The Galaxy Tab S3 and Galaxy Tab A (2017) may both be a bit long in the tooth at this point, but Samsung hasn't forgotten them. The two Android-powered tablets are now getting Google's latest sweet treat, Android 9 Pie.
The Android Pie update for the Tab S3 is only available for the LTE variant (no Wi-Fi-only update at this time), with Malaysia, Vietnam, and Philippines users as the earliest recipients. The Galaxy Tab A (2017) Android Pie update is only for Malaysia users. Samsung has started rolling out the update in Asia, with other markets to follow in the next weeks and months.
August 2019 Security Patch For Galaxy Tab S3, Galaxy Tab A (2017) Left Out
The new update adds the August 2019 security patch for the Galaxy Tab S3, meaning that Tab S3 users will have up-to-date critical software patches for the tablet. The Tab A (2017) will remain on the June 2019 security patch, though, a sign that the tablet may be out of luck when it comes to later software patches.
Both tablets were announced in 2017, though the Galaxy Tab S3, as the more premium Samsung tablet, may very well see a few more security patches through the end of the year before its final software farewell. The Tab A (2017) is the more inexpensive tablet, and, with budget-friendly devices, Samsung (or any other Android OEM) is not obligated to update them for two years.
Android 9 Pie For The Galaxy Tab S3 And Galaxy Tab A (2017)
Tab S3 and Tab A (2017) users can expect something of a hefty size for the system update, coming in at a whopping 1,241.33MB (or 1.24 GB).
Android 9 Pie: Samsung and Google contributions
The most important part of the update, aside from the current security patch, is the Android 9 Pie update.
Samsung's Android Pie update brings not only Google's Android system update but also Samsung's own baked-in features as well. The biggest change for Samsung in the Android Pie update is the addition of Samsung's One UI, sent to replace the "Samsung Experience" UI present in Android 8.0 Oreo.
One UI is "slimmer" and more lightweight on device performance than Samsung Experience, and Samsung Experience was, for many, better than the company's former TouchWiz UI "skin."
Other features of the Android Pie update include responding to notifications within the notification panel, greater Bixby integration, the renaming of "Device Maintenance" to "Device Care," and new Samsung Keyboard settings.
Notification responses within the notification panel prevent users from having to tap to go to the app first before responding.
It's a convenient feature within Android Pie that lets you access messages and respond to them in real time. Bixby returns in Samsung's Android 9 Pie update with more features and skills than before, which isn't a surprise since Bixby is Samsung's AI and its own contribution to the artificial intelligence trend.
"Device Maintenance" has been renamed "Device Care," which is perhaps an easier way to say the same thing.
The Galaxy Tab S3 and Tab A (2017) also get the new Unicode 11.0 emojis such as the smiling face with hearts, foot emojis with various skin tones, men and women of various light and dark skin tones, superheroes and super villains (with various skin tones), as well as mosquito, lobster, test tube, petri dish, and DNA emojis. There are many more from the Unicode 11.0 list; these are just a few.
Overall the update brings in some significant and useful changes. As well as some that will delight users, such as the emojis, when using various forms of chat or messaging apps. If you have either of these devices, keep an eye out for the update to arrive in your region.