Final Galaxy S21 One UI 4.0 update lacks one of the best beta features

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Earlier this year, Samsung introduced an excellent new feature called video call effects with One UI 3.1, designed to help users in the post-pandemic take-work-meetings-from-home era. Video call effects let you blur out the background when making video calls through apps like Microsoft Teams, Google Duo, and Zoom, letting you limit the humiliation to just your messy hair and keep your messy house out of sight when taking all those work calls with your colleagues.

And, with the One UI 4.0 beta, Samsung made the video call effects even more useful by enabling them to work with pictures taken in apps like WhatsApp and Instagram, and it was one of our favorite One UI 4.0 features when the beta program kicked off a few weeks back. Sadly, that feature hasn’t made it into the final version of Android 12 and One UI 4.0 that rolled out for the Galaxy S21 series earlier this week.

It’s unclear why Samsung chose to remove it from the public One UI 4.0 update, though I can think of a few reasons. The primary one, of course, is the fact that it’s called video call effects and was never really meant for stills. Furthermore, having video call effects enabled for pictures even blurred the image when you would, for example, use the QR code scanner in WhatsApp to link a new PC or device to your account, requiring you to manually turn off the feature in such instances.

Still, I wish Samsung had found a way to make things work instead of outright removing the possibility to blur the background in WhatsApp, Instagram, and other apps that let you take pictures. I also don’t see why Samsung hasn’t enabled video call effects for calls made in apps like WhatsApp yet – it’s available in Google Duo and Facebook Messenger so it’s not like Samsung is only allowing the feature inside apps used for work. It’s an odd limitation, and I hope it gets rectified in the near future.

What’s your favorite One UI 4.0 feature, and what’s your biggest issue with it? Let me know down in the comments!

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