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(Pocket-lint) - Samsung has announced the launch of a One Watch UI 4 beta program, as the arrival of Android 12 edges closer.

The latest version of the Google operating system is expected to land in early October, and the Korean company appears to be getting a bit of a headstart in providing its own take on the platform.

It means Galaxy S21 owners in "select markets" - including the US - can now enrol in the beta and begin testing some of the upcoming features before they officially arrive.

To do so, those who own any version of the Galaxy S21 can simply register their interest through the Samsung Members app.

Typically, we've seen Samsung's flagship devices receive the latest version of Android just before the end of the year, but, given that One UI programs have typically arrived in October, there's a chance the company's phones deliver the full update a bit earlier this time around.

From what we know of One Watch UI 4 so far - and this is only based on what Samsung has shown us - the company has taken quite a bit of inspiration from the general changes coming through Android 12. That means there are more options for widgets, themes, home screens, notification appearance and icons, as well as new privacy features.

With One UI 4, indicator alerts will now show when an app is using the microphone or camera, while permission history will also extend from 24 hours to seven days.

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We're sure there are plenty more tweaks that One UI 4 will bring, with changes also likely to happen between the beta testing and full release, but, for now, it's wait-and-see time.

Writing by Conor Allison. Originally published on 14 September 2021.