I upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S8 to Android 8.0 and it’s like a new phone

Samsung has released an update to Android 8.0 “Oreo” for the Samsung Galaxy S8, and it has rolled out to devices in South Africa.

Dubbed the “Samsung Experience 9.0” upgrade, the patch was a 1.4GB download and featured several security fixes and feature updates.

These included patches to biometric security, changes to the notification tray and home screen, performance improvements, and new features like support for high-quality audio codecs over Bluetooth.

The performance improvements were also particularly noticeable.

Change is good

Everyone who has owned a smartphone has experienced the phenomenon of their device being responsive when it’s new, then a few months down the line it doesn’t seem as quick as it used to.

Apps don’t open as fast, for a start.

After the upgrade to Android Oreo, however, my Galaxy S8 feels like new – even though my activity on it hasn’t changed.

I still receive roughly a quadrillion push notifications a day from various messaging applications, and my background data consumption is about the same.

According to the update’s changelog, background services have been limited to improve performance and battery life.

Whatever they’ve done, it is working beautifully.

In addition to the increase in performance, Samsung highlighted the following Android 8.0 updates – listed below.

Samsung Dual Messenger

The upgrade brings Samsung Dual Messenger, introduced with the Galaxy Note 8, which lets you install a second copy of a messaging app so you can send messages from two accounts using the same device.

Apps Dual Messenger supports include WhatsApp, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Snapchat, WeChat, Telegram, Viber, and Line.

Samsung Dual Messenger

Biometrics

Features which use the fingerprint, iris scanning, and facial recognition features on the Galaxy S8 are now only available when you use a secure screen lock type – pattern, PIN, or password.

When you switch to a non-secure screen lock type, biometric authentication will be suspended for unlocking and verification in apps like Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass.

Those who use biometrics without a secure screen lock may continue to do so after the upgrade, but changing to a secure screen lock type is recommended.

The upgrade also includes all the Android security patches up to 1 February 2018.

Quick Panel

You can now manage notifications for supported apps using notification categories.

Icons are shown at the bottom of the notification panel for notifications that aren’t visible.

Samsung Experience Home - Quick Panel notifications

Home screen

The Samsung Galaxy S8’s upgrade to Android Oreo includes the ability to press and hold on supported apps from a home screen to get a list of common or recommended tasks.

This functions in much the same way as the Force Touch features on the iPhone, except it uses long press.

Notification badges on app icons are now also linked to the notification panel. When you dismiss a notification from the panel, it will also be cleared on the app icon.

Samsung Experience Home - long press quick tasks

Other features

The Android 8.0 update includes several other changes and new features:

  • A toolbar for useful functions in the Samsung Keyboard, including a GIF keyboard.
  • Apps Edge has three new lighting effects, along with adjustments to font and colour.
  • Adjustable transparency and new clock styles in the lock screen and Always On Display.
  • Phone’s screen can now go dark when mirroring to another display.
  • Interface for controlling Samsung account settings and profile information for multiple apps.
  • Samsung Cloud changes – manage files only stored in the Samsung cloud.
  • Ability to back up secure folder to Samsung Cloud remotely, and lock Samsung Pass when phone is lost.
  • Samsung DeX interface improvements.
  • High-quality audio codes including AAC and Sony LDAC now supported over Bluetooth.
  • Video player includes auto repeat and 2× speed option.
  • Voice recorder provides tooltip to block calls while recording.
  • Flag Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync emails in Samsung Email app.
  • Step count shown in Samsung Helath sticky notification.
  • Landscape mode and timer sound options in Clock.
  • Clock widget goes to clock when you tap it.
  • Manage usernames and passwords for third-party apps from Samsung Pass.

Samsung Experience Home Edge display

Now read: Samsung Pay launch date for South Africa

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I upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S8 to Android 8.0 and it’s like a new phone