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.
By this point, we know pretty well what to expect from Samsung when it comes to monthly security updates. Usually some international market will get the next month's release a little early, still in the waning days of the previous month — exactly like we just saw happen for the July release right at the end of June. And then if we're very good and patient, a few days later we start seeing the first releases start to appear for US carriers — just like what's happening right now.
LineageOS is the custom ROM version of Android for when you throw your phone's original software away and say "screw it, I'm gonna load my OWN Android, with blackjack and hookers." We keep an eye on Lineage to let you know when it's come to new devices, but these are frequent enough (and sometimes inconsequential enough) that ain't nobody got time to do them one by one anymore. Here's a bunch of new devices that have received their first builds over the last six weeks.
One UI 3.1 has been rolling out to older Galaxy devices quickly in the last few months. Despite only being an incremental upgrade over 3.0, it carries over several useful features from the Galaxy S21 to its older siblings. Over the last few weeks, One UI 3.1 has arrived for several mid-range devices and some T-Mobile variants.
Samsung was ahead of the curve again this month when it released the May 2021 security patch for the international Galaxy S21 before anyone else. That continues now as several devices on T-Mobile receive the same update, even as the June security patch arrives for several devices.
Samsung started updating its phones with the June security patch before May was out, but the S21 series seemed to be having issues. Now things seem to be back to normal as the update is rolling out widely.
Samsung has been on fire with updates over the last couple of years. That continues into 2021 with the release of the January patch for several international Galaxy devices, including the S20, Galaxy Fold, and more.
According to Samsung’s own release timeline, Android 11 was supposed to reach older Galaxy flagships only starting this month. But the company gave Galaxy S10 Lite owners an early treat as the One UI 3 build started rolling out a couple of days before Christmas in India. Now the update is reaching even more users, as Samsung appears to be moving towards a broader release.
Live Caption is one of the more unique additions you'll find on Android devices. First shown off at Google I/O 2019, the feature automatically transcribes speech from video playback in real time, on-device. It was initially a Pixel 4 exclusive when it launched, but since then the capability has expanded to older Pixel models. The Galaxy S20 launched with Live Caption, and now it's coming to more Samsung handsets as One UI 2.5 rolls out.
This story was originally published and last updated .
It's been a busy week in smartphone-dom with OnePlus and Apple pulling out new releases. Add to this havoc the Galaxy S10 redux that Samsung announced at CES this year and we've got a party going on: the Galaxy S10 Lite finally comes on sale today starting at $650.