O yea I got my Samsung Galaxy S2 updated with the ICS release today morning. This was a long awaited firmware/OS upgrade to the Samsung’s flagship Android smart phone – the GS2.
I’d several questions in my mind for the procedure I’d have to go through to get this upgrade. However, it turned out to be rather too simple.
How to Update
- Navigate to the Home Screen – Settings – About Phone – Software update – Update. My phone reported a 217MB firmware/OS update this morning.
- Make sure you are connected to a Wi-fi net.Though the 4G nets should be able to download this at a decent speed, I’d recommend a Wi-fi connection for more reliability.
- Click on the download. My phone showed a 20min remaining time just as it started to download the update over my home wi-fi.
- Click on install. The alert shows that while the install is in progress all the phones radios will go offline and the phone will reboot.
The phone rebooted a few seconds later and I guess this is exactly when it started the update.
It returned to life in about 2-3 minutes. Soon as that happened, she said it was optimizing apps for the update. And there it was, simple and straight!
I could not wait to browse through and see what was changed.
- First things first, the colors seemed to be a little softer (call it less dynamic). There were complaints about the S2’s over saturated Amoled+ screen. Though I did not experience this on my S2, I believe there has been a effort to work around the issue.
- The font appears to be a combination of white and blue, which is kinda soothing to the eye.
- The lock screen:
- The slide image to unlock is replaced with a lock symbol. It feels easier to unlock that the previous one which would need you to slide the image all the way to a corner to unlock the screen.
- The graphics for the pattern unlock have changed a bit. No comments there.
- What’s new is the face unlock! While it appeared to be a vanity option initially, it seemed to be working great. Set it up and its fun watch it recognize your face and unlock it. It works!
- A new data usage app in the wireless & network section. The feature shows data usage per app.
- A new Developer Options settings in the system section. App developers could set a lot of debugging/testing options like screen update flashes, show touches, pointer location etc.
- New Swype settings menu: long press the Swype key in the keyboard to reach there. You see a new Swype settings menu. Whats interesting is the Personal dictionary. You could enter words that the dictionary did not already know. For a starter, the dictionary already has your contact names (obviously most these nouns wont be in the standard dictionary)
- The type ahead also suggests numbers now!
- As a minor observation, the key board has changed colors, and so did the Swype trail. Its orange now!
- Social Hub: I almost never used it when on gingerbread because it always failed to connect to my google account. Now it works. So I can see my Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and my work mail all together!
- Google Maps: The menu now appears at the bottom and the screen looks more like the kindle, i.e. subtler in contrast and colors.
- Contacts and Phone App are separated . Why at all. If I were to open contacts and did not find what I was looking for, I could simply move to the left from the top and use the key pad and enter number to dial.
- Now with the ICS, I’ve to exit, launch phone app. Did not like it.
- Both these apps show tabs on top. The graphics on the tabs seem pixelized kinda primitive for this brilliant a display.
All I’d expected of the ICS was Battery management, otherwise s2 ran so well with gingerbread. wish I could go back.
To conclude, the upgrade process has been real smooth, just ask it to update and it does it for you!
Please share your experience with ICS in the comments section below.
[18-Mar-12] One of my friends in India said they got a Gingerbread 2.3.7 update today. I clearly see that Samsung would release the best suit s2 version of ICS in India, but we’d have to wait. Keep hitting the Update button folks!
[8-Apr-12] Just for the fun of it, I tried update again ( About Phone – Software update – Update) and this time there was a 8MB update. Did not see what the content was though. I see the android version as 4.0.3 and the Baseband version i9100XXLPS. Does any one know what this meant?
PS: This post only outlines my initial impressions/observations. I’ve not done an extensive research as to what the improvements have been. So I might have overlooked a few things.