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The unbearable slowness of Samsung's updates

Every year around this time, as I prepare for another onslaught of Samsung leaks, rumors, and eventual reveals and reviews, I try to take a look back at the company's update track record — and I'm always disappointed.

Just this week, Samsung announced that its extended and relatively exclusive Oreo beta is ending, which means that an update to Android 8.0 is imminent for devices like the Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8. Great. But I've been using Oreo since August on devices like the original Pixel, and a good chunk of the phones on my office desk, including some that shipped with the latest version, have been enjoying Oreo since well before Thanksgiving.

Year after year, the world's biggest phone manufacturer fails to deliver on its promise for timely software updates, and in doing so significantly depresses the overall tally in the process. Google can push updates to its Nexus and Pixel lineup as quickly as it wants (and it does), and companies like Sony, HTC, OnePlus and others can help make a dent, but it's not until Samsung begins its lumbering annual rollout that the tectonic shift begins anew. With Oreo still on under 1% of devices, that massive endeavor can't come quickly enough.

It's not like Samsung is new to this game. Articles like this have been proffered since at least 2012, and the company has indeed improved the quality of its software output, but the stakes are just so much higher these days. Samsung increasingly owns the Android market, and its dominance puts the Android team at Google — separate from the Pixel hardware team — in a tenuous position. As we've seen from previews of Android 8.0 Oreo on the Galaxy S8, through the beta program, this particular update isn't nearly as significant an aesthetic or feature overhaul as last year's jump to Nougat was, and yet we're coming up on a year since Samsung began rolling that out. It didn't hit carriers in the U.S. until late February.

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Earlier this month, we asked people what their biggest frustrations are with Android right now. The number one response by a wide margin? Lack of updates.

With the Galaxy S9 being announced on February 25th, and an expected release date just three weeks later, on March 16th, it's clear that Samsung is using the availability of the latest version of Android as a selling feature. Forget the Galaxy S8 for a moment — most people updating to the S9 will be coming from an S6 or S7, which, in the case of the S6 series, won't receive Oreo at all, or receive it later this year, as promised to the S7 line. A jump to Android 8.0 out of the box, with all its performance improvements and additional features, is leverage that Samsung hopes to use to sell a few more phones.

Whenever I take this indignant stance towards Samsung's languid approach to software updates, I risk not taking the other side into account: with great power comes great responsibility. Given that Samsung has the world's largest fleet of phones waiting for updates, it must ensure that the experience is largely bug-free, with UI elements and software features adapted to its numerous regional partners. I don't envy the teams in charge of such quality assurance.

No Android manufacturer is good at updates, but Samsung's prolonged cycles impact the most people at once.

At the same time, Google released the first Android O developer preview on March 21 last year. Oreo was first publicly available on August 21, and the Sony Xperia XZ1, the first phone to arrive with Oreo out of the box, came a month later.

With the Galaxy S9 series inevitably shipping with Oreo out of the box, it's possible Samsung will support Treble, a system that could potentially speed up software updates in years to come. According to Google, "Project Treble will make it easier, faster and less costly for device maker partners when these devices are updated in the future."

Not that, nor any other Google tool or incentivization, will provide solace to millions of Android users, whether they know it or not, waiting for the latest version. It's not just about new features, either: every update helps developers improve their apps, and makes it easier for IT managers to troubleshoot problems. It's a virtuous cycle that Samsung can perpetuate, but like in years past, customers continue to be placed second.

Here's what else is on my mind this week.

  • We took a few weeks off from the podcast over new years, but we've released three in the past two weeks and they're very good. The gaming-focused one, in particular, is a lot of fun if you haven't listened to it already.
  • That Samsung is focusing on camera improvements for the Galaxy S9 is understandable. What's struck me after picking up the Note 8 again in recent days is just how far it needs to come to compete with the Pixel 2 on imaging.
  • Andrew is right on the money here. Android, as occasionally frustrating as it is for new and veteran users alike, no longer needs to be rooted (it arguably never did) to save it from its poor decisions. I haven't rooted a phone in nearly five years.
  • Jerry wrote some smart things about limits on government surveillance, especially in light of the extension to Section 702 of FISA. Worth the read.
  • Three weeks ago, I wrote about smartphone addiction. Three weeks ago, I decided to make a concerted effort to use my phone less. I've deleted Twitter from my smartphones (limiting use to my laptop) which has helped, but the next step is to set timers for the amount of time I spend on the phone in general. Small but important steps to taking back control of my digital life.
  • Peace.


Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • the real reason is they have your(and Mine) money already and are laughing all the way to the bank!
  • They don't have mine because I didn't buy a Note 8 (and previous notes) ONLY because of the update situation, I'd really like a stylus.
  • They always get your money... I don't think I own a single Samsung product, but guess who manufactured the display, RAM, flash module and gods know what else in my phone?
  • More of your money than if you bought one of their own products, in one case. From a Forbes article a few months back: "In fact, according to analyst firm Counterpoint, Apple is expected to sell 130 million iPhone X over the next two years, which would give Samsung close to $14 billion in additional revenue. For what it's worth, Samsung is only estimated to make $10 billion in profits from its own Galaxy S8 devices over that same span. This means the iPhone X is bringing Samsung more money than the company's own flagship."
  • That statement equates revenue to profits. Not the same thing at all....ridiculous journalism.
  • The fact that Samsung is such a huge and profitable company when it comes to cell phones, does not directly relate to their ability (or willingness) to update the devices they put out there. They operate in a constant conflict of interest, updating old devices results in less reasons for users to buy their new devices. While I despise Samsung's implementation of Android (Touchwiz = Burn it with Fire) at least some of the blame should be laid squarely at Google. It's now been a decade since Android came out. It runs on the linux kernel. Why didn't they abstract the graphical interface of Android separately from the rest of the OS? Google could absolutely make it so that the OS, by itself, updates it's core safely and securely. This way it would not be relying on Samsung to update the entire OS and push updates to the client. The fact the masses continue to buy these devices, year after year, is really discouraging. I do understand the appeal of the Samsung hardware. My and my wife's Galaxy Nexus phones continue to work so many years later. Good hardware, terrible software.
  • Touchwiz works great
  • LG. Lol. Pixel XL 2. But yeah they got some in parts. Can't give them money for hardware like phones or computers.
  • And this is why you root phones. This is in response to an article from a couple of days ago.
  • Root for samsung phones is a no go. Actual fuses (e fuse)on its soc would be set off pernamently disabling samsung pay, voiding warranty and other samsung services.
  • I don't feel sorry for you by being "always disappointed". I loved my Note 3. But that was my first and last Samsung phone.
  • Yep. Same boat as you. Samsung hardware is absolutely beautiful but horrible software updates has made me never get another one.
  • Yeah, they should roll them out faster and have to constantly issues updates like Google and the Pixel
  • exactly same, first and my last. I still remember getting ONE update (Android 4 to 5.0, and that's it) after 6.0 is already available. Pissed me off greatly. Not to mention all the crapware they tried to force down your throat. And the terrible skinned Android. Pixel 2 timely updates feels so welcomed and stock Android experience so darn refreshing.. there's no going back ever.
  • "after picking up the Note 8 again in recent days is just how far it needs to come to compete with the Pixel 2 on imaging" This alone tells me you know nothing of photography nor are you willing to learn. If you want to point and shoot, sure, keep using the iPixel. It's the only thing that phone is actually great at.
    But the day you want to learn how photography works or want to actually have control over what you shoot, on that day you'll realise it's the iPixel that has a LONG way to go to compete with Galaxy flagships. Or LG flagships. As for Samsung's updates: you answered your own question. They're the largest Android OEM with the largest device catalogue. To deploy updates faster they'd need a team far far bigger and more expensive to maintain.
    And when you consider NO ONE in the real world actually gives two sh*ts about updates (only we do), you'll quickly realise that Samsung is pretty happy with spending its money somewhere else ;)
  • Actually, one doesn’t need to go a long way. Sideload the Google Camera port. Cleans up output really well.
  • Not compared to the Samsung camera app. Same indoor shot with some ambient light with HDR turned on in both apps, and the Google camera app shot produces significantly more noise and some odd rainbow artifacts in the upper and lower left corners. The Samsung camera app produces a much cleaner shot with equally good detail. Not surprising, since Samsung surely tuned the noise reduction for their own sensor, and the Google camera app is probably applying some default profile.
  • The artifacts haven’t appeared on mine, but in the conditions I used it in, the Google Camera app actually produced shots I preferred over the Samsung app. Problem with the Samsung camera app is that the HDR mode often worked as a shadow-brightening mode. The shadows are brightened up nicely but the highlights either stayed the same or got blown out. The Google Camera app balanced both nicely and actually made for a nice shot. Granted, it’s not always better. Some indoor scenarios had Samsung’s app winning by a significant margin with better exposure and significantly less noise (without compromising on detail) but during my time with both, I preferred what the Google camera app produced, mostly due to the dynamic range. In fact, I actually captured one photo with it that was good enough to use as a wallpaper on my iPad.
  • If you really want to learn how photography works and want full control over your photos, get a DSLR. Most people can't be bothered to go into manual mode to futz with the settings and in this case the Pixel 2 does incredibly well. Also portrait mode is much better on the Pixel 2 (and no amount of manual controls on current Samsung phones is going to change that). Pixel phones also have great battery life and frequent updates. So yes, although YOU want manual controls for photos - which can be done with 3rd party apps for the Pixel), it doesn't mean everyone needs it. Then again I know you're just a troll who's never happy anyways (based on other comments) so I have no idea why I'm even responding.
  • I have two DSLRs and I prefer the camera of the Note 8 over the Pixels. Saying the Note 8 has a long way to go is a little ridiculous though no matter how you slice it. It shows tremendous bias, because no matter how you look at it, the Note 8 is still a good camera. Saying it has a long way to go implies that it isn't. A lot of reviews and user opinions all over the Internet say otherwise.
  • And who do you blame for Samsung having the "largest device catalogue" and the need for a big team? They control the # devices as well as the software on them, its up to them whether they have one OS version or one for each device.
  • Why do you have to blame anyone? Simply don't buy one if this is an issue. I would rather have it good than fast and broken
  • If you want to do real photography, use a real camera.
  • Not necessarily. You still need to learn the core essentials. If you don’t yet have an actual camera, you can use your phone to practice some of the basics like ISO and shutter speed along with composition. By the time you graduate to an actual camera, you’ll be able to understand how apertures work and focal-length. And perhaps by then, you’ll understand most of it that the only thing left to do is to acquaint yourself with the camera’s control scheme. The thing which annoys me is seeing people say that you need a real camera to do real photography. I viscerally disagree with that because I’m a firm believer that the equipment doesn’t make a photographer but how he/she interprets their photographic vision through the use of whatever skills they have. It’s much easier and more flexible to use an actual camera, but I always find using a phone camera an interesting challenge because the limited nature of their hardware like small sensors, fixed focal length and smaller lens sizes often mean I needed to compensate more through a longer shutter speed and more effort in Lightroom to clean up output. It may never look as nice as output from my a6000 but it’s such an interesting challenge that I sometimes like to do it.
  • It's true that there's nothing wrong with learning how to use the manual setting if you have time and especially how to compose a picture, but taking pictures with a phone is like cooking with a microwave. They're meant to be quick and dirty. You can get some decent results, but it's a bit silly to get judgemental and pretentious because your microwave has more granular controls. It's still a microwave. For what it's worth, I always use the manual controls on my microwave, never the preset programmes. The results are just that much better if you put the effort in, you know?
  • Fuzz - I prefer manual mode for my microwave as well ;)
    However, there's a lot of "real" cameras that are just not as good as what we get on some of the flagship phones anymore. I've got cameras from Olympus, Fuji, HP, and Panasonic that just look bad now in comparison. I still have my Nikon 8400 which I keep because of the special spherical lenses I have for it. This was my favorite camera which I used professionally in some situations until last year, but it physically cannot take as high a quality photos as some smartphones no matter what you do with the settings. It was also my vacation camera because it was easier to carry for hours than a full DSLR, and took better pictures than a smartphone, but those days are gone and the U11 (for example) has a full pro mode and captures better quality photos. There's a couple situations where the 8400 will be better, like spherical photos and lighting up an entire building interior with sequenced flash modes, but for everything else, it got left behind.
  • Manual controls do not make for a better picture. Unless we are talking about DSLRs. 99% of phone owners leave it set on what is out of the box, so all those manual controls are used by essentially no one. Face it, Samsung has fallen behind just a bit in the camera department, and eight years in software.
  • Exactly, I don't know why people sit in a corner crying and paralyzed because their phone doesn't have the absolute latest software. Yes, I'd rather the work being put into stable releases rather than letting the public be the beta testers. Googs is notorious for fixing A and breaking B. I can't have that with my business tool. If your camera is your best quality...yay for you, I guess, Pixelers
  • I'll never purchase another Samsung phone because of the lack of updates. It's a shame that older Samsung phones are receiving the Orio update, not the Note. The Note 8 should have shipped with Orio and I agree Samsung doesn't give a crap about updates.
  • The Note is getting Oreo though...
  • But it's not getting "Orio," whatever that is.
  • Maybe it's an off-brand
  • What the hell is "Orio"?? 😕
  • Round on both ends and ri in the middle
  • I've owned 2 Samsung phones in the past. Great hardware (except for the exploding ones), but the software is a mess. Way too much cr@pware pre-installed on the phones, both from Samsung and the carriers. And the software upgrade system is really slow and unpredictable. Now that Google is finally starting to build good quality phones, I'm probably sticking with them for the foreseeable future.
  • not buying Samsung because of slow updates is valid. Samsung software is top notch now. My Note is just as fast 5 months later as It was out of the box. it's simply fantastic. I honestly wouldn't even mind the slow Major updates as much if Samsung would update security MONTHLY. not every 60-90 days
  • Same here. I'm not that bothered about Oreo per se, but I AM bothered about security patches. Up until New Year my Note 8 was still on the August 2017 patch, i.e. 5 months out of date. But then, blow me, Samsung released the Jan 18 patch late last week. First time I've known them get a patch out in the same month as Google released it. It's very erratic and very unsatisfactory.
  • I'll echo this. I buy a phone for the software it's running now, not what it may have in the distant future. Nougat runs fine on my S8, and I'd be more upset if Samsung rushed out an Oreo update that ruined my phone. But the unpredictable security patches are annoying, and every company should be as committed as Google and Blackberry are to pushing those out. There's no good reason that I can think of for delaying them.
  • Really? Have you seen what the Samsung phones can do vs the Google phones?
  • The S8 Oreo beta has been great. Can't wait for the final build.
  • Here’s the problem I see with this article. Samsung’s update rollout has been slower than others using leaner flavors of Android, but at this point, we should probably start talking about others who are slower still about rolling out Android updates, like Huawei, of which my mom’s Honor 8 Pro has received only 3 updates throughout its 5 month life. It’s not just Samsung. There are others who are worse still when it comes to rolling out security updates and OS version upgrades. Samsung is far from my ideal choice for software update timelines but if I had to choose between them and someone like one of the 2 BBK subsidiaries, I would have to pick Sammy because while they’re slow, they do at the very least send out some patches. The BBK subsidiaries do send out patches too, just more slowly. It’s indicative of a wider problem and while Treble could resolve part of that, I think more could be done to ease the process.
  • What's wrong with 3 updates in 5 months? That doesn't seem too bad to me.
  • It was neglected entirely for 3 whole months. I also have to mention that my Note was neglected for a month. Come on you two.....
  • We're talking major OS updates here, not patches or security updates. Those are important but not really the topic of discussion here.
  • I’d wager that at this point, security updates should be scrutinized as well. Not having timely OS updates is not good, but that alongside the lack of security patches is downright embarrassing
  • Timely is relative.
  • Nothing wrong with that amount of updates at all.
  • When put like that, it doesn't seem that bad. But US model Honor 8s (not 8 Pro) have also not been great at updates for a while according to some users. Kinda feel that more manufacturers need to be held accountable, especially for inconsistent delivery of security patches.
  • Well, its better than my Lenovo tablet which has never had an update in four years! Not even one, and still running jellybean...
  • ASUS Zenfone 2 Still on Marshmallow with zero patches since late 2016... Meanwhile, my crappy backup is on January 2018 (yay) but it’s still on Marshmallow (boo)
  • I just hope in 2019 when I can upgrade my phone the Pixel will no longer be exclusive to Verizon.
  • This!
  • Why not buy it SIM free from Google?
  • Because some people use Jump programs...
  • Like complaining you can't get out of the house because you painted yourself into the corner of the living room?
  • I’m not sure he was complaining though. Only hoping the Pixel goes to more carriers.
  • or Next programs. Not to mention even if I buy It unlocked, the pixel won't support AT&T HD Voice... so until they make one that works 100% with AT&T, I won't buy anything at all from them
  • AT&T made a special allowance a few months ago only for the Pixels, it either allows them to make use of AT&T’s HD Voice or WiFi calling, or both. I can’t remember off the top of my head if it was one of the two or both, but you should ask an AT&T TECHNICAL rep, not a regular customer service rep. The article was on 9to5Google.
  • I just hope in 2019 people realize they don't have to buy from useless carriers and can buy from phones from other places (with financing if needed) and can use on any carrier.
  • While this is true, it's not always beneficial to do so. For instance, I can buy phones on contract through my employer (they pay the monthly fee), so buying a phone like the Pixel 2 XL for $399 on a 2 year contract is a lot cheaper than buying it through a 3rd party, since I am not the one paying for the monthly service fee.
  • Unless they want to use carrier features
  • I have an S8+. I couldn't care less about Oreo. My phone works fine as is, and the security updates have been rolling out monthly. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • I’m actually wanting Oreo more and more mostly due to support for additional BT audio codecs like LDAC.
  • Don't get me wrong, I fault no one for wanting Oreo. I will also be installing it, of course. I was just speaking for me personally. :)
  • I just want to congratulate and thank you for knowing the difference between "could" and "couldn't".
  • I'm also so proud 😭 Fuzzy, we raised him/her well
  • I agree. I will get Oreo on my note 8 but just like the last 2 OS updates I won't notice anything different.
  • What network are you on? Our security updates on my wife's S8, and my Note 8 have certainly not been monthly. They've been better than years past, but not monthly. We're still on December 2017.
  • I am on AT&T, and mine come pretty close to monthly. I haven't kept track, but it sure feels like I get one every month for my Note 8.
  • I also have an S8+ and while I'd be OK with waiting for Oreo, I'm annoyed with the pace of security updates in my region (NEE). No carrier BS here, but Samsung doesn't offer patches here all that often. We're almost in February, and I'm still on November patches. That's just BS in today's security environment.
  • This is how a successful company gets into trouble. If Samsung does not change this quickly, it's lunch will be eaten away.
  • I mean, they've been like this literally as long as they've been making Android phones. They've been the top Android manufacturer for almost a decade now so...
  • I don't think so. I think it will take a major breach that impacts millions of their customers before they change, and at least do security updates in a timely fashion. The great majority of their users don't care about the OS upgrades (heck I don't, and I'm using a Note 8, and a Pixel XL 2, the latter of which has 8.1). It's the security updates that are the biggest problem. Since people for the most part are completely unaware of those, it will take a catastrophic event to make Samsung care.
  • Honestly, security updates need more crudence. Compared to a vanilla device, a major OS upgrade on a Samsung doesn’t have as big of an impact (although still important), but security patches matter even more and there are a lot of companies which fall flat on that promise, moreso than Samsung themselves.
  • My HTC U11 had been running Oreo for 2 months and had gotten security update since. Everyone needs to stop falling for Samsung marketing and get a phone that delivers. Samsung out of the box is good then it falls apart with lag and untimely updates. Yes HTC has had some duds in the past but since the HTC 10 their phones have been awesome.
  • But at the end of the day, it's still an HTC unfortunately. If I'm going to spend $800 to get faster updates, I'll just buy a Pixel.
  • I don't want to forget about them. I love the Note 8, and loved the S8+ I had before it, much more than most of the phones out there (yes, I tried most flagships this year), and I have a Pixel XL 2. Samsung makes fantastic phones with some truly unique features that I love. The lag is not much of a problem any more, and the new Samsung UI is actually very nice. Their cameras are excellent, they provide a 3.5mm headphone jack and this year a decent DAC, Samsung Pay, which is extremely convenient, and far better than Android Pay or Apple Pay. I keep trying other phones and keep coming back to Samsung flagships. Yes, there are plenty of choices, but for me, and apparently millions of others, those are not as good overall. The big exception is the frickin' updates.
  • Well, I got a Note mostly due to the featureset. I wished Samsung was faster though
  • There's only about 5 HTC U11 devices in the wild.
  • One thing that I feel should be mentioned is how much better Samsung has been at delivering the security updates. I bought my S8+ unlocked in June, and December was the only month I didn't receive the monthly security update. I actually just got the January update today. So while they do come out closer to the end of the month, they've been coming every month but 1 for the 7 I've owned it. So yes, not having Oreo is annoying, and I wish they'd get it out sooner, but in the grand scheme of things, security updates are as important as platform updates and should not be ignored.
  • Most users really don't care, but for those that do, I will never own one, sad.
  • Unless your phone comes standard with Oreo, this particular update isn't really a big deal. The big deal is Project Treble which isn't available unless your phone came with Oreo.
  • Great commentary. Updates are reason I'll probably go from my S8+ to the next iteration of the Pixel. I've enjoyed it for the most part, but the slow updates are frustrating and impactful, for all the reasons mentioned.
  • Samsung was never for you if you'd go to a featureless phone
  • There are a few reasons why.
    1) Samsung has to make sure their awful touchwiz works with a new version of Android
    2) They have to make sure their crapware apps work with a new version of Android
    3) Your carrier has to send it to your phone but not until they make sure their crapware works on the phone too. I wish Samsung and other phone makers would take a tip from Microsoft. They had/have signature PC's which don't have crapware on them So if Samsung made 2 versions of the S9, one with touchwiz and one without and also let you delete their apps and put both phones next to each other (the one with and the one without touchwiz) and let people pick the phone they want, that would make a lot of people happy. Another thing they can do is make touchwiz an optional thing by letting you uninstall it if you want. You can install other skins but you always have touchwiz (or whatever skin the other makers have) under it. I hear the S8's touchwiz is a little better but I would prefer to not have it at all. But they won't do that because they don't care that their skin is crap and a lot of people don't like it.
  • I'm not sure what this crap touchwiz you speak of. Unless you are on an s5. Since the s6 Samsung's ui has been excellent. Then the s7 and note7 got grace ui (No longer touchwiz). I currently use the note8 without issue or slowdowns.
  • I'm thinking you haven't owned one in awhile
  • Getting Oreo on my S8 really doesn't matter to me. OS updates aren't as dramatic anymore anyway. I only care about security and app updates. I'm getting the S9 in a couple of months so at this point it doesn't matter to me.
  • I don’t get all the fuss here. I think a better way to look at is that if you buy a Samsung, you’re running their OS, Touchwiz. Is the newest version of Touchwiz out yet? No, it’s not, so of course you don’t have it. Sure it’s based on Android, but if you want Android 8.0 immediately, get a Google phone that runs pure Android, not Touchwiz.
  • Just got my brother's pixel because 8.1 broke his connection to his updates should be fast...OS updates? Make sure they don't break things...
  • That definitely shouldn't happen, but it's also the most first world problem I've heard in a long time lol.
  • VERY "first-world" lol (C'mon, AC. This is not a "first" comment you idiots.)
  • BMW has had access to Oreo and should have made their app fully compatible. For 60K plus I would be pissed that they do not care enough about thier customers to update their app.
    Hyduai's app works perfectly on Oreo.
  • OP said 8.1 Perhaps it was working fine on 8.0?
  • I swore I wasn't going to buy another Samsung device after Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014), but Samsung was the only game in town with a decent tablet near 10" in screen size that had 32 GB or more of storage capacity (I grabbed a 128 GB one from Best Buy). That device that could be (or maybe is) classified as a "flagship" is STILL vulnerable to KRACK as it has not received even a MONTHLY SECURITY UPDATE since August of 2017! Those security updates SURELY don't mess with the OS that much - Samsung needs to get moving with this stuff and post these updates! Google was trying to do a good thing for the consumers by making monthly security updates that just patched holes that were found and Samsung is STILL not doing right by its customers. Smaller companies are able to do it. Why can't Samsung? Because they release a dozen devices a year! That surely stretches the development/testing team thin when it comes to these updates.
  • It's all about the pixel.
  • Exactly, it baffles me how people buy Samsung phones and complain about updates.
  • I buy Samsung, I don't complain about updates and I will never buy a pixel.
  • Why would it be baffling?
  • Because they know this and they still spend money on it
  • If updates are important to you then the phones to get are the Pixel or the iPhone.
  • Or maybe just a Pixel. IPhone updates suck
  • Yep After waiting 170+ days to get Nougat on my 7 Edge - I bought the Pixel 2 XL. I'm happy where I'm at now...
  • OS updates are only important to people on stock android. If you were to ask people what Oreo adds to a Samsung phone the answer is Treble. Other than that it adds nothing of value. My Note 2 had picture in picture 5 years ago. Security updates are way more important at this point.
  • I can agree with this. It is so true that Samsung adds so much in software. I thought that people were just saying that about Samsung's software as an empty defense until I got one myself. The amount of features is overkill for me BUT there are some that I really like and use often that isn't there on the Pixel. I prefer the patches as well.
  • There were a lot of great features on my S8. However, there are Oreo specifics that make it to hard to leave my Pixel, especially when the Android P beta will be out in March on my Pixel.
  • Love the quick updates on my pixel. However I do miss the BT control of my Galaxy S7. Samsung phones easily handle multiple Bluetooth while Google's Bluetooth struggles when more then 1 phone device is connected.
  • I'm so glad I left my S8 and went to a Pixel. I've been running Oreo since I got it, 8.1 fir a couple of months.
  • Um hurray for you? *golf clap*
  • Is it just me that doesn't care too much about OS updates? I have automatic updates disabled. Too often new releases screw things up. Not to mention that it's good practice to do a hard reset after a big update and then bringing all back up is tedious. I'm fine with regular security updates. THAT is important. I buy a new phone every 12 months and can happily live with Nougat till the 9 comes out!
  • It's not just you. I was perfectly happy with Marshmallow on my Note 4. I have Nougat on my Note 8 and I can't tell the difference.
  • I don't either. The last update I even bother was kitkat to lollipop, from then I stick to what comes out of the box on my phones even when update was available. The mandatory factory reset every major OS update is just too much of a bother for me and I'll not take the risk of bugs when the phone is smooth and flawless on the first place. Security update might be a bit more of a priority but its not that much either, if its there I'll take it. I still have my previous phones and aside from extra features like multitask, there just isn't much difference on my usage from nougat all the way back to lollipop. I actually find Nova's features as more important than what the actual OS serves.
  • I have never had to reset a device after an OS update. If you have then it is poor implementation my the phone manufacturer.
  • You don't have to. But it is recommended. It has nothing to do with poor implementation. Things are just running smoother if you do it and avoid problems down the road.
    If, of course, something like TiBu or even a nandroid backup/restore would possibly on non rooted devices... But, alas, it is not!
  • Planned obsolescence. They want you to buy their new phone every year. Samsung hates people like me with my replaceable battery Note 4. Making the battery non-replaceable was an important revenue generating step for Samsung but their lack of updates is another sure fire way to get people to ditch their older Samsungs. I was forced to trade up from my Note 2 when the security updates stopped. Unfortunately, I fear that I may soon have to part with my Note 4 as my last security update was November. Given all the wonderful stuff already standard in (gasp) Touchwiz and the Galaxy Note stylus, I don’t really have to have the latest and greatest Android version. However, the security updates are absolutely essential these days. Finally, I will have to second the excellent post about Samsung Android updates having to deal with a 3 layers of complexity (Touchwiz, Carrier, Samsung Apps).
  • The Note 4 is a dog compared to even the Note 5
  • Well, I'm enjoying oreo right now on my s8... But yea, it's beta. I do miss updates from my nexus 6p, but hardware was horrible, so I guess having choices is good because what's the point of for fast updates when the updates mess up different things and both Google and manufacturer are fighting about who's problem it is.
  • This. Every update seems to bring a new issue in the Pixel. I prefer to have a stable device, especially when Google is mostly adding features I've had a while on my Samsung devices.
  • This, and the bloatware they install, are precisely why I'll never buy a Samsung phone for myself. If I want the crap they install, I'll go find, and install it. The user should have the choice. I have Chrome, Edge, or other browser choices. Why would I install Samsung Internet? No thanks.
  • Kinda funny how my unlocked model has almost all of the bloat made uninstallable. Should’ve been standard on all variants, not just unlocked.
  • Isn't all the so-called "bloat" on the system partition? So if you were able to remove those apps, that wouldn't make room for regular apps, because regular apps don't go into the system partition. Which means disabling the "bloat" apps is just as good as removing them. Pretty sure that's how it works, but I'm open to being corrected.
  • They do live on the system partition, but sometimes, they don’t. My mom’s old Zenfone was like that. It had a crapton of bloat, but they’re all uninstallable permanently. Not sure on the Note.
  • It's easy to check to see if the apps are on the system partition. I'm too lazy to do it, though. I'm perfectly satisfied with the apps I have installed and the ones I have disabled. My point is that the complaint about bloat is that it takes up room that you'd normally have for your own choice of apps. But if the bloat is on the system partition, then removing those apps gets you nothing. Disabling them gets you the same results as if you were able to remove them.
  • So remove it! Samsung internet is much faster and better integrated with the S series phones
  • Because it's got a better video player and an ad blocker.
  • Tired of Samsung holding these updates hostage in an effort to sell newer devices which is why I am switching to a pixel 2xl
  • Effort to sell newer devices? Now that's rich. I'm willing to bet 99.99999% of Samsung customers aren't buying new phones to get a later version of Android. I'm willing to bet 99.99999% of Samsung customers don't even know what version of Android their phones are running. You and most others who read Android sites are living in a tiny little bubble unaware of the world outside.
  • Samsung users are buying new phones because their old one slows down significantly over time. I updated from a 6 to a 7 because the 6 became brutally slow after a year and a half.
    Hoping Pixel will run smoothly after 2 years like Windows phone did. (RIP)
  • Easy. Just Reinstall.
  • thats what i think to hold software and release it on the next new phone if not people wouldn't buy the new phone but is annoying
  • It wouldn’t look that different though. The S7 build of Nougat looked nearly identical to the one on the S8.
  • The vast majority of the hundreds of millions of phone buyers probably have no idea what version of Android or iOS is on the phone they're buying, or even that there are different versions of Android.
  • And yet, after all the opining about extremely slow updates, every reviewer will be at the unveiling of the Galaxy S9, drooling over it as usual, calling it the best phone they've ever held or seen (until next year), without even mentioning that one of the most important aspects of a phone is where Samsung is an epic fail every year--updates. Maybe if reviewers would start off their reviews with a minute long summary on how you will be stuck on Oreo until March of 2019 (at earliest) if you buy this, Samsung might take notice.
  • Who cares? It’s your choice what phone you buy. Real world problems man
  • It is number 1. No one can touch it. It's bleeding edge!
  • They're slow because they have to iron out all the problems in stock Android as they add their own stuff. Google fanbois will put up with anything Google sends down its Hershey Highway because "Google is investigating and plans a fix in an upcoming update". Samsung's customers expect things to work properly when they get their phones. Samsung's software may not be 100% bug free, but it's not plagued by the kind of problems you get with a Google version update to stock. To those saying it's planned obsolescence, how can that be when Google is always 2-4 years behind what Samsung users have already been enjoying? Sure, buy a Google phone and get the latest updates first... and stay 2-4 years behind. That's REAL obsolescence.
  • Two choices, one for consumers and one for Samsung consumers. Consumer's Choice: 1st, boycott purchasing the next flagship phones this year. No big updates with the Galaxy S9/s9 Plus anyway - basically they are Note 8s with "improved" single camera. google has already proven "it's the software Stupid". Through this action as the core community of smartphone evangelists/enthusiasts, we would get Samsung's attention. So called journalists should be more critical of Samsung's evident contempt to consumers on slowness of updates; instead of playing the "D*** Flute Solos", singing the praise of Samsung's so called latest phones. Stop worrying about being on the short side of the stick, not having exclusive access or special invites to press events. It is your duty to be honest, be a real journalist (if there is such a thing these days). Consumers and journalists should flood social media and potentially go the political route to demand results. look at what happened with Apple recently on "battery Gate". Common rally the troops. There is no excuse for Samsung's tardiness. As mentioned, Samsung and other have access to the newest core build of Android for almost a year before it trickles to a few phones. How the hell can Motorola, Sony and othe Android handset companies roll out major updates prior to Samsung. Yes, OnePlus is a smaller OEM/ODM, but they are consistently rolling out updates, even on a forked version of Android Oreo. The real real reasons are Samsung has too large of a product line, too little control from large mobile carriers, and too fast of a roll-out of the next successors to flagship phones. Samsung's Choice: The answer, follow LG's lead, innovate more on the hardware, stock Android, no custom assistants and payment systems. Samsung has a major advantage in the areas of innovation and supply chain and could beat major competitor Apple on initial delivery and lower prices on next generation devices. Samsung stop trying to be Apple and beat Apple. Cut your ties as their supplier of parts, period. Concentrate on your own products first. Where is my foldable "Westworld" style phone b****. The really sad thing is, even much smaller teams from ODM/OEMs and volunteers like XDA roll out the latest and greatest Android builds, some even forked the hell out of which runs on multiple Android device handsets. Cut the bull and internal politics, hire the right engineers and get these updates done. Regardless of Apple's control over OS, apps, and hardware, Apple continues to roll out updates on a near weekly basis in one way or another for devices from 1-3 years old. If Samsung uses stock Android and become more of an intimate partner with Google on Android, then they can do it as well. Yes, treble will make updates for OEMs/ODMs much easier, if they choose to adopt it. To be honest, I think that ChromeOS as the core install on mobile devices is the ultimate solution and we might see our first handset this year from Razer. it is a logical choice for Project Linda, a phone that so happens to be a laptop (nothing new), but Chrome OS has a unique proposition now, Native ability to run Android apps. These Android apps are not running under emulation, they are running in Android which is embedded in a container with almost full access to hardware, but still protects the most vulnerable element of the solution, Chrome Browser from the challenges of the "Wild Wild West" of Android Apps. Samsung, my Galaxy Note 8 is your flagship, so it deserves flagship service - even if I had to pay for premium access to have first dibbs at the latest and greatest Android OS, I would and I am certain that others would too. Lastly, the user experience on my Note 8 is horrific, it is mainly Samsung's fault for "f*****" the stock Android experience, and I blame Google as well. Apple wins on this one for productivity and ease of use on iOS 11 for the iPhone X and iPad pros, especially with the updated multitask app switching features. Such elegant gestures. Google or some hot a** developer need to clone Apple's user experience for task switching and integrate into Android. I read an article recently indicating that it may be Google's fault for stumping innovation because Android is not up to the tasks and keeping where ODMs/OEMs can be with hardware innovation. This will be clearly evident this year with the introduction of new innovative form-factors like Samsungs flexible/foldable line of phones and offerings from companies like Razer with Project Linda, a hybrid phone dockable laptop solution. BTW, nothing new Apple and Samsung has patents on the same design (plus the Moto Atrix), but until recently the OS's and supporting technologies like USB 3.1/USB C have just caught up. Maybe it will take 3rd party innovation to solve some of these challenges from such as Sentio, former Remix OS ,and others who will help bridge the gap, that is if Google and the major ODM/OEMs allow it. Hey Samsung, Flagship phones deserve flagship updates.
  • I’d keep Samsung Pay though, at least until MST is used more widely or when most terminals are NFC-compatible.
  • "Lastly, the user experience on my Note 8 is horrific, " no it's not. The note 8 is fluid and silk smooth at every single task I throw at it.
    Samsung experience is excellent. If you don't like SE, you don't buy Samsung.
    Buy a pixel if you want that untainted experience. not Samsung.
  • Coming from a strong ui/ux designer background, I disagree. I have been using Samsung Android devices almost exclusively since the Galaxy S3. Although Touchwiz is less visible in the latest batch of 8 series phones from Samsung, it is still pathetic as a whole. Samsung's strengths are not in UI/UX design, it never has been. They need to concentrate on their core capabilities, innovation and production of superior hardware. As an expert on mobile devices from the Apple Newton Messagepad, Windows Mobile, iPhone. iPad, Chrome OS and now the upcoming Galaxy X - I have a unique insight on not only the hardware, but the user interface and user experience. I am not just an end user, I am a seasoned UI/UX, Industrial designer and engineer. Unfortunately, Google continues to choose LG/HTC as their ODMs for pixel phones which unvetted have extreme hardware/firmware deficiencies. Yes, google just purchased HTCs entire mobile design house, that is a great start - but you cannot depend on any companies to build your hardware that are directly in competition with you in the same space, Android Mobile. What incentives do LG, as an example, have to produce a more superior or comparable smartphone for their partner that directly competes against their own. This is the dilemma for LG and Samsung in another respect, being a hardware OEM/ODM and a part of the larger suply chain for other ODM/OEMs like Apple is a tough path to follow.
  • and coming from my pov, you are wrong. agree to disagree. Samsung and SE is excellent. just because you don't like it, doesn't mean it's bad.
    I hate vanilla android. boring and bland. terrible IMO
  • I skipped right to Samsung's choices in your mindless rant and then you lost me at 'follow LGs lead...'
    Why would anyone follow LG down the drain in the mobile space? LG is insignificant.
  • LG has switched to a different schedule of delivering smartphones to concentrate on innovation, including a Samsung galaxy X like foldable phone. I find it amazing how non technical people always like to insult those that are in the business of needing to know and follow these issues on a more frequent basis. insults are not warranted, just facts. Read more, insult less.
  • And then some need Business 101 more and dream world less.
  • I think this is more of a way for LG to reduce losses. Which when you think about it, makes sense. Why sell a ton of phones when they aren’t going to sell? Cut down on the number and frequency on the devices you launch so you can focus on a few. In a way, it’s like brand rebuilding, which is what LG’s probably doing. Samsung doesn’t need to because they’ve been pretty strong, even after the Note7 fiasco, and the same goes for Apple. Huawei and BBK.
  • That doesn't by itself change anything. Their history is what it is.
  • TL;DR. Took a nap half way through. People buy Samsung devices because the hardware and arguably the software features are the best. Those on Google devices get to be the guinea pigs and go through hell.
  • Hi i have galaxy s8 and i think this is going to be my last samsung phone they always take forever to do new software updates why dows it have to take almost a year but i think is just to seel the new phones like the s9 most probably is going to have android ore so at the end is about marketing. so yeah like i say i may get something that is not samsung. may get a pixel phone but im going to wait until we get a water resistance one.
  • The Pixel 2 is rated for IP67
  • Samsung isn't looking for users like you. You're not their audience
  • If you want fast updates get a Pixel or an iPhone, but I guarantee you on those phones you'll get those fast updates at the expense of hardware and software features that come standard on Samsung. Nearly 1K for a phone that doesn't have wireless charging, no iris or facial recognition, very barebones software and a so so screen in the case of the Pixel. Most of the features that have come in the last few big Android updates had already been native to Samsung's UI and Galaxy phones for years. For example, the split screen multitasking with two or more apps running side by side introduced in Android's Nougat build had already been available on Galaxy phones for years. I remember running that same feature on my GS3 in like 2013. Other features like Samsung Pay, Samsung Connect, Samsung's Internet Browser, Secure Folder, and other features some will simply dismiss as bloatware, I actually find quite useful and better than what the competition offers. I'm not a Samsung knight by any means, their products come with drawbacks but they do generally give you more for the money.
  • Yes! I made the leap a Pixel 2 from a Note5 and it's taken me 2 months to finally give up and say "meh, this isn't so bad". And that's only because I've Forgotten about all the cool featurea on the Note 5. The "buttery smooth and blazing fast" experience I was supposed to get with "Pure Android" isn't noticeably better than my 2.5 year old Samsung. But I do get monthly updates to fix the issues I had out of the box. I got a great price on the Pixel 2 so I'll keep it but I really don't get all the hype. I really like the Pixel when there's no hype.
    Yeah it's battery is amazing and the camera is really good. But again, not noticeably better than the Note.
  • Samsung has no excuse at this point. They have the time but they just rather not do the work in a timely manner.
  • Since you can read minds, can you tell me what Hillary is thinking with respect to the possibility of releasing that memo everyone is talking about?
  • My hope is that she is thinking about standard prison orange or black & white striped jumpsuits.
  • Far more likely to be the conman-in-chief in those colors.
  • Because he's doing what he said he would and creating jobs?
  • More to do with how they have to develop for multiple phones. The entire Galaxy S7/S8/Note7 FE/Note8 line, the Galaxy A line from 2017 and some Galaxy J phones. That’s a lot of phones and while it is nice that some of their lower end phones are getting an OS upgrade, that comes at the expense of speed for the higher end ones.
  • Also multiply that by the excessive amount of regional variants they have of all those phones.
  • SM-N950U, SM-N950F, SM-N950F/DS, etc. I get the differing SKUs, but I sometimes wish we have a single SKU for the world, not just for Samsung but for everyone else. But alas, regulatory requirements along with different networks are hurdles for that
  • I get that most people enjoy updates. I do wish Samsung would do security updates every month, not every other, or every 3...
    If Samsung kept up with security, I wouldn't mind a full year on whatever OS it came with. I buy a new phone each year anyways, if not more than once a year.
    Just give me security. THAT is my only gripe with Samsung. I would rather wait til March and get a Really solid, stable, bug free Oreo update than get a buggy, crappy, experience killer, 3-4 months faster....
    Note 8 on Nougat is perfect so far. Give me Oreo when that update is Perfect. Not before.
  • It depends on your carrier. I get security updates from Sprint approximately 3 to 4 weeks after Google releases them. I was still getting security updates every month on my Note 4 up until it died a few months ago. In fact, I'm downloading the January update for my Note 8 right now.
  • Carrier or region. My S8+ is an unlocked model, but unfortunately Samsung doesn't seem to care about the NEE regional variant (what's the point with this regional BS anyway?) sold in Finland, so I'm currently on November patches as newer ones haven't been made available.
  • My Sprint Galaxy S7e gets updates every month. Got the January update a few days ago. If you're not getting them, you should probably complain about your carrier, not Samsung.
  • Samsung likes to delay Android updates for older phones until after their next generation phones are released. It's to encourage people to buy a new phone instead of wait for an OS upgrade that they've delayed until a couple of months later.
  • Like I said below, I sincerely doubt Samsung thinks that way. 99.9999% of Samsung customers aren't even aware of what version of Android their phone is using. They buy new phones because new phones are faster and have more features, not because they have a later version of Android.
  • lol
  • Ask a random person on the street and ask them what version of android they're running.
  • Yep. They'll say "Huh"?
  • I bought a Note 8 last December (Nougat) and running Nova.
    I can´t for the world see the problem? phone runs fine, oreo comes when it comes.
    I really don´t understand whats the rush?
  • This is quite simple want latest updates buy a Pixel if your not that concerned by something else. I'd take a note with the extra features like s pen, better amoled screen, SD Storage, over a rather boring Pixel phone with fast updates buy that's just me.
  • I have the January security update in January. I'm running Android Oreo on the beta. Don't exactly know but I'm grading an Android phone is a complicated process and hopefully with project treble it will get much faster for Android phone with next generation. And Samsung as upgrading the S6 which is 3 years old which is unheard of for Android manufacturers. I think they're doing the best job they can right now and like I said what project trouble hopefully will get a lot better.
  • Fastest security and platform updates is one of the reasons why I buy the Pixel line of phones. Not important to everyone, but it's important to me.
  • Also the fastest to get the latest Google bugs.
  • Google might push updates as fast as they want but quickness brings bugs and problems too. Knowing list of problems I wish Google rolled out a month later. Yeah samsung is late by 200% but it is justifiable considering such a large user base.
  • Hauwei is even worse, some are stuck on April 2017 update.
    The fragmented state of updates in the Android ecosystem, is the cancer of it, i hope Google can enforce updates with project treble.
  • The longer they withhold updates the more likely you're gonna buy another phone for 1000.00. Samsung's craptastic support extends beyond phones. It sucks but we all know our phones are disposable. They have at best 12 months before the poor battery succumbs and even if you can manage to massage more life out of it or heaven forbid open the phone and replace the battery. Samsung et al have something else for your butt. I cringe everytime i'm forced to get a new phone. I would so much rather spend the money on something of better value like new tires, my rent, a new oled tv, vive pro etc. I used to be really into phones but i now see them as a huge ripoff but a necessary like my last root canal.
  • Honestly, there is a solution. Buy from company that has a track record of supporting your phone for 5 years. The iPhone 5s is still running great.
  • It’s more like 4.3 years since the 5s was launched in September 2013. It will have its 5th birthday later this year
  • With a 50% throttles cpu
  • 5s is not affected
  • Newer batteries don’t seem to succumb that quickly. You may get an extra year’s worth of use before adverse degradation kicks in
  • Hogwash. I'm willing to bet 99% of phone buyers have no idea what version of Android is on their phone, or even that there are multiple versions. And if you tell them, they won't care. And I have no problem getting 2 years of life out of a phone. Heck, my wife is currently using our son's hand-me-down S5, and it works fine.
  • Still running my Note a champ
  • « Note 8 again in recent days is just how far it needs to come to compete with the Pixel 2 on imaging.«  The pixel 2 pictures might be better but not at that point!
  • Samsung deserves shade but so do the carriers. They slown down updates to as their bloat and carrier add ons like wifi calling. Honestly I'm kind of impressed with the speed Samsung and att have been pushing security updates. Used to be I'd never get updated. Whatever software was on the phone was what was on it when I got rid of it a year later. Samsung and ATT have been going monthly updates or close to it. Not perfect but much better than it has been in the past.
  • I am more concerned about security updates, something Samsung has been pretty good at as you have mentioned. I actually have seen more issues with pushing big updates out, something I would rather deal with less.
  • I'm still happy using a Note 4 stuck on Marshmallow. But I'm more interested in the issue mentioned at the end of the article about tackling his phone addiction issues. I'm trying to do the same myself and think this the most serious and important problem facing us, our children and our grandchildren. My 9 year old twin grandchildren had smartphones for Christmas, iPhone 7 plus on expensive contacts (grandma responsible, not me) so they're not allowed to take the phone everywhere they go. Their behaviour and personalities are noticeably changing when they are without the phones. We took them to the park yesterday where they used to race around without a care in the world but not this time. After only a few minutes play they came back to me wanting to look at my phone. They then began falling out over who's going to hold and touch it first and for the longest. After each had had a 5 minute "fix" I took it back and sent them off to play. But they weren't interested and asked to go home where their iPhones were waiting. Serious stuff.
  • I'm actually considering grabbing an iPhone 6s while I can because it's the only option for good hardware including a headphone jack, not made of glass, and will be well supported for at least another couple of years.
    Sadly I think it might be the last of it's kind.
  • I really like the iPhone 6S Plus.
  • Let's be real, the average consumer doesn't care for software updates like tech enthusiast and nerds. That is why Samsung and other companies arent in a hurry to do it. Google does it because they make it part if their selling point to compete, otherwise folks wouldn't care either.
  • You're just looking at one side of the dime. Is being first really everything? I've been a Nexus / Google device user for quite some years but I was always afraid to install updates on my one and only phone and Google sadly gives enough reasons to feel so year after year. Their ratio of updates including annoying bugs is quite high compared to the competition. They're fast ... yes ... but they don't invest enough time and money on testing. On the other side Samsung made me so confident in their update quality during the last years that these days I'm even installing their beta on my one and only phone. Now look at the market with the average consumer who cares much more about stability and reliability of his phone than being "first" with updates. What's more worth to keep a customer? Reliability and quality of an update or being quick? One update that impacts the daily usage routine of a user (Google and the Bluetooth problems they have almost every year is a perfect example) is for many reason enough to don't buy or update again.
  • Even with all thesecomplaints about slow updates, Samsung seems to be selling more and more phones. On top of that, pixel phones aren't selling that well. Seems like tech enthusiasts are the only ones up in arms about slow updates. Are slow updates a problem, yes, is it a big issue, I guess it depends on what your priorities are in life.
  • Who cares about updates if your phone is working well. Every time you update it will slow down your phone.
  • True I usually do a restore of my phone and the slowness goes away. It might be old code hanging around causing the slow down. I always do a full restore right out of the box because I've never had a phone that runs properly right away.
  • outside of the tech-public the actual public don't really want updates. Most family members and friends of mine do not update when available and when they do they complain because features changed or things look different. A lot of people just want their phone to work how it did when they bought it. Do they care they are missing out on PIP or color notifications. I mean i love fast updates but it really is not that big of a deal anymore. Nougat and hell even marshmallow are very capable versions not adding a whole lot of features. whether we want to admit it we are the minority we begged for stock android on multiple devices and got the google play edition back when nexus devices were sub par mid range and we wanted flagships with stock android. They listened to us. How did they sell? Not good, not good at all hence it was a short lived experiment. We can scream and shout all we want but especially when things like the apple battery fiasco are in the news it is even more reason for people to not want updates.
  • Seriously question? Do the general audience care about updates? I know the people who visit a site like android central do, but for the person who just want their phone to work, do they? I have family members who own a S6 and S7 and couldn't tell you if they are running Oreo, Marshmallow, Nougat, etc. They just care that the phone and apps work. You may not want to here this, but companies like Samsung probably have boatloads of research stating that the vast majority of phone buyers don't care about updates. As long as the phone works and will continue to work, companies like Samsung will put things like updates on the backburner.
  • This. Have to agree. Me and a power user really don't want constant updates. I just want constant security updates.
  • My only problem is, the Note 8 is the flagship of the flagship of Samsung smartphones as of now. New smartphones from smaller ODM/OEMs before it were being initially offered with Oreo at the same time the Note 8 was released. The Note 8 has represented the latest breakthroughs in Samsung hardware innovation and now is at an all time high premium price. I upgraded from the galaxy Note 3 after even with a fresh set of batteries and fresh wipe was unbearable in performance. I have a factory unlocked Note 8 which should be immune from carrier scrutiny, and you would think would get updates first, that is definitely not the case - they get updates mostly last. It is insulting to see almost an entire Year of Android 8.0 and 8.1 go by and play the waitng game with Samsung who has unlimited resources to not update their flagship, which they promised they would. it should have come with oreo when released. Oreo was mature enough and had been installed in a great amount of other new handsets already. I am tired of games with Samsung. There is not much hardware advancement that can be achieved now on the performance side to support Android, only on the more advanced features that are appearing like AR/VR, which we can't run at the moment officially the likes of AR Core, which is pathetic. The evolution and another major convergence of smartphones is near. We are about to see a major disruption on both fronts of iOS and Android in both hardware and software that will significantly change how these devices are perceived and used. Different users have different needs. Most in this discussion probably don't care about Oreo's refinements and optimizations, well a some do. I just bought a Note 8, why the hell would I care jack about the Galaxy 9 series - regardless. I want Oreo on my smartphone now, not when Android P is available. Consumers are waking up, the old way of gaming us is over. Even Apple had a significant decrease in sales and has just reduced their iPhone X production by half. they just today, lost $36 billion in share valuation.
  • Really?? Samsung heavily customizes Android for their devices, so I would expect them to take more time than others to come out with an update. I would expect an even longer wait when a new major version of Android comes out. I'm sure it will take more work to go from Android 7.0 to 8.0 than it will from 8.0 to 8.1 (if they release that for older devices). I bought my S8+ in Q3 last year, and I've had several updates since then. I believe most if not all were security updates, but at least it shows they care about their user base. If you're someone that can't wait for a customized OS to be released, then you would probably enjoy the Pixel line. I'd rather wait and get more features.
  • What features are you looking for, Bixby? Name 5 major vendors/retail stores that support Samsung Pay The irony is the majority of features that most users by new phones for are pioneered on Pixels these days with the aid of the latest versions of Android. The beautiful thing about todays smartphones is that hardware fro different component makers have caught up. It is mostly a software game now and the leader in that regard is not Samsung, by any stretch - AKA Bixby, Samsung Pay (Supported by what vendors) - it's Google. Samsung manufactures some of the best smartphones, but they really never reach their full potential within each iterations life cycle because of one thing, greed. Without the latest innovations embedded inside of Android, ODM/OEMs have to start from scratch pouring tons of R&D into something that may not take off or is just plain duplication, Bixby vs Assistant , Samsung Pay vs Google Pay. This just exacerbates the Android ecosystem fragmentation more. Samsung can never be an Apple and force end users to use their "latest software innovations" and have consistently failed. They have been laughed out of the room by consumers and industry attempt after attempt, time and time again. Consumers have complained bout initiatives like Bixby being forced on them, so much that they had to "update" the firmware to kill the button, even not allowing us to remap it - that is not being a good Android citizen. The irony is whenever a hacked version of Google's software, like the camera app leaks and is adapted to work on non Pixel devices, on superior hardware like the Galaxy * series, it works just as good or better. Superior hardware deserves superior software, and Samsung just can't cut it.
  • "Name 5 major vendors/retail stores that support Samsung Pay" Any store that takes debit? I don't think you understand what Samsung Pay even is.
  • Well I have a S8, it was my first Samsung phone since my decent experience on the S2. Last few years been with Sony with Z3C and Z5C and I thought Sony's updates weren't too bad. However since I've had this S8 since October, unlocked UK version I think I've had just 3 updates, only two of them security. Currently on December patch and received the phone with August's!!! Samsung's lack of updates means I won't be buying another Samsung phone, they are just plain bad imo.
  • As long as I have consistent security update, and one major update I am happy. Constant system updates are annoying, give me the meat and potatoes, keep your .1 to yourselves.
  • I used to be an avid Nexus user, but I've been with Samsung for about 8 months. I literally haven't thought about updates. My Galaxy seems to have every major feature of my brothers Pixel, due to Samsung's own Android experience. I'll also say that I have received security patches just about every 2 months. Since buying the S8+
  • I think those with a stable build of software on their current phone, should be Happy, instead of envious of those with the latest. I think most will agree with me, that most updates come with bugs, majority of the time. Working in the retail cell carriers for the past 10 years has showed me a few things about updates...only Apple's yearly updates have brought big changes...the rest are small, and I'd say 7/10 times, bring bugs and sometimes make the phone un-usable (apple included). Be careful what you wish for. If you want the latest, get a Pixel. I do think one other big hardware provider with the carriers should sign on to figure out how to get the latest updates as well, to give us options. But because of the issues I've seen with the updates year in and year out...I think you should be happy if your phone works good and stable.
  • Android versions are always playing catch up with Samsung's UI so having the latest version is a non issue for me. And those over hyped "security" threats that no one ever gets unless your a moron is a joke. I actually can't stand the amount of updates apple releases. Bugs and updates more updates to fix the bugs and more bugs with the updates. My iPad is a piece of junk now ever since iOS 11 and the 15 updates since.
  • Wow I didn't realize that there has been 15 updates! That's crazy. I generally agree, aside from the big things like the Bluetooth thing.
  • There haven't been 15 updates. The person commenting above is talking out of their rear end. This is further reinforced by his astute and insightful "threats that no one ever gets unless your a moron" comment. He's probably complaining that his iPad 1 has issues.
  • Calm down snowflake. It's called sarcasm. And there has been at least 7-10 updates since iOS 11.
  • It's good we have choices out there. If timely updates are important Pixel phones are great. Honestly though, even the major upgrades for Android don't amount to much these days, and the features we see built into to the latest OS are often things Samsung introduced two years earlier. I consider myself to be far more tech savvy than any of my friends or family, but as long as my 2 year old S7 Edge is working great I'm not concerned with with which version of Android it's running on. There are launchers and apps that bring most new features I would want.
  • This is exactly why I would not consider Samsung if I were shopping for an Android device. If the OEM is lackadaisical when it comes to supporting their hardware, it doesn't matter how good the hardware is.
  • Samsung supports the hardware just fine. And I get security updates monthly, 3 to 4 weeks after Google releases them. I really don't care whether I'm on Nougat or Oreo. Oreo isn't going to change my life, make my phone dramatically better, or make me more productive.
  • If Samsung actually bothered to stop proliferating 1001 permutations of phones they would not have such a cacophony on their hands. The problem for Samsung is self-made, because of their own business practices. Let's not forget that fact.
  • They don't have a problem. They sell just fine
  • My unlocked Galaxy S7 Edge is still stuck on Nougat of course, but at least Samsung has been reasonably good at putting out security patches on a regular basis. I just got the January 1 security patch yesterday (January 28) so while it's not a day-and-date release, that's still pretty good.
  • "Samsung increasingly owns the Android market", so where's the incentive?
    Seriously. I'd wager that the market share is inversely proportional to speed of updates
  • For maybe a week, could Android Central write some articles that aren't 95% whining about something?
  • The S8+ is my first Samsung phone and to be honest, I could care less if they are last to update. Mine runs well and does more than I need as is. I would be upset if it never got and update to Oreo, as long as it gets it. And to be completely honest, I'll probably upgrade to a new phone before I have a year and a half on this one. Does it really matter then? As of right now, The S8+ is one of the best phones I've owned, narrowly beating my Z3 Compact.
  • A couple of thoughts: Given how many bugs Google's early releases of each new OS are, I really don't mind waiting for a version that has actually been thoroughly tested. Google has a long history of calling its software "beta" for years to excuse buggy releases, and seems to apply the same general lack of testing its hardware products as well. Aside from that, do I really care that the S7 is still running Nougat? The phone still does everything it did when people bought it. Will the new features of Oreo change anyone's life, or significantly change the way they use their phones? Will it make those people suddenly more productive? The simple answer is "no." People, especially in the blogosphere, get way to wrapped up in having the latest and greatest. For most people Marshmallow still works fine and meets their needs. As long as security updates come reasonably quickly, most people really aren't worried about, or affected by, OS updates.
  • Once a release is finalized it's ready to go, this isn't about early releases. If you're saying that Google's implementation of Android is full of more bugs than the way Android runs on Samsung devices (outside of the Nexus phones Samsung produced) please bring evidence. I beg to differ. Evidence suggests exactly the opposite. Samsung's touchwiz is an unholy abomination that must be purged from the world of Android. I don't care what they call it now, it's still slow. The lack of software and security updates by Samsung further puts in jeopardy their entire user base.
  • Slow? Well all I've been seeing lately is the Note 8 and one plus 5t crushing all other Android and iPhone devices in speed and especially ram management. By comparison the pixel 2 XL is very slow.
  • Oooh, the Pixel 2 XL is "very slow"... ok Donald Trump. The Note 8 and the One+5t are good devices, of the two you'll probably have more updates through One+ based on previous history track records, but you'll also be sharing your data with China and Alibaba, along with your credit card number. Yes, the Note 8 is a good piece of hardware, but a few months from now your Note 8 will be terribly outdated and then the gremlins will come, will slow your phone down, and hopefully you'll move on to a newer device before it really depresses your soul. Meanwhile, the Pixel customers will get updates, their devices will run smooth, and they would've spent less money than you. But this is the wonderful thing about life, you can do whatever you want :) Recently I played with my friend's with a Galaxy S7. It runs terrible, my Nexus 6 has a newer version of Android running on it, with much more current security patches, and doesn't seem to hiccup and stutter anytime you press the screen. We didn't run benchmarks or anything, just pulling up apps and photos. Frankly, I was shocked. You keep hearing that Samsung has their stuff together, year after year... it sounds like a broken record. Please Samsung, keep building good hardware, but for the love of all that is holy, get out of the "lets update Android so that it will run better on our devices" business. You're bad at it.
  • There was a time I would have agreed with you. My Note 8 is not slow at all. It runs great. The Samsung software is very good on the Note 8. I still use Nova Launcher, but I would do that on the Pixel as well. I have the January security update and I have perfectly fine with waiting on Oreo. My Note does everything I need it to and more. I having the latest software update is your main focus of having a phone then, by all means, get the Pixel. It just isn't my #1 priority.
  • Well stated Nik Ivanov. Ditto.
  • Pixel 2XL. Enough said
  • I would have honestly agreed with you back in 2010-2014 because those were the times where Samsung’s software was truly horrific. Aside from multi-window, there was literally nothing good you could say about it. It was ugly, slow, bogged down way too often, had an annoying bloop noise after 2012 and it’s just pretty messed up in general. Samsung did what they should’ve done from the get-go since the S6; actually putting some effort in cleaning their software instead of throwing more useless stuff at the problem. I can beg to differ about Bixby (mostly because I never use it alongside GA) but since my last horrific experience with Samsung’s horrific skin, my experience with the Note8 coming from a stock Android phone (and years of phones with lean UX layers) has actually been fairly pleasant. The one thing that stood out to me was how it didn’t feel that much different from my last phone, which is that aforementioned stock Android phone (it was pretty high end as well, with a Snapdragon 820 and 4GB of LPDDR4 memory alongside 64GB of UFS storage). It obviously doesn’t feel as fluid but in day-to-day use, I haven’t felt that it was overly slow to the point where I just needed to go back. Couple that with the extras Samsung packs which I actually use and I well and truly feel that I’ve had a good time with it. Of course, others feel differently and that’s fine. I ranked the Pixel 2 XL pretty highly after giving it a go despite the well-documented display issues (on the condition that yours has a display that’s good) and it really is a good phone, especially if day one updates are what you need. While I’m content with waiting longer for an OS upgrade, the one thing that needs scrutiny is security patches. Everyone except some like Google and Nokia are downright terrible at it. Samsung can be timely but some variants receive them in an inconsistent manner. Same story for Huawei (they did promise timely updates for the Mate10 but when have we put crudence in such promises?) and others like BBK. Not having timely OS upgrades is not great but that coupled with poor security patch release schedules? That’s embarrassing.
  • My Note 8 runs great just the way it is and does all I need it to do and more. I will take the update when I get it, but I do not feel like I am missing out on anything by not having Oreo right now. The usefulness of the S-Pen far outweighs anything I would get by having Oreo. If you don't need/want the S-Pen or any of the added Samsung features then get the Pixel 2 or 2 XL. It's an amazing phone and would be my choice if not for the S-Pen on the Note 8.
  • Stockholm syndrome.
  • I've been using phones with stylus/pens for decades, including Windows Mobile, and other devices like Newton Messagepad and Windows TabletPC, to what we have now on almost any convertible laptop. Started my Samsung Galaxy Note journey with the Note 3 and finally upgraded to the Note 8, so I agree Samsung has the best overall user experience for pen/stylus based devices. However, for them to stay competitive, at least with the flagship models, including the Note Series, they must match other ODM/OEMs in other criteria as well including timely updates. The rest of the mobile world of devices are catching up on Android and even Apple. I am almost certain now that Google has the entire HTC mobile design house under there wing, they will be developing a Note like device with Stylus support real soon, either with the next version of Android, which is not necessary, or a future device supporting a Capacitive multitouch stylus similar to Samsung's with additional hardware layers required on the screen. All it will take is for Apple to release their next generation "Pencil' for iPhone X Plus and slightly larger mobile phone displays, then Google and many other Android ODM/OEMs will follow very quickly with their own stylus supported mobile phones. The irony is the displays would probably be supplied by Samsung, LG or one of Apple's hardware partners. See this as evidence. Then we have the dark horse, Chrome OS which will appear for the first time on tablets this year. it does support stylus/pen input, including the same handwriting recognition found in GBoard Software Input Panel (SIP) today ChromeOS has Android 8.0 Oreo integrated into it, so theoretically we may see the jump to phones as well. if that is the case, say goodbye to the problem of the long wait for updates from most ODM/OEMs who adopt ChromeOS for smartphones. All updates would come from one source and minimum customization would be the law of the land. If want to see the future, play with a PixelBook or many of the latest ChromeOS Stylus supported convertible laptops on Intel and ARM processors. Then down the road, there is Fuchsia. Also 2018 is the year Apple will be marching closer to a unified OS with iOS 12 and OS X allowing same iPhone/iPad apps to run on Macs. So, trust me - Samsung is running out of time. Apple is running out of time, just lost $36 billion in share valuation because of declining iPhone X sales. Innovation is the answer. Treble support is the answer. people are fed up with planned obsolescence by these companies. Smaller ODM/OEMs are catching up. Then there is this. Razer Apple Samsung Convergence is back baby.
  • Samsung Note series will be just fine. Who cares if I don't get Oreo the day it comes out. Quality is best
  • Actually HMD are doing a 'good' job. My Nokia 8 has received every security update by the middle of the month. The 8.0 beta came out at the beginning of November and the full release three weeks later. I am now running the (very stable) 8.1 beta which came out a week ago. I believe they do well with the lower end models as well.
  • I agree. This is usually the case with companies like Nokia which were at the top of their game in the past, became complacent, learn their lessons and come back. Apple did it, but it's 1993 again for them. Nokia is and will be a very strong , aggressive competitor in the future and proves, even a smaller, leaner company ODM/OEM can innovate and keep up with the big boys with less resources. So the excuse that Android is "hard" to adapt to existing and new hardware is bull. It's all about marketing and shareholder satisfaction for Samsung, Apple and others, not consumers. the galaxy flagship phones are expensive and deserve the latest and greatest Google has to offer with Android. The extra bulk of a barely competitent Bixby voice assistant, ridiculous, outdated replacements for Calendar, phone and other stock Android apps is unnecessary. Don't release a flagship phone with a 2-year old version of Android, period. Oreo was released in many other new mobile phones prior to the Galaxy Note 8, wtf Samsung? Innovation, not integration is the order of the day for consumers, they deserve it, especially for $900+..
  • Here is my take on Samsung's slow update process.
    I had a Note3 for 3 years. I loved my Note3. I hated the lack of timely OS updates and monthly security updates. In November of 2017 I switched to the Pixel 2 XL. I switched due to the fact that Google is guaranteeing 3 years of OS updates and 3 years of monthly security updates.
    During the month of September 2017 I played with both the Note8 and the 2XL in various Verizon stores for most of the month because I could not make up my mind.
    Ultimately I decided on the 2XL due to the fact that the Note8 at the time was on a August security update, and was not yet on Oreo.
    Yes, the screen on the Note 8 is better; I miss the S-pen; and the 2XL should have a headphone jack. However, so far I have not regreted my decision.
  • You judged it on a security update? Obviously the S Pen, hardware, screen and Samsung Pay aren't your cup of tea
  • I think that’s a fair point on the part of OP. Updates might be important to him, so the Pixel is the phone that fits his requirements.
  • Timely OS updates.
    Monthly security patches.
    Total lack of bloatwear.
    Buttery smooth operation. Have not missed my Note3. I'm currently one of the 02% on 8.01.
  • My Note8 is running Oreo. It deson't really bring anything new to the table.
  • Awesome, but Oreo is about refinements mostly, and there are specific Google Services and Apps that officially are not supported by Android N. i think that regardless of individual use cases and preferences, those that want to adopt and use the latest features of Android that other phone users with Oreo enjoy, should have the chance. It makes no since for a company of Samsung's resources and capabilities to be lagging behind smaller ODM/OEMs of mid-range/flagship class smartphones. Samsung is greedy and needs to be held to account for their deception and I would say "Volkswagen" style contempt for consumers. How the hell does Razer, Nokia and Essential update and pivot so easily? It's because they are hungry, Samsung is complacent and arrogant. yeah, yeah - just don't buy their phones. The hardware is superior to most, so I buy and compromise. But like others on this discussion, the "Time is almost up".
  • Razer and Essential hasn’t send out official OTAs yet though. The former hasn’t announced a timeframe for an Oreo update while the latter is on its 3rd beta. HMD (Nokia) is a better example, since the 8 is on an 8.1 beta, but the rest of their phones (barring the Nokia 7 and 6 2018) are still on betas. To their credit, they’re among the best for security patches, which I kid you not, matters more than what many think.
  • When you have the most feature filled device on the planet it takes time.
  • FYI, Samsung! Competition is heating up yet again. No time for complacency. Oppo: LG:
  • Heating up again? It has heated up long ago ever since Chinese OEMs brought immense amounts of quality for a lower price. Xiaomi recently overtook Samsung as the largest OEM in India (which is a big developing market). The competition hasn’t really heated up again. It’s already reached boiling point.
  • Several years ago, we ALL lived for the day a major update would come along, hoping it would fix that God awful lag or other various issues that riddled all Android phones. Now with Samsung's latest devices, I couldn't care less about Oreo. I have a solid and snappy working phone already and quite frankly Oreo brings very little to the table. I'm getting fairly regular monthly security updates from Samsung and that is all that really matters.
  • Well, the lack, or slowness of updates don't bother me so much. It's more the lack of security patches! My flagship S8 is still on October patch, what with all these threats going around, these guys are very casual about security issues. Then to add insult to injury, they put out the January patch to their cheap model over on Turkishtan or wherever! That really cheeses me off! 😡😠
  • Well I have an S7 edge and a Note 8 on the January security patch. My S8+ is on December. Verizon is doing ok pushing these updates out lately.
  • That's a carrier issue. Sprint delivers every security update 3-4 weeks after it's released. Sounds like Verizon is doing well, too.
  • The wonderful world of differing SKUs and regional updates. In a perfect world, we’d have one SKU for the world. Too bad we don’t live in that world
  • And when will the masses be getting 5g?
  • The thing is, with Android at least in the last few years, I don't really care about updating anymore. The last few versions were more like, 4.0 to 4.X versions rather than a 4.0 to 5.0 update. Android updates so far for me have been very evolutionary instead of revolutionary.
  • Lollipop was plagued by memory leaks. Marshmallow was fine, and I would have been happy to stick with it for years to come. I see no major improvements with Nougat, and I don't know of any compelling reasons to want Oreo.
  • What updates are you looking for besides security, Bixby? Name 5 major vendors/retail stores that support Samsung Pay The irony is the majority of features that most users buy new phones for are pioneered on Pixels these days with the aid of the latest versions of Android. The beautiful thing about todays smartphones is that hardware fro different component makers have caught up. It is mostly a software game now and the leader in that regard is not Samsung, by any stretch - AKA Bixby, Samsung Pay (Supported by what vendors) - it's Google. Samsung manufactures some of the best smartphones, but they really never reach their full potential within each iterations life cycle because of one thing, greed. Without the latest innovations embedded inside of Android, ODM/OEMs have to start from scratch pouring tons of R&D into something that may not take off or is just plain duplication, Bixby vs Assistant , Samsung Pay vs Google Pay. This just exacerbates the Android ecosystem fragmentation more. Samsung can never be an Apple and force end users to use their "latest software innovations" and have consistently failed. They have been laughed out of the room by consumers and industry attempt after attempt, time and time again. Consumers have complained bout initiatives like Bixby being forced on them, so much that they had to "update" the firmware to kill the button, even not allowing us to remap it - that is not being a good Android citizen. The irony is whenever a hacked version of Google's software, like the camera app leaks and is adapted to work on non Pixel devices, on superior hardware like the Galaxy * series, it works just as good or better. Superior hardware deserves superior software, and Samsung just can't cut it.
  • Lay off the crack pipe. ALL vendors/retail stores with card swipe terminals support Samsung Pay, because there's nothing to support. Samsung Pay works by emulating a credit card magnetic strip. But not all terminals support Google Pay or Apple Pay.
  • Yeah yeah, my bad. I forgot about there little acquisition. Still is not an innovation. That tech was bout from a little known startup. Samsung just deserves credit for seeing the opportunity before Google snatched it up. Score Now Samsung 4
    Google 6
    Apple 20 The problem is, most of us forget that we can use Samsung Pay as a feature because of their failure to market it. I should be prompted based on GPS location or intent to use Androd Pay initially that I have the option to use Samsung Pay or even as I setup the device, but I wasn't and I forgot.
  • Samsung Pay uses MST alongside NFC Which means it works on terminals that rely on the magstripe layer on a credit card, which basically means terminals which rely on a card swipe to read data. That’s the major advantage it has right now. If terminals don’t support NFC (and as a result, Apple Pay and Google Pay aren’t supported as of that time), MST can emulate a magstripe so that it can be used. The squeeze gesture isn’t natively remappable on the Pixel as well. I kinda disagree that Google is the one leading the charge. They’ve been remarkably innovative, especially for HDR+, but they still rely on partners to introduce new stuff to Android that they can then implement in the base AOSP code. Think multi-window, first added by Samsung. Support for LDAC, contributed by Sony. OMS theming support, also contributed by Sony. The thing about Android is that it is an open platform where anyone can take the base AOSP code and modify it to their hearts’ content. Rather than forcing everyone to use the same thing, I think it’s better if we let them do whatever they like to see what can be improved in Android and then have some of the best ones make their way to AOSP. Not all of them can be considered good, but at least the useful ones can be added so everyone can enjoy the benefits. I agree that Samsung’s forte is not software and that they should improve (which they’ve been gradually doing), but I just think some of their additions can be useful, although I personally never use Bixby (though that could be my prejudice towards AI assistants in general)
  • I now have Google Assistant, Bixby and Alexa on my phone. And I don't use any of them. Also, Samsung and other OEMs pioneer software features that take years to show up on stock Android. So I'd say they do software pretty well.
  • Not all of Samsung’s stuff is bad and they’ve definitely improved over the years. I’d say there’s more good stuff than bad now compared to the days of the S4. Eugh. That’s not to say they can’t improve, and improve they shall. Regarding your statement about OEMs pioneering features, that was mentioned in my post, regarding multi-window in Nougat and LDAC in Oreo.
  • Bought my first Samsung phones last year. Galaxy S8+ and Note 8 for my wife. May be my last because of laggy security updates primarily. Samsung has the personnel and money to do a much better job.
  • Slow updates are the number one reason I'm always looking at phones from other companies!
  • Samsung will do nothing unless their sales figures hurt
  • Absolutely, hopefully the Galaxy S9 Series, because of it's minimal advancements will do the trick. Apple is even feeling the aftershock of the iPhone X now.
  • there mobile revenue is down so i guess they have started taking the heat. I want pixel to be in equal footing with samsung and iphone. competition is good
  • Quit your whining - I have a Motorola G5+ and it hasn't received the Oreo update either. If you're honest with yourself you'll agree there really isn't a major change between versions anymore besides a few key items (e.g., Treble) which may or may not make it to your phone depending on the manufacturer. I would rather receive timely security updates like my Nexus 5X does than a much bally-hooed system update.
  • Actually there are quite a bit of changes in Android 8.1 Oreo. many match the capabilities of the galaxy S8 series hardware, but require Oreos Services/APIs to work. -AR Core
    -Picture-in-Picture mode
    -Wi-Fi Aware
    -No default maximum aspect ratio (support for longer displays)
    -multi-display support
    -Project Treble (as you mentioned)
    -massive changes in notification system
    -enhanced audio subsystem And the list goes on, not to mention what's in Android 8.1. It must be understood, without Google's Android innovations, things we take for granted like windowed android, support for larger/longer screens, even Samsung Dex would be extremely difficult to do in the past. Unfortunately, because of the continued fragmentation, carrier control, greed, internal politics, and corruption within large companies like Samsung, many consumers don't have access to use some of the latest Android apps and services, because the system resources that are needed only are available in the most current iteration of Android OS. The latest and greatest in Oreo and Chrome OS sets the playing field, or should I say resets, for bigger and better hardware innovations by Samsung and other ODM/OEMs for the next generation of devices that will arrive this year.
  • A lot of Google's Android innovations are just things Google adds to catch up to what other OEM versions of Android can already do, like split screen, using the entire 8.5:9 display for apps that normally would only use 16:9, and more. Has Oreo implemented that yet? Pretty sure it hasn't. Picture-in-picture just mimics some of Samsung's floating window capability, which Samsung added years before Oreo. It used to be limited to the Note series, but it now works on the S8 and S8+, too. And you can have multiple floating "picture in picture" windows on screen at the same time. Samsung added fingerprint scanning APIs before Google added them native to Android. Samsung (and I think some other OEM phones) let you capture multiple screens. Samsung lets you capture video and save as animated GIF. It seems to me that Samsung (and other OEMs) do all the innovating and Google simply tries to keep up, but generally lags by about 2-4 years.
  • In some respects that may be true, only because Samsung is a component manufacturer pushing the limits on the innovation side of mobile smartphone hardware. However, as we all know - Android, when it is all said and done is a special Linux Kernel, but it's linux. Android apps are what makes it special using a dedicated virtual machine (Dalvik) and/or compiles it once using ART, something that Samsung has absolutely nothing to do with, which makes updates from Google truly necessary for absolute hardware innovation and performance. Now, as mentioned, Samsung is not only an ODM/OEM, they actually build and innovate at the component level, something many ODM/OEMs can't do. that makes them very, very special. So if they want their awesome hardware innovations to work, of course they have to innovate on the software side earlier than Google does in Android proper to support their own devices. Samsung does this with a combination of custom device drivers and their own hardware abreaction layer (HAL) which interacts with Android's system architecture. Anyone, Anyone with the right skillset and access to these lower level layers can build on top of Android to do some amazing things. Adding windows and split screen, easy. Adding picture in picture system wide, easy. Adding custom non-standard screen size support and forcing apps to comply and fit screen globally on your own device, easy. Easy as long as you have access to some or all of the different layers and subsystems of the device drivers, HAL, and or ASOP version of Android. Plus in some cases Google Services itself, if you are a certified Android OEM/ODM, officially - but that's easy to override as well. Samsung hates their dependency on Google and Android. With enough time and effort their own OS, Tizen, would be integrated into all hardware, but then they would lose developers and customers over time. They need Android. They need Google. Now the difficult part. making all of these new features available globally on a larger subset of Android capable mobile Devices - only Google does this - at the Android Level to allow mobile device manufacturers to reconcile their hardware, device drivers and HAL easily to support these features. Instead of these manufactures having to build from scratch or shoehorn certain features and capabilities into Android (Linux) to do amazing stuff, Google makes it easier. The benefits are staggering - less human and other resources needed to design and build, less hardware memory capacity processor power and supporting chipsets needed for performance, less battery consumption and avoidance of explosions - more efficient devices - higher margins and sales. That is what make Google's innovations matter and better, because they support a larger Android ecosystem, not just one series of devices in the end, but many. They may not be first, they don't have to be on some of these innovations - but they make them global, more efficient and cost effective for a larger group of manufacturers and end users. Samsung is awesome. But they treat their customers with contempt. Their days are numbered at the top of the Android pyramid. Consumers are waking up to this. Competition is getting better. Hardware component manufactures are catching up with same or better sensors, screens and innovative tech. Google owns the keys to the castle, and they just completed a major $1+ billion acquisition of hardware engineers from the first true hardware innovator in the Android world, HTC.
  • man you explained it a lot better. many people just forget about it and say samsung came up with it first but they forget that when google implements the same feature, then it becomes global.
  • Thanks I appreciate that @still1.
  • On the bright side, you don't have to deal with early version bugs.
  • Am considering walking down the pixel lane😁😁 influenced by the comments section here But Sammy must be enjoying this,
    Y'all stuck with your S7, S8 & N8 units on 7.0 / 7.1.1
    They'll release the S9 running 8.0 out of the box and then it'll start the slow regional roll out to older models ( pray it's bug free )followed by a few monthly security updates where some weigh up to 323MB making u think of bump in version number but nothing and finally s7 will be left chilling on 8.1
  • Stuck? Odd since I'm running 8.0 on my S8......
  • Same running Oreo on my S8+ US unlocked, runs clean no problems. I'm sure as people said Samsung toss their 9's out first or at the same time to sell more devices, But I think the final beta release is what 's going to be released in the end, or very close.
  • Now this is what Samsung could do, that even Google has not done yet with Android O, maybe upcoming Android P will. iPhone X style Gesture based Navigation between Apps. It took OnePlus to do this in their forked version of Android. Article: Video: You have to fast forward a bit to see gestures. Apple finally figured out, in my opinion, the best way to negotiate an UI interface, especially Task/App Switching in the latest iterations of iOS 11 for the iPad and iPhone X. It is so elegant, intuitive and straight forward.
  • My first post.
    Updates on Microsoft's phones was something i loved. They were constant and direct. I know it was bad at the beginning and Nadella ran it into the ground, but direct updates from Microsoft itself were a god send to quick security updates every Tuesday. I now own a Samsung S8. It took a couple days to get the hang of, and I do enjoy it. I just hope I don't have to wait too many more months for an update to Oreo. One thing i will note is that my phone hasn't crashed once. Nor have I had malware or a virus infected. There was some give and take when changing from MS to this Samsung Android, but overall, it's been good. :) One minor criticism is the lack of functionality of widgets compared to live tiles, but the well tuned functioning of apps on my new phone makes up for that. To have a Spotify app that actually works is a god send.
  • I have to flat out disagree on your rooting take. I miss rooting my phone, installing new roms. Having actual full control over my device that I own. Why dont you?
  • Definetely one of my biggest complaints with Samsung's phones. Still sitting on Nougat on my Note 8 ... it should have launched with Oreo and instead about 6 months later, STILL no Oreo. With Sammy's resources there's no excuse besides they just don't care and are holding it hostage to try to increase launch numbers for the S9. Tell you what Sammy, you'd do better if people knew they would get timely fast updates regardless of launch dates when they buy Samsung phones. Instead you piss people off by playing these games.
  • I blame the fact that samsung has too many random phones they have to look after. Samsung should have 4 phones each year and nothing more. Budget A5, Mid Tier A8, High End S8 and flagship Note 8. There's no need for things like the Samsung Galaxu Geo Frontier A944 or whatever they call thier experimental phone because they want to test a new camera module before using it on the S9.
  • So who are these OEMs that are roasting through updates that you mention? Comparing a samsung phone to a pixel is disingenuous at best. You mention all these other phones, what are they? This is an Android issue in general, not only limited to Samsung.
  • Are you referring to the updates that came out earlier this week, and have been steadily released for the last several months?
  • You failed to even mention one of the best for updates, Nokia. Huawei is just as bad as Samsung. Sony is also one of the best
  • is OnePlus, Nokia, Motorola with stock android UI any fast? don't think so.
  • Well OnePlus is quiet fast at updates if not the fastest. I don't know if any phone got oreo in november 2017. And they constantly fix bugs and bring new features.
  • i swapped my Samsung 7 Edge for a Pixel 2XL mainly because I was so disappointed by how long it took Samsung to release updates. That and all the bloatware. I enjoyed having a Samsung but I really love my Pixel phone and having the most current OS.
  • The Unbearable Lateness of Being- a Samsung customer
  • I have an s8+ and will never and never buy any Samsung again. Updates in my country with region LUX are non existent. ZERO. Even on official Samsung forum after complaints they promised to put an update ready to keep the peace...even that promise they didn't fulfill. Horrible company. Never again.
  • Samsung likes to sell OS updates as a feature of a new phone.
  • ALL OEM's do. They can't make money if you keep using the old products.
  • Samsung released the S8’s with Android 7.0, and 10 months later, they have failed to update them to even 7.1, much less Android 8. That is an almost unbelievable level of pathetic.
  • Awww, that's sweet, someone's ass is sore from the truth. The truth hurts buttercup, suck it up. Thanks for the downvote, I don't give a F'ck. Lmao 😂
  • And what percent of all Galaxy users, you know, majority that’s not reading Android blogs, knows what kind of cookie Android Oreo is, much less dying to get it? 5% or 7%?
  • Most companies are terrible with updates. LG is right up there with Samsung. We are still waiting for 8.0 on the V30 and G6. Hopefully treble will improve the embarrassment that is Android OEM updates.
  • Hilarious... This guy complaining about the slow pace of updates, which is fair, but mentions Project Trebel. You know... That thing that is to be added to Oreo and is to address the very thing he is complaining about... You'd think he would be thinking this could be the end of such a cycle but he puts a negative spin on it regardless of it.
  • Will never again purchase a Samsung mobile device. Their customer service org is trash and the software support for their devices is even worse.