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Sadly, Android 4.0 on Galaxy S II will look familiar

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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.

13 Responses to “Sadly, Android 4.0 on Galaxy S II will look familiar”

  1. disappointing when other phone like htc and sony brings great ui … samsung is the best manufactor ever but in design matter … no , there is no good design in UI .

    thats why i love samsung+google samsung hardware technology + google software incredible technology = best phone in hardware and software

    and every one knows that atleast in design and software imean ICS , performance on galaxy nexus is unbeatable so far ,

  2. corrupted mind

    A lot of commenters are missing the point. The whole ICS experience was designed to not only improve the OS but also to provide devs with a solid and persistent style guide that would result in quality apps. They even provide the resources so that inexperienced devs could reproduce the feel and look of system apps. Now, following that guide results in an app that will appear alien on an ICS phone. It means devs needing to customise their apps for Samsung ICS which defeats the point.

  3. Andreas Ødegård

    Um didn’t Google make it a requirement to include the stock theme for any device that wants to run 4.0 and have access to google apps?

  4. Brian Burk

    It’s a shame that the phone manufacturers are putting the skins back on. I am also happy I have purchased the Galaxy Nexus and will only buy Nexus handsets from now on due to the terrible skins and upgrade path.

    Kevin – I am also trying to use the IP telephony on the Nexus through Tmobile $30 monthly plan and was wondering how your experiment has been going. I have been somewhat frustrated and would love your feedback.

    • yeahhhh… i am happy too . and if u take precise at the phone design when u hold it in your hand , u can feel in way that never felt before , curve edge design with curve screen feels the best phone , i took my friend to shop and when he took it in his hand he salute this phone

  5. Brandon Cobb

    I have the galaxy nexus and also very happy. Im very happy with my gpu even though its old. It can still play every single app on the market. The screen is THE best in the world. Buttonless deaign is beautiful. People always comment to me saying i have a pretty phone haha

  6. Charles

    I got the sgs2 & love it very much, dying to get my hands on sgs3 when it comes out, I will stick with Sammy, however after this long wait and others getting theirs date I patiently wait to see one morning mine in process I just don’t want to be disappointed because my phone.