Samsung’s customised version of the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for its upcoming Galaxy S3 smartphone leaked online over the weekend. The XDA Developers forum posted a link to the 800MB download.
It gives those who like to seriously tinker about with their Android handsets a chance to see the additions that Samsung has made for the S3 through its TouchWiz reskinning of Android.
Samsung puts a lot of bloatware on its phones, though some of the new S3 features look interesting, such as Direct Call, Smart Stay and AllShare Play.
Some DIY-ers soon pulled the ROM apart to extract a standalone APK file of S-Voice, the Siri-like personal assistant feature that is due to debut with the Galaxy S3. It is the one of the most eagerly awaited of the S3’s new features.
Early reports confirmed that the leaked S-Voice app indeed runs on certain other phones, such as the Galaxy Nexus, as long as they are using the Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4) OS.
However reports emerged on Monday that Samsung has got wise to the leak and that, together with its technology partner Vlingo, non-supported devices are being blocked from using the service. Those who try to use it are now greeted with a network error.
Whether it will stay that way to keep the feature unique to the new S3 remains to be seen. Intrepid hackers may find a way past the block by “spoofing” the ID sent out by devices. Samsung could even open its star feature up to other Galaxy handsets in the near future. If we’ve learned one thing over the weekend, it’s that S-Voice can work on other phones.