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Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

Yes, after many months of waiting and a few weeks of even more tension, Samsung has finally made the update for the Galaxy S7 available in Belgium: Android 8 aka. Oreo is here. I installed it yesterday.

I’m still discovering little differences with the previous version, but the update went smoothly. For general use, the end result isn’t that different from Android 7 – from a user’s point of view, that is good news. The only disappointing item I have discovered so far, is the security patch level: in June, I expect more than a mention of April 1st.

 

So, on to Android 9 now ?

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News flash: a few hours ago, SAM Mobile reported: “Galaxy S7 Oreo update rolling out in various European countries“. Belgium is mentioned, but so far my Samsung Galaxy S7 is reporting that Android 7.0 is the latest version available… Things may change in the coming days, I hope!

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More than a year ago, Samsung (finally!) delivered Android 7 to the Belgian Galaxy S7 smartphones – and my device is still claiming to be up to date while displaying Android version number 7.0…

Google released the first version of Android 7 in August 2016, and a few weeks ago they released the Android 9 beta… Samsung (like many other vendors) is taking much, even too much, time to support their products.

Much as I like the quality of Samsung hardware (at least when it comes to phones), the lack of software support makes me more and more appreciative of Apple’s efforts. I have been using Apple hardware – mostly Mac computers in all form factors – since 1991, but Mac OS has never been as as closed as iOS, and that was one of the reasons I preferred Android smartphones. I am not disappointed in Android as such, but given the increasing number of threats to mobile devices it is important to get regular and speedy updates. Apparently, for Samsung there were no security updates worth mentioning during in the last six weeks (the latest security update on my S7 was installed on April 9, probably days after its release)… It’s a good thing the S7 is far from worn out, or I might be very tempted to switch to an iPhone.

There is still hope for Android Oreo, by the way: SamMobile announced its “imminent release” a few weeks ago. Without a firm planning, however, S7 users can only continue to hope… and remember that Oreo will probably be the last official upgrade for the S7 !

PS. Yes, My Samsung Galaxy S Plus is still working. But I have no plans to try and upgrade it beyond its current Android 5.1.1 (CyanogenMod 12.1).

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Just to make the update history complete: my Samsung Galaxy S7 has been updated yesterday with the February 2018 Security Patch. The current version is now called NRD90M.G930FXXU2DRB6. There’s still no sign of a real Android update to version 7.1 or 8.0…

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Yes, Samsung distributed another update for my Samsung Galaxy S7. No, it wasn’t an update to Android 7.1, and certainly not Android 8. Just security patches, I suppose – but no word on which holes were effectively taken care of. I hope that the famous KRACK attack vector of November 2017 is taken care of; I’m not betting on any resolution, partial or complete, for Spectre and Meltdown. I guess we’ll just have to be happy with the fact that security patches do come through, no?

Build G930FXXU1DRA3 for SGS7 looks like this ;-)

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Yes, Samsung sent out another software update for the Galaxy S7 here in Belgium.

But the essential part of the “update” is limited to the Android Security patch level, now at “December 1st, 2017“. That’s just barely good, Samsung. Where are the versions of Android 7.1, Android 8 or Android 8.1 for this device? Is the S7 already destined to be abandoned when it comes to serious software updates?

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Since a few days, there’s another firmware update for the Samsung Galaxy S7 here in Belgium (and probably elsewhere too, of course). The announcement did not promise a major update to Android, although the download was more than 400MB:

After the installation, rebooting the S7 triggered a message that said a number of application were being upgraded – but the docs mention none of them explicitly. In the end, what counts most for me is a more current security patch level: that is now up to October 1st, 2017. Unfortunately, that won’t include any defence for the KRACK attack which was made public at the end of October…

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