7 days with my Ice Cream Samsung

Last week I flashed my Samsung Galaxy S II with the official Android 4 firmware from Samsung. Here’s some information and semi-random thoughts about the upgrade and my Ice Cream Sandwich on Samsung-experience so far.

  1. About the upgrade:
  2. What Ice Cream Samsung is like:
    • Battery life actually seems a bit better than with the Gingerbread-based firmware.
    • Ice Cream Sandwich seems slightly faster as well, more responsive.
    • ICS isn’t all that different, from a user interface point of view. Some small tweaks and usability improvements, but nothing major.
    • Face unlock (having Android unlock your phone after recognizing your face) is a nice gadget, but it’s of little use if you value security.
    • More interesting, from a security point of view, are “encrypt device” and “encrypt SD card”. Should give that a try.
    • The data usage app is really great, allowing you to monitor and manage data usage for the entire device and on a per-app basis. “Data Usage” is, as far as I’m concerned, one of the hidden treasures in ICS!
  3. Tailoring ICS to my liking:
    • I’m not a fan of Samsung’s TouchWiz, which also features in their ICS implementation, so I don’t use it.
    • At first I installed Nova, an ICS-only launcher, but I wasn’t blown away, so I reverted to good old ADW.
    • I rooted the phone with CF-root to be able to install SetCPU.
    • SetCPU, which I had previously used on my HTC, seemed to work all right at first, but it sometimes put my phone into a deep sleep during phone calls or when idle, with nothing but a forced reboot to wake it up. I uninstalled SetCPU (and am still looking for a similar tool to save battery mainly).
    • I also installed AdFree Android, which adds known ad-domains to your hosts-file, having them point to localhost. Only for rooted phones, but it works like a charm. More privacy and better battery-life will be yours!

So I’m good, for now. But I’m sure I’ll be very tempted when Cyanogenmod 9 for the Galaxy SII comes out. Go TeamHacksung!

8 thoughts on “7 days with my Ice Cream Samsung

    1. frank Post author

      yeah, trebuchet is cyanogen’s own (and default) launcher, isn’t it? are the CM9 nightlies stable enough for daily usage? guess the first beta’s will arrive pretty soon, based on the very limited amount of known issues on teamhacksung’s site? the only thing i’ll really miss in cyanogenmod is swype, which comes default in Samsung’s roms.

      Reply
      1. Philippe Delodder

        Trebuchet is the CM9 default launcher based on the new ICS launcher. I’m using it as a daily drive since februari. The are some issues with sensors the know issues on the teamhacksung website.
        Can’t you extract the swipe apk from your phone?

      2. frank Post author

        hmm, from what I read left and right, there’s more to swype then just the apk. but I’ll see how to go about that once I’ve installed CM9 :-)

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