After an early roll-out that saw a couple people get in on the update early, Samsung has officially announced that it has opened its beta program for testing Android 8.0 Oreo on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Not only does it bump the core Android version to 8.0, but the beta update also includes the latest "Samsung Experience" version 9.0, which is shaping up to be a nice jump up from version 8.5 launched with the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung says that the software being previewed here will be closely related to what launches on the "next flagship Galaxy device" — aka the Galaxy S9.
As usual, there are a few caveats here. For those of us in the U.S. to get in on the beta, we'll need to have a Sprint, T-Mobile or U.S. unlocked version of the Galaxy S8 or S8+. (For what it's worth, I wasn't prompted for the registration until I put an active SIM in my phone.) If you're in the UK, you need to have a non-carrier SIM-free model. Unfortunately the Note 8 isn't included in the beta at this time — though we can expect to see very similar software on the Note 8 when it exits beta.
The process of signing up for the Oreo beta is pretty simple. Just download the Samsung+ app from Google Play (or Samsung Members app outside of the U.S.), sign in with your Samsung Account and wait to see if you receive the prompt to enroll in the app — it'll show up right on the main screen.
Last year's beta program for testing Nougat on the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge was severely limited at first to just several thousand people, but Samsung has bumped that up this year to 10,000. It does say that there will be "additional rounds" of registration, but it isn't clear if that means it will open up more slots overall.
Have you enrolled in the beta program on your Galaxy S8 or S8+ yet? Let us know in the comments!
Samsung Experience 9.0 Beta Now Available
Samsung Electronics today announced the launch of the Samsung Experience 9.0 beta, part of the Galaxy beta program which offers select customers a chance to experience new features available through the Galaxy ecosystem.
Previously known as TouchWiz, Samsung Experience is based on the Android OS and has expanded beyond the user interface to provide Galaxy users with a consistent and seamless experience across all Samsung mobile software, apps and services. This change is in recognition of the increasing suite of unique services Samsung has developed for the Galaxy devices.
Following Samsung Experience version 8.5, which was released with the Galaxy Note8, Samsung Experience 9.0 is based on the latest version of the operating system built on the Android Oreo UI and UX, and will be available on the next flagship Galaxy device.
Samsung is launching a Samsung Experience 9.0 beta program for select customers. Starting on November 2, 2017, Galaxy S8 and S8+ users based in South Korea, the U.S. and the U.K*. will have the opportunity to preview the upcoming Samsung Experience 9.0 before its official release, with additional rounds of registration.
The beta period will allow Samsung to gather helpful insights and feedback from customers on their first impressions of the Samsung Experience 9.0 beta's performance** and usability during the testing period*** to develop a more reliable, high-performing software package and provide Galaxy users with an improved and optimized experience.
To apply for the program, users must have an active Samsung Account and meet certain requirements. The Galaxy beta program may be provided via the Samsung Members app or the Samsung+ app for the U.S., which are available through the Google Play store or Galaxy Apps, depending on the user's country of residence.
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