Updates to Android 9 Pie for the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are now unexpectedly rolling out in some regions, beginning with Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. More directly, the update has reportedly been spotted for the "DBT, unlocked" variants, meaning that it is rolling out for the unbranded German version of the handsets.
One UI is included in the 1.6GB+ update for the 2017 flagships, bringing substantial changes to the overall interface. Specifically, elements across the board are shifted downward, placing interactive items within thumbs-reach while other items are shifted toward the top. The interface in the notification shade is also scaled upward with more efficient use of white space and a similar focus on shifting interactive items downward.
Aside from changes that will make the handset easier to use one-handed, the update notification also notes that the security patch level for Android is being brought forward to February 1, 2019. Samsung recommends that users create a backup for their devices before beginning the update process but also points out that some system level apps will need to be manually updated once Android Pie and One UI are installed.
That finicky update schedule
Although Android 9 Pie and One UI were expected to arrive and did arrive in February for the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, updates for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ this month were not expected. The new rollout places the update at least a week ahead of schedule. That's because Samsung's most recent roadmap for the software set the Android 9 Pie update for the handsets in question to sometime in March.
The change doesn't guarantee that other handsets and tablets will start seeing updates sooner than planned since the changes could continue cropping up in new regions and for carrier variants throughout the next month. Samsung has not put forward a new schedule as of this writing, either.
If plans for the remainder of scheduled updates remain the same, the next devices in line to receive Android 9 Pie will include one tablet and around a dozen handsets in April. Those are the Galaxy Tab S4 10.5, Galaxy A6, Galaxy A6+, Galaxy A7 (2018), Galaxy A8+ (2018), Galaxy A8 Star, Galaxy A9 (2018) Galaxy J2, Galaxy J2 Core, Galaxy J4, Galaxy J6+, and Galaxy On7 (2018) in April.
Samsung's Galaxy J4+, Galaxy J6, and Galaxy J8 would then see the update in May, followed by the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017), Galaxy J7 Duo, and Galaxy J7 Neo in July.
Three remaining tablets would finish out the Android 9 Pie updates beginning with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 in August. The Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2017) and Galaxy Tab A 10.5 would round things out in October.
Why wait for an update?
October is going to seem like its a long way off to wait for an update on older tablets. Users who also happen to be in the market for a new smartphone may not need to hold off for quite that long thanks to the company's recent announcements. Alongside the unveiling of Samsung's brand new Galaxy S10 lineup of devices this week, the Korean tech giant also unveiled a brand new handset/tablet hybrid.
Dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Fold, the new gadget is currently expected to become available on April 26 and will essentially encompass features and functionality of both a tablet and top-end smartphone — with a price to match at $1980. Two variants will be made available and the only real difference is that one supports the most current LTE standard while the one can claim 5G capabilities.
Folded up, the device will feature a 4.6-inch non-flexible panel on the outside, functioning like any top-tier Android 9 Pie handset from Samsung. A custom-built variant of the OS and One UI will be in place to ensure that the transition between that display and the folding, internal tablet display is consistent and seamless. Opening the gadget up unveils the world's first foldable 7.3-inch Infinity Flex display.
Other firsts with the gadget include a two-times increase to data read speeds thanks to UFS 3.0 storage but the Samsung Galaxy Fold will additionally give users 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Qualcomm's 7nm Snapdragon 855 chipset will drive the experience, powered by two separate batteries operating as a single power source.