With new Galaxy smartphones on the horizon, Samsung continues to struggle to provide updates. This has always been the case for the South Korean giant thanks to its somewhat heavy Experience UI, which makes it harder to alter and roll out Android system builds as they’re released by Google. Before we all start to craze about the Galaxy S9, we thought we should take time to step back and discuss an area Samsung can improve upon, and that’s providing Android updates. How do you feel about this?
If you’ve purchased a Galaxy smartphone, you know updates aren’t Samsung’s priority. Depending on the kind of user you are, this may be no problem at all, but to others, yeah, it would be nice to get updated software ever once in a while. You almost have to consider this a factor when upgrading your phone. At one point it seemed like Samsung was improving the process to provide quicker, more expanded and more stable updates. But the last year was horrific.
Now unlike before, Google releases Android betas ahead of every Android release. The purpose of this is not only to gain feedback from users, but to give manufacturers a head start in building their software around what Google does. Then there’s Project Treble, which didn’t have much of an impact this year, but nonetheless, helped certain manufacturers push Android updates by eliminating a step in the process. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ came out in March of 2017, followed by Android 8.0 Oreo in August. The Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ alongside DeX Pad will be announced by Samsung later this month at MWC 2018 in Barcelona, and Google is already readying the next Android release for May in that of Android P.
So where am I going with all this? Well, if you’ve been following our news coverage over the past week or so, you know Samsung rolled out Android 8.0 Oreo to its Galaxy S8 models and this week halted progress. The fact that only a handful of Galaxy S8 owners actually received the update and that Samsung had to stop it after seven or more months of work on it is downright pathetic and disappointing to us and Google’s distribution numbers. Not to mention, the Galaxy S8 is only the first of Samsung’s 30+ 2017 phone collection in line to receive this update. Before you know it, Galaxy S9 will be out, pre-loaded with Experience 9.0 and Android 8.1 Oreo, and Samsung’s next-best models will still be stuck on Nougat from 2 years ago.
Other Android manufacturers seem to be enjoying success rolling out their updates, so what’s taking Samsung this long? The company has been able to provide security patches just fine, and just when everything seemed ready, the company took two steps backwards. It’s shameful that after this much time, bugs and issues continue to plague Samsung’s Oreo software build. And now, apparently the company is working on a brand new Oreo build. Samsung will have its work cut out to make up lost ground, and while a shiny Galaxy S9 will satisfy a large number of users looking to upgrade, the fact of the matter is that millions are still at home waiting for an update to arrive. If Samsung is to keep customers loyal and coming back for more, some movement needs to be made so people feel they got their money’s worth. As for right now, this is a disgrace and the company should be very embarrassed.
This brings us to our poll of the week. For those of you who are Galaxy owners or at one point were considering upgrading to Galaxy, did Samsung’s near inability to provide timely Android system updates factor in your decision? Does this bother you at all or are updates not your concern? The company clearly makes some of the best phones in the industry, and you’re buying them, so was it the hardware that made you choose Galaxy? Drop a comment letting us know and be sure to vote in our weekly poll down below. The poll will remain open all week and we look forward to hearing your response.
Below are the major stories from this week.