Sprint and Samsung are pushing out the latest Galaxy Note 8 firmware update. You can read the details in this post from @seawolf. The new firmware is mainly security patches and bug fixes from Google's Android team in concert with Samsung's commitment to pushing out timely security updates.
With the firmware comes at least one update that should make life less stressful, and maybe one change that brings about a touch of frustration, all be it temporary. Read on for the "good news / bad news" details.
One of the first changes that I noticed after the firmware update was how Google Maps now gives me a bar graph of typical traffic commute times , similar to how they rank busy times for restaurants and entertainment locations, via a "Info" button.
By now Google knows where I live, where I work, and the places that I frequent. I've always been able to check commute traffic quickly and easily in Google Maps, which is a feature I rely on daily to help me avoid traffic snarls. With this update, I can now make a quick decision to hop in the car and head down the highway, or if it's time better spent to open the laptop at home and wrestle with email for 30 minutes before heading to the office. When you check traffic in Google Maps or via the noti-bar notification you should now see a "Info" button with a small bar chart icon.
When you open Google Maps you will now see a new option: "Info."
Click the Info button to see typical traffic commute times based on hour of the day.
The bar chart shows me the best time to commute.
I get a easy to read bar chart of typical commute times based on each hour of the day. Obviously, Google doesn't have a "crystal ball" and can't predict accidents, emergencies or unforeseen issues. But Google *does* have a lot of data on a lot of customers, and is able to make reasonable predictions based on who travels the same direction at usual times.
It may be that other devices will get the same Google Maps feature update at some point when Maps is updated via Google Play. For me, this feature came with the Galaxy Note 8 ~BQK3 firmware update.
That's the good news. Now for the "bad" news.
One other change that came with the firmware update is that my device home screen wallpaper and theme reverted to the "default" Note 8 theme and wallpaper. (I put "default" in quotation marks because the default wallpaper is actually updated from the original and is identical to that which shipped with the Galaxy S8 / S8+ devices; i.e. parallax shifting purple Galaxy and stars.)
It's not a huge deal to go back into 'Settings' > 'Wallpapers and themes' and switch back to my previous theme and/or wallpaper. But it does irk me a bit that Samsung is pushing it's personal settings back onto my phone. If you've spent a bit of time customizing your wallpapers, fonts, screens, layouts, Always-on screen settings, etc, well...I can see how it would be all the more annoying to have to redo all of those personal touches.
I recommend to everyone to install the latest firmware so that your Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is secure and running smooth.
Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee