Every month Samsung gets a head start on security patches by letting one or two slip out in the days before we actually flip over the calendar — just as it did about a week or so back, further cementing its position as the king of updates. After grabbing that early lead, Samsung's continuing to release its August patch for more and more Galaxy smartphones internationally.
Samsung has really been owning it when it comes to the Android security patch game. Continuing that impressive track record, Samsung is already releasing the March 2021 update for several devices, even though we're still in February. As well as keeping our devices secure, we're also seeing some new features land, as the Galaxy Tab S7 picks up some new iPad-inspired capabilities.
Samsung's software strategy has improved significantly over the past few years, turning the company from one of the worst OEMs for updates to one of the best. Last year, Samsung announced most of its devices would get three years of Android OS updates, and now it has updated its list of supported devices with a few additions and removals.
Samsung's Android 9 Pie rollout has been rather swift. After beta testing it along with its new One UI on the Galaxy S9, S9+, and Note9, it began rolling it out to users of the first two models late in December. Back then, the company also released a Pie update roadmap with the months it expected to push the OTA for its remaining devices. Now, an updated roadmap has been spotted by SamMobile, pointing to quicker release dates for the Note9 and Note8.
Don't use images taken from vastly more capable photography equipment and try to pass them off as phone camera samples — it's a pretty simple rule, yet Samsung just can't seem to get the hang of it. Earlier this year, its Brazilian marketing department tried to fool potential Galaxy A8 buyers with stock photography in lieu of actual samples, and now it's happened again.
TWRP is by far the best custom recovery for Android devices; it can do everything from flashing ROMs to performing full storage backups. The last time we covered the project, it added official support for the Essential Phone, Nokia 8, and HTC U11 EYEs. More phones have joined the party since then, including the Moto Z3 Play and a handful of budget Samsung devices.
Samsung has just made a couple of changes to its Android security updates page, and they're not too pretty. Three devices --- the 2016 versions of the Galaxy A3, J1, and J3 --- have been dropped from security updates altogether, and out of the four new additions, three have been filed under the list for quarterly security updates.
Following the user manual leak last week, Samsung has formally announced the Galaxy A8 (2018) and A8+ (2018) as part of their midrange lineup for 2018. The new mid-rangers use the same design language as the Galaxy S8 and S8+, as well as pack in a dual front-facing camera, support for Samsung Pay, and is available in black, orchid grey, gold, and blue.
Samsung's most recent Galaxy A-series models were released at the start of this year, way back in January, so it's safe to assume the next generation will make an appearance around the same time early next year. There have been plenty of rumors about the mid-range lineup, and we're pretty sure the naming convention will be changing, with this year's A5 and A7 becoming the A8 and A8+.