Tag Archives: odin

Emotional rollercoaster: installing Jelly Bean on a Galaxy SII

Jelly Bean "about" screen on Samsung Galaxy S III’m happy! Here’s why; when I bought my Samsung Galaxy S II a year and a half ago, it came with Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread. Last year Samsung released an official update for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). And while most manufacturers stop after one major upgrade, Samsung promised Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the aging SII a couple of months ago. And so early this week I took a ride on this Jelly Bean rollercoaster:

    1. Yay, Sammobile reports Samsung started pushing out Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S II
    2. Damn, apparently the ROMS are only available for Spain & China, not for my region yet.
    3. Yay, the Spain version has support for my region after all, downloading.
    4. Damn, can’t shut down my phone to switch to “download mode”, it just reboots.
    5. Yay, re-inserting battery while holding Volume down, Home & Power switches the phone to download mode after all, flashing with Odin!
    6. Damn, flashed and rebooted, but installation wizard hangs, rebooting.
    7. Yay, installation wizard completes after all.
    8. Damn, ADW settings screwed (widgets & some shortcuts MIA)
    9. Yay, almost done configuring ADW (except for the tethering shortcut on my desktop, can’t seem to reinstate that).
    10. Damn, no keyboard selection in notification bar, so no Swype!
    11. Yay, Swype available after all, hidden in “Language & Input” configuration.

So does Jelly Bean put the old S2 on the same level as the S3? Not really, some advanced S3-features aren’t included, think the ones in the Premium Suite for S3 that Samsung released a couple of months ago, especially “multi-window” (which might make less sense the smaller S2 display anyway). Both the Calender application and the mail-client (for my Exchange-mail) changed. Samsung replaced Calender with their own S Planner, which has a more skeuomorphic UI which doesn’t fit with the rest of the OS. Good thing you can install the default Android Calendar from Google Play. Mail got slightly better, with a nice little refresh-button and a timestamp showing when the last connection occurred (I don’t do push mail). But most importantly: Jelly Bean does feel more smooth (thanks to Project Butter) and at first sight battery life seems better as well. So, yeah, I’m happy!

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!