With Google’s Android 9.0 Pie update starting to roll out 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.
Initially we thought the Android P update would arrive in late August, but Google’s surprised beta testers with an official release and an official name.
Android P is officially called Android 9.0 Pie and it’s hitting Pixel devices (Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL), and devices like the Essential phone, right now.
With Android 9.0 Pie official and with the Android Oreo update pushing out to Galaxy owners across the globe, 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 the rest of 2018 and beyond.
In this guide we’re going to take you through a few things you should know about Android Pie 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.
Android 8.0 Oreo
Android Pie is an exciting update, but it’ll be weeks before Samsung rolls out its first Android 9.0 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.
Android 8.1 Oreo
The final version of Android 9.0 Pie is out, but Samsung’s sticking with Android 8.1 Oreo for now.
Samsung recently confirmed its all new Galaxy Note 9 and the new flagship will be running Android Oreo, not Android Pie, when it arrives later on this month.
The Galaxy Note 9 joins the Galaxy Tab S4 and Galaxy Tab A 10.5, two new tablets that are also running Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.
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. We also expect Android 8.1 to hit other devices in the weeks to come.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 will run Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box, but it could get upgraded much faster than Galaxy devices typically do.
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 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 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 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 later this year.
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 the 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.
Again, the Essential phone is also getting upgraded with Android Pie.
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 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.
Keep an eye out as we push through the summer.
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 this year.” In other words, we could see the first Galaxy Android 9.0 Pie updates roll out before the end of the year.
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 Android Pie hit older devices like the Galaxy S8 late in 2018 or, in some cases, 2019. Samsung’s pushed some Oreo updates into late 2018 and early 2019.
One other quick note about Android Pie. If you own a Samsung Gear device you’ll want to download the latest update for the “Galaxy Wearable” application.
The Android Pie update completely broke Samsung’s Gear devices like the Gear S3 and Gear Sport. Samsung failed to update its apps to support Android Pie in a timely manner.
Fortunately, Samsung’s pushed out an update and it brings support for Android Pie and Gear users are now able to pair their phones with their smartwatches.
Mileage could vary, but the update is worth a shot if you’ve been unable to pair your Gear to a device running Android 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.