Android 8.1 update for Galaxy S7 and S8 Release Date and Features
Samsung recently began the full rollout of Android Oreo for Galaxy S8 and the update is in pipeline for Galaxy S7. The rollout actually began in late-January but later Samsung halts the update due to a serious bug. Samsung rebegins the rollout of Android 8.0 for S8 and S8+ a few days ago.
The next update after Android Oreo is Android 8.1 for Samsung flagships. Google released the First developer preview of Android 8.1 on 25th, October and later the final preview on November 26th. Finally on December 6th, Google kicked off the Android 8.1 Oreo rollout for Google Pixel series and Nexus devices.
In Android 8.1 which is the first maintentance, Google fixed many annoying bugs of Oreo and also included two major security patches. The latest Android update sporting API level 27 contains remarkable features like Neural Network API, Redesigned power menu, Notification improvements, buttery smooth scrolling, Bluetooth battery levels and so on.
Android 8.1 Exclusive Features
Bluetooth Battery levels in Quick Settings
Bluetooth Battery levels are one of the awesome new features arrived with the Android 8.1 Oreo update. Originally, the feature debuted on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL flagships which came with pre-installed Android 8.0. However, in the Pixel 2 flagships, users need to long-press on the Bluetooth tile in the QuickSettings panel.
In Android 8.1, Google further refined the feature and users now check the levels instantaneously from the Quick Settings Panel without long-press. The feature is very much useful to users, indeed. So Galaxy S8 and S7 devices may get this useful with the Android 8.1 update with some UI enhancements by Samsung.
Apple brought this feature to iPhones with the iOS 9 update in 2015. Now the useful feature arrived to Android ecosystem with the Android 8.1 Oreo update. The Search Giant may improve the feature more in the next Android 9.0 P aka Android Pistachio Ice Cream Update
Android 8.1 Redesigned Power Menu
Previously, in Android 7.1, Google brought the Restart button for stock android. Now in Android 8.1, powermenu and restarting screen undergone a complete visual overhaul. The new powermenu appears on the side of the screen, similar to that of Pixel 2 devices. So the powermenu is more userfriendly and on large devices, it will be easy to tap on the options with single hand.
Another visual change is that the menu appears in lightmode in day time while nightmode during night time, so that eyestrain will be reduced. The Restarting screen is introduced with Android 8.1 and the Shutting down screen also changed completely, and new screens appear with Material background overlay and fresh look.
Buttery smooth User Interface
Google has been trying to improve the smoothness of the Android UI since the launch of Android 4.1 Jellybean. Through the Triple Buffering of Project Butter, the Search Giant improved the smoothness of scrolling and other things in Jellybean. Now it seems that the Search Giant takes the smoothness another step forward.
The smooth scrolling without much frame drop rate in Android 8.1 is due to an extra layer of buffering over the previous Triple buffering. So the UI in Android 8.1 scrolls very smoothly but the responsiveness is slowed down a little bit. As the next update is currently in development stage, we probably see the increase in responsiveness in the final release.
Revamped Battery Section
The Android 8.1 update has revamped Battery Section in the Settings Menu which is very much useful to prevent excess drain of battery by the abnormal behaviour of some apps. For example if the Maps Preview app is draining battery through excess Location requests, the app will be displayed in the Battery section. So the Location requests are blocked in the section, the app battery drain can be prevented.
Previously, in the Android 8.0 Oreo, special app background restrictions came into play to prevent the background battery drain of app. Now Google refined the Battery section to facilitate the user to save more Battery. So Battery saving will be improved in Galaxy S7 and S8 devices after the Android 8.1 Oreo update.
Increase in Free Space
Google made significant changes in this update to increase the free space in storage. The system automatically clears the Dalvik cache of Inactive apps, thereby reduces the size occupied by the app in the internal memory after the Android 8.1 update. So the user will be able to install more apps and store files like pictures, music etc. in the internal memory.
According to some reports, the Search is going enhance the reduction in app sizes further in the upcoming Android P update.
Improvements to Notifications
The Android 8.1 update brought some improvements to notifications. Apps can only make a notification alert sound once per second in Android 8.1 and they are also able to be completely muted. This doesn’t affect the notification behaviour.
Previously with Android 8.0, Google brought Notification Dots and Channels to the most popular OS in the World. Now with the first maintenance release update, the Search giant brought necessary improvements to make user experience much better. User annoying notifications will be lost with the latest update.
Speed labels to Open Wi-Fi Networks
This is one of the useful features coming with the Android 8.1 update. Recently on January 22nd, Google enabled the feature on Pixel and Pixel XL devices. Under this feature, open Wi-Fi Networks appear with the following labels Slow, OK, Fast, Very Fast. The Veryfast label means 20+ Mbps, Fast means 5-20 Mbps, OK means 1-5 Mbps and Slow means 0-1 Mbps. With this feature, users can determine which is the best open network and to stream HD videos and Calls over Wi-Fi.
Security patches and bug fixes
In Android 8.1 final release, Google included two security patches dated on 1st and 5th December which contain numerous fixes for recently discovered security vulnerabilities. The Search gaint also included 48 additional bug fixes in the consumer release. According to the Pixel and Nexus 5X users, performance and battery backup have improved slightly after installing the Android 8.1 update.
The official change log of Android 8.1 for Galaxy flaships will be revealed in coming days.
Android 8.1 for Samsung Galaxy S8 and S7 Release Date
Samsung may start the building of the Android 8.1 update for Galaxy S7 and S8 devices in Q1 of 2018.
Previously, Samsung merged the Android 7.1 and 7.0 updates and released as Android 7.0 update for the unlocked Galaxy S7 devices in January 2017. So this time also the South Korean tech giant may release the Android 8.1 update in Q2 of 2018 for its flagship devices.
Carrier locked Galaxy S7 and S8 devices may get the Android 8.1 update in Q2, 2018. The confirmed release dates of Android 8.1 for Galaxy S8 and S7 flagships will be revealed soon.
We will update this post soon latest news about the Android 8.1 update for Galaxy S7 and S8.
Update on 25/1/2017 :
Samsung’s USA team announces that the Oreo Beta program for Galaxy S8 and S8+ will end on tomorrow, January 26th. So no further Android Oreo beta releases will happen in coming days and no support for the beta participants. But the Oreo beta users can communicate each other through the program.
So it seems that Sammy is getting ready for the Public release of the remarkable Android Oreo update containing awesome features. Most probably on the upcoming week, the South Korean tech will begin the consumer Oreo rollout in the US. More details about the Android Oreo update can be found out here.
Update on 8/2/2018 :
Finally, the Android Oreo consumer rollout begins for Galaxy S8 and S8+ users. A few hours ago, the South Korean giant starts the rollout of the most anticipated update the flagships in Europe. Both German and Dutch beta users report that they have recevied the Oreo update notifications. The size of the update is 487 MB and brings the new Samsung Experience UI 9.0. The non-beta users might start receiving the update from tomorrow onwards.
According to Sammobile, the update hasn’t brought the Treble support to the Galaxy flagships, as expected before. Since the Oreo Beta didn’t feature Project Treble some analysts predicted earlier that no Treble support would come to Galaxy S8 and S8+. The next big update for the flagships is Android 8.1 before Android P.