Fear not, early adopters: The Galaxy S8 might not be running Android 7.0 for very long

There are signs that Samsung is looking to update to 7.1 as quickly as possible.

Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones
Adam Patrick Murray (IDG Worldwide)

The Galaxy S8 is one of the most exciting Android phones in years, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. But despite the sleek curved screen, next-gen chip, and new AI assistant, there's a hidden wrinkle: The S8 runs Nougat 7.0.

[ Related: Samsung targets the enterprise with Galaxy S8 and S8+ ]

But that might not be the case for long. While Samsung didn’t specifically mention the OS at its Unpacked event, some reps we spoke to were already floating the idea of a 7.1 update in the works. And now it looks like that might come sooner than later.

Samsung has been hard at work updating its suite of apps for the Galaxy S8, but the latest APKs for the S Health and Game Tuner apps (as spotted by Sammobile) also bring support for Android Nougat 7.1. So, with the phones not scheduled to arrive until next Friday, there’s hope that an update could come at or around the same time.

There aren’t a ton of new features in 7.1 that the S8 would take advantage of. The biggest would be Daydream support, but it’s doubtful Samsung will be rushing to add it, with free Gear VR headsets shipping alongside every pre-ordered S8. However, each OS update always brings performance and optimization improvements that would be certainly nice to have on the newest flagship.

With or without the update, however, Samsung announced this week that sales of the Galaxy S8 are off to a roaring start. The company said it saw “double digit growth” over the Galaxy S7 pre-order, particularly for the larger S8+. The Korea Herald reports that the company has received more than 600,000 S8 preorders in its home country of South Korea, with an additional 150,000 units of the exclusive 128GB variant.

Why this matters: Android updates are a bone of contention for anyone who doesn’t own a Pixel or Nexus phone, so we know it’ll be a long time before the S8 is updated to the next version of Android. That’s why we’d like to make sure we’re on the newest version now, so we hope to see a 7.1 update arrive sooner than later.

This story, "Fear not, early adopters: The Galaxy S8 might not be running Android 7.0 for very long" was originally published by Greenbot.

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