As soon as it was released last year, I got the Samsung Galaxy S2 (the international version – my first Android phone), and haven’t looked back since. I really love this phone and it’s turned me into a huge Android fan. So I was pretty excited at the news that my phone would have an upgrade to the latest version of Android – Ice Cream Sandwich.
Since ICS was released in October last year, I’ve heard many rumors about when this upgrade would be available for the S2. At first it was end of January, then the weeks passed with different rumor dates passing until most recently the announcement was made that the update was expected to hit the UK on March 19th. It’s over a week later, and still I find my phone rocking faithful old Gingerbread. The latest word is “everyone would be updated by the 24th April”.
From what I hear, a lot of S2 owners are getting increasingly frustrated, but I’ve got to the stage where I find myself asking “What am I really missing?”. Lets break down the benefits of upgrading to ICS…
ICS has had a total design overhall from previous versions, and looks really cool. Samsung took ICS and put their TouchWiz shell on top of it, making it look very similar to my phone running TouchWiz on Gingerbread. To be fair, TouchWiz does everything I need and I quite like it. Then again I’ve never really tried another launcher, so maybe I just don’t know what I’m missing.
You want me to pose for a picture every time I unlock my phone? Do you realize how many times a day I unlock my phone? Plus a photograph of my face can fool it? Sorry – I like the security, speed and convenience of pattern unlock.
Samsung didn’t use the stock ICS camera app, and instead reverted to the same camera and gallery as my phone.
Chrome for Android
The recently released Chrome beta for Android is available for ICS only. It’s already received a lot of praise, but then so has the Dolphin HD browser I use and it also includes Flash support.
ICS can disable apps you don’t want, so that they don’t use resources. However I rooted my phone a while back, and used Titanium Backup to freeze the bloatware.
Data Usage Tracking
ICS includes enhancing data usage tracking. This is useful, but also available in various free 3rd part apps.
So where is my compelling reason to upgrade? My phone is very responsive, gets great battery life, everything works and it runs the vast majority of apps (apart from Chrome). What more could I want?
Now if any of the Android modding community have read this far, I can already hear you screaming to install a Custom Rom. I know, I know. As an Android enthusiast I probably should, and one day I no doubt will. For now I just love my phone and don’t want to mess it up. I have a bricked PSP hiding in my drawer that whispers a reminder to me from time to time – “Leave well enough alone!”
Wait – hold on! You Android experts shouldn’t let me get away with that. I probably just need a little persuasion. Let me know – what would you do?