Google’s master plan with its new version of its Android: Ice Cream Sandwich was to solve the ongoing issue of fragmentation. But in a cruel twist of fate and rather ironically the roll out of the new software has made the situation worse.
Today we are going to be looking when you should see Ice Cream Sandwich on the number one selling Android handset: Samsung’s Galaxy S2.
The main issue with updating Android handsets is the process is done by the handset maker and networks – and not by Google itself. This has led to a less than smooth rollout, in some cases not at all.
The staggered rollout has obviously made some consumers more than just a little bit angry. Instead of getting people excited about the possibilities of new software, Samsung, Google and all UK networks are feeling the wrath of unhappy campers.
Once Google unleashes the source code to manufacturers, it’s upon them to make sure it’s ready for the handset in question. Now comes the tricky part.
Currently none of the handsets actually use a out-of-the-box version. Sony, Samsung and many others tweak the OS for their own handsets. But this leads to long lead-times and means the rollout becomes fragmented and very slow. Even more galling is when you look at the competition, namely, Apple – they announce the date for a software release and like a German train it’s always on time, a far cry from where we are with Android.
Once the OS has been skinned to the manufacturers specifications it is then rolled out to the likes of Vodafone or O2. They then need to check the firmware running on their networks, to make sure nothing will go wrong with the handsets or their network.
Overall the system stinks. But were on hand to try and give you some form of structure, because as you know it can a hour or two to update your handset – so a little bit of planning is often necessary.
So check below to see how long you’ll be likely waiting for the next generation software to land on your Galaxy S2.
Those of you with deep pockets and stumped up the eye-watering fee for a Galaxy S2 sim-free will be glad to know that your extra money wasn’t wasted. ICS is already available for your handset, but it’s not as simple as that.
Samsung has confirmed that the European release was last week, March 19. The news follows Samsung’s tweet about the new Android 4.0 software landing in Korea and some parts of Europe: “ICS for Galaxy S2 will be available today in Europe, including Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Korea & gradually roll out to other markets.”
However, it seems the UK won’t have to wait too much longer to get the same treatment. Samsung told us: “Samsung UK can confirm that the roll out of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on Galaxy S II will be available from week commencing 19 March, however the availability of software upgrades in the UK will be dependent upon each network’s own software approvals process.”
So make sure you check your handset to see whether it’s ICS ready. You can do this by going to Settings > About phone > Software update > Update option on the handset.
Three Network are the first UK network to get their update out according to one of their PR agents. True to their word they have beaten all of their rivals. Three said last week: “We are testing Ice Cream Sandwich on the Galaxy S2 and the update is on track”.
They have since come back to us this week and have stated: “We have now released the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy S2 and in the process beat all the other UK networks”. If you’re on Three, let us know if you’ve got it yet in the comment section below.
Vodafona is a different story: they too trolled out the usual PR blurb that they will be getting the update out as soon humanly possible.
“The Android 4.0 upgrade for Galaxy S2 smartphones running on the Vodafone UK network is currently under test to make sure that we provide the highest level of final software. As soon as the tests are completed we will upload the software to the update servers as quickly as possible.”
They haven’t said when this actually might be, but the more of you who kick up a fuss it will sure to catch the attention of Vodafone and their PR minions – so head over to Vodafone’s forums and start shouting.
Unfortunately if you are with Sean Bean and O2 then you’re going to have to wait until late March. O2 had originally said that the update wouldn’t be ready until sometime in April. But have since come back and stated that the update should be with you by the end of March.
Fingers crossed that should be sometime this week. Again as soon as we know more, we’ll be sure to let you know – or if you spy if it first – let us know.
T-Mobile is looking to keep Galaxy S2 customers sweet, as it promises to roll out the Ice Cream Sandwich update as soon as possible after the March 19 date.
A T-Mobile spokesperson said: “We’re working to make our build available as close to Samsung’s release date as possible.”
As far as were aware noting has changed and we’re still waiting to hear when T-Mobile will release ICS – but with all the other networks trying their best to getting the OS out the door – you can guarantee that T-Mobile won’t want to win the wooded ice cream spoon award.
According to CNET, an Orange spokeswoman has confirmed the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Samsung Galaxy S2 will arrive in April, but was unable to provide an exact date.
If you have any info to add from around Europe or the UK – please let us know in the comment section below.