With Samsung’s Android Pie roll out picking up speed, owners of older devices like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are starting to wonder about the future.
Samsung and its carrier partners still haven’t detailed their Android Pie plans in full and that’s left owners of older Galaxy phones and tablets wondering what will happen this year.
More specifically, Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active owners want to know if the device will get upgraded to Pie, when the update could arrive, and what will happen to the Galaxy S7 if Samsung decides to keep the devices on Android Oreo.
It could take months for Samsung to officially fill in all of the blanks so we want to take an early look at what you can expect if you own a Galaxy S7.
Galaxy S7 Android 8.1 Update
Before we get to Android Pie, we want to address a question we’ve been getting about the Galaxy S7’s Android Oreo update.
A lot of Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active users are curious if the devices will get upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo, a newer version of Oreo that debuted in 2018 on Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9.
As of right now, we expect all three Galaxy S7 models to stick around on Android 8.0 Oreo and here’s why.
Samsung might be rolling out Android 8.1, but the new version is only available on newer models (like the Galaxy Tab S4) and phones and tablets that moved from Android Nougat to Android Oreo for the first time.
The company could surprise us, but we expect devices currently running Android 8.0 to stay on Android 8.0 or get bumped up to Android 9.0 Pie and Samsung’s One UI experience.
Galaxy S7 Pie Beta
Samsung used to keep its beta program exclusive to flagship Galaxy S models. That changed in 2019.
Samsung recently released an Android Pie beta for select Galaxy A models giving owners of those devices a chance to try the software early.
If Samsung does decide to release a Galaxy S7 Android Pie update, there’s a chance it rolls out a beta for the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge given their popularity.
Galaxy S7 Pie Update
Samsung typically keeps Galaxy phones and tablets updated with major Android software updates for two years before killing off support.
The Galaxy S7 started on Android Marshmallow and got bumped up to Android Nougat and Android Oreo. Unless Samsung decides to offer another year of software support, the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active will stick around on Android Oreo.
One of the advantages Apple’s iPhone has over Galaxy devices is that it gets four plus years of continuous software support. For example the company’s iPhone 5s, a device that started on iOS 7, was upgraded to Apple’s iOS 12 operating system in September, 2018.
There’s a chance (albeit a small one) Samsung decides to change its policy this year with Android Pie, but Galaxy S7 users shouldn’t hold their breath.
We’ve seen several Android Pie roadmaps emerge and none of them list the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge or Galaxy S7 Active. This doesn’t rule these updates out, but it certainly doesn’t bode well for the future.
Galaxy S7 Pie Release Date
If Samsung decides to release Android Pie for the Galaxy S7, and that’s a huge if, the official release isn’t coming in early 2019.
Samsung’s first batch of Android Pie updates are rolling out to the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy A series but many users are still waiting for their upgrade.
We expect a wider roll out to take place in March and April as Samsung and its carrier partners work through testing behind the scenes. In the weeks ahead, the company will shift its focus to mid-range phones and tablets.
The Galaxy Note 7 FE and several other Galaxy devices have been certified running Android Pie. Unfortunately, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge certifications are still nowhere to be found.
This doesn’t rule a Galaxy S7 Android Pie update out, but it means the release, if there is one, is long way out. Samsung’s Android Pie roadmaps also list Android release dates through October, 2019 and Galaxy S7 models aren’t listed anywhere.
If a Galaxy S7 Android Pie update is in the cards it will arrive months after Android Pie touches down for newer Galaxy phones and tablets.
If Samsung decides not to bring Android Pie to the Galaxy S7, software support won’t stop.
The Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 Edge, and Galaxy S7 Active are still on Samsung’s list for monthly security updates. These updates are typically focused on plugging up potential exploits, but they sometimes bring bug fixes and new features as well. Samsung recently rolled out the March security update to the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge.
Once they’re removed from the list, Samsung will continue to issue quarterly updates to the three devices. In other words, support likely won’t end in 2019. You can expect a steady flow of software updates (again, likely based on Android 8.0 Oreo) throughout the year.
You should also be able to root your Samsung Galaxy S7 and get most of the features from Android Pie and Samsung’s new One UI. The Galaxy S7 development community is still active and developers have already ported Pie over to the Galaxy S7.
If you haven’t explored the world of rooting and custom ROMs, it might be a good idea to do so because it might be the only way to get Android Pie on your phone.
Track Android Pie
If you're extremely interested in Android Pie, and because you're here we assume that you are, you'll want to track Samsung's progress as we push through the year.
If Samsung decides to push an official version of Android Pie to Galaxy S7 models, we'll almost certainly hear about it ahead of time.
The company could trot out a beta (it recently included select Galaxy A models in the Pie beta program) ahead of the final release.
If it's in the cards, we'd expect to see a Wi-Fi certification emerge well in advance. We could also see the update itself leak out ahead of time.
There's also a chance Samsung's carrier partners confirm plans ahead of time. Carriers like T-Mobile in the United States and Rogers in Canada keep updated Android schedules where they provide reliable information about updates and release dates.
Keep you eyes peeled for news and rumors as Samsung's Android Pie update picks up speed. This will help you set appropriate expectations.
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