The latest chapter in the Star Wars saga releases this week (and already has in a handful of countries, in addition to getting positive critical reception), and almost as if to coincide with the movie's release, Samsung seems to have course corrected its software update game. I don't know why I'm associating it with Star Wars. Maybe I'm just too happy that The Last Jedi is finally releasing and Samsung has decided to make things right at the same time. Maybe I'm not in the right state of mind as I write this at nearly 5 o'clock in the morning. In any case, it's great to see the Korean giant has decided to make a comeback and is making up for the software update delays in recent months for flagship phones.
The Galaxy Note 8 isn't falling behind with software updates anymore
Until the beginning of this month, the international Galaxy Note 8 had not been updated for a long time. We saw one software update in most countries after the phone went on sale, but then, nothing. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ saw updates being delayed as well, but the delays for Samsung's first 2017 flagships came much later in their time on the market. The Note 8, meanwhile, chugged along with an old security patch for a long time before Samsung decided to bring it up to par with the rest of its Galaxy. But, as it turns out, the company had once again messed up – the update that rolled out in early December only had the November security patch, while Samsung detailed the December security patch soon after.
To make matters worse, Samsung released a more feature-packed update in some markets, while only implementing the November security patch for others. But, earlier this week, it decided to release an update for the Note 8 with the December security patch and, much to our surprise, also brought in the new features (VPN functionality, Live Focus UX tweaks in the camera app) that were missing from the month's previous update. It's a rare thing for Samsung to release an update with varying features and changes in different markets, then release a followup to bring them all to feature parity, but that's exactly what has happened this time around.
The new update is rolling out in France, India, and Taiwan, to name a few, and it's highly likely it will make its way to most other (if not all) markets in the coming days. Even if it doesn't, it's good to see things are getting back on track and Samsung's latest and priciest flagship is rocking the most recent security fixes in many regions before we've reached the middle of the month. The force is strong again with Samsung's software update game, and here's hoping the company can continue this streak and apply it to the rest of its galactic smartphone lineup.