Last week we learned that the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab might not receive a software update to Android 4.0, but then the company decided to take a second look at the situation after customers cried out. Details are still scarce, but reports are coming from Korea that Samsung might choose to compromise and offer the estimated 20 million Galaxy S owners a “value pack” that would include new features from Ice Cream Sandwich.
Samsung’s value pack is said to include improvements to multitasking, faster browsing speeeds, new homescreen widgets, and upgrades to the camera software. Specific Android 4.0 features like Android Beam and Face Unlock are also said to be in the works.
The Galaxy S originally launched with Android 2.1 (Eclair) and Samsung provided two major updates to Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Since the Nexus S already received an update to Android 4.0, it appears the Galaxy S has the hardware to run the latest version, but storage limitations would not allow the full TouchWiz experience that customers are accustomed to.
It’s unfortunate that Samsung might not upgrade these millions of devices to the latest version of Android, but at least they are still offering to support them with continued software updates. Hackers will still be able to flash custom Android 4.0 ROMs if they choose and the average customer will soon be eligible for an upgrade, as the original Galaxy S will be 2 years old next summer.
Let us know if you are still holding onto a Samsung Vibrant, Captivate, Epic 4G, or Fascinate. Are you satisfied with a possible “value pack” software upgrade?
Update: As pointed out by several readers, xda-developers has another translation of a Korean report that says the “value pack” might still be considered ICS-lite. We await official confirmation.