More Samsung customers can now volunteer for the Android 9 Pie beta program as the initiative just expanded to the Galaxy Note 8. By taking part, they will get to use the latest version of the Android operating system as Samsung adapted it for its devices, known as One UI, before the company starts rolling out a stable build of the software to everyone. The tech giant announced its latest beta program through the Samsung Members application, and at this point, it seems that the company only expanded the effort to India and South Korea.
Before signing up, users should be aware of some known issues still being part of the package, which includes forced closure of the camera application, some unusable imaging features, and VPN certificate issues as these tend to go missing. Backing up one's device before downloading the update is also a recommended practice. The beta build of Samsung's new Android OS version comes with a number of improvements over Samsung Experience 9.5 and is also bundled with the January 2019 security patch.
Background: The initial update roadmap released by Samsung Electronics stated that the Galaxy Note 8 will receive the stable version of Android 9 Pie in March 2019, although a revision to the upgrade schedule shows that the device will instead get the software package in February 2019. Aside from bringing Android 9 Pie to the Galaxy Note 8, this update will also bring One UI, the latest version of Samsung's proprietary skin. This software overlay brings a redesigned user interface to the smartphone, which aims to improve the readability of the content displayed on the device. For example, with One UI, the smartphone's display is divided into a viewing area at the upper half and an interaction area at the bottom. The top half shows the content of the application while the user interacts with the design elements displayed at the lower part of the user interface. Samsung also reduced the amount of information presented to the user, which should help users focus more at the task at hand. The software skin also brings system-wide dark mode and revamped notification shade to the Galaxy Note 8.
Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 8 back in August 2017, and the device featured either the Snapdragon 835 or the Exynos 8895 chipset depending on the location. The handset sported a 6.3-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,960 by 1,440 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. The device included 6GB of RAM, and it is available in variants that contained 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of internal flash storage. The smartphone featured a dual rear camera setup equipped with two 12-megapixel sensors, while the front-facing selfie shooter has an 8-megapixel sensor.
Impact: The announcement of a new beta program for the Galaxy Note 8 indicates that the device will receive a stable version of Android 9 Pie in a matter of weeks, assuming everything goes according to plan. Furthermore, by discovering and resolving bugs early, the beta program should improve the overall quality of One UI for everyone, so long as their handsets eventually receive Samsung's new Android implementation.