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Thread: How to get Android updates on an AT&T branded Galaxy Note 8

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    How to get Android updates on an AT&T branded Galaxy Note 8

    I bought an AT&T branded Samsung Galaxy Note 8 from Swappa to use on Cricket. It’s got all the AT&T bloatware and stuff. It works fine with the Cricket SIM. I haven’t tried the extra features like WiFi calling but I never use them anyway. But how do I get OS and security updates? Will they be automatically sent to the phone? Or do I need to do some trickery to get them to download?
    Last edited by Serial Port; 05-26-2022 at 05:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
    I bought an AT&T branded Samsung Galaxy Note 8 from Swappa to use on Cricket. It’s got all the AT&T bloatware and stuff. It works fine with the Cricket SIM. I haven’t tried the extra features like WiFi calling but I never use them anyway. But how do I get OS and security updates? Will they be automatically sent to the phone? Or do I need to do some trickery to get them to download?
    Up until about 6 months ago, I had an AT&T Galaxy S4 on Cricket for a couple years, & it got the updates.

    Sent from my SM-G930U using HoFo mobile app
    Phones used - *Samsung Galaxy S II SGH-T989* *Samsung Galaxy Note II SGH-I317* *Blu Studio 5.0 C HD* *Samsung Galaxy S5 Active SM-G870* *Samsung Galaxy S5 SM-G900* *Moto X Pure Edition* *Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910C* *Samsung Galaxy S7 G930U*

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    You might have to have an active AT&T sim to start the software update process. A Cricket sim operating on the AT&T network might not work. Is your phone network unlocked? When booting does it show the Cricket splash screen or the AT&T splash screen?

    I had to use an active AT&T sim to update a few AT&T Trek 2 HD's that my kids use along with my backup ZTE Blade Spark (AT&T Prepaid) to their latest versions of Android and latest security update. I ended up buying one month of a prepaid line for $30 as I had enough devices that I wanted to get up to date.

    I suspect the Samsung "might" update if it's network unlocked and showing a Cricket splash screen when booting. You might have to use an active AT&T sim to update if it's showing the AT&T splash screen when booting.

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    The AT&T animation plays when the phone starts. I don’t believe it is unlocked. Does this mean I won’t even get the Android security updates? Are these pushed by the AT&T or google?

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    I think that might be the case that your updates are pushed by AT&T (no security updates either).

    Try using the AT&T Device Unlock Portal as a non-AT&T customer. You might be able to network unlock the phone, get it to provision as a Cricket phone, and get the updates. I don't know if it'll work, but at least it's free to try!

    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock

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    Alternatively, you can borrow somebody's active AT&T sim to get the updates. Insert the active AT&T sim, turn off the auto-clock set feature, and keep checking for updates in the control panel while setting the date manually forward one day after each failed attempt. It will eventually start downloading the updates (make sure you're on wifi).

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    Quote Originally Posted by cthomp21 View Post
    I think that might be the case that your updates are pushed by AT&T (no security updates either).

    Try using the AT&T Device Unlock Portal as a non-AT&T customer. You might be able to network unlock the phone, get it to provision as a Cricket phone, and get the updates. I don't know if it'll work, but at least it's free to try!

    https://www.att.com/deviceunlock
    We actually had two AT&T Galaxy S4 & come to think of it they were network unlocked. We never had them on AT&T & had no problem getting them unlocked through the AT&T unlock portal.

    Sent from my SM-G930U using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
    The AT&T animation plays when the phone starts. I don’t believe it is unlocked. Does this mean I won’t even get the Android security updates? Are these pushed by the AT&T or google?
    Connect the phone to WiFi connection
    And try checking for updates.

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    My unlocked AT&T Note 4 and LG G4 both needed to have an active SIM that uses AT&T's primary mobile network code of 410 installed to get OTA updates. An active TracFone AT&T and an active AT&T Prepaid SIM both worked. A activated FreedomPop AT&T SIM and an inactive AT&T SIM did not.

    The AT&T SIM that worked was a preactivated one that I ordered for 99˘ from the AT&T Prepaid site. I never added any money to the SIM so it was not usable but it had a phone number and was ready to add money to and use. When you buy a SIM online from AT&T it comes preactivated and you have 20 days to add money to it before it is permanently deactivated.
    Last edited by Yeswap; 11-10-2018 at 12:03 AM.
    Find and compare prepaid plans at https://prepaidcompare.net

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    I will NEVER buy any more AT&T branded phones to use on Cricket. It's ridiculous how AT&T forces you to have an active AT&T sim to get security updates.

    I had an AT&T Note 4 which I ended up purchasing an AT&T Go Phone SIM just to do updates on it. And the update process is SUPER clunky as you have to check and download updates from AT&T specific servers which are awful. The software only allowed me to check for updates once per day. So to get caught up on multiple updates I had to change my date manually on my Samsung 1 day ahead at a time to get new updates, to the point where I changed the date to 1 year in the future just to get the software to check updates against the server!!!! AT&T is INSANE with its stupid Samsung / Android updates. NEVER buy an AT&T Android phone if you can help it!!

    You can take your AT&T Note 8 to Best Buy and they will update the software for you. Kind of inconvenient but it's an option.

    These days I have an unlocked T-mobile Samsung phone which gets regular security updates despite never being on T-mobile, and it works so awesome on Cricket. I will only buy unlocked or unlocked T-mobile phones to use on Cricket.

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    What a pain. I wish I had asked this question before I bought the phone. So if I manage to get this phone unlocked, will that help with the updates? I suspect not since I will still have the AT&T build on it. I don’t really want to get into the whole XDA Developers OS route.

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    I really think this is more of an Android issue - although, some one here with more knowledge might be able to correct me.

    Google let's all of the carriers (even MVNOs) modify the version of Android they put on their branded phone slightly. Then instead of getting security updates from Google, you have to depend on the carrier to release an update.

    So if a Linux exploit is discovered, Google has to patch it in Android, then the carriers have to get the updated Android code from Google, then the carrier has to patch their version of Android, then they have to patch the specific version of Android they are using for your phone, and then you have to get the update from the carrier.

    It would be a whole lot easier if everyone could just get security updates from Google when there's an update to Android. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I believe this is how Apple does iOS. This is one reason why Apple's iOS platform tends to be more secure than Android - not because Android itself is any less secure, but because there are so many "slightly-modified" versions of Android out there, it's impossible to keep them all secure.

    This is one reason why I like unbranded phones. And I really prefer LineageOS, because it's just more straightforward.

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    Well, I don’t know if this is good or bad, but I requested an unlock from AT&T and they sent me the code. The instructions said to put in a non-AT&T SIM card so I put in an old expired T-Mobile one I had in a drawer. It went through but I didn’t realize that the phone converted itself to T-Mobile and now on start up, I get the T-Mobile splash screen and a T-Mobile folder in the apps drawer.

    I wasn’t sure if I could use my Crick t sim since it’s on the AT&T network. Hopefully that doesn’t hurt things. It shouldn’t.

    I wonder if i’ll get updates from T-Mobile now as sprintleaver has mentioned?

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    When you put your Cricket sim back in after unlocking did the splash screen now change to Cricket?

    You probably need to reboot the phone anyways.

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    Again, someone can correct me if I'm wrong. But I thought the device unlock with AT&T just network unlocked the phone, making it usable on the T-Mobile network (assuming it has support for T-Mobile bands).

    It does not brand unlock the phone.

    Once a phone is AT&T branded, it's stuck at AT&T branded. Although, I thought that meant it always showed the AT&T logo on start up. Never known one to change it's logo on start up.

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