Now that Android 9.0 Pie is rolling out to devices around the world we want to give Samsung Galaxy owners a look at what we know, and what we think we know, about the company’s plans for 2018 and beyond.
Android P is officially called Android 9.0 Pie and it’s available for Google Pixel devices (Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL) and devices from select Android OEM’s.
With Android 9.0 Pie official and with the Android Oreo roll out slowing down, owners of Samsung’s Galaxy-branded phones and tablets are starting to wonder about the future.
Samsung hasn’t confirmed any Galaxy Android 9.0 Pie updates yet, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we can start to piece together its plans for Galaxy phones and tablets.
In this guide we’re going to take you through a few things you should know about Android Pie if you own a Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, or another Galaxy device.
Let’s start with a few things you should know about the immediate future.
Android 8.1 Oreo
Android Pie is an exciting update, but it’ll be weeks before Samsung rolls out the first Android 9.0 update to Galaxy devices. For now, the company’s focused on getting Android Oreo to devices lingering on Nougat.
Samsung started with the Galaxy S8, but the Android Oreo and Samsung Experience 9.0 has started to spread to other flagships and mid-range devices.
The company recently ditched Android 8.0 Oreo in favor of Android 8.1 Oreo, a newer version of the operating system.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, the company’s new flagship, is running Android 8.1 Oreo, not Android 8.0 Oreo or Android 9.0 Pie. The Galaxy Note 9 joins the Galaxy Tab S4 and Galaxy Tab A 10.5, two new tablets that also run the Android 8.1 Oreo update out of the box.
The Android 8.1 update has also spread to mid-range devices like the Galaxy J7 series and we expect more devices to move from Android Nougat to Android 8.1 Oreo this fall.
Devices running Android 8.0 Oreo probably won’t get upgraded to Android 8.1. Instead, we expect Samsung to move eligible devices from Android 8.0 to Android 9.0 Pie.
October Samsung Galaxy Security Update
Samsung continues to roll out monthly security updates and the latest update, based on Android Oreo, delivers fixes for nine critical vulnerabilities and 11 fixes for Samsung’s own Vulnerabilities and Exposures (SVE).
For more on the contents of Samsung’s security patches, have a look at Samsung’s security bulletin.
Samsung’s put together a list of devices getting monthly and quarterly security updates. The Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge have removed from the list. So have the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+.
As we push toward the release of Android Pie, here are the devices set to get security updates for the foreseeable future.
Monthly Security Updates
- Galaxy S series (S9, S9+, S8, S8+, S8 Active, S7, S7 edge, S7 Active)
- Galaxy Note series (Note 9, Note 8)
- Galaxy A series (A5 (2016), A5 (2017), A8 (2018))
Current Models for Quarterly Security Updates
- Galaxy A3 (2017), Galaxy A7 (2017)
- Galaxy A6 (2018), Galaxy A6+ (2018), Galaxy A8+ (2018), Galaxy A8 Star
- Galaxy J2 (2018)), Galaxy J2 Core (2018)
- Galaxy J3 Pop, Galaxy J7 Pop, Galaxy J3 (2017), Galaxy J5 (2017), Galaxy J3 Top
- Galaxy J7 (2017), Galaxy J7 Max, Galaxy J7 Neo, Galaxy J7 Duo, Galaxy J7 Top, Galaxy J7+ (2017)
- Galaxy J4, Galaxy J6, Galaxy J8
- Galaxy Tab S2 L Refresh, Galaxy Tab S2 S Refresh, Galaxy Tab S3 9.7, Galaxy Tab S4 10.5
- Galaxy Tab Active2, Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2016), Galaxy Tab E (8.0) Refresh, Galaxy Tab A (2017), Galaxy Tab A 10.5
- Galaxy Note FE
- Galaxy S8 Lite
If you get an update in October or November, chances are it’s a security update rather than a new version of Android Oreo or Android Pie.
Samsung Galaxy Android Pie: What’s New
Thanks to Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 Android Pie leaks we have our first look at Samsung’s version of Android 9.0 which reportedly includes a new UI dubbed Samsung Experience 10. The company is currently on Experience 9.5.
XDA-Developers has managed to get its hands on an early version of Samsung’s Android Pie update. And while the update is still fairly crude, it confirms a list of potential changes coming with the software upgrade. Highlights include:
- AMOLED Dark Theme (Night Theme)
- New card style UI with curved edges
- Redesigned Quick Settings with rounded buttons
- Updated lock screen w/ a new clock design
- Improvements to the Samsung Dialer
- Revamped Samsung Messages
- Bixby Home UI changes including curved borders and a new night theme
The site also claims the Galaxy S9’s Android Pie update will bring the Galaxy Note 9’s Flaw Detection feature. If you’re unfamiliar, the Galaxy Note 9’s software will detect flaws like blurriness, blinking, and smudges in your photos.
Overall, the look and feel is a lot different than Android Oreo’s. And while we expect many of these UI changes to stick, Samsung’s feature list could change over time as the company tests the update.
There’s also chatter about features from the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 making it to older devices like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.
The Galaxy Note 8 will reportedly get a feature where a space is automatically added after a number when swipe to type is being used.
These Galaxy Devices Will Get Android Pie
Samsung hasn’t confirmed a list of devices getting Android Pie, but we can make some predictions based on Samsung’s software update policy.
The company typically keeps devices updated with major Android software updates for two years. Samsung could alter this policy for Android Pie, but it hasn’t confirmed anything yet.
If it sticks to this protocol, here are the devices that will almost certainly make the move from Android Oreo to Android Pie in 2018 or 2019:
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9
- Samsung Galaxy S8
- Samsung Galaxy S8+
- Samsung Galaxy S8 Active
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Samsung Galaxy Tab S4
- Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)
- Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
- Samsung Galaxy A8+ (2018)
- Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
- Galaxy A6 Plus (2018)
- Galaxy J6 Plus
- Galaxy J6
- Galaxy J4 Plus
- Galaxy Tab S4
- Galaxy Tab S3
Devices like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge that have received two major software updates (Nougat, Oreo), are currently on the fence when it comes to Android Pie.
Older devices like that the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 probably won’t get upgraded to Android Pie. Neither device has received Android Oreo.
Samsung is testing the Galaxy S9 Android Pie update behind the scenes because benchmarks showcasing Android 9.0 Pie have popped up at GFXBench. Last September, the Samsung Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 Oreo update popped up in a benchmark well ahead of its release in early 2018.
Benchmarks can be faked, but Samsung’s reportedly working on the Galaxy S9 Android 9.0 Pie update for most regions right now.
The Galaxy S9 Android Pie update, an early version of it, has also leaked out ahead of time which means there’s a way to upgrade early.
Samsung is also testing Android Pie on the Galaxy Note 9. An early version of the Galaxy Note 9 Android Pie update has also leaked giving users a chance to try the software ahead of its release date.
It’s also worth noting that Samsung’s leaked Android 9.0 build references an unreleased foldable smartphone.
The device, codenamed “Winner,” could run Android Pie out of the box and might utilize an in-house Exynos 9810 or Exynos 9820 processor. There’s also a reference to the unreleased Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 chip.
The device, widely known as Galaxy X, might launch in late 2018 though there’s a chance the device launches internationally next year.
These Galaxy Devices Might Not Get Android Pie
As for the rest of Samsung’s lineup, here are a few devices that might not make the move from Android Oreo to Android Pie in 2018 or 2019:
- Galaxy S7
- Galaxy S7 Edge
- Galaxy S7 Active
- Galaxy S6
- Galaxy Note 5
- Galaxy A5 (2017)
- Galaxy A3 (2017)
- Galaxy J7 (2017)
- Galaxy J5 (2017)
- Galaxy J5 (2016)
- Galaxy A5 (2016)
- Galaxy A3 (2016)
Samsung Galaxy Android Pie Beta
While OEMs like Sony partnered with Google and Qualcomm to offer an early preview of Android Pie, Samsung wasn’t part of this early beta program.
The list of supported phones included Google Pixel/XL, Google Pixel 2/XL, OnePlus 6, Essential PH-1, Sony Xperia XZ2, Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo R15 Pro, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S, and the Vivo X21/UD.
Samsung wasn’t part of Google’s Android Pie beta program, but we could still see the company release an Android 9.0 beta for select Galaxy devices later this year.
The company hasn’t made a full fledged announcement just yet, but updates to its Galaxy Beta Program FAQ and EULA hint at an Android Pie beta for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+.
Samsung hasn’t announced a release date, but the company does say the beta will be limited to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ for Sprint or T-Mobile, non-operator-locked devices, and open-market versions of the two flagships.
The company typically releases a beta for current flagships several weeks after Google releases the final version, but we could, again, see a much faster release this year thanks to Project Treble.
Samsung Galaxy Android Pie Release Date
If you own a Galaxy phone or tablet you won’t get the official version of Android Pie until later this year. At the earliest.
In its Android Pie announcement, Google says “devices that participated in the Beta program from Sony Mobile, Xiaomi, HMD Global, Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus and Essential, as well as all qualifying Android One devices, will receive this update by the end of this fall.”
As for other devices, Google says it’s “also working with a number of other partners to launch or upgrade devices to Android 9.0 this year.” In other words, we could see the first Galaxy Android 9.0 Pie updates roll out before the end of the year.
Samsung is reportedly ramping up testing behind the scenes and a second Galaxy S9 Android Pie build recently leaked out. That said, it looks like the first Galaxy S9 Android Pie updates might roll out in January 2019. That timing is far from confirmed and target dates can change quickly.
Samsung users typically have to wait several months before the company rolls out a major upgrade. In the case of Android Oreo, Google launched the software in August, 2017, but many Samsung didn’t start rolling out Android Oreo to the Galaxy S8, the first device to get it, until early 2018. This could change with Android Pie thanks to Google’s Project Treble.
One of Android Oreo’s key features is Project Treble. To put it simply, Project Treble’s goal is to help cut down the amount of time it takes for OEMs like Samsung to release major Android software updates.
As of right now, only the Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9, and Galaxy S9+ come with Project Treble baked into Android Oreo. The Android 8.0 updates for devices like the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 don’t.
Samsung could choose to implement Project Treble in a future update for these devices, but the company’s hasn’t revealed any plans.
Shortly after Google’s Android I/O keynote, chipmaker Qualcomm released some additional news.
The company’s promised “fast commercial availability of the next version of Android.” Qualcomm says that by “having early access to Android P, Qualcomm Technologies optimized its software on Snapdragon 845, 660 and 636 Mobile Platforms to ensure readiness for OEMs to upgrade to Android P at the time of launch.”
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset on board and the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ also utilize the processor. This is great news if you own the Galaxy S9 or if you’re planning to buy the Galaxy Note 9.
We don’t have an official timeline for Galaxy devices, but with Project Treble in place, you might not have to wait until 2019 if you own a flagship like the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy Note 9. That said, we could see Android Pie hit older devices like the Galaxy S8 sometime next year.
Samsung Turkey Android update release timeline is typically accurate and the regional arm plans to roll out Oreo updates through 2018. This means some Galaxy devices will likely have a long wait for Android 9.0 Pie.
Install Android Oreo for Better Security
If you store sensitive data on your Galaxy S7, and we assume most of you do, you'll probably want to install the Android Oreo update soon after it arrives for your phone.
Samsung's Galaxy S7 Oreo updates come with important security updates from Samsung and Google. If you're curious about the contents of Samsung's latest security updates, you can read more about these changes on Samsung's website.
On top of the latest patches from Samsung and Google, Samsung's Galaxy S7 Oreo update also brings some other important security features to help protect you and your device from harm.
The company's Oreo update delivers security improvements to Samsung Pay, the Galaxy S7's popular mobile payment solution.
The Galaxy S7 Oreo update also comes with enhancements to the handy Find My Mobile solution.
Samsung's updates to Find My Mobile include the ability to remotely back up Secure Folder to Samsung Cloud when you lose your phone and the ability to lock up Samsung Pass using Find My Mobile.