The ever-popular but Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)-lacking Samsung Galaxy S II—the US one, if you’re wondering—finally has an upgrade date. T-Mobile has announced that on June 11, Galaxy S II users can start updating their phones to ICS, so that they will no longer be mocked by their Galaxy Nexus-toting brethren.
The only sad part to this story is that this will not be an OTA update. A quick look at T-Mobile’s upgrade instructions, a PC, and some patience will all be required, no thanks to Samsung Kies. But hey, I’ll take an update anyway I can get it, right? AT&T and Sprint have not yet announced dates, but they are sure to be close behind—for publicity’s sake if nothing else.
This may lead you to ask, just how popular is Samsung’s S line of phones? Samsung is glad you asked, and more than happy to share some new sales figures with you, just in case you don’t have a Galaxy S device yet and happen to be susceptible to peer pressure.
First, let us consider that the Samsung Galaxy S III is the current fastest pre-ordered smartphone in the UK, with 9 million pre-orders on the books worldwide. Then you can throw in 24 million units sold of the Galaxy S, along with another 28 million for the Galaxy S II. Personally, I think the S III may just break 50 million worldwide before it’s all said and done. But even if sales stopped now, 61 million units sold is not a bad number for a smartphone line. Not bad at all.
[Samsung | T-Mobile via Engadget | The Next Web]
The HTC One X—one phone to rule them all…or something like that. When HTC announced its One line, I thought it was a good move, but when HTC detailed the One X, I thought it was a great move. And now the great move is coming to a store near you. Starting May 6—that’s 17 days, for those of us who are counting—US customers will be able to pick one up, loaded with AT&T LTE, HSPA+, Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), and one heck of a processor for only $199.99.
I say “only” $199.99—that’s on-contract, by the way, the off-contract version is likely to set your wallet on fire, as per usual—because this phone will quite possibly be the highest-performing smartphone on the market, and last I checked—about 10 seconds ago—the DROID RAZR MAXX and Samsung Galaxy Nexus both price out at $399.99 from Verizon, along with the Galaxy Note on AT&T. And while those phones have similar specs, only one of them has ICS, so yes, “only” $199.99.
By now you’re likely familiar with the details on the One X, and that they are pretty much all awesome. First you have the love-it or hate-it Sense 4.0 and Beats Audio, followed up with a crazy-fast 1.5Ghz dual-core processor from Qualcomm, 32GB of memory, 1GB of RAM, and of course the glorious Corning Gorilla Glass-covered, 720p, 4.7-inch screen.
Also worthy of note is the camera, which is awesome to say the least. The One X’s 8MP camera is the first camera in an Android phone to really rival stand-alone digital cameras. Pre-orders will commence three days hence on April 22, and you can go online or in-store for more info.
One of the beautiful advantages that Android has over other operating systems like iOS and BlackBerry is that Google often rolls out major OS updates which can, eventually, be applied to older equipment. iOS does to an extent, but updates aren’t always fully backwards-compatible. As of yesterday afternoon, Google’s marquee device of yesteryear, the Google Nexus S, made by Samsung, is finally being upgraded to the latest and greatest release: Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).
This update, which is for UMTS and GSM versions of the phone in the US, will bring all of the Google goodies that users have been pining after since Google’s failed upgrade attempt last December. Also squeezing in on this party are the WiFi version of the Motorola Xoom tablet and the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus—Google’s current flagship.
For those of you crying foul, yes, the Galaxy Nexus already has ICS, making this a true “update” rather than upgrade, to fix a few minor bugs. Specifically relating to the Nexus, the .4 part of the update includes “stability improvements, better camera performance, smoother screen rotation, improved phone number recognition and more.”
All other versions of these phones will have to continue to wait patiently, as the various carriers make sure no bloatware gets forgotten in their pre-distribution ICS modifications. The update is rolling out as we speak, but a jump to Settings > About Phone > System Updates > Check for Updates never hurts, especially if you have a little extra data sitting on your plan at the end of this cycle.
[Google via GSMArena]
Alongside the announcement of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) for the HTC Vivid, AT&T snuck in a little announcement about ten of its phones that will be getting an update as well. Unfortunately no dates were given, only a statement that we will see updates for these devices “in the coming months.” Normally a side-by-side announcement like this would imply an imminent release, but several different manufacturers are listed, so I think it’s more of a cry for customers to not freak out—ICS is coming, eventually.
The list is fleshed out with the usual top-of-the-line suspects, as well as a small surprise or two. The Samsung Galaxy Note, S II, S II Skyrocket, Pantech Burst, Element—tablet—and LG Nitro all feature very high end processors and features in general, so no surprise that they are on this list. The Motorola ATRIX 4G, ATRIX 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9, and the Samsung Captivate Glide all have a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor.
If manufacturers and AT&T are putting time this early in the game into upgrading 1GHz devices, it may spell hope for those of us with phones that while not slow, are less than high-end. After all, the Vivid’s just-released update is only the first carrier-borne ICS update in the US. So, now that AT&T has gotten the party started, where’s the “donate coffee for after-hours programming” button on Verizon’s website?
[AT&T via AndroidAuthority]
An update for the HTC Vivid on AT&T’s network is now available and will be rolling out over the air (OTA) soon. For now AT&T isn’t pushing the update, instead waiting for the rush of manual downloads to finish first. As mentioned in the title, this update is to the coveted Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream sandwich, and brings along an update for HTC’s custom UI, HTC Sense, which is now version 3.6. Also included is Beats Audio, that decently useful audio-enhancement app that some users love and some hate.
For those unfamiliar with what’s offered in this update, there is a lot to love. ICS and Sense 3.6 bring a whole host of new features—too many to count. Many of the changes are superficial, just making things look better, but many either make the device itself run faster, or make things easier for you to use. HTC details it all with pictures and step-by-step directions in a PDF available here.
You will want to be on a WiFi connection for this update if at all possible, as it weighs in at a data-plan crushing 314.09MB. If WiFi isn’t available, HTC does provide instructions for manually updating via your PC, but doing so will wipe out your applications and settings. In short, plan this operation carefully.
To update, go to All Apps > Settings > AT&T Software Update > Check for updates—wait—OK. Once the massive download is finished, a popup will appear. Tap OK > System update is ready > OK. Now sit back and wait, probably for about 10 minutes, and whatever you do, do not turn off your device during this process—this would also be a good time for a back-up charger. Enjoy your newfound Ice Creamy goodness!
[AT&T | HTC via Android Community]
While most companies would chose to first announce then distribute something as major as an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), it is not so for Taiwan-based HTC. Sensation and Sensation XE users scattered near and far reported that they were getting ICS updates as early as last Friday and now HTC has finally decided to clue us in as to what is going on. As is noted in the title, 16 devices in total are ready to get ICS in the form of HTC’s Sense UI, version 3.6.
The updates are starting with the Sensation and Sensation XE, with the Sensation 4G and XL waiting in the wings. HTC did not say exactly when the rest of the list would be getting the update. “…once we start pushing out updates it will take time for all carriers in each country to get the update. We are working closely with our carrier partners to nail down update schedules for our other smartphones and will have more to share very soon.” So it sounds—as we’ve suspected for several days now—as though the updates for the other 14 phones are ready, but the carriers might not be. Whatever is the case, we hopefully will see them soon. The full list of incoming updates provided by HTC is below in alphabetical order.
- DROID Incredible 2 by HTC
- HTC Amaze 4G
- HTC Desire HD
- HTC Desire S
- HTC EVO 3D
- HTC EVO Design 4G
- HTC Incredible S
- HTC Raider
- HTC Rezound
- HTC Rhyme
- HTC Sensation
- HTC Sensation 4G
- HTC Sensation XE
- HTC Sensation XL
- HTC Thunderbolt
- HTC Vivid
[HTC via The Next Web]
Man, talk about a rough ride. With rumors always flitting around like butterflies, we have all been waiting not-so-patiently for news of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) updates, especially for the more high-end handsets currently shackled with Android 2.3.x Gingerbread. Samsung announced via one of its news portals yesterday, March 8, that the global version of the almighty Galaxy S II would start receiving ICS tomorrow, March 10.
However since that time all mentions of ICS have been removed and another of Samsung’s official news channels, this time via Twitter, announced just before midnight last night that ICS would not be happening this weekend.
If you speak Korean:
알려드립니다] 10일부터 갤럭시S2 ICS 업그레이드가 된다는 필리핀 삼성전자 홈페이지 글은 잘못 올라간 게시물로 사실과 다릅니다. 업그레이드 일정이 확정이 되면 트위터를 통해서 말씀드리도록 하겠습니다.
Google Translated version:
Let you know that the upgrade from 10 Galaxy S2 ICS Samsung Electronics website Filipino ascended to the post wrong article are not true. Once the upgrade schedule is confirmed through twitter let me.
So know that in all likelihood Samsung is very close to meeting its promise of ICS by the end of the first quarter of this year, but we are still utterly in the dark as far as a real date goes.
[Samsung | 2 via Engadget]
HTC has been working hard to keep us updated on its Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich(ICS) plans, a refreshing change from the rest of the industry. This may be the start of a paradigm shift, as Motorola just revealed its list this week as well, but I doubt it.
HTC today added the HTC Rhyme, Thunderbolt, DROID Incredible, and the DROID Incredible 2 to its list of ICS candidates. No timing details were announced for these four Verizon phones, but the HTC Raider for Candian Rogers and Bell customers was also added to the list, proving that the love doesn’t stop at the 45th parallel.
HTC had previously promised that the HTC Amaze, Desire HD+S, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Rezound, Sensation—along with the XE and XL variants—and the Vivid would all be receiving ICS early this year. Timing wise, we now know that the Sensation and its 4G and XE variants will be kicking things off towards the end of March, with the Sensation XL soon to follow.
March isn’t too far off, and I almost prefer no information to Motorola’s ‘probably, maybe, someday’ list. So let’s give HTC a round of tentative applause, and rub those rabbit feet until March, shall we?
[HTC Facebook via PhoneDog]
Motorola has just added a whole slew of devices to its ‘probably, maybe, someday, will most likely get ICS, unless something goes wrong’ list. A scant handful of devices are set to be updated before the midpoint of the year, another few handfuls in the third quarter, and a whole mess of devices are still being evaluated with “further details to follow.”
Motorola has been making big promises for Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich(ICS) upgrades since last October, but we have since gotten very little information about when to expect said updates, and even fewer actual updates. We knew that the DROID Bionic and RAZR would receive updates, and the XOOM tablet has already been updated. In fact, it’s the only Motorola product currently running ICS.
There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the upgrades. For example, virtually every international variant of the DROID RAZR is set to get a Q2 ICS release, whereas in the US it hasn’t even been cleared for development yet. Further adding to the confusion, some of the lists don’t line up; the US XYBOARD is listed as under evaluation with no ETA on one list, and has a Q3 deployment on another list.
Each day seems to bring a new pile of announcements about when various devices will get Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich, but the announcement of a date for ICS on the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note especially caught my eye. The S II was easily the Android king of last year, possibly even the king of all smartphones last year. And of course the Note is special in its own right, though in this case “special” could be constructed in a slightly less than complimentary light.
The news comes to us courtesy of the Facebook account of the Norwegian branch of Samsung. Why they picked Norway for the big news, I have no idea but it is probably safe to assume that this announcement applies for the international version of the S II, and not our local US variant. And of course by “local US variant,” I mean the gazillion US variants.
Thanks to Samsung’s leaky R&D department, there are a few different unfinished versions of ICS that you can get your hands on, if you want to. None of them are necessarily safe to install—let alone usable—but their progression does show that Samsung is serious about getting us a fully-functional update soon. Don’t be surprised if all of the S II variants are running ICS in one way or another by the middle of the year.
[Samsung via PhoneArena]