Samsung Galaxy ICS

In the continuing story of "Nobody knows what the hell's going on with the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab," (see Part 1 and Part 2) a new report out of Korea suggests that the manufacturer's 2010 flagship devices may receive a "Value Pack" update instead of a full-fledged refresh to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The "Value Pack" -- we'd expect a better name once all the translation and marketing is done -- would bring some of the sex of ICS without the hastle of an actual OS update.

That's probably a good middle ground, if indeed it is the case. It's not going to silence those who won't settle for anything less than Android 4.0, of course. But for the vast majority out there (who likely wouldn't really notice the difference anyway), it's a compromise worth exploring.

Source: (translated); via Unwired View


Reader comments

Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab now said to possibly get 'Value Pack' instead of Ice Cream Sandwich


I think it would be disappointing if they didn't at least put out 4.0 for the tab. People who bought the tab have had to run a phone OS on a tablet for a pretty long time now. It especially sucks for people like me who can't upgrade to a new tablet for another 2 years...

But they bought it knowing it had a phone OS.

Whether the device is updated to ICS or not, they still have the same device they bought with no less functionality.

As a OG Gtab owner, I'm not really pressed for an update to ICS. It's works great and I prefer my 7inch to work more like a phone than my 10in tab. Plus, the original Gtab is still snappy so I would not trade that for ICS under no circumstances. But that's just my opinion. I rather Sammy focus on getting my Gtab 10.1 up to ICS and releasing the Gtab 7.7.

What Google (not Samsung) needs to do is release a final Gingerbread update that introduces an ICS application compatibility mode. It's not so bad being stuck on Gingerbread for devices that aren't ICS ready, but it's a really bad idea to fork the platform so that new apps won't run on older devices - or worse, to leave developers stuck targeting the least common denominator platform (Gingerbread), removing most of the value from ICS.

A "value pack" may be an even better option. It makes no sense to dump a new OS designed for better hardware onto old devices and to expect that they will suddenly become faster/better/more capable.

What exactly does one want from ICS that isn't in Honeycomb? Is it hardware related? For example, NFC support is pointless unless the device has a built-in NFC chip.

If the features are things like folder management and overall security and stability of the OS, those could likely be introduced without the label of a new OS iteration.

"What exactly does one want from ICS that isn't in Honeycomb? "

Performance improvements. Stability fixes. Honeycomb is a dog on my Xoom. ICS flies on my Galaxy Nexus. ICS looks to improve performance across the board.

Frankly, there's no reason Samsung can't support ICS on the Galaxy S and Tab. It's not a hardware issue, since the Nexus S runs ICS just fine. I'm appalled that Android fans are making excuses for them. ICS is the next major step for Android, and it needs to get on as many devices as possible.

I agree that ICS should get on more devices, and don't want to make excuses for Samsung or any other manufacturer. I am just not convinced that slapping a new OS on old hardware is always justified.

If you believe that ICS will run better on the Xoom than Honeycomb, then let it be so, but your example doesn't mean anything to me. You are comparing two different devices and iterations of the OS.

ICS does run much better on the Xoom than Honeycomb does, I'm running ICS on my Xoom right now.

And people have already run ICS on Galaxy S class phones and it runs great! Samsung is just making BS excuses for not wanting to put out a pure ICS version, they want whatever they put out to be touchwiz on top...

And is your Xoom loaded with apps like it was when it was running Honeycomb? My OG Droid ran great when it was first unboxed. 6 months later...not so much.

The reality is that it is partially a hardware problem - when combined with the manufacturer's skin. A lot of people don't seem to realize that custom skins add functionality to devices (at the cost of speed and memory).

You can see it in the Galaxy Nexus (my current device) forum - people complaining about "missing" features they thought were part of Android because they were on their previous devices (things like Facebook integration and unified email come to mind) that aren't in ICS.

The problem is that the ROM partition of these devices just isn't big enough to hold ICS and Touchwiz. They've already dug themselves into Touchwiz, which means they can't very well remove functionality that was on the phone when people bought it.

And the small subset of people that would rather have vanilla ICS than Touchwiz (i.e. those of us who will likely run custom ROMs anyway) doesn't justify spending the kind of time and resources it would take making ICS work on older devices. Not to mention the support logistics would be a nightmare with people on multiple different operating systems.

This is exactly why Samsung provided Galaxy S2s to the CyanogenMod team: so the custom market could take up the slack for those of us who want to go that route.

The RAM is the issue, most ROMs total 150-200MB plus carrier bloat which is still nothing compared to the 2GB found on any SGS (but you might find yourself running out of app room after a while if you don't use the APP2SD feature.)

As for Cyanogenmod; what is the point if the install process is convoluted to the point of absurdity (root, install rom mgr, flash, pray, reload all settings/apps)? That gesture was a joke, Samsung will never publish a CM build mostly because the carriers would never allow it. They just want to foster a community of hapless beta testers.

I Just have a hard time grasping the reasoning here. The devices are only 2 years old and even for tech standards that isn't old. Consumers especially in the US want value on the merchandise they purchase. A company especially as big as Samsung should look at the consumer as an asset and target the ones who are dedicated to a brand. First time buyers will see this and lose interest in this brand.

Keep dreaming. Also most people dont even know about ics or updates so they could not care less about updates. If what you said is true why do people still buy cheap devices that will never get updates or continue buying android? Come on man look at the big picture and not your techie perspective.

I'll give a perfect example of the "average consumer". My wife has the Fascinate. A few weeks ago, I put a Froyo ROM on it to fix her battery concerns. Not 3 days later, Gingerbread was released. I asked her if she wanted me to upgrade it, and she told me she really doesn't care and to just leave it. The average consumer doesn't even notice the difference.

More accurately, the average consumer does not care to compare what's working right now to what could work better.

in the mobile world and especially in android world 2 years is a long time,what most people dont see is that the gs has revieved 2 major updates already 2.2 and 2.3( well outside the US anyways) and that is more than any other android devices do(not including bug fixes)...also moto and htc and sony also are not updating there 2010 models so why is everyone expecting samsung to...honestly i dont think anyone should expect updates apart from bug fixes.if you get it thats good if you dont you dont cause no one promised you the latest version almost a 1 and a half years later.

I actually like the idea of a "Value Pack" being released for these older devices. I honestly didn't expect my Galaxy Tab to get upgraded to ICS and now with this, I would get a new update :)

That is ridiculous! If we let Samsung get away with this, it'll set a precedent for manufacturers to offer lame re-skinned updates instead of true OS upgrades.

Would you rather get an update customized to your hardware, or do you just want the "latest and greatest" with no regard if the HW can manage it?

Samsung should just provide the REAL Ice Cream Sandwich. If they can't fit Touchwiz because of storage limitations, they should provide the update without Touchwiz and fully disclose it as such. Make it an optional update so whoever wants to keep their Touchwiz experience can stay with GINGERBREAD without pressure - yup, there's no excuse for any Galaxy S device to be stuck running Froyo by now.

That is what I have been yelling about for months. ICS *has* most all of the functionality of the junk that vendors have layered on top of Android. That stuff just isn't needed anymore.

maybe isnt need by you but i would guess that the majority of the 20+ million galaxy s owners actually brought it also because they like tw and they would be more frustrated to find out that tw is removed...many people outside the tech world dnt even know what ics is...funny thing is all the people that are complain are saying going to wait for cm9 etc so why are they even bothered if they are going to use a custom rom anyways cause one thing for sure even if samsung provided ics it would come with tw and i bet the 1st thing everyone that comes to these sites would install a tock ics rom....there is a reason why nexus devices exist? so if you want stock you buy a nexus and if you like skins then you buy an oem device,you dont by a oem device expecting a future update to not have skins just like you would be pissed off if a nexus device suddenly got updated with a skin.

I feel bad for anyone complaining their Galaxy S or Tab isnt getting ICS.

you clearly are an idiot.

And you know me how? Why would you call any of us 'an idiot'? Your little comment tells us a lot about you.
We Galaxy S and Tab owners bought our unit sometime between the Summer of 2010 and now. We EXPECT the carrier and Samsung to SUPPORT their unit for the full 2 years of the contract we are forced to agree to. If that makes me 'an idiot' so be it. We are the majority! Amazing

A "Value Pack"? I wonder what that would be.... it's not ICS, it's more than Gingerbread, but not quite Honeycomb? So it's a Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwich? Or more than Honeycomb? A Honeycomb with Ice Cream? That may be good enough for some owners that don't know how good these units could be. But not for all of us! Here's a thought Samsung & carriers, how about pure ICS without any bloatware on Galaxy S and Tab's? It's the 'extra' bloatware that's slowing the units! Let's Nexify the Galaxy S and Galaxay Tab!

Although this may satisfy most people, I still think that it's the 'consolation prize' for this situation. In general, Samsung needs to get their act together, and this 'flagship' device should have had Android 4.0 on the docket from the beginning. They are notorious for releasing devices and leaving them in the dust.

I, personally, love the Tab, but probably won't buy a Samsung device just because of the way that they treat them. It's not that they make a bad device; in fact, I love most of their stuff. I took a chance buying the Nexus because I'm assuming that Google is taking Samsung out of the picture as far as releases and the like. But a Samsung only device? Probably not.

This is the reason from now on, I will only buy Nexus devices. I have the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and will wait for a true Nexus tablet - carrier supported.

I love the Galaxy Nexus and have none of the reported problems, except for the low volumn.

It's Samsung folks. Why so surprised? They have the worst track record for updates. This is not news, just par for the course.

Do they? My I9100 Galaxy S shipped with 2.1. Last time I used it, it was running 2.3. From Samsung, not a carrier, and not XDA. Two OS upgrades, on a phone that will be TWO YEARS OLD in April.

Want to stop bitching about upgrades? Stop sucking on the carrier subsidy teats! Once folks in the US can do that, the carriers lose a great deal of control over the devices. You stop getting 5 versions of device, and 5 different certification processes to deal with, things get a lot easier, and a lot more likely to happen.

But I don't think ya'll are going to give up that tit any time soon. I mean, c'mon, Americans actually believe a $700 phone only costs $199.

But anyway, it is not like Gingerbread is broken.

If you're buying the tablet at full price you should get it already rooted and fully customizable, IMO, with a choice of available OSes during its supported lifetime.

Imagine buying a PC without getting the admin password for it, and without the right to install another OS on it.

This is nothing more than a consolation prize, a way of saying "thanks for playing". I'm afraid many will consider it a parting gift.

I have an epic touch. Theyre doing pretty good now since this phones release. Updates consistent for bug fixes and the release of gingerbread on the epic which I also used to own. Once you root there is no problem for all this. Regular consumers don't know the difference. At the end of the day its not that big of a difference, no nfc, processor too slow to have 0 shutter lag, no android beam, just a themed interface and broken apps. Performance increase? How fast do you think your phone can go? It's not gonna put up your processing power. Plus accepting that there will be new bugs.

"That's probably a good middle ground, if indeed it is the case. It's not going to silence those who won't settle for anything less than Android 4.0, of course."

If it doesn't include the hardware acceleration and optimization then it isn't enough. Period.

Edit: Not to mention support for the new API level so new apps are guaranteed to work.

I would say the Galaxy S was the flagship phone of pretty much 9 months of 2011 as well, at least in the US. That's probably why people are so upset.

At least close to 6 months of it, prior to the arrival of the SGSII on carriers. This isn't the dead and burried phone Samsung wants to paint it as.

It's whatever, release the source code sammy so CM can do your job for free! We all should still call our carriers to make them approve Gingerbread. Looking back when I had a BB, I used leak OS's all the time and carriers was always version numbers behind. Apple was the only one to told the carriers to fuck off, we control our shit. And although I don't like Apple and think they have too much control, at least the update their products. BUT my vibrant has the 911 issue and I wont mod it until it's fixed. I bet they will release a low end Galaxy device with the same specs as the GS with ICS this year, but whatever. I love Samsung screen and phones and even touchwiz, but this will be the last android device I'll buy unless it's a Nexus. I'm not being "that guy" who has an outdated PC and bitch why Vista wont run on it, it's just the Nexus S runs ICS just fine and it's the same damn phone.

There is no chance of it ever happening. Samsung made up their minds looking ago. If they felt the need to update, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Now, they're gonna spend money, development time, resources, to update products they will make no additional money on? Why? Let me guess... Out of the goodness of their corporate hearts? Not likely! You would have a better chance asking Santa. Does anyone remember the original Epic? No, they'll review the issue, then make a press statement that technically, or logistically, it just isn't feasible. Wake up. How long before you smell what Sami's cookin'?

If they get ICS on the Galaxy S, we folks at the US are still doomed as we might never see the update some havent even seen the update to GB.

You know who's salivating at the thought of this "value pack" nonsense? APPLE! Apple really wants to crush Samsung like a bug but so far their patent trolling attempts have not been successful. Apple will really love seeing Samsung shoot themselves in the foot (and maybe other body parts too) by screwing up customers of their flagship 2010-2011 devices, while customers of Apple's flagship device for 2010 did receive an upgrade to the latest OS and will most likely receive the next one too!

Don't be that guy, Samsung. Don't give Apple your head on a silver platter!

does a "Value Pack" include a new ICS Kernel? I believe that is what the Dev community is looking for, right? After that the the Devs can finish the rest of the work. I'm not a dev so not sure how it really works, but with a new kernel and ASOP, devs can do great things, ROMS. The ones who seem to be complaining are the ones who load the ROMs and Root and Hack the $#!& out of thier devices. The rest of the owners of the Galaxy S' probably wouldn't even notice the differenceof full ICS and a "ICS ValuePackSkin".
I could be way off here just a thought.

All they need to do is open source their proprietary drivers, or simply create and release Android 4.0 drivers to teams like Cyanogen, who would do the rest. The people who are causing a fuss about this are the type of people who would happily run an AOSP Android build, and an AOSP build would run on the devices without any issues.

Everyone would be happy - Samsung wouldn't have to waste their time shoehorning TouchWiz on ICS onto the devices, and the people who never wanted TouchWiz in the first place, or who would happily trade it for stock ICS would be happy, and Samsung would get some appreciation for supporting the Open Source community. Win, Win, Win.

This shouldn't even be an issue with the carrier, since Samsung is probably contractually obligated to provide all the carrier bloat. By aiding Cyanogen and the like, they're not providing an AOSP system, the carrier doesn't need to test anything, and it'll only be installed by people who've most likely taken it upon themselves to remove carrier bloat or are running an AOSP build - so the carrier isn't "loosing" a customer they haven't already "lost" (in terms of forcing their bloat on).

If your on this website complaining about it, you should more than capable of doing this stuff yourself. You won't find a better place than AC and XDA to get this kind of thing done. Best communities on earth.

But the truth is Samsung promised Froyo, we got froyo. That was our cake. They gave us a nice lemon cheesecake frosting with Gingerbread. Ice Cream Sandwich would be a side of vanilla gelato. It's not necessary, nor was Gingerbread mind you, but they gave us that anyway. Just imagine how much money they threw away with that in labor and research.

If all you care about is being the latest and greatest, put the money down and get a new phone or get help from our 2 greatest resources for android, AC and XDA. Otherwise you don't deserve the power of android and should be another iSheep, mindless in the corner of a Starbucks on your macbook pro writing some bullshit novel.

Still don't get how the Galaxy S line is considered old hardware when the Nexus S has the same "old" hardware and for some reason still can't shoot HD video like the Galaxy S does. Doesn't that mean the Nexus S has inferior hardware, yet it its still getting ICS? Doesn't make any sense to me.

Though the Nexus S runs ICS, and it's pretty similar to the Galaxy S, they're still two different phones, with two different sets of expectations by way of OS appearance and functionality. Samsung are never going to put out a pure Android update because the Galaxy S isn't a pure Android phone, it's a Samsung phone, and as a few people have said already, ICS would probably run fine itself, but ICS with TW would make things more difficult, and at the end of the day, we aren't losing anything, it's not like Samsung are reverting all our phones to Android 1.0.
As well as that, like many people above me have said, the majority of Galaxy S users don't give a shit what it's running, as long as it runs, and all the people who ARE complaining would probably get the ICS update, and then a few weeks later flash CM9, which we're getting already anyway, therefore making the upgrade completely pointless.
And last but not least, there is the issue of the carriers in the US. I'm from the UK, but I've spent long enough on AC to be made aware of the fact that some of the Galaxy S variants still don't even have GB, and if the same delay were to occur in putting out an ICS upgrade to all the variants, by the time it would have rolled out the next big android update would have arrived and the majority of people with GS's at the minute will have moved on to a newer phone.

Not that it matters, I have come to the conclusion that most of the people who are bitching here about the Galaxy S not getting ICS aren't actually reading any of the other comments before they post their own.

This whole Samsung thing has gotten completely out of control. Honestly, if you are so outraged at Samsung for not meeting your expectation of delivering ICS on your device, then either 1) root and flash CM 9 or 2) choose a Nexus device. That is the REALITY of the Android ecosystem. Consumers should fully understand at this point that buying a Samsung device means you are at the mercy of Touchwiz. If you have the expectation that your device will be updated to the latest and greatest software and aren't interested in flashing custom ROMs, then either buy a Nexus device or go with iOS. There, I said it.

I purchased a Galaxy S this past October after becoming interested in android. I was told it had Gingerbread but after learning more about Android, found it had Froyo. Anyway,, come mid November, TMobile released their version of Gingerbread. The phone works well, a few hiccups here and there. I'd like ICS if there was a way to get it without sacrificing functionality.. I'd be happy with whatever improvements we get that will keep the phone fresh and functioning quickly and properly.

Tmo released Gingerbread??? Are you sure? I just called them and they told me some BS that Samsung had to release the OS, then I told them Sammy did and she went on with more BS that it's unlikely that they'll release GB cause they have newer phone that already run it.

Tmo released Gingerbread??? Are you sure? I just called them and they told me some BS that Samsung had to release the OS, then I told them Sammy did and she went on with more BS that it's unlikely that they'll release GB cause they have newer phone that already run it.

How about you give us ICS, and make touchwiz a value pack for the phone... we know the phone can and will run ICS, its crapwiz that we have to worry about. Either that, or release 4g drivers so that cm9 will have full support for the Epic and other 4g galaxy s phones...