When it comes to over-the-air updates, Samsung tends to roll them out to its devices gradually instead of all at once — and that applies to different variants of the company’s phones and tablets. Take the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8, for example — there’s a U.S. and China model that packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, and an international model with an Exynos 8895 processor. In the U.S., Samsung sells unlocked models of the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and the Galaxy Note 8, but U.S. carriers also sell their own variants and approve every software update. All this adds to the confusion, and until recently, it was almost impossible for Samsung device owners users to manually install new and unreleased firmware.
Thankfully, Redditor thesbros created a website that matches Snapdragon Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note 8 models with the corresponding Samsung firmware. Users can type in the model of their phone and get the most recent software update. Once it’s downloaded, the update can be sideloaded via the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), or installed from the device’s recovery. Even better? The tool shouldn’t trip KNOX, Samsung’s security platform, because the firmware’s been signed by Samsung.
thesbros adds that the OTA releases the website downloads come straight from AT&T, so they’re safe. It should be noted that it is impossible to install OTAs on devices with a locked bootloader unless they’re official updates, which should give users on the fence some peace of mind.
The update tool is only compatible with Snapdragon variants of the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, or Galaxy Note 8 — owners of the Exynos variants are out of luck, unfortunately. Unlocked models are supported, and thesbro‘s tool includes Oreo beta releases for both the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+.