Google released Android 9.0 Pie in early August, with only Pixel and Pixel 2 phones being eligible for the upgrade. Various other smartphone makers offered Pie betas at the same time and some of them will make Android 9.0 available to their customers soon. Samsung? Not so much. But the Korean Android device maker is preparing to release its customary beta program for Google’s latest operating system and we have good news and bad news about it.
The good news is that Samsung’s help pages for the Android Pie program have already gone up — here’s the FAQ section and here are the terms and conditions. Furthermore, xda-developers says that the Pie beta will launch by the end of the month.
The bad news is that, as was the case in previous years, the beta only works for Samsung’s first flagship of the year. That means only Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ owners will be able to try it once Samsung makes it available. Also, not all Galaxy S9 phone versions out there will run the beta initially, so you might have to wait a while until it’s rolled out in your market.
In the US, buyers who own an unlocked Galaxy S9, a T-Mobile S9, or a Sprint version of the handset will be able to run the Pie beta. What’s interesting is that Samsung insider Ice Universe posted a GIF animation on Twitter teasing Android Pie beta for the Galaxy Note 9:
It’s unclear when the Note 9 will join the Pie beta program, however.
As for the final Pie release for the Galaxy S9, you should assume it’ll be sometime in early 2019. xda estimates that Samsung will drop about six updates spread out to every two weeks before the final release is out, and that the final Android 9 release will be available around late January.
One thing the new beta will include, aside from all the new tricks Google built into Android 9.0 this year, is the new Samsung Experience 10 user interface that leaked a few days ago. Here’s a video preview of it in action: