Samsung Galaxy S6 Phone System Update Today

My Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone was running Android 6.0.1 until today, when the notification reached me, that a System Update was available.

So once I got home, I eagerly installed that, and my phone is now running Android 7.0 – which is also known as Nougat.

I am impressed with this, even though the main feature I see is the screen layout. Obviously, there is more to Android Nougat than that. But, while it seems at first glance that everything worked as planned, I cannot honestly claim that everything is in fact 100%, because I haven’t had the time to test many of the new features yet.

For the moment, I’d say that the update was a success.

There was one detail which I specifically did check. One of the usage habits with which I’ve used Marshmallow and Nougat in the past, was to white-list some of my apps, from Battery Optimization. The reason I need to do this, is my desire to allow some of these apps to run in the background, even though I may not be making any foreground use of them. And, these apps are often older, in that their devs have not adapted them to the newer ways of allowing this to happen. Since modern Android aggressively kills apps that fit this description, my devices have white-lists of apps that should not be killed.

What I did expect is that the update to 7.0 would roll back all my personal white-lists. But I still want them. If the app is too outdated to run on 6.0.1 correctly, then it will probably also be too outdated to run on 7.0 correctly.

It took me a few tries, to find where I can do this.

One of the things which Samsung has done with this update, is to design a UI which is user-friendlier, and also more different from Stock Android, than earlier Samsung versions were. And this means that if I want to find something advanced, I need to poke around in the new settings menu a bit.

I have restored my own preference, that my phone is to have a more extensive white-list, for Battery Optimization, than I feel the Tablet should have. And this relates to the fact that while I do want my phone to send me my many notifications, there is little use if the same notifications are always sounding on the tablet. Chances are, I’ll have my phone in my shirt-pocket, while I’m sitting in front of my tablet. And then, if I want my tablet-view of something that the phone just notified me about, manually activating the corresponding app on the tablet works just fine.

I think that any data-miners might get confused by my habits, of inviting many notifications on my phone, but often not tapping on them, to open the corresponding app-pages. But the way I’m set up, the notification text itself usually gives me enough information, that I can just swipe the notification away, and still have a general sense of what’s going on in the world.

Dirk

(Edit 05/20/2017 : )

When a System Update is being installed, I can get rather nervous, and don’t usually like it if the sequence of indications by the device do not match my expectations.

In this example, the update progressed as expected, all the way to the end of the usual screen, where it was showing me the progress, of Optimizing 273 apps.

(I once owned another tablet, where the System Update had broken off before that screen displayed, and that tablet was borked ever since. )

In this case, after the ‘Optimizing Apps’ screen, I would be used to a screen, in which it just tells me that it’s completing the latest reboot. But what I saw instead was a screen, telling me that one of the old apps could not be optimized, and that the phone was looking for a possible update to the app in question : The ‘Driver Mode’ app.

Then, the phone displayed a message to me, telling me that a more-up-to-date version of that app could not be found. The app is currently no longer installed – due to the actions of the O/S.

And so this sequence of actions broke the usual sequence in which I’m used to seeing the Android screens, for System Updates. In fact, before the phone was done, its screen did next go blank, because the usual, saved timeout had expired, after which it stops asking the user for his unlock code.

But: The LED lit up green, to tell me that its battery was fully charged, and that it was not only alive, but actually in standby.

So at that stage – roughly an hour after commencing the update process – I pressed the Home Button once, to find that I was being greeted by the Lock Screen, which I promptly unlocked, to start exploring the new layout. Also, there were some other processes still taking place, with the screen off, which I normally do associate with a correct, successful update.

And so some unexpected irregularities in the screens displayed, could have been a sign of a botched update, but seem to have been due to careful coding on the part of Samsung programmers, intended to deal with unexpected situations that might arise during a System Update.

Years ago, the same unexpected situations would well have led to a botched update, just because their occurrence was unexpected.

But as it stands, I am confident that this update was not botched.

Dirk

 

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