Samsung is reportedly making good on its promises to keep its latest tablets updated to Google's most recent mobile OS version and as discovered recently by an XDA-Developers forum member, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 is now officially making the jump to Android 9 Pie, at least in France where the firmware carries the "XEF" CSC code.
The update should be available for download over-the-air but users who have knowledge with manual firmware flashing can download the package via XDA and flash it on the tablet using Odin. Otherwise, the update should continue to expand in terms of availability, reaching more countries and model numbers in the process.
The benefits of Pie
The latest firmware introduces a lot of new changes both on the surface level and under the hood. Visually, Android 9 Pie for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 comes along with the OEM's proprietary user interface called OneUI 1.1. Originally introduced last year, OneUI is the tech giant's latest take on its mobile software sitting atop Android OS and replaces Samsung's Experience UX in a quest to deliver a cleaner interface with larger icons, reorganized for easier one-hand usability – at least for smartphones with smaller displays than a tablet.
The new update also includes the Android security patch for March 2019, a system-wide "Dark Mode" as well as Google's Digital Wellbeing mobile application designed to give users a clear view of their daily habits. It can show how frequently different apps are being used, how often the user checks the device, and how many notifications arrive on a daily basis.
Other features pertaining to Android 9 Pie should include better battery management for prolonged battery autonomy on a single charge, as well as improved performance in part thanks to the firmware's lower RAM requirements for mobile applications.
Samsung's future updates
The Android 9 Pie firmware update for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 comes as no surprise given that the OEM confirmed as early as December 2018 that the slate will be making the jump to Google's latest firmware in April 2019. In other words the update arrived according to the original schedule and if the OEM will manage to follow it throughout the rest of the year then Android 9 Pie should also be launching on the Galaxy Tab S3 9.7 in September, as well as the Galaxy Tab A 2017, Tab Active 2, and Tab A 10.5 a month later in October 2019.
As for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 itself, the tablet originally hit the shelves running Android 8.1 Oreo last August and given that most mobile devices benefit from software support for roughly two years, the slate will likely receive at least one more major firmware update to Android Q, presumably next year around this time.
Google's Android Q is in its early Beta stages as of this writing, and the tech giant has several Beta releases in mind before launching its first Android Q release candidate in the second quarter of the year. By that time, every Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 variant around the world should already be updated to Android 9 Pie. The latest firmware launched in France targets the LTE model but the Wi-Fi-only variant should be getting the same treatment soon.