You may not remember them but the Galaxy TabPRO lineup in its heyday heralded a new direction for the Korean device maker in its approach to software. The lineup that comprised of four devices namely the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2, introduce a new user interface aptly named Magazine UI. Google reportedly stepped in to prevent its biggest Android partner from adopting Magazine UI across its device range as it not only ditched the core Android user experience Google desired but also stood the risk of alienating millions of consumers who usually buy Samsung devices and who may have no inkling how Android should look and feel beyond what is available to them on the devices they buy.
The Pro lineup of tablets from Samsung shipped with Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box and those devices have been stuck there close to two years later. Not only has the usual 18 months support window that most vendors go with elapsed but in just two month’s time the 2 year period Samsung usually supports its device will also elapse. That already means that any chance of the devices being updated to Android 5 Lollipop which was released last year or Android 6, Marshmallow, which is currently rolling out to devices, are almost zero. But it is not yet news until you hear it from Samsung so, @SamsungUK did just that, much to the disappointment of all the Galaxy Tab Pro tablet users out there.
@JSmoove_12 We really don’t like bringing you news you don’t want to hear, but the TabPRO 8.4 will not be getting Lollipop. ^ES
— Samsung UK (@SamsungUK) November 24, 2015
While the above confirmation is for the 8.4-inch Galaxy Tab Pro, it is highly likely that the rest of the Pro tablets are also in the same boat as their guaranteed support windows are fast being eclipsed.
The Pro lineup was shortlived as Samsung released the much-loved Tab S flagship lineup barely six months after launching the Pros and the Magazine UI is all but history at the moment. Support period being valid or not, we really can’t understand why a device as capable as the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 has to be abandoned at this hour.
Not only do software updates bring with them much-needed upgrades like Lollipop or Marshmallow, they are also the only avenue through which some bug fixes by Google made to the core of Android can be made available to users. Android has been the target of various exploits and updates fix such holes among other things. Never mind the Material Design interface introduced in Lollipop, the biggest redesign to Android since October 2011.
Just for the optimists, let’s assume that there is still hope, somehow. That this only applies to Tab Pro 8.4 users in the United Kingdom only and not elsewhere in the world (even though there are precedents that rule this out anyway) and that since only Lollipop was mentioned, Marshmallow could be on the way 🙂
Queer things happen.