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Samsung Galaxy S2 Ice Cream Sandwich Update Dated

Andrew Williams by

Samsung Galaxy S2
Samsung Galaxy S2

The Samsung Galaxy S2, a phone that has sold over 20 million units, will get an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on 15 March. This info comes from Samsung direct, so hopefully it won't evaporate into hot air.

We don't have full faith in its rock-solid-ness, though. Samsung's official Israeli Facebook page told the world that the ICS update would arrive on 15 March, but the post has since been deleted. As the best-selling Android phone there is, plenty of owners must be pining for the update by now.

Samsung Galaxy S2

Ice Cream Sandwich made its smartphone debut in the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, released in December 2011. Why the delay, when they are both Samsung phones? The Samsung Galaxy S2 uses the custom TouchWiz user interface, which needs a thorough re-tweaking and test any time the underlying Android software changes.

This delay has been the bane of Android enthusiasts ever since the first Android updates of 2008 and 2009. If anything, a 3-month delay isn't actually that bad compared with some past performances from HTC and others.

The main improvements of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandiwich are its new user interface - which incorporates virtual nav buttons - improved multi-tasking, better data usage tools and a much improved camera app. ICS also sees the smartphone and tablet sides of the Android kingdom get together once more - previously mobiles have used 2.x Gingerbread and (most decent) tablets 3.x Honeycomb.

Samsung's sequel to the Galaxy S2, the Galaxy S3, is expected to launch later this year. A rumoured April release was quashed by Samsung recently, but we expect it will do its best to beat the iPhone 5 to the punch.

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Chris

March 6, 2012, 9:30 pm

"Why the delay, when they are both Samsung phones? The Samsung Galaxy S2 uses the custom TouchWiz user interface, which needs a thorough re-tweaking and test any time the underlying Android software changes."

Yes, that's part of it. There's also the fact that the S2 uses a Samsung Exynos SoC, rather than the TI OMAP chip found in the Galaxy Nexus. That difference will require a host of drivers to be changed, and each will require further testing and certification.

Whenever a new OS version (like ICS) changes parts of the OS that interface with the hardware (e.g. the Bluetooth stack) that requires further re-certification. Then there's carrier approval, which can cause further delay.

However, the blogs keep focusing on the same boogeyman - those dreaded manufacturer customisations. Yes, they do cause delay, but they're by no means the only cause of delay, or even the major cause of delay.

This post is an interesting read on the subject:

http://developer.sonymobile.co...

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