evidence that the Galaxy S22 Ultra will take the Note aesthetic in all but name. The S22 Ultra looks like a Note, has an S Pen slot and appears to be more of an evolution of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra than the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Essentially, it’s likely to be the next Note, even if it won’t be labeled as such.
The Note line is legendary among longtime Android fans, many of whom frequent our site. While most are sad that the series is likely to come to an end, hopes are high that Samsung will do it proudly under the Galaxy S banner. We hope the company can pull this off as it’s a huge task to eliminate the line altogether. If Samsung also tarnishes its legacy by somehow screwing up the Galaxy S22 Ultra, it could lose much of its core audience.
There is also the problem of people who really like the Galaxy S21 Ultra. Those folks might not appreciate the Note-esque redesign of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which could cause some friction. Samsung needs to play this subtly from all sides and we hope it can handle this task.
2. Push the Android Tablet Market
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Without a doubt, Samsung makes the best Android tablets. It helps that it’s one of the few notable companies that actually makes Android tablets, but that’s not the point. For example, the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus was the best Android tablet you could get in 2021 – and it came out in 2020!
The problem, however, is that Samsung seems to think that making its tablets as powerful as an iPad is all it takes to succeed. In the world of tablets, hardware is only half of what matters. Software is the missing part and Samsung just isn’t doing enough in this regard to bridge the gap between Android and iPadOS.
Great tablet hardware doesn’t mean much if the software doesn’t work well for tablets.
We’ve talked about this problem before. iPadOS offers so much more to the tablet user and gets better and better every year. Meanwhile, Android tablets still feel like big phones.
If Samsung really wants to make something out of Android tablets, it needs to address these software issues. Of course, it would be great if Google could help with this. While Android 12L looks promising, it also seems too little too late. One possible solution could be for Samsung and Google to work together, just as they did for Wear OS. Samsung could also use its money and size to push developers to create more tablet-centric versions of their productivity-focused apps. Samsung is a huge company with a ton of weight behind it. Why not use that weight to make its products better and more competitive? Let’s hope we see some changes on this front in 2022.
3. Keep the ads off our flagships
Luke Pollack / Android Authority
In October 2021, Samsung fans discovered something that was missing from many of the apps on their phones: ads. The Samsung-branded weather app, the Health app, and a few others suddenly had no banner ads, which was definitely nice.
Samsung had promised to reduce ads in its applications, so this wasn’t entirely unexpected. However, fewer ads have been seen on Samsung phones since then than earlier this year, which is great no matter how you slice it.
Related reading: Is it really a good idea to sell your privacy for a cheaper phone?
Of course, the idea of ads popping up on an $1,800 smartphone like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is just laughable. Likewise for a $1,200 Galaxy S21 Ultra, or even a $1,000 Galaxy S21 Plus. Really, what Samsung started doing in 2021 was just way too late.
Admittedly, ads that appear on cheaper phones are more forgivable. Those phones have to stay cheap and user data can help with that. After all, this is Xiaomi’s entire business model. But flagships? New. Samsung must continue the trend it started in 2021 and ensure that no system ads appear on any of its premium flagships by 2022.
4. Treat wearables like phones
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
One of the more surprising announcements of 2021 was the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Unlike Samsung’s previous watches in recent years, this one comes with Google’s Wear OS onboard instead of Samsung’s own Tizen.
On paper, this was great news. Wear OS has a lot to offer, but Google just doesn’t pay enough attention to it. Samsung’s work ethic when it comes to software, combined with the ability to make great hardware, was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Required reading: What you need to know about Google’s Wear OS
Unfortunately, it didn’t go as well as we had hoped. For example, neither Samsung nor Google will commit to a solid update schedule for the watch. Google Assistant is also still not available on the Galaxy Watch 4, despite its launch months ago.
Honestly, if the Galaxy Watch 4 were a smartphone, these problems wouldn’t exist. The 2021 Samsung would never have launched a phone without an update promise and certainly would have waited to launch it if it weren’t for an integral feature on all other Wear OS-based wearables. This cannot continue. If Samsung wants to bring Apple down in the wearables market, it needs to treat the Galaxy Watch line just like a Galaxy S or Galaxy Z phone.
5. Seamless updates
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
I saved the best for last. Frankly, it’s just ridiculous that I have to ask Samsung support for seamless updates as we enter 2022. It’s been over five years, Samsung!
If you don’t know, Galaxy phones must be completely disabled during an operating system update or upgrade. With almost every other phone on the market, the update will download in the background so you can continue to use the phone. The installation also happens in the background, with just a quick reboot at the end of the process.
Also see: Everything you need to know about One UI
For whatever reason, Samsung is fine with forcing users not to use their phone for the setup procedure. Depending on the size of the update, this may take 10 minutes or more. This gets doubly ridiculous when it happens on your foldable $1,800.
I understand that fixing this would probably involve an incredibly difficult rewrite of One UI’s fundamental code. That’s the only explanation I can think of as to why Samsung hasn’t made this change yet. Anyway, 2022 is a good time to right this wrong.
You tell us: What do you want to see from Samsung in 2022?
We told you why we think these five things are very important for Samsung in 2022. Which do you think is most important? Answer our poll below and we’ll see which request is the most popular for our readers.
What do you want to see from Samsung in 2022?
Did we miss something? In addition to the five things listed here, what do you most hope to see from Samsung in 2022? Let us know in the comments!