Samsung is rolling out an Always On Display update for the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge. The Always On Display has not been a strong suit for both the smartphones, because the feature is quite lacking compared to other premium Android smartphones.
However, Samsung is looking to change that and add more flavor to the AOD feature on the premium flagships via an 8 MB update that it is quietly rolling out. One of PhoneArena's readers sent the online news portal details regarding the update (version 1.4.02).
Clock And Image
According to the changelog, the clock, calendar and image setting will be set to the default digital clock. Note that there are several types of clocks available to the AOD: World, Analog and Digital. The update also brings about the Image Clock, which allows any image to be set to AOD. There's also the new Signature clock that allows users to set their own signatures to AOD.
The update also replaces AOD's previous two types of calendar with a newly designed one. Moreover, the new AOD version now displays information about songs being played through supported music apps. Track information getting displayed on AOD was previously native to the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
Improved Battery Consumption
Samsung also designed the new AOD on both the S7 and S7 edge to support keyboard and S-View covers. Improvements were also made towards battery consumption, which now only eats up less than a percent of the total battery capacity per hour.
"Battery consumption rate is up to Samsung internal measurement and can vary up to the content type," writes Samsung in the new AOD update changelog.
This current update builds on top of the May 2016 AOD update in which Samsung added the option for users to schedule and set specific times, as well as define the duration for when they want the feature to be turned on, which conserves the battery and keeps it from being constantly drained.
The Unaddressed Elephants
While the update certainly is a welcomed one, Samsung is yet to address the biggest handicap of AOD on S7 and S7 edge compared to other Android premium devices.
The S7 and S7 edge's AOD remains constantly on, the AOD on the Moto X will only surface after a simple wave. The Nexus 6P will bring up its AOD after a simple tilt. While an argument can be made for Samsung's interpretation of the AOD, providing options for simple ways of surfacing the display certainly does not hurt.
The interactivity, or lack thereof, is also yet to be updated. Users can tap as much as they want on the AOD's notification icons, but nothing will come of it. To get into the notifications, users will need to press the power switch or the physical home button, which brings the user to the lock screen from which the full notification details can be viewed.
Another problem with the S7 and S7 edge's AOD is that it only supports Samsung's stock apps, such as the dialer and text messaging. There's really no solid support even for popular third-party apps. For instance, after receiving a message on Google Hangouts, the handheld will vibrate but no information will be displayed on AOD.