Android 8.0 Oreo for Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are the last year’s flagships from Samsung. The Galaxy S7 series were unveiled with inbuilt Android 6.0 Marshmallow in February 2016 and later Samsung updated the flagships to Android 7.0 Nougat. Samsung has confirmed that they have rolled out Android 7.1.1 as the Nougat update for its flagships. The next major and probably final official update for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices is Android 8.0 Oreo.
Previously, Samsung took a long time to rollout the Nougat update to its flagship devices compared to its compititor flagships. This time the South Korean tech giant may start the Oreo rollout early.
The unlocked international Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices may get the update in December 2017 or January 2018 based on the previous rollout of Nougat. Perhaps, the major US carriers and Canadian carriers will rollout the update in Q1 of 2018.
The unlocked Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices which are powered by Snapdragon 820 may receive the update in Q2 of 2018. The full time line of Android Oreo rollout for Galaxy S7 series will be out soon.
In the beginning, Google released the first developer preview of Android O in March and later second and third previews in May and June respectively. The forth preview of Android 8 came out in July and the fifth preview arrived especially for developers in August. Finally, the official release of Android Oreo took place on August 21st, the day of the Solar Eclipse. Already Nexus 5X, 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL devices got the update and Google launches the Pixel 2 flagship with inbuilt Android Oreo on October 4th. In Android Oreo, Google fundamentally concentrates on improving the user experience and Battery efficiency.
Android Oreo Features
1. New User Interface with Bixby
Samsung’s 2017 flagships, Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 contain the Bixby assistant along with dedicated button. Samsung launched Galaxy S8 and S8+ with Samsung Experience UI 8.1 which is formerly known as Touchwiz. Previously, in the times of Note 4 and Galaxy S5, Samsung Touchwiz is known for lag and bloatware. But in Galaxy S6 and later flagships, the South Korean tech giant optimized the code and renamed it as Experience UI. In Galaxy S8, Samsung made several battery saving optimizations and also speed up UI to provide fluid like user experience. Recently Samsung rolledout the new UI with Gesture controls to Note 8.
According to phandroid, the new UI and Bixby assistant will make their way to Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices with the Oreo update. So Samsung may rollout Android Oreo update along with the new Experience UI and Bixby support to Galaxy S7. As the new UI seems clean and fluid like, the user interface of Galaxy S7 will be revamped with the update. More details about the UI changes in Oreo update will be revealed soon.
2. Picture in Picture Mode
The Picture in Picture (PiP) feature of Android Oreo is one of the elegant features. Previously, with Android Nougat the Search Giant introduced the Split screen or Multi-window feature which helps users to multitask easily. Picture in Picture is the further improvement of the split screen feature.
By using Picture in Picture mode, users can easily watch YouTube videos while using other apps. The users can also do various tasks on their devices while talking through video call on the corner of the screen. So the PiP mode improves user experience enormously. We hope that Google will improve multitasking further in future updates.
3. App Background Limits
This is one of the features of Android Oreo aimed to reduce the battery drain. With improved Doze Mode, Android Nougat succeeded in reducing battery drain compared to Marshmallow. The app restrictions of Oreo take the battery saving a step further.
Background execution limits restrict the background processes of apps and broadcast services. They also limit requests of location updates by the apps and the location restrictions will apply not only to the apps that target Android 8.0 API but also to the apps that target previous android versions.
4. Faster Boot times
Android Oreo improves the boot time of device and Google boasts that Android 8.0 will minimize the boot time to half compared to its predecessor. The 2x faster boot times are already confirmed by the upgraded Pixel and Nexus 5X users. So Android Oreo may also reduce the boot times in all the devices which will receive the update. Usually the boot time depends on the performance of hardware, but Android Oreo is bringing this benifit without upgrading the hardware.
5. Redesigned Emojis
Google said Bye to the old blob emojis of Android with the introduction of new emojis in Oreo. Google worked out for about 18 months to design the emoji set included in the Android 8.0. The search giant announced details about the revamped Android Emojis at I/O 2017 which took place in May 2017.
The new emojis of Android Oreo look more round and facial expressions also look very clear. The redesign emojis are similar to iOS and Samsung emojis, so that users can easily recognize them irrespective of different platforms. Android Oreo also contains 69 new emojis which are focused on better representation of people, gender and also fun, fantacy. The new emojis coming with Oreo include starstruck, throwing up, fairy, mermaid, giraffe, wizard and so on. These new and redesigned Emojis will come to the devices which receive the Android Oreo update.
6. Adaptive Icons
With Adaptive icons, users can change the shape of the icons and currently there are four shapes are available in Oreo : square, rounded square, squircle and teardrop. Developers also design their app icons in the way that all icons of one app look similar irrespective of the OEM but the shape of the icons may change, according to the OEM.
So in one OEM device they may appear in square shape and in another OEM device they may appear in rounded square shape, but with the same style. More details about the Adaptive icons feature will be revealed in coming days.
7. Snooze Notifications
Android Oreo brings the option to snooze notifications, a feature Apple iOS got last year. In Oreo, when the user swipes the notification to right, a clock icon will appear. The user can tap on clock icon and select required time interval in 15mins, 30mins, 1 hour and 2 hour options, after which the notification reappears.
This feature is useful while dealing with news updates or Email notifications while busy. Users can snooze the required notifications and deal with them later.
8. Notification Dots
This is another improvement brought by Android Oreo regarding to the Notifications. The Notification dots feature is already familiar to Apple iPhone users as iOS brought this many years ago. Now this elegant feature comes to Android with Oreo.
When a new notification arrives, a dot will appear at corner of the app icon in Android 8.0. So users can easily identify the required notifications and interact with them. Users can tap on the Notification badge to check the notification but unlike iOS, Android Oreo doesn’t tell how many notifications are in pending for a specific app. In iOS, the number of pending notifications also appears on the badge. Probably, Google will bring the Notification counter in the upcoming updates.
9. New Bluetooth codecs
In Android Oreo, high quality Bluetooth codecs are included which improve the quality of Bluetooth audio. The codecs included in Android 8.0 include Qualcomm’s aptX, aptX HD, Sony’s LDAC and also SBC, AAC. The Eighth major iteration of Android brings the support for Bluetooth 5.0. Google introduced the AAudio feature which is referred to as the high performance and low latency audio.
10. Rescue Party
Rescue party is a feature to revive the device from bootloops and system crashes, according to the documentation in the AOSP source code. The documentation says that the rescue party feature comes into action when the system restarts more than 5 times in just 5 mins or a system app crashes more than 5 times in 30 secs.
The rescue party feature tries in different ways like wiping the cache to get the device back to normal. If the rescue methods are not effective on the issue then it suggests to do a factory reset which is the ultimate solution for boot loop problems. Google own Nexus and Pixel devices got the rescue party feature with Android 8.0 Oreo update, but it is still unclear whether other OEMs include the feature in their updates or not.
11. No Unknown Sources setting
Prior to Android Oreo, the user must check the unknown source option in the Settings menu before trying to install a 3rd party APK. But in Oreo the install from unknown source option has removed. In Oreo, if the user wanted to install any app downloaded from other sources through Chrome or Amazon app store, the External sources permission box appears after the download. The user must check the option Trust apps from this Source, in order to install the downloaded app.
12. Auto Turn-on Wi-Fi
Android Oreo brought this useful feature to refine user experience. By using this feature, the user would be able to connect to high quality Wi-Fi networks by turning on the Wi-Fi automatically. When the user enabled the option in the Settings menu, when the user is near to the saved high-quality network like Home Wi-Fi, the device turns on the Wi-Fi automatically to connect to it.
But unfortunately, some Pixel users have reported that after upgrading to Oreo, even after connecting to Wi-Fi, the mobile network is not switching off. So the data transfer takes place over mobile network and it is annoying limited data plan users. Not only that, it also drains battery quickly because of connecting to both Wi-Fi and Mobile network. Google announced that they have identified the bug and the fix will be sent along with the next security patch update.
13. Persistent Notifications
Persistent Notifications are one of the features of Android Oreo to prevent battery drain and provide fluid user experience. When the user runs an app in the background, a notification appears and doesn’t close away until the app closed. So user can closely observe which apps are running in the background and can terminate the unnecessary background apps by tapping on the notification.
The persistent Notifications of Android Oreo can be a problem to some apps like Facebook Messenger and Twilight which alway run in the background. So the notification stays there constantly and it may annoy the user. Android Oreo Persistent notifications may clutter the workspace sometimes. Unfortunately, there is no option to disable the persistent notifications in the final version of Android Oreo, but there are some apps available in the play store to hide them.
13. Autofill APIs
Remembering passwords and typing in the forms while logging would be a hassle to many Android users. For the Windows powered Desktop PCs and laptops, there are many password manager softwares available. But for Android, password manager apps are very few and they also not very convenient. The user has to open the password manager app and copy the password and paste in the required field of the form.
Now with Android 8.0, the hassle of passwords has gone. With autofill APIs of Oreo, users can simply select the password directly while filling the login form. Password managing apps like 1Password, Lastpass will automatically fill the password field in the form, if the Autofill APIs are enabled. With AutoFill APIs, security will be improved and filling forms become more easier.
14. Smart Text Selection
This is another exciting feature coming with the Android Oreo update. Smart Text Selection is an AI integrated feature of Android 8.0 with this feature, when user highlight a piece of text, options relevant to the text will be displayed. So when a phone number is highlighted, an option to call, along with Copy and Paste options.
When an address is selected on Android Oreo, the user can directly navigate to that address by tapping on the Maps option displayed to open Navigation. So with the smart integration of AI in Android Oreo, users can make phone calls, navigate addresses, open URLs instantly without any hassle. The Smart Text selection feature of Android 8 might be further improved in future updates.
Update on 30/10/2017 :
Samsung Turkey announces that the Android Oreo is going to begin in early 2018 for Galaxy S8 in Turkey. As Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge probably receive shortly after S8, the rollout for Samsung S7 series might commence in Q2 of 2018. But we have to a few more days to get reliable details about the rollout dates of the Oreo update.
According to Sammobile, Samsung is starting the beta program for Galaxy S8 devices on tomorrow. So the beta registed Galaxy S8 users will soon get the Android Oreo beta build. Currently, the program is exclusive to the US Carriers T-Mobile and Sprint and it is unclear whether Samsung expands the program or not.
We will update this post regularly with more details about the Android Oreo update for Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge flagships.