05 May, 2012

Upgraded My SGS2 to ICS!

Downloading ICSJust this afternoon, out of curiosity, I checked if there is any software update available for my phone (Samsung Galaxy S2) and surprisingly, there is. So I choose, as any eager technology enthusiast would, to update!

Be warn that the update itself is over 200+ MB, so you best do it over your own wi-fi than 3G. It takes around 19 minutes for me to download the updates. More or less, depending on your internet connection speed.

It is also equally important that you backup all your important files on your phone to your pc or dropbox before updating.

In case you are wondering, I am with Vodafone Australia. Some other parts of the world probably already have Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) available as a software update. If you have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and are still running Gingerbread, Android 2.3.5, you can try to check your phone if there's any updates available.

In this blog post, I am going to show you how you can upgrade your S2 to ICS and some of my initial thoughts about ICS.

What is Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)?
Quoting wikipedia: "Since April 2009, each Android version has been developed under a codename based on a dessert or sweet treat." It is Android Version 4.0.x. For mobile phones, it is the next major update version after Gingerbread (2.3.x).

How Do I Know If There Is An Update Available?
For Samsung Galaxy S2, go to your phone's Settings->About Phone->Software Update->Update. These steps would be similar for other phones running Gingerbread (Android 2.3.x). For other phones running older versions of Android, you might not be able to upgrade to ICS, so google to find out.

Android's "About Phone" screen
Running ICS 4.0.3
(latest version available for S2, Vodafone AU)

Initial Thoughts about ICS
Some noticeable changes are some modifications to the interfaces. For example, the pattern lock UI has been updated.
Android's Pattern Screen Lock

The screenshot key has been changed. To take a screenshot now, you have to hold down the Power and Volume-Down buttons at the same time.

Holding down the home button brings up a new customizable launcher.

ICS Launcher

Finally there is this Face Unlock feature, which unlocks your phone using facial recognition software. I played around with it and came to the conclusion that it is still in its early experimental stage. It unlocks my phone the first time I tried it with a photo of me. Tried it a few more times and it didn't work. However, being successful once is enough for me to put it down (It did says that it is "Low security, experimental" at Select screen lock screen).

In closing, there is a more detailed list of features over at wikipedia. I have yet to gauge the power efficiency of the new update. Hopefully, it will be really worth it to update. In the meantime, stay tuned for more updates on some of my older posts.

What is your experience of ICS so far? Do you like the update?

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