Update [May 08, 2017]: The April security patch is making its way to the Galaxy Tab A 9.7. The update arrives as software version P555CZCU1BQC1 and also includes minor performance tweaks and resolves a few pending issues too. Download the update over WiFi so as not to incur additional data charges.
Update [May 06, 2017]: Samsung is now starting to seed the April security patch to the 8-inch LTE variant of the Tab A. The update arrives as build P355MUBU1BQC2 and includes various performance improvements and deals with a few issues too. Before downloading the update over WiFi ensure that your device has sufficient charge and also take a back up of your important data.
Update [May 03, 2017]: Samsung is currently distributing a new update to the 8-inch WiFi variant of the Tab A. Identified as software version T350XXU1BQD1, the update installs the April security patch on your device. In addition to that, the Marshmallow based update also resolves a few pending issues and polishes system performance.
Update [April 21, 2017]: The Galaxy Tab A is now receiving its April security patch as software version P588CZCU1AQD1. This will essentially protect your device from known security threats and dangerous malware. Performance enhancements are also included in addition to ironing out bugs and other issues present on the previous build.
Update [April 12, 2017]: The April security patch for Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2016) is now seeding out as an OTA update. Coming in with build number P585JXU2AQC3, the Marshmallow based update also includes bug fixes and minor performance optimizations in addition to installing the latest security patch.
Update [April 08, 2017]: After getting to know from Samsung’s update roadmap that the Tab A series is in line for Nougat, we have have more confirmation, this time from WiFi Alliance. A whole host of Galaxy Tab A variants were spotted for certification running Android 7.0 Nougat.
The S-pen variants are SM-P580, SM-P580X, SM-P583, SM-P585, SM-P585M, SM-P585N0, SM-P585Y, SM-P587 and SM-P588C. As for the non S-pen variants SM-T580X, SM-T580, SM-T585, SM-T585C, SM-T585N0 and SM-T587.
Released in May 2016, the Galaxy Tab A rocked Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box. The tablet came in four variants with the devices being split into non S-pen variants (SM-T580 and SM-T585) and S-pen variants (SM-P580 and SM-P585).
The tablet featured an above average specsheet, with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a octa-core Exynos 7870 processor clocked at 1.6GHz. On the other hand, the S-pen version came with 3GB of RAM and 32GB on board storage.
The front of the device carried a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 PLS LCD display. Though the device carried a heavy-duty 7300mAh battery, Samsung managed to keep the Galaxy Tab A quite slim at 8.2mm.
Will the Galaxy Tab A receive Nougat?
Almost a year has passed since the Tab A 2016 was launched and Samsung has been faithfully delivering regular security patches to the tablet. The latest update to roll out was version P585JXU2AQC2, which installed the March security patch for Tab A 10.1 (SM-P585).
Coming to the Nougat update, it seems pretty likely that Samsung will release the update. This information can be validated from the Nougat roadmap for Samsung Turkey.
As you can see from the above image, two variants of the Galaxy Tab A — SM-P587 and SM-T587 — have their Nougat updates planned for June this year. This schedule was recently updated by Samsung. Earlier revisions of the update schedule revealed that the Tab A 2016’s update was actually planned for July.
Expected Release date: 9th June 2017
In addition to the release date being revealed, Samsung will also be bringing Always On Display support to the tablet. This feature displays notifications and date/time on your screen all the time. Given Nougat’s improved doze mode, it wouldn’t cause a considerable strain on battery life either. But it will be interesting to see how it performs on a PLS LCD panel.
Alternatives to Nougat
If you are too impatient to wait it out for a couple of months more, then you could flash a custom ROM on your tablet and experience Nougat like never before. In fact, you will also be able to see more performance and battery life gains than what Samsung provides right now.
The only caveat here is that, certain custom ROMs are still in test phase and may tend to be buggy. Such ROMs aren’t suitable as daily drivers. So it’s best to stick to the more popular ROMs out there as they are the most stable and tend to receive regular updates too.