Security updates for Samsung S8

A post on the experiences with different security updates, now on Android 9 PIE.

The official post on updates for the Samsung S8 (G950F) can be found here.

More generally

doc.samsungmobile.com/MODEL/XXX/doc.html

e.g.

doc.samsungmobile.com/SM-G950F/DBT/doc.html

to find XXX go to Settings, About Phone, Software Information, Take the last three chars in the Service Provider SW ver (this section also contains the MODEL)

 

I plan to write my experiences in this post, with the newest first, and updating the date

 


2019-09-18, September security update, a few weeks late as usual.

This generic text does not offer much info, except some on camera, apart from the usual blah blah.

No immediately noticed changes..

 


2019-09-05, August security update, Second iteration early Sepember.

This generic text does not offer much info, except some on camera, apart from the usual blah blah, some policy has been changed though.

No immediately noticed changes. Except it again installed some new stuff (read: bloat) I have not identified yet.

 


2019-08-21, August security update, three weeks late as usual.

This generic text does not offer much info, apart from the usual blah blah.

No immediately noticed changes.

 


2019-07-02, July security update, very early, but with some policy changes.

This generic text does not offer much info, apart from the usual blah blah, some policy has been changed though.

No immediately noticed changes. Except it installed some new stuff (read: bloat) I have not identified yet.

 


2019-06-24, June security update, three weeks late as usual.

This generic text does not offer much info, just the usual blah blah.

No immediately noticed changes.

 


2019-05-24, OOOOPS six days later!!

This generic text does not offer much info, except some on camera and the usual blah blah.

No immediately noticed changes., keyboard still fucked!!

ADD: Changing the screen zoom and font size (temporarily) now brings the keyboard back functioning! (never tried that on the previous)

 


2019-05-18, May security update a few weeks late.

This generic text does not offer much info, except the usual blah blah.

The update fucked up the click-on keyboard!!!!

 


2019-04-30, A last minute April update about as late as can get.

This generic text does not offer much info, except stability on the camera, and the usual blah blah.

A few days in: No noticed changes. (Add: Same after a fortnight).

 


2019-03-29, A second unexpected March update a 11 days after.

This generic text does not offer much info, except something on the camera, just blah blah.

An unexpected 0.6GB update just came in….

 


2019-03-18, The March update came the usual about 2½ weeks late.

This generic text does not offer much info, just blah blah.

 

After a month on Pie, and a few days with the new update, it is qute clear that Pie on the S8- is substantially more power-hungry than Oreo.

2018-03-21: On Oreo the usual idle consumption over night was at a rate of 0.2-0.3%/h. On Pie it seems to be 0.4%/h. I had hoped this bug was fixed with first update.

 


2019-02-20, PIE is here with the February update.

Here are the text for it as it looked on Oreo:

Or with the new further uglified flattened look:

Apart from the uglified icons the home screen looks much it self at first glance

To my big surprise and joy Bixby stayed disabled, even after the update. I would have expected them to reenable all their junk. But kudos to Samsung for not doing that. 😀
Add: Well they did re-enable and start ONE, the “IMS Settings” or package “com.samsung.advp.imssettings” (related to VO-LTE it seems)

It did not even restart all the junk that I use Greenify and Android Assistant to keep down. So Google and/or Samsung certainly improved there. A pile was loaded on a simple boot on Oreo.

The Settings app looks much better with things less ugly flat, and now grouped. On the other hand all my icons on the home screen (except Greenify shortcut) now looks ugly!! It is Fine that they OFFER these new “Adaptive” icons, but why on earth destroy the nice transparent looks of those not supporting that? It is simply stupid 😯  😡  👿 They could have made it an Option “Uglify legacy icons”, they could even have it default on, but give me a choice!!

They seem to have found a designer so young (or just incompetent) that have never seen a real phone. Maybe the kid think it it is a C for Call? Why else replace the Phone hook icon with a bold C….

 

(And the Easter egg is, well, boring)

One nice feature added by Pie (I assume) is an ‘scroll down extent’ function to screen-dumps. It is not perfect, only moving a minor portion, and requiring multiple clicks, but it works, and is a lot easier in stitching stuff together manually (you can just hold it, but that leaves the scroll marker multiple times in the image…). There seem to be some odd limit around 33295 in height (tried to make dump of all apps incl system). Here the disabled (as usual, click to expand)

 

A few thing got new names, so my disable script was in need of minor modifications, see this

 


2019-01-18, The January update came the usual about 2½ weeks late.

This generic text does not offer much info, just blah blah.

No changes felt the first ½day. As usual Samsung themes re-enabled, other disabled stuff were nicely kept disabled.

 


2018-12-13, A new update just THREE days later, on December 1. level.

This generic text does not offer much info, just blah blah.

 

The kernel is stamped December 4., that is just four days after the previous one.

So this make it EVEN more odd, they rushed the other one out????

ADD 2018-12-18. After a few days, no felt difference. (charging still working)

 


2018-12-10, A SECOND November update – and in mid December

This generic text does not offer much info, just blah blah.

I have no idea what this brings over the previous one, the official link offers no details… Just the usual “The security of your device has been improved.

I see no immediately visible changes.

But I guess it must be some really nasty bugs they patches, as they did not want to let it wait a week or two for the normal monthly update.
Or it could be seen on a more optimistic note as a hint that the December patch is going to be even later than usual, perhaps including the new UI as a preparation for the new OS

ADD After a day I noticed that the fast charging issues of the previous update seem to be gone – or I have just been lucky. I tried to attach and detach a few times, and it seems to work.

 


2018-11-19, The November update came late

This generic text does not offer much info, just blah blah.

Much the same as the October function wise, Re-enabled the disabled “Samsung Theme”.

BUT I had some trouble getting it to FAST charge with a QualComm 2.0 charger afterwards. Even after multiple plugs and unplug in vain. I finally transferred some images trough MTP (with this open source incremental backup helper tool) for this post, and after that attaching to the charger worked. Could be coincidental, but keep an eye out, there might be an issue here….

 


2018-10-21, The October update came late

This generic text does not offer much info, just blah blah.

For a little more details on the update see the official link, and October seems to be security only.

Peeking a bit with 3C Toolbox I see in the /system/apk folder that all files has got a new time stamp here.

But luckily this does NOT mean that all the junk I had uninstalled and disabled were revived.

A single one, the “Samsung Themes” had been reenabled though 👿 🙄 , But could fairly easily be disabled again.

adb shell pm disable-user com.samsung.android.themestore
adb shell am force-stop com.samsung.android.themestore

(And yes a disable does NOT stop the app due to some crazy Android decision)

 

ADD

After a short time of usage (less than 48h) I have a feeling that the idle consumption has gotten worse. It was clearly worse the first night. I HOPE it is just a matter of caching most likely being flushed by the update. But will keep a sharp eye on it the next few nights…

ADD II

If any consumption change it is very slight, and most likely within the accuracy of measurements.