If you have a Galaxy S8, prepare yourself for a significant software update. Samsung finished its testing of Android 8.0 Oreo on last year’s flagship and is starting to roll it out in several markets around the world. While the software update hasn’t arrived in the United States just yet, it could be close as the company just posted update notes highlighting what’s new.
The latest version of Android comes with Samsung Experience 9.0, the company’s software overlay. So the software update is both an improvement for Android as well as Samsung’s in-house features.
Samsung’s own improvements are largely for its keyboard, Edge screen, always-on display, Samsung Cloud, and DeX. Oreo, meanwhile, focuses a lot on stuff you don’t see. In that sense, Oreo for the Galaxy S8 isn’t this major upgrade that’ll change the user interface dramatically. The heavy work was done behind the scenes.
Make sure you have individual Samsung apps updated first, though. The company recommends apps like Samsung Pay, Samsung Internet, Samsung Notes, and Email be updated individually before grabbing Oreo.
Here’s the full changelog:
Biometrics To improve your security, features that use biometrics (face, fingerprints, and irises) are only available when you use a secure screen lock type (pattern, PIN, or password). When you switch to a non-secure screen lock type (Swipe or None), biometric authentication is suspended for unlocking and for verification in apps like Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass. If you’re using biometrics now without a secure screen lock type, you’ll be able to continue after the upgrade, but changing to a secure screen lock type is recommended.
– Manage notifications for each app with notification categories (supported apps only). – Icons will be shown at the bottom of the notification panel for notifications that aren’t currently visible.
– Touch and hold an app to display shortcuts to common or recommended tasks within the app (supported apps only). – Notification badges on app icons are linked with the notification panel. Clear a notification in one location, and it will also be cleared in the other location.
– The toolbar gives quick access to useful functions.
– The GIF keyboard lets you send GIFs. – More high-contrast keyboards are available.
– Background services are limited to improve performance and battery life. – Currently running apps will always be shown in the notification panel.
– Improved font size, color, and other settings for better Edge panel visibility.
– Touch and hold the Edge panel handle to change its position. – Added 3 more Edge lighting effects and color customization for apps.
Lock Screen and Always On Display
– New clock styles for the Lock screen and Always On Display. – Adjust the transparency of notifications to get the look you want.
Smart View – Let your phone’s screen go dark when mirroring to another screen.
– Control your account settings and profile information for multiple apps. – Tap your profile picture on the main Settings page to access your profile information and account settings.
– View and manage photos and notes stored only in Samsung Cloud.
– Store any type of file in Samsung Cloud Drive.
– Select specific items to delete or restore from your backups. – See how big each backup is and how many items it contains.
Samsung Dual Messenger
– Install a second copy of a messaging app so you can use two accounts at the same time. For apps that verify accounts using phone numbers, you’ll need a different phone number for each account. – Touch and hold a messaging app on the Home or Apps screen to install the second account or go to Settings – Advanced features – Dual Messenger.
Find My Mobile
– Back up Secure Folder to Samsung Cloud remotely when your phone is lost. – Lock Samsung Pass using Find My Mobile.
– See more apps at once by changing the app list view to full-screen.
– Use Game launcher in Samsung DeX for a full-screen gaming experience. – Added support for 2 additional Samsung covers (LED View Cover, Clear View Standing Cover).
– Bluetooth now supports high-quality audio codecs, including AAC and Sony LDAC.
– Video player includes auto repeat and 2x speed option.
– Voice Recorder provides smart tips to conveniently block calls while recording.
– Email lets you flag Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync emails.
– Samsung Health’s new sticky notification lets you see your step count at a glance.
– Clock now includes a Landscape mode and timer sound options.
– The digital clock widget goes directly to the Clock app when you tap it. – Samsung Pass added the ability to manage usernames and passwords in third-party apps.