Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8 Android 8.0 Oreo Rollout and Features
The unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge flagships received the Android 7.0 Nougat update in May.The second major update for Samsung S7 and S7 Edge flagships is Android Oreo.
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S8 flagship with inbuilt Android 7.0 Nougat in March 2017. Galaxy S8 is powered by Snapdragon 835 chipset and hit the shelves in April. Android Oreo is the first major upgrade for Galaxy S8.
Google launched the Android 8.0 Oreo operating system on 21st, August, the day of Solar Eclipse with many exclusive features and refinements. The Search giant released four developer previews of Android O, prior to the final release. With the Android Oreo update, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S8 flagships are going to get many new features like Picture in Picture mode, Notification channels, Smart Text selection, Notification dots and so on.
With the Notification Dots feature, when a new notification arrived, a little dot will appear at the corner of the corresponding app icons. So the user can easily identify and check the arrived notification.
Wide colour gamut is another exclusive feature of Android Oreo. The Wide color gamut feature is much useful while editing pictures, videos on the AMOLED display of Galaxy S8.
Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge Android Oreo Release
Previously, Samsung began the rollout of Android Nougat update for Galaxy S7 lineup in January 2017. So this time, unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices probably get the Android Oreo update in February or March 2018 after running the soaktest. Carrier locked Galaxy S7 devices may receive the Oreo update in Q2, 2018. The confirmed rollout dates of Android Oreo for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will be revealed in coming months.
Verizon Galaxy S7 Oreo Rollout
Earlier, the Nougat update hits the Verzion’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices in March, 2017. Verizon still hasn’t announced about the plans of Oreo update for Galaxy S7 lineup but we can make an educated guess based on the Nougat rollout. Verizon’s Galaxy S7 users can expect the rollout in February or March 2018.
AT&T Galaxy S7 Oreo Rollout
There is no official announcement from AT&T about the Oreo rollout for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices till now. The America’s Second largest carrier rolled out the Android Nougat update in February for its Galaxy S7 devices. So the Oreo update may hit the AT&T’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices in January 2018.
Galaxy S8 Android Oreo Release
Samsung may start building Android Oreo for Galaxy S8 flagship in September 2017. So the soaktest of Android Oreo for Samsung Galaxy S8 devices probably begin in November 2017. The full rollout of Oreo for unlocked Galaxy S8 devices probably begin in December 2017. Android Oreo may hit carrier locked Galaxy S8 devices in Q1 of 2018. The confirmed rollout dates of Android Oreo for Galaxy S8 will be revealed soon.
Verizon Galaxy S8 Oreo Rollout
Earlier, the Nougat update hits the Verzion’s Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices on March 6th, 2017. So this time, the Big Red may make the rollout of Android Oreo for Galaxy S8 devices quick. So Verizon’s Galaxy S8 users can expect the rollout in January or February 2018. As release dates are always subject to change due to unforeseen technical issues, the above time frame may change at a later time.
Australia Galaxy S8 Oreo Rollout
Previously, Vodafone Austalia started the testing of Nougat for Galaxy S7 in December 2016 and finally, most Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge owners in Australia got the Android Nougat update in February and March.
So now, the major carriers of Australia may begin testing of Oreo for Galaxy S8 in December 2017. Both Telstra and Optus may start the rollout the Android 8 update in February or March 2018 while Vodafone may rollout in January or February 2018. The unlocked Galaxy S8 owners in Australia may receive the Oreo update by the end of this year.
Update on 21/9/2017 :
Recent leaks suggested that Samsung already started the development of Android Oreo for Galaxy S8 lineup and now according to SamMobile, the Oreo Beta program is going to be launched soon. The firmwares G950FXXE1ZQI7 and G955FXXU1ZQI7 are spotted for Galaxy S8 and S8+ respectively. Samsung usually uses the Z letter for the test firmware and it did the same during the release of Nougat beta for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.
So in a few days, Samsung will rollout the Oreo beta for the registered Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners. The Oreo beta rollout might be limited to certain markets only. Previously, the South Korean tech giant began the Nougat beta program for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge on November 9th and the program completed in December. We will update this post once Samsung started the rollout of Android Oreo beta for Galaxy S8 and S8+.
Android Oreo Exclusive Features
1. Performance and Battery Life
Google made numerous performance improvements in Android Oreo. Due to the refinements, Galaxy S8 and S7 devices will boot twice as fast. Some Pixel and Pixel XL users reported that their device boot times reduced to 15 secs after upgrading to Android 8.0. The Pixel users also reported that apps are loading much faster on Oreo due to improved cache management. Oreo automatically clears the app cache if performance is about to slow down. So apps start in no time and also provide fluid like expereince for users.
Battery life is also refined in Android Oreo due to Background limits and other optimizations. Some Pixel users said that Android 8.0 improves the battery life by about 10-20%. Oreo displays the list of persistent background apps on notification bar. So users can terminate unnecessary app processes easily, consequently battery drain will be reduced.
2. Notification Channels
The Galaxy S8 and S7 users can get granular control over Notifications through the Android Oreo Notification Channels. So we can specifically choose which type of notifications appears from the app. For example, a news app can only push Tech update notifications when the user chooses that. In messaging apps, notifications from a specific group could be muted. Users can also change the importance and override Do Not Disturbe feature of Notifications.
Users can also snooze notifications in Android Oreo. When a user swipe slightly to left on the notification, the snooze options will appear. User can set any time in 15min, 30min and 1Hour after which the notification reappears with the same priority. In Android 8.0, Notifications appear in different background colours to easily recognize them.
3. Autofill Framework
With the Autofill framework of Oreo, the user can easily complete filling of forms like Account creation, Login, Credit card etc. So the Autofill framework feature makes the password management and login easy for both app developers and users. Google may further improve this elegant feature in Android P.
4. Notification Dots
If a new notification arrived for an app, a small circular blob appears on top of the app icon in Android Oreo. On long pressing the app, we can view a brief preview of the notification in the form of bubble like a small window just like on an iPhone. The Galaxy S8 and S7 users either directly jump into the app by just tapping on the preview of the notification in the bubble or check the full notification from the notification bar. Users can easily view the preview of Notifications like Whatsapp messages, Instagram comments by just long tapping on the app icons on Android 8.0 without reaching for the Notification bar every time.
5. Picture in Picture Mode
PiP (Picture in Picture) is an impressive feature of the Android Oreo operating system. Previously, Google introduced the PiP feature for Android TVs with Android 7.0 Nougat. Now Android 8.0 brings this elegant feature for Android Smart Phones and Tablets.
The Picture in Picture feature permits users to watch videos on a corner of the screen while using another app on the remaining part of the screen. So users can easily play YouTube videos besides working with other apps with the PiP feature of Android Oreo. So Galaxy S8 and S7 users can easily multitask on the massive display with the Android Oreo update.
6. App Background Limits
In every iteration of Android, Google tries something new to improve Battery life. In the Android Oreo update, the Search Giant introduced Background limits for apps to save more battery juice. The app Background limits restrict background services, broadcasts of apps to save memory bandwidth and also Battery. The Background execution limits of Android 8.0 only affect the apps which are idle in the background and they don’t limit apps with visible activity and foreground services etc.
7. New Settings Menu
Previously with Android Nougat, Google partially revamped the Settings menu. Now with Android Oreo, the Search giant completely revamped the Settings menu. The Settings Menu of Android Oreo organized into different Categories to become compact and user friendly. Google also changed the design of the Settings app in Android Oreo. The background of the Settings menu changed to Light grey while the Header text appears in Black color on the gray background.
The new categories of Settings arranged nicely so that we can find any setting option easily. Google removed the slide-out navigation menu. Probably, it is due to the new compact Settings menu.
8. New Bluetooth Audio codecs
Android Oreo contains new Bluetooth audio codecs like LDAC, aptx etc. The options for Bluetooth audio codecs are located in the Developer options. The Galaxy S8 and S7 users can access them by going into Settings>Developer Options after updating to Oreo. The Bluetooth Audio codecs available in Android Oreo are LDAC, SBC, AAC, aptx and aptx HD. LDAC is the codec from Sony which can transfer data at 990 kbps. aptx and aptx HD are high quality streaming protocols from Qualcomm and aptx HD supports 24-bit music quality over Bluetooth. So these advanced codecs play high quality music over compatible Bluetooth headsets or headphones.
9. Quick Updates
With Android Oreo, Google is trying to make updates “easier, faster and less costly” for device manufacturers. Project Treble is the new solution for slow Android updates. Because of Project treble, manufacturers like Samsung, Sony could send the update directly to their devices without waiting for chip makers like Qualcomm. With a stable vendor interface preloaded on the device, manufacturers could directly release new android updates for their devices by just updating the Android framework. So bootloop and big update size problems also might be solved if Project Treble works in the right way. Project Treble will come to all devices preloaded with Android Oreo. But Galaxy S8 and S7 may also support Project Treble.
10. Smart Text SelectionThe Smart Text Selection is one of the elegant features of Android Oreo. With Smart text selection, the Galaxy S8 and S7 users can easily do copy/paste text. With the help of On-device learning, it can recognize addresses, phone numbers, URLs and E-Mail addresses. For example, when the user double taps on any address, Android 8.0 will select the whole address and display relevant options. By using the options displayed, user can directly open the Google Maps app to help navigate to that address.
11. Wide Color Gamut Support
Android 8.0 Oreo arrives with the in-built support for wide-color gamut apps. So with the Oreo upgrade, the apps display wide-range of colors in HDR displays. OLED displays also display wide range of colors with Android Oreo. So flagship devices like Galaxy S8, LG G6, Xperia XZ1 and HTC U11 will support this feature. Some flagships of 2016 may also support the wide-color gamut.
12. Wi-Fi Aware
Although this is one of the minor features of Android Oreo, it has so much potential to do wonders in the future. The Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi Aware project completed in 2015 and now Android Oreo brought the support as Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) for Smart Phones. With Wi-Fi Aware or Neighborhood Aware Networking (NAN) two devices can get connected instantly without Wi-Fi Access point or cellular connectivity. The feature works by forming clusters in neighboring devices and forming a new cluster if a device is the first one in an the area.
The Wi-Fi Aware APIs are currently available to apps that target API 26 (Android 8.0). With these APIs, app developers can integrate the Wi-Fi Aware support in their apps. The connections through Wi-Fi Aware are more reliable than Wi-Fi P2P connections and provides far more range than Bluetooth. They can also create bi-directional Wi-Fi Aware connections without an access point. But hardware support is also required for Wi-Fi Aware along with Firmware, according to Android Developers. But it seems that the hardware support is available only in a handful of devices at this time.
13. Auto-Connect to Wi-Fi
This is one of the features of Android Oreo much useful to users. Till Android Nougat, if the user turned off Wi-Fi after leaving home, Wi-Fi couldn’t be connected automatically when the user arrived to home. Google introduced an option in Android Oreo to connect to Wi-Fi automatically near high-quality networks like home Wi-Fi network.
Users can enable it by going into Settings>Network and Internet>Wi-Fi> Wi-Fi Preferences and Toggle on Turn on Wi-Fi automatically. So the device connects to high-quality networks when the user is near to them by turning on the Wi-Fi. But the user have to turn off the Wi-Fi manually after leaving the area or home to save battery juice. Google may refine this feature in future updates.
14. Persistent Notifications
Android Oreo constantly displays the notification about the apps running in the background. The persistent notifications about the apps running in the background help users to save battery. The user can close the app running by tapping on the notiification and prevent battery drain.
But some times Android Oreo Persistent notifications seem to be annoying as they clutter the workspace. If some apps like Facebook Messenger or Twilight are running, the persistent notification appears and clutter the user interface. Officially there is no way to prevent the persistent notifications, but there are some apps available in the play store to hide persistent notifications for those users who not wanted them. Google may refine these notifications in the next Android update.
We will update this post soon with the confirmed rollout dates of Android 8.0 for Galaxy S8 and S7.