Hot on the heels of several leaks and speculation, Samsung finally announced the launch of the Android 8.0 Oreo beta programme for its Galaxy S8 series on Thursday. The programme, dubbed the Samsung Experience 9.0 Beta, is currently open for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ owners in South Korea, the US and the UK in the first phase.
In South Korea, the Android 8.0 Oreo beta programme is available for those users who have a device from carriers including SKT, KT and LG U+. In the US, the programme is available for Galaxy S8 and S8+ users using either Sprint or T-Mobile network on their device, or using an unlocked version for the US market. When it comes to the UK, users will be able to use it only on an open market device or an operator unlocked version.
"Following Samsung Experience version 8.5, which was released with the Galaxy Note8, Samsung Experience 9.0 is based on the latest version of the operating system built on the Android Oreo UI and UX, and will be available on the next flagship Galaxy device," Samsung said in a statement.
Although the company didn't name the next flagship Galaxy smartphone, it is widely expected to be the Galaxy S9, which is likely to be announced in early 2018.
To participate in the Android 8.0 Oreo beta programme, users will first have to register for the beta via the Samsung Members app or the Samsung+ app for the US. Once registered, users will get the beta firmware over-the-air.
The Android 8.0 Oreo beta programme for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ is expected to continue for at least two months before the roll out of the final firmware for the public. Although Samsung has not yet confirmed when it will release the Android 8.0 Oreo update, several reports have suggested so far that it might happen early next year.
Meanwhile, SamMobile claims that it has obtained the official changelog of the Android 8.0 Oreo update from a T-Mobile Galaxy S8, which has already received the beta. The firmware comes with the version number G950USQI1ZQJJ, and it weighs in at 1.4GB.
Here's a rundown of new features and improvements included in the beta: