Now that Android 9.0 Pie is rolling out to select Galaxy models around the world we want to give Samsung Galaxy owners a look at what we know, and think we know, about the company’s plans for 2019 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 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 every Galaxy Android 9.0 Pie update, but thanks to early announcements, 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 what 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 take months for Samsung to roll out Android 9.0 updates for all Galaxy devices. In fact, the company is still focused on getting Android Oreo out to devices lingering on Android Nougat.
Samsung started with the Galaxy S8, but the Android Oreo and Samsung Experience 9.0 has started to spread to flagships and most mid-range devices.
In late 2018, the company 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. The Galaxy Note 9 is joined by the Galaxy Tab S4 and Galaxy Tab A 10.5, two newer 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 Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series. We expect more devices to move from Android Nougat to Android 8.1 Oreo in early 2019.
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.
Samsung Galaxy January Update
Samsung continues to roll out monthly security updates and the latest update, based on Android Oreo, delivers fixes for three critical vulnerabilities and four fixes for Samsung’s own Vulnerabilities and Exposures (SVE).
The company’s January security update is rolling out to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 with Android Pie. It’s also rolling out to the Galaxy S8, Galaxy A5 (2016), Galaxy A5 (2017), and Galaxy A8s and Galaxy S7 in select regions though the updates are based on Android Oreo.
We expect the patches to hit other flagships and mid-range devices over the course of the month. 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 full blown 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 January, 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 the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 Pie updates we have our official look at Samsung’s version of Android 9.0 which includes a new user interface dubbed One UI. It looks a lot different than Samsung’s previous iterations.
The UI was formerly known as Samsung Experience and TouchWiz and most devices are currently running Samsung Experience 9.5 or Experience 9.0.
Highlights from Android 9.0 Pie and the One UI include:
- Night Mode
- Unicode 11.0
- 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.
- Improvements to Always on Display
- Revamped Samsung Messages.
- Bixby Home UI changes including curved borders.
- Floating keyboard.
- Lift to wake.
The Galaxy S9’s Android Pie update brings the Galaxy Note 9’s Scene Optimizer for the camera which automatically enhances colors to fit the photo’s environment.
It also delivers the Galaxy Note 9’s Flaw Detection feature. If you’re unfamiliar, the Galaxy Note 9’s software detects flaws like blurriness, blinking, and smudges in your photos.
There’s 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 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 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. They aren’t included on Samsung’s official Android Pie roadmaps.
Older devices like that the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 probably won’t get upgraded to Android Pie. Neither device has received an upgrade to Android Oreo.
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 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)
Again, Samsung typically provides two major Android updates before killing off support. It could make some major changes with Android Pie, but nothing is confirmed.
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 the company released its own Android 9.0 beta for select Galaxy devices.
At one point the Android Pie beta was limited to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9, but Samsung’s launched an Android Pie beta for Galaxy Note 8 users in South Korea and India.
The company’s also launched a Galaxy S8 Android Pie beta for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users in India. We expect it to expand soon.
Samsung Galaxy Android Pie Release Date
If you own a Galaxy phone or tablet that’s relatively new, you’ll likely get Android Pie in 2019.
At its annual developer conference Samsung confirmed plans to release Android Pie for the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9 in January, 2019 with other devices to follow.
The company’s already pushed Android Pie to Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ models in select regions, but the full blown release will likely take place later on this month.
Samsung has pulled the Android Pie update out of beta for the Galaxy S9 and the official version is rolling out in several regions including:
- Czech Republic
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Samsung has also released Android Pie for the Galaxy Note 9 and it’s available in Germany, India, South Korea, the UAE, and a few other regions ahead of a wider release.
Samsung Turkey says that it plans to push the update out on February 1st though it’s likely a placeholder date.
The Galaxy S8, and Galaxy Note 8 have been certified with Android Pie, but according to Samsung’s roadmaps, the devices will get Android Pie in February or March.
Samsung’s also started testing Android Pie on the Galaxy A series. The Galaxy A7 (2018) has been spotted on Geekbench running the Android Pie update. The Galaxy A8 (2018) and Galaxy A9 (2018) have also been certified with Android Pie
These appearances doesn’t mean that these updates will roll out in January, but this early testing means the update could arrive for cheaper devices fairly early on in 2019.
Here’s how Samsung’s official Android Pie release date breakdown looks:
- Galaxy S9 – January, 2019
- Galaxy S9+ – January, 2019
- Galaxy Note 9 – January/February, 2019
- Galaxy S8 – February/March, 2019
- Galaxy S8+ – February/March, 2019
- Galaxy Note 8 – February/March, 2019
- Galaxy A8 (2018) – April, 2019
- Galaxy A8+ (2018) – April, 2019
- Galaxy A7 (2018) – April, 2019
- Galaxy A9 (2018) – April, 2019
- Galaxy Tab S4 10.5 – April, 2019
- Galaxy J4 – May, 2019
- Galaxy J4+ – May, 2019
- Galaxy J6 – May, 2019
- Galaxy J6+ – May, 2019
- Galaxy A8 Star – May, 2019
- Galaxy J7 (2017) – July, 2019
- Galaxy J7 Duo – August, 2019
- Galaxy Xcover 4 – September, 2019
- Galaxy J3 (2017) – September, 2019
- Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 – September, 2019
- Galaxy Tab A (2017) – October, 2019
- Galaxy Tab Active 2 – October, 2019
- Galaxy Tab A 10.5 – October, 2019
These are all target dates and are subject to change based on internal testing.
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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