With Google’s Android P update making progress we want to provide Samsung Galaxy owners a look at what we know and what we think we know about the company’s plans.
Earlier this year Google pushed out an Android P Developer Preview to Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL users ahead of an official release this fall.
At Google I/O, the company confirmed a flurry of new details including a batch of new devices eligible to try the Android P beta.
Google recently released the second Android P beta bringing bug fixes and additional tweaks to its new mobile operating system.
With Android P making progress and with the Android 8.0 Oreo update pushing out to Galaxy owners across the globe, owners of Samsung’s many Galaxy-branded phones and tablets are starting to wonder about the future.
Samsung hasn’t confirmed any Galaxy Android P updates yet, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we can start to piece together its plans for the rest of 2018 and beyond.
In this guide we’re going to take you through a few things you should know about Android P if you own a 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.
Samsung Android 8.0 Oreo Update
Android P is an exciting update, but it’ll be weeks before Samsung rolls out its first Android P update to Galaxy users. For now, the company’s focused on getting Android Oreo out to its Galaxy phones and tablets.
Samsung started with the Galaxy S8, but the Android 8.0 Oreo and Samsung Experience 9.0 has started to spread to other flagships and mid-range devices.
Samsung’s planning a flurry of Android 8.0 updates this summer and if your device is eligible for an upgrade, it should get bumped up from Android Nougat to Android Oreo in the near future.
While Android P is certainly lurking on the horizon, the company is primarily focused on finishing up its Android Oreo roll out and fixing bugs that’ve emerged alongside its updates.
Samsung Android 8.1 Oreo
With the final Android P release planned for the fall, there’s a chance the rest of Samsung’s 2018 devices come with the new operating system on board. There’s also a good chance devices like the rumored Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4 are running Android Oreo when they arrive later this year.
At this stage it looks like Samsung is still testing Android 8.1, a newer version of Android Oreo, on the Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4.
Last year, Samsung launched its Galaxy Note 8 in August with Android 7.1.1 Nougat on board. This was after Google released the final version of Android Oreo for Nexus and Pixel users.
Samsung kept most devices on Android 7.0 Nougat, but did push select Android 7.1.1 updates to devices moving directly from Marshmallow to Nougat.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 might run Android Oreo out of the box, but it sounds like the company will upgrade the device’s user interface.
Samsung is reportedly working on tweaks to the software that could make the Experience UI less intensive on the Galaxy Note 9. In other words, we could see a much smoother experience.
If the Galaxy Note 9 does come stock with Android Oreo, it’ll likely be one of the first devices in Samsung’s fleet to get upgraded with Android P. It could also get upgraded quicker much than usual.
With a Galaxy Note 9 launch confirmed for early August and a release rumored in late August, we should find out more in the near future.
Typically Samsung users 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 P 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 S9 and Galaxy S9+ come with Project Treble baked into Android Oreo. 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 its plans.
Shortly after the conclusion of Google’s Android I/O keynote, chipmaker Qualcomm announced 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 is rumored to have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset on board and the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ already utilize the processor.
This is great news if you own the Galaxy S9 or if you’re planning to buy the Galaxy Note 9 later this year.
Samsung Android P Beta
While OEMs like Sony have partnered with Google and Qualcomm to offer an early preview of Android P, Samsung isn’t part of the early beta program.
The list of supported phones includes 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 Vivo X21/UD.
It’s unclear if Samsung plans to become part of the beta process down the road or if it’ll wait to offer an Android P to select users shortly after the official version is released this fall.
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 Android P Release Date
If you own a Galaxy phone or tablet you won’t get the official version of Android P until later this year. At the earliest.
Google’s released an official Android P release timeline and the official version won’t be out until the third quarter of this year which means a release date in July, August, or September.
The company recently released the fourth Android P Developer Preview and it’s the first release candidate. A fifth developer preview is set for sometime in July or August.
We don’t have an official timeline for Galaxy devices, but with Project Treble in place, you likely won’t have to wait until 2019 if you own a flagship like the Galaxy S9 or Galaxy Note 9.
That said, we could see the Android P roll out for older devices like the Galaxy S8 push into next year.
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.
The first wave of Galaxy S7 Oreo updates bring Samsung's batch of April patches. The batch includes security updates from not only Samsung, but Google as well.
If you failed to download a security update from another month, you'll also get those patches when you go to install Android Oreo on your Galaxy S7.
If you're curious about the contents of Samsung's latest security update, you can read more about the 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. The 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.