A first look at Samsung’s Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy S II smartphone shows few visible differences. As expected, the company’s TouchWiz interface appears in the update, but it completely hides all of the improvements that Google made with Android 4.0(s goog), also known as Ice Cream Sandwich.
Over at Computerworld, JR Raphael shares this example image of the Galaxy S II home screen after the update as compared to Google’s own interface:
His commentary is spot on as most users would be hard pressed to see the difference in their phone’s interface after the update:
If you love your current Gingerbread setup, you’re going to be pleased. But if you’re looking forward to the new and improved Ice Cream Sandwich interface you’ve been reading about for the last few months, you aren’t going to be a happy camper.
To be sure, there’s plenty of improvements in Android 4.0. And Galaxy S II owners will be able to take advantage of them. But the biggest improvement is arguably the interface itself. It’s more intuitive and consistent throughout the entire experience. Advanced users likely have the know-how to disable or replace Samsung’s TouchWiz launcher, so for those users, this is less of an issue.
And I don’t want to be too hard on Samsung: By sticking with the same TouchWiz user interface, there’s no learning curve for current Galaxy S II owners. But after waiting for what’s the best version of Android yet, I wonder if some folks will feel a little let down. At this point, I’m more glad than ever that I bought a Galaxy Nexus; which, ironically, is also made by Samsung.