Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) on Samsung Galaxy SII - First Class

The wait is over my fellow androidians using Samsung Galaxy SII worldwide, which has received many accolades and awards, including phone of the year by T3 Gadgets…ICS update has started to trickle out and has been rolled out first in Europe including Poland, Hungary and Sweden, and Korea in the South-East Asia region before it gradually starts rolling out to the rest of the world.

Finish the upgrade and you will visibly see the difference right from the moment you turn on your mobile. It configures all the applications, contacts etc in a jiffy, and once you get to the home screen you will see a remarkable difference in speed. Its cool and fast. Also do not expect the original interface of ICS (like you see in Google Nexus, so unfortunately no virtual buttons) , this version of ICS is garnished by the Samsung Touchwiz 4.0, like it or hate it, but you have to live with it. 

Mobile OS Response :

- Faster mobile OS, its a swift and cool OS to work upon.
- The response has been pretty well till date, did not face any hanging issues.

Change in look / Menu :

- You will find new options in menu now, like you have “Restart” now in the menu when you long press the power button.
-  Screenshots are now officially taken by “Vol Down + Power Button” for a minute. The default location where the shots are saved has changed to /sdcard/pictures/screenshots
- The settings menu has changed a lot, categorized the menu for easy scroll.

Scrolling :

- Samsung Touchwiz has replaced the bounce effect while going up and down on the scrolling menu
   This effect is patented by Apple, so Samsung has now replaced it with blue illumination that lites when you reach the end of the menu.
- The home screen now acts like a revolving door. You can keep scrolling your home screen without having to move backwards once you reach the last screen.

Face Recognition Unlock :

- The face recognition unlock feature is cool with ICS.  Its fast too, until you keep the phone at a good distance from your face, else it might take a while to recognize.
- Don't be afraid, there is a fallback option always, incase your phone stops recognizing you ;-).
- It does not work good in dark, outdoors in night, well we can imagine the reason, lack of light.
- Mind it, an easy crack to it, anyone having your pic can unlock your phone ;-).

Applications / widgets :

- The new recent applications menu has a nice look, you can view all the recently visited applications as a list of thumbnails of the app.

- A new and better looking gtalk messenger, I completely like it. Though it looks a little heavy, but who cares, we are on a 1.2Ghz Dual Core Samsung ;-).
- A heavier , little slow , email client. I found the earlier email client better, but its ok can go ahead with it.

- Now start browsing the applications, you may find some new icons in the applications menu, like google+ and messenger and also
- Live Application widgets on your home screen now, you can add your mail box , Facebook, play music etc.. right from your home screen.

Wifi / Networking :

- WiFi is a disappointment. The handset takes long to scan and enable the wifi on the phone.

Data Usage :

- Now you can view the data flow from your handset graphically as reports. It comes handy if you are on a limited data plan from your telco.
- You can select different cycles to view the data usage.
- Option to toggle between cellular and wifi data usage is a welcome feature.
- It will also show the apps consuming maximum data transfer.

Kies Air :

- ‘Sync with Simplicity’ - Thats how Samsung would like to call it. New feature added for phone to phone data transfer, Like in device A, I start the Kies Server and open Kies in device B and shake it twice, it will discover A and progress with the data transfer options. Seamless.

That is all to begin with… we may go in details in our coming posts.. stay tuned.


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