My Galaxy S7 still says AT&T software and firmware after switch

magenta1824141

    Recently moved from AT&T to T-Mobile, everything (voice, data, text) seems to be working BUT my phone boots up with an AT&T logo, there's all sorts of AT&T crapware still on the phone, and I can't seem to get the latest Android version. Also there some pesky things like the AT&T software build doesn't seem to have a Call Barring feature exposed which is not cool.

     

    I've a Galaxy S7, firmware is G930AUCS4APK1 running Marshmallow 6.0.1 OS.

     

    I can't be the only guy to switch carriers, from AT&T to T-Mobile, and I also can't be the only guy to move over with their S7 they got when at AT&T.

     

    So reaching out for some guidance:

     

    1. I'm not sure I'm getting all of my security patches anymore, or am I as the device firmware suggests its an AT&T build but I'm no longer an AT&T customer?

    2. is there a standard procedure for situations like mine, which can't be unique for customers switching like I am, where I can upgrade my S7 to Nougat with proper T-Mobile firmware too? After all isn't there also a complete firmware update when Nougat is installed with T-Mobile?

     

    many thanks for any help on this ...

      All replies

      • magenta1824141

        Update for the community, for those who came over from AT&T with their unlocked devices.

         

        Just got off a call with T-Mobile Tech Support, and nice enough guy but the message back is we are all screwed if we were hoping for any software updates (or security patches?) from T-Mobile. Best as I can tell T-Mobile (only?) pushes patches and updates to any device on their network with their firmware number only.

         

        Again, nice enough Tech Support but ... its 2017 and while patching / updating software is not trivial, its also not impossible to do better today. You'd think there'd be a smarter way to deal with this backend process, considering every phone has a unique ID!

         

        Just wanted to share with the community ... heads up, and if anyone does find a way to get their updates someway / somehow please let us know.  Thanks ...

          • stevetjr

            You are correct in that you will not get the updates OTA via T-Mobile.  Even though it appears that T-Mobile is sending the update it is actually still coming from Samsung's servers, just the OTA notification is only looking for the TMO model number when the phone is on their network which of course yours isn't a TMO model number.

             

            There is still a way for you to get updates however and that is to use Samsung Smart Switch.  If AT&T has released an update it will be available for your device via smart switch.

             

            While the devices appear the same there are sometimes small differences in the firmware because of network capabilities and TMO devices especially have to have a lot of extra firmware since they have the most advanced network out there.  So the radio for one but also things like wi-fi calling, RCS messaging, GoGo inflight messaging, etc all have to be incorporated at an OS level which is why each carrier has it's own slightly different version of the OS and updates come out on completely different schedules because Samsung has to program them each individually.

             

            There is a way but it is not sanctioned or supported by TMO not to mention if you mess it up it bricks your phone but using software called ODIN and some searching/research on XDA Developers and you can find the software files needed to essentially convert your device from an AT&T version to TMO version but as I previously said if something goes wrong..........

            1 of 2 people found this helpful
              • magenta1824141

                Stevetjr - awesome.

                 

                That's more than an acceptable answer for me as a customer. Already have the Samsung Smart Switch software and it is a handy set of bits for anyone with a Samsung phone. Would just have been less stressful if T-Mobile published the (alternate) process somewhere. I'm sure customers moving to T-Mobile would understand and appreciate that they can really BYOD in terms we can understand.

                 

                Again awesome response ... many, many thanks ...

                • magenta2452796

                  JULY 2018

                  Hey,

                   

                  I have an S7(SM-G930A) from At&t and Now on TMobile. I have been waiting like everyone else for the new OREO. Is it possible to get the TMobile Version of Oreo vs. the At&t version (G930AUCU4CRE4)?

                  Also, I don't see anywhere on Smart Switch to download current firmware or security updates? It only has 1)backup 2) Restore 3) outlook Sync  ?

                    • stevetjr

                      magenta2452796 wrote:

                       

                      JULY 2018

                      Hey,

                       

                      I have an S7(SM-G930A) from At&t and Now on TMobile. I have been waiting like everyone else for the new OREO. Is it possible to get the TMobile Version of Oreo vs. the At&t version (G930AUCU4CRE4)?

                      Also, I don't see anywhere on Smart Switch to download current firmware or security updates? It only has 1)backup 2) Restore 3) outlook Sync ?

                      In short no you can't download the TMO version on your device officially and to do so you void any kind of warranty and risk bricking your phone.  If interested go search thru xda developers website and you can see if anyone has been successful.  The S7 was still when Samsung had a different model number for each carrier 930A (ATT) 930T (TMO) ect.  While the AT&T version most likely had the same hardware it is not 100% which is why TMO software could be a risk but again XDA if it can be done and successful it would be there although you may not still get updates OTA.

                       

                      If there is an update available for you phone smart switch will tell you, you can also go in and set a preference (choose more in upper left, preferences and then software update tab)  for it to pre-download updates when they are available.  If you know for sure it isn't available you should be able to go to a Best Buy with a Samsung Experience center and they should be able to load it on for you, but it would be the AT&T version.

                        • majorhavoc

                          Ok, I’m lost here as well. I have an S8 moved to T-Mobile. I have the latest version of Samsung Smart Switch and see nowhere in this app where I can set anything having to do with updates. This app seems to be ON!Y for transfers files between devices. In settings i see settings on,ya for enhanced transfer security, password-protected Files, a device pain and an about line. Where exactly do I find this more and software update settings please? On the maiN screen of Smart Switch are three options, USB cable, Wireless, and External Storage. And the three dots in the upper right whochnoffers Settings (as described) FAQ, and Contact US.

                           

                          ATT has released Oreo for My device but I see nothing about that. ATT‘s website says I must be at a particular version of the OS to get an update, and I am not there, but they claim I can keep updating until I can get there.  Suggestions? What am I missing.

                           

                          Thanks

                            • majorhavoc

                              OK. I’ll answer My own question. You meant on a PC or MAC I can find those options and the PC or MAC will tell me if I have an update. You could have made that a bit more clear, as I have an app called Smart Switch on the phone too.

                               

                              thanks,

                                • stevetjr

                                  majorhavoc sorry for the delay in the response, as you know this is a user forum and while I try and keep current my job that pays the bills sometimes commands more of my attention than I would prefer;

                                   

                                  Yes I was referring to the PC version (or MAC) of Smart Switch which allows you to back up your device to your PC but also has a few emergency options built into it also along with the ability to update.  When you connect it will tell you if it see's an update.  When a carrier approves Samsung to release an update the OTA is "throttled" at first so if there is an issue with the update and complaints start rolling in they can halt the update with not as much damage done.  While they test them before they release then, once in the wild things pop up unfortunately they didn't catch.  However Smart Switch isn't subject to that so when an update is available it will tell you.

                                   

                                  The reason for some wanting the TMO version is that AT&T version may hide some options for features it network doesn't support because AT&T doesn't want you know it is available since they don't support it.  When Google first made Wi-Fi calling native to Android the AT&T version hid the option because their network didn't support it.  TMO launched RCS (Advanced SMS basically) in the US so that required specific carrier OS additions to make it work.  Now since the S8 Samsung has one model for the US and they are all -U for US versus previously when each carrier had it's own model -T, -A etc.  Now Samsung just has a carrier load which complies with the carriers requirements but the hardware and most notably the radio's are the same.  The question is does the AT&T load have all the same bands active??  Those are the slight differences you may have or see between the 2.

                                   

                                  But if it is available it should show that your device has an update when you plug it in but if for some reason it just won't just find a Samsung Experience center in a Best Buy and I am sure they will do the update for you.

                                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                    • majorhavoc

                                      Thanks stevetjr. Guess I should have been more accurate in my questions. I am well aware of the differences in radio frequencies, and in fact, like the AT&T phone on T-Mobile better than the T-Mobile version, especially in Europe where I was getting better service in more countries than my friend's T-Mobile phone. But I digress.

                                       

                                      I really wanted to know why Smart Switch shows no update for me even though AT&T has released the Oreo update. seems I am WAY BACK to Nov 2017 as my last update, so I am missing security patches and all. And it seems AT&T could care less, and said they would do nothing to update a phone off their network, even though I bought it from them. If I had received a few more Android 7.0 updates, this problems would go away. But it seems because I am so far back, Smart Switch does not see any update for me. Kinda screwed unless I want to do what you suggest above, which makes me a bit nervous.

                                       

                                      Looks like the best way is to go to an AT&T store, see if they will insert an AT&T SIM for an hour (or buy a Pre-Paid sim for $50, which really sucks) and wait for the phone to get the OTA's from AT&T. Seems, once I have the new ones, the switch will take place (according to Android folks) and I will start getting updates from T-Mobile. We shall see.

                                       

                                      Thanks for the answers.

                                • majorhavoc

                                  One other question. Why would I care if the software update was the ATT version? That is what I have now and it works fine on T-Mobile.  When (or if) this uodates takes place, so I then have to have T-Mobile do something to my phone to make it work again?  Thanks.

                                    • tronguy123

                                      majorhavoc, there's reasons about why one carrier's binary load is different than others. Seriously. In no particular order:

                                      • Bloatware. Every carrier has its own idea of what apps are installed and can't be removed. Unlocked phones (really unlocked, not for a particular carrier) may come with a minimum of these, but there you are.
                                      • Software Defined Radio. Basically, no two carriers support the same set of radio bands. There may be a bunch of bands in common, but there's always the odd one out.
                                      • Other weird stuff: T-Mobile, for example, supports wi-fi calling and is very aggressive about trying to get its users to use it. Wi-Fi calling involves VPN-like protocols and has Really Fun Stuff about switching from wi-fi to the regular cell network and back. You can bet your bottom dollar that tons of details baked into the firmware are very different between, say, Verizon's approach from T-Mobile's.

                                      The dance the telephone vendors, Google, and the cell phone network operators have to go through in order to get an update punted out the door is amazing to behold and is one of the major reasons that Android major version update are so blame long from the announcement to deliver - it's a major, highly work-intensive fire drill and Not Fun. This is one of the places where Apple and IOS win out: First, every iPhone supports all the bands, all the time, out of the box. Second, Apple does NOT Believe in Bloatware and does not install any. Third, when an iOS update chugs out the door, the same update hits everybody. And this is why Apple supports a ton of older phones on the current version of iOS.

                                      Project Treble is an attempt by Google to at least cut down on some of the fire drill by making low-level stuff independent of some of the higher level wi-fi calling and bloatware follies: But, so long as the likes of Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, et.al. can get money by installing bloatware apps, or attempting to reduce network costs/improve service with proprietary software .. Well, there'll be different binary loads for a particular phone on a particular network.

                                      As I understand it, many newer phones being delivered these days are like Apple's: All the bands, out of the box. Hence, for the S8, for example, there's one physical part number, SM-G950U in the U.S., for all the carriers. The difference is the binary load. There have been rumors about that initiatives exist so, for example, if one plugs a T-Mobile SIM into an AT&T S8, that S8 would receive a T-Mobile binary load, algorithms, bloatware, radio frequencies, and all, and the AT&T collection of same would take a hike. I can kind of see while this sounds nice and wonderful, it would make probably make it 'way too easy to switch carriers.. And carriers don't like that.

                                      There's a serious Samsung software package called ODIN, which allows one to flash any old darn binary onto a phone. Obviously, the people who do the fire drill at T-Mobile, Samsung, and Google use this all the time. However, over at XDA Developers there exist Real Binary Loads for, say, an S8 running under AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, et. al. So, in principle, one could take an S8 or S9 with an AT&T binary load and set it up with T-Mobile's version. At which point it's in effect a T-Mobile branded cell phone, no matter that there's an AT&T logo on the back.

                                      Words of warning. Right off: S7's and earlier weren't just delivered to customers of different carriers with different binary loads: Those phone also had different hardware, as in different physical components. Put the wrong binary load on such a phone and one will be sorry sooner than later. Second, there are lots of itsy-bitsy little steps in using ODIN. Take a phone you've paid $500-$700 for, wrong-foot one of those steps, and one will now own a brick.

                                      As it happens, my day job is spent messing around with serious software controlled electronics, so, in general, I'm not afraid of doing stuff like that. On the other hand, the junk I work with has JTAG ports with connectors: If worst comes to worst (and it has.. software engineers and their update mechanisms) I haul out a JTAG programmer, the right software, and let fly. But.. I've got the schematics, the official user documents, a soldering iron, the right parts, none of my stuff looks like a cell phone held together with funny glue, and I can always capture the low-level firmware guy, put him in a locked room, and feed him pizzas through the slot under the door until he gets it right.

                                      Point is.. Even though all these random phones and carriers have different radio bands all over, they all subscribe to the 4GLTE, 3G, 2G, etc. standards, and they all tend to share some bands in common. Which is why one can take a phone overseas and get it to work; or take it to a different carrier, likewise. You might not get all the bells and whistles, and, well, T-Mobile does warn people, although maybe not in BOLD PRINT.

                                      So: Unless you're comfortable with firmware/BIOS updates and Really Good with reading instructions, then double-checking same, it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie. AND you had better have a phone to start with that is the same physical model as the one that T-Mobile uses.

                                       

                                      Tronguy.

                            • jimnemeth

                              You aren't the only one I just switched and it happens to me

                              • cyanforsure

                                I just had a big win on this.

                                 

                                My wife has an AT&T branded S7 edge on TM, and hasn't gotten any updates since she bought it. I tried Smart Switch, and it kept saying her software was up to date. Android did the same.

                                 

                                I have a secondary phone that's an iPhone 6s, I believe. Why they refuse to put the numbers on the outside of the phone, I will never know. I swapped the SIM over and it was compatible. 5 minutes later, it had contacted AT&T and started downloading the first update. Unfortunately, I had to dl 16 months worth of updates and install them individually. That's something around 10 or 12 installs. TM's firmware is way faster at finding the updates too. Even with forcing a check, it can take longer than 5 mins after a reboot before it will start downloading the next update.

                                 

                                I'm just on the 1st or 2nd post-Oreo install now. This won't make updating any more seamless in the future, and it won't de-AT&T the phone, but at least she'll have an updated OS working on TM.

                                 

                                My own Samsung S7 is factory unlocked, and I had worried that if I updated it OTA, I would get a ton of bloatware. I broke down and updated it the other day, doing the equivalent process, just with my own normal SIM. It took something like 8 updates to get me to Oreo, but it worked just fine. Nothing carrier branded got put on the phone.

                                 

                                Yay. Happy wife.