Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge users could find their phones receiving an early update which will get them the Android 7.1.1 software and skip the anticipated Android 7.0 update.
Android 7.1.1 was already released to Google Pixel and Nexus devices, and other companies like Sony are apparently pushing to bring the newest version to their phones as well. But the news comes as a surprise given that Samsung had been using its Galaxy Beta Program to test how Android 7.0 would work, as Samsung phones are still on the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.
The news was first broken on an Internet forum devoted to developers in response to a user query urging Samsung to upgrade to the newest version. It is also possible that older phones like the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note could also receive the update since they were already slated to receive the 7.0 update.
It should be noted, as Android news points out, that it is possible that the screenshot confirming the release of the 7.1.1 could be fake, but the lack of response from Samsung so far at least indicates that this possibility is likely true. However, no date has been confirmed for the update’s Samsung release.
Will people update?
The Android 7.1.1 has attracted positive attention from technology critics, who have praised how it improves phone battery life and offers multiple window options. In addition to these fundamental improvements, Google also noted that the 7.1.1 update will also feature greater gender equality, with “gender counterparts for emoji that previously only had male or female representation.” These include female welders and men getting their hair cut.
But while the 7.1.1 may be an improvement, Android 6.0 remains the most used version of Android. Only 0.4 percent of phones are on Android 7.0 even though the software has been out for three months. The slow update rate exists largely because most companies like Samsung have not actually rolled out the newer versions of Android onto their own phones. In addition to the features which Android 6.0 users are missing out on, staying on the old version is a security risk as hackers have more time to discover vulnerabilities.