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 If the app is too outdated to run on 6.0.1 correctly, then it will probably also be too outdated to run on 7.0 correctly.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 : )

Continue reading Samsung Galaxy S6 Phone System Update Today

I see Android 7.1.1 as a significant improvement over 5.x .

In Android 7.1 , Google seems to have taken an aggressive approach to rectifying this problem and this problem.

Not only do newer versions of Android give users control over granting each permission to an app that requests it, thus slowing down privilege escalation attacks that have been possible in the past. But Android 7.1 actually rolls back permissions, which have been granted in the past. When we upgrade, the apps are optimized in such a way that many of their permissions default to Not Granted, until an effort is made by the user to Grant Them.

Further, since version 6.0.1 , Android has a feature called Doze. What it seems to do is cancel alarms which apps had set, to wake themselves again in the background. It cuts down significantly on the battery consumption of a fully up-to-date Google Pixel C.

Unfortunately, this also interferes with how the email apps Kaiten and K-9 work, which try to poll the email servers at regular, user-configured intervals, but which eventually stall in their older way of doing so, instead displaying the message ‘Sync Disabled’. On my own Pixel C, I have had to whitelist the Kaiten app, to exclude it from Battery Optimization manually, so that now it is fetching emails from the server again.

Continue reading I see Android 7.1.1 as a significant improvement over 5.x .