A moderator on Samsung forums stated that within the next two to three weeks, the unlocked units of the Samsung Galaxy S8, the Galaxy S8 Plus, and the Galaxy Note 8 will receive a software package that will upgrade the handset’s operating system to Android 8.0 Oreo. While the moderator did not provide the specific date of the rollout of the software package, the community staff mentioned that the operating system upgrade is now in its final testing phase. Moreover, the moderator provided an explanation on why the network operators in the United States were able to deploy the software package to the carrier-locked models first. The community staff stated that the firmware of the unlocked models of the three smartphones had to be tested and approved by all carriers before it could be rolled out to consumers. This is necessary to ensure that the devices will function properly on the networks of all supported carriers. In contrast, the carrier-locked models only need to be tested for the network of one carrier.
Some of the new features that the software upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo will bring to the unlocked models of the three handsets include the Picture-in-Picture mode, the notification dots functionality, and the autofill feature. The Picture-in-Picture mode permits users to view two applications at the same time by placing one app in a smaller window on top of another application. The notification dots functionality, on the other hand, informs the user on which apps have notifications directly on the home screen. Users may also tap the notification dots to access a set of quick in-app actions. The autofill functionality aims to reduce the time spent by the user in logging in to applications and websites by remembering important information including usernames and passwords. This major operating system upgrade also brings under-the-hood improvements like reduced boot-up times and background app optimizations, which should improve the battery life and performance of the device. In addition, the software package also brings the upgraded version of the Samsung’s proprietary skin, dubbed as the Samsung Experience 9.0.
Once the software package is available, users will receive a notification which provides instructions on how to download the update. In addition, users are advised to back up the files and images stored in the device to prevent loss of important data.