With Samsung’s first Android Pie release rolling out right now, owners of older devices like the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge are starting to think about the future.
Samsung’s released the official version of Android Pie for the Galaxy S9 and with more upgrades planned for January, 2019. The company’s also released an Android Pie beta for the Galaxy Note 9 with a release scheduled to take place sometime in January.
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.
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 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 new version is only available on newer models (like the Galaxy Note 9 and 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.
Galaxy S7 Pie Beta
Samsung recently released an Android Pie beta, but the beta was limited to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 in select regions.
Unless Samsung drastically changes the way it handles betas, we expect the Android Pie/One UI beta to remain exclusive to these devices.
Even if Samsung does decide to extend the Galaxy S7’s software support for another year, the devices probably won’t get an Android Pie beta.
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, but 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 recently upgraded to Apple’s iOS 12 operating system.
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 official Android Pie updates are slated to hit the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ and Galaxy Note 9 in January.
After that, the company will shift its focus to former flagships like the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8 Active, and Galaxy Note 8 before turning its attention to mid-range devices and older models.
The Galaxy S9, Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8, and Galaxy Note 7 FE have all been certified running Android Pie with Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge certifications 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 the Galaxy S7 models are nowhere to be found.
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.
Once they’re removed from that 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 (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.
Install Pie for Better Security
If you value your security you should think about installing the Galaxy S9 Oreo update soon after it arrives for your phone.
Samsung continues to push important security patches for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ and your Android Pie update will bring the latest patches from Samsung, and Google, to your phone.
The Galaxy S9 Android Pie update delivers the company's latest security updates and we expect upcoming releases to come with newer security patches.
If you're curious about Samsung's security updates, you can read more about the changes on Samsung's website.
If you failed to download an older security update from another month, you'll get those patches when you go to install Android Pie on your Galaxy S9 for the first time.
The Android Pie update also comes with additional security enhancements including Lockdown Mode which is located in your security settings.
If you enable the Lockdown option via your settings you can quickly disable Smart Lock, biometrics unlock, and notifications on the lock screen so that prying eyes can't use them to access your device.
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