Dec 27 AT 10:33 AM Nick Gray 109 Comments

Samsung caves to consumer demands, taking a second look at Android 4.0 for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab


Only a few days after Samsung announced that the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab would not be updated to Android 4.0, the company has caved in to consumer outcry and is now taking a second look at the update to see if they can find a way to squeeze in TouchWiz, carrier bloatware, video calling and Android 4.0 on the limited ROM space they have to work with on both devices.

The new report doesn’t reveal any specifics, but we’re assuming that Samsung may follow in HTC’s footsteps and deliver the Android 4.0 update with a much lighter version of TouchWiz. Then again, there’s always the slight chance (and by that we mean very, very slight chance) that Samsung may actually deliver a stock Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab.

The Android community has proven yet again that a vocal group is all that’s really needed in order to influence the choices made by major manufacturers. If Samsung does find a way to get Android 4.0 up and running on the Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab, credit should go to all of you and the thousands of other Android users who took to the web to protest Samsung’s decision.

Via: The Verge

Source: MSN Korea

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • ben dover

    just leave touchwiz off and the problem is solved! imaging that!

    • booyootoo

      While in think this is a great idea, The ‘normal’ customer would think what the fuck is this? My phone isn’t working like it used to.

      This just shows how bad the custom skins are for os updates if they would just add some small things, like t9 dialer, custom ringtones flip for silence, The updates would be much smaller. Think cyanogenmod or MIUI.

      Hope they will someday learn from this.

      • Jorge Eslava

        It might take some time, but the non power users which are actually more common than power users have grown accustomed to customs skins and their features, I wonder if they’ll choose to do away with their features or bloatware.

      • tmihai20

        They could incorporate some features that can’t be obtained elsewhere: maybe a extraordinary dictionary, anything more than a shiny launcher. But that would mean they would have to really put their minds together and come up with something really original. By all means, don’t do that! We, the customers, are waiting for any signal to give up on buying a phone. I bet when the next Android version will appear, suddenly Galaxy S II would not be compatible with it.

      • LukeT32

        Well ICS looks way different then GB even without custom UIs. So what’s the point of updating if they are going to slap a stupid UI on it anyway?

      • zerosix

        There are millions of sold galaxys, but there are only about 10000 signatures under the petition. It shows, that the number of geeks and people, who really care about the OS version, is much smaller, than the number of ‘normal’ users.
        When you update a normal’s user phone, he thinks ‘OK’. When you don’t update, he thinks ‘Well, I don’t really care’. No difference.
        When you update a geek’s phone he says ‘Ok’, when you don’t update, he says ‘what the hell, throw out the UI and everything, give me my updates’.
        I believe, that next year will be a little revolution in the Android-world, it will be connection of Apple-way (when you know, that you will get your update) and Android-way, when you have great possibilities for customisation and great choice. And, as the title of the next article says, it will be ‘less quantity, more quality’.

        • TaoRenCe

          Yeah, probably the only thing that makes me jealous about Iphone users is the fact that they get timely updates and for the most part, no Iphone gets left behind. Even the Nexus line can say that.

          • ranwanimator

            “No iPhone of the current version gets left behind.” Not all Apple hardware continues to receive updates. My first gen iPod Touch is stuck at iOS 3.1.3 never to be updated again. My wife’s iPhone 3g is stuck at version 4.

      • booyootoo

        After my previous comment I realised today that an AOSP ICS (Ice cream sandwich) ROM is almost 200MB on my galaxy Nexus, whilst an AOSP GB (Gingerbread) ROM was less then 100MB on my Nexus one.

        So I guess this means that Google added a lot of code and apps in it themselves.

        This doesn’t negate my previous comment as ROMs from HTC with Gingerbread and sense for my Nexus one were 200-250MB if I remember correctly, so they do add a lot themselves.

    • bin artyte

      fat hope

    • aranea

      As many people keep voicing make the custom UI as a launcher. So it’ll be faster to implement, fewer bugs to deal with and can run on more devices. I don’t understand why companies aren’t doing what the community has been asking for for a long time and shown that it’s successful by custom roms and launcher apps in the market.

    • GeauxLSU

      Would it be possible to span the ROM between the normal ROM area and the “data” area? Kind of like installing the touchwiz portion as a separate app.

      • CTown

        That would be a bad idea. If someone factory resets their phone (to sell it or clear out their useless apps) then some of the ROM will be wiped away and cease to function properly.

      • Sean the Electrofreak

        It’s not that Samsung “can’t fit” Touchwiz + ICS onto the Galaxy S phones… it’s just that they would have to make changes to their BML partition map to do so.

        Basically, Samsung has a certain amount of the phone’s internal memory mapped out to be for system files, data files, and the cache. All they need to do is allocate a couple dozen megs from data or cache to the system partition and they’re golden. The XDA Developers community has already accomplished this by moving to the open-souce MTD partition map on my Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G.

        It’s just extra work for Samsung and means that they end up having to resize partitions on a consumer device that contains data that the end-user likely doesn’t want endangered.

        So it’s REALLY not a matter of if they can, it’s a matter of if they will.

  • zyphbear

    I’m glad they are giving it another try. I wish more companies would try again and see how far they can update.

    • ben dover

      it could also have been a test to feel out the market and see how many users really wanted the update.

      • Nick Gray

        That’s a very risky move. I know there’s no such thing as bad news, but you risk losing consumer confidence in your brand if you start playing that type of game.

    • ajonrichards

      Especially considering that they claim there wasn’t a system requirement bump from Android 2.3.

    • alxrock

      That’s the power of the people.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Another win for the android community, if it happens lol. It’s our update and we want it now :D

  • spazby

    about time

  • Steve Heinrich

    That is awesome! Power to the people. It is always smart to listen to the people that help make you who you are. Hope they come through.

  • YMS123

    Once they’re caving in, they should go all the way, less plastic, more stock Android

  • fatspirit

    Good choice, Samsung.

  • frankwhite44

    I see no reason why phones made within the last year wouldn’t get an upgrade to ICS. Android has an opportunity to deal a heavy blow to Apple right now and it kills me to see these OEM’s not taking advantage of it because they want to sell new phones!

  • ajonrichards

    Cyanogen posted on his blog that Google made so many improvements in the 4.0 code that they’re evaluating all their aftermarkent addons individually to see if they are worth including in CM9. I hope Samsung and HTC are doing the same thing to help lighten the bloat.

    • ben dover

      yeah that is what’s so great about 4.0! I’ve had my gnex for a little over a week and I haven’t felt the need to root just yet!

      There will always be some things I’ll want to root for but Google did a great job at adding into the AOSP code a lot of the add-on functionality the CM team had added afterwards.

      • ajonrichards

        My G-Slate is in the same boat. Android 3.1 is already pretty gnarly. That’s a stark contrast to my HTC Incredible, where I perpetually load different ROMs that all have one compromise or another (performance, eye-candy, features, battery life, etc.)

        • Ed

          I would love to +1 your comment a million times. Well said.

          I felt that way with my Nexus S 4G, but now that the source is out, some of these ‘Alpha’ roms are more than stable enough for daily use, and ICS just checks all the boxes for me. It’s an incredible upgrade.

          Also, CM’s mods are more than welcome on ICS, and they are still paving the way with the best features. They even have a T9 dialer in their CM9 Kang roms, and developer aosp has incorporated it into his own rom, along with the notification power widgets and other awesome features.

          It’s just awesome, can’t get that across well enough. Every high-end phone sold in 2010 should get the ICS update IMO.

  • mclarensr

    Thats good.

  • mikeyDroid

    That’s a good move by Sammy, whether it pans out or not – Show’s they care about their product and consumers wants.. Hopefully it works out for you Nexus Sers!

    • Ed

      What does this have to do with Nexus S-ers? The GSM Nexus S received its official OTA update to Ice Cream Sandwich beginning the day after the VZW Gnex was released. The Nexus S 4G got its kernel source the next day and developers have already cooked up stable builds at daily driver levels — builds that have everything working, including 4G, wifi, bluetooth, MMS, cameras, panoramic shooting, tap to share, everything.

      That’s the beauty of a Nexus phone… It does not matter one bit whether Samsung wants to support the update or not, cuz the update comes from GOOGLE.

  • Michael MoneyMike

    That’s good to hear. Now let’s see about getting that update to the droid charge.

    • Nick Gray

      It’ll come to the Charge… eventually. All dual-core powered phone with enough ROM space should see the update by mid 2012.

      • Lonnie Brownell

        Of course, the DROID Charge isn’t a dual-core phone. But I still hope it will come (via a custom ROM if not an official release). Heck, I’m running a stock leak of Gingerbread on it now…

  • mcopeman23

    One of the reasons i really did’t like my epic 4g. it ALWAYS got updates late. ALWAYS. I had so many problems with that phone (gps,dropped calls, data just wouldnt work, etc…)’t return that phone 4 times. Sprint replaced it with the Nexus S (and i know they are roughly the same specs). I’ve had less problems with the S AND it’s getting ICS… some of these skins are too bloated.

    I am glad that SAMSUNG has started to listen to customers outcries.

    There are some really interesting things in some of the skins. some of which i wish i could put on my stock android phone.

    • jimtravis

      Not doubting your experience, just wanted to add a different experience. I have both the Epic 4G, and S. Both phones are very stable, reliable, rarely need resets, and have been just about problem free. An added bonus of the Epic 4G is I actually get 4G connections inside my house which is usually in a dead spot for 3G signals from all carriers. I am lucky if I can receive an Edge signal with the S, but always get a 4G signal with the Epic 4G. I realize we are talking different carriers; however, if I turn off 4G, I can not get a 3G signal in my house on the Epic 4G. Even though I have owned the Epic 4G for over a year, still like the phone, and enjoy using the physical keyboard.

      I agree with other comments that Samsung should be more timely with their updates. I personally like the TouchWiz (and Sense for that matter) enhancements, but respect others prefer the “pure” Android experience. For me, the TouchWiz, and Sense enhancements are an overall plus, not bloatware as others have expressed although I do respect their opposing opinion.

  • nmoline

    Samsung has been so terrible at updating the Galaxy S line; that I have officially decided that I will never buy another Samsung branded phone; unless it is a Nexus.

    • redraider133

      Blame it on the carriers. Check out the international versions, all were updated way before their US counterparts.

      • nmoline

        Then Samsung needs to get their act together and pressure the carriers. HTC wasn’t having the problems updating to Froyo and GB that Samsung had.

        Samsung has the worst track record in the states for updating their software in a timely fashion.

        I consider myself a high end Android user and I know now that I will never purchase another non-Nexus branded phone.

        Yes I run CM7 on my Galaxy S which is fine; but it would be nice to be able to run vanilla android that is updated timely.

  • Ironzey Lewis

    Can I get a bunch of ya’ll to contact HTC about bringing ICS to the Flyer/EVO View?

    • Nick Gray

      I own the Flyer too, so I’d love to see the update come as well. But since HTC has not mentioned what their update plans for the tablet are yet, let’s give them some time. As far as specs go, the HTC Flyer can more than handle an Android 4.0 update.

      If you really can’t wait, just leave them a comment on their facebook or twitter account.

  • taketheleap

    As per previous comment… I’ll still be sticking with Cyanogen. Samsung can keep their bloatware.

  • staryoshi

    It’s good to hear that they are at least considering it. Now, if I could have stock ICS on the GSII Epic 4G Touch that would be something special :)

  • Slith

    Very smart move by Samsung. I wonder if Google was on them to do it as well.

  • redraider133

    They could do what htc did with the desire and leave the skin off or maybe make an option to download parts of it if you want it.

  • Ilyse Rose

    That’s a really smart idea, I hope it looks better than their first attempt.

  • kimminer1

    thank goodness for social media to spread the word and champion for change

  • banhbao007

    yes. about time..

  • teudster

    You do have to wonder about just taking a lot of the functionality in TouchWiz out. I have guess not everyone customizes or hack their phones. They have millions of customers who probably don’t, so you can’t just say: Here you go a completely different phone for you, we are deleting functionality you had and giving you new one.

  • blaseb

    I really hope they release a stock version of ICS, without TouchWiz. That would be amazing!!

  • sully5059

    It will be good if they change their mind and update these devices. They get a lot of blame for a lack of updates, but I don’t think it’s always their fault. The original Galaxy S phone was updated to Gingerbread a long time ago (it started as far back as April I believe). It’s just the American versions that had their updates (and phone releases) delayed. If I hadn’t installed a leaked version on my Captivate I’d still be waiting for the update from AT&T.

    It’s great that we have the ROM developers to help out where the big companies fail, but they do have the advantage of being able to release their work to a smaller number of users who tend to know what they are doing, along with the disclaimer that they take no responsibility for failed updates. Pushing an update to millions of devices does have the potential to go very badly if rushed.

  • sunrise

    Good news for international Galaxy S owners but I doubt the US Vibrant, Captivate, Fascinate and Epic 4G will all get ICS. Vibrant is still on Froyo.

  • pitacrisps

    I bought the 10.1 tab (and so did my grandma, mom, and aunt) banking it would be updated to 4.0. Such a good seller I figured it’d be a shoe in. Maybe things will turn out better than expected and the touchwiz will be gone!

  • keridel

    They are old enough to warrant not getting the update.

    It sucks but it is true.

    • sunrise

      I disagree.

      The oldest Variant here in the states is the Vibrant. It was released around July 15, 2010. This makes it 1 yr and 5 months old. That particular Galaxy S model is still running Froyo. You don’t see a problem with that?

      I’m sure if Galaxy S does end up seeing an official ICS update, it will probably never hit the US models.

      These phones are FULLY capable of at least Gingerbread with Touchwiz but Samsung won’t even give all models that.

      • Nick Gray

        Update issues in the U.S. have a lot to do with carriers and their commitment to the phones. The carriers have to request the update from the OEM. This is why phones on Sprint have been updated a lot sooner than phones on other carriers. Sprint sees the value in keeping their customer happy and that’s especially evident with their HTC EVO phones.

    • R.S

      I agree with you since by the time an update is released, those who really care about having the latest and greatest will have moved onto a new phone, or will be getting ready to do so. After all, by summertime quad core phones will be out or close to being released. I’m guessing the former.

      Those who don’t really care about the latest and greatest will just continue to use their phone like they always have with the current Android Version.

      If some variants of the Galaxy S’s are running Gingerbread while others aren’t, then who is likely to blame? Samsung or the carriers? Someone correct me if I’m wrong but unlike the Galaxy S II, the original Galaxy S’s are identical except for cosmetic differences. So why would Samsung update some while not updating others? Isn’t it more likely that the carrier (T-Mobile in this case) is the one to blame? I’d say yes especially since they have TWO newer versions of the Galaxy S model.

  • YellowDucati

    Don’t make me like you Samsung!

  • Carlos M.

    It does not mean the carriers will deploy it…

    As those SG contracts come to an end, are the carriers going to give you a new software version? Of course not.

    Want ICS? Buy our latest smartphone (~$250) and sign here for two more years of service.

  • Prime

    They should just give you the option for stock android or with a lighter version of touchwiz! I want stock android! :-)

  • AsakuraZero

    ah this is just amazing, =O i wasnt expecting samsung to listen the demands they should do like HTC and release the source of the kernels, that owuld make us all happy

  • druie

    I’m running the Galaxy S I’m happy they’re looking into it! It would definitely be very nice to have the option of trying out the update. =) If they can’t get it working no biggie, I’ve been thinking to get a tablet in the near future with my eyes set on the galaxy tab, and transformer prime. Currently waiting to see if the nexus tablet will surface before I make my final decision on which to settle with!

  • vid500

    that’s how it shuld be. If costumers are demanding something they really have to make everything in their power to pleace them. Good move.

  • Sam Savitt

    this makes me happy.

  • Matt M.

    Am I the only one who thinks it would be awesome if all of the manufacturers(HTC, Samsung, Motorola, etc) gave customers the choice of what UI to use on their phone? I would love to have my AT&T GSII running Sense(a lighter version perhaps). It would solve the updates problem for the most part. Lets use the GSII for example. When booting up the phone for the first time you are presented with the choices of stock android or Touchwiz/Sense/Blur/etc. The choice would be free the first time. Stock and the actual UI the phone came with would remain free to swap between as one wished. You could have stock, touchwiz, and whichever UI you chose all to choose from. (Think GoLauncher theme style here). If you ever got tired of using your alternate UI that you chose, you could buy a different one. This way manufacturers still make their money.

    Whenever it came time for updates to the Android OS, all it would take is a return to stock to make it work. Then you just wait for your UI choice to update.

    Potential for problems? yes…. Likely to work? your decision

  • rashad360

    Wow, these custom ROM flavors always prove to be Android’s greatest strength and greatest weakness. On one hand they demonstrate the great flexibility and customization of Android and on the other hand it holds people back from getting version updates.

    I’m so glad rooting is an option (most of the time…) or I would go absolutely crazy

  • alexanderharri3

    Now that they’ve reversed their policies to do the upgrade….they’re not going to be in a rush to get it done….Galaxy S owners are likely to be on their next phone by then..

  • oddball

    This is the biggest issue that android will face moving forward. The skin overlays provide a completely different experience from brand to brand. Basic users aren’t going to remove those or probably even move to a different launcher. That’s why the oems keep the skins to make it hard for customers to use another brand

  • amgala

    Yet another reason why Samsung rocks!

  • Derek

    Doesn’t matter what Samsung does, AT&T will not push out the update so who cares? My Captivate is still at 2.2 because AT&T will not push out Gingerbread.

  • bin artyte

    If you ever did mod your galaxy s or tab, you’d realise 512mb of theoratical ram is not enough for a samsung modded ics rom in terms of general usage. This is mostly due to the extra lines of code that makes samsung roms more compatible with file formats and better drivers. The most you can do with that ram is to do very light stuff like messaging or calling on an samsung modded ics rom. You can’t even surf the web without expecting force closes or play a game that utilises gameloft’s weak 3d engine without expecting input drivers to totally fail and force restarts to occur. Expect your phone or tablet to lag miserably thanks to low ram and shitty rfs file systems. Samsung roms are heavy, don’t compare them to stock ics roms. Touchwiz is only a small fraction of the problem. Even if touchwiz is rid off, ram problems will occur.

    I concur with samsung. Just flash cm9 or miui4 if you’re unhappy and if you’re tech savvy. Otherwise, buy a new phone with big ram.

  • JhonnyQ

    Now that’s much better, not giving the finger to your good’ol customers and sending a message to the new ones; “You can trust us”. Goooooood samsung (tapping their heads).

  •!/profile.php?id=583695634&ref=profile Rahul Singh

    Yes Samsung please take a second look into update our Galaxy-S… And I agree with the previous comments, Just leave the Touchwiz out, no need for that.. Everything will look just anazing without the touchwiz..

  • madtnotn

    Stock ICS for the TAb would be wonderful. Please choose wisely.

  • jk0l

    Good move Samsung.
    Maybe put CM9 on it since you already hired Cyanogen.
    Though, US Galaxy S users should not expect anything.
    Carriers are already acting like their GS are invisible.

    Here are my 2 cents.
    It’s not really Samsung’s fault when you don’t get update.
    Samsung work on TW, then give it to carriers to work on their bloat and radio.
    Also, these are subsidized phones meaning carriers got them from Samsung under an agreement, thus they are not directly from Samsung.
    As you’re complaining, you should consider the international version with its update and how much community support it has.

  • waltcolemansux

    Manufacturers and carriers create the mess themselves by customizing the UI, so I think it’s great the consumers are fighting back.

    I understand there a plenty of users like my wife who could care less what version of Android is running as long as Facebook and Angry Birds works. But there are also countless users who know what they’re doing and would benefit from an ICS build. Why should they be short changed because the manufacturers and carriers are obsessed with custom UI’s?

    There is no reason Samsung and other manufacturers can’t deliver a pure Android ICS build and make it available for download for countless devices. Don’t push it, just post it online with procedures for a manual install. It’s a win for everyone…those that don’t care and are used to the custom UI keep what they have, those that want an update can get it.

  • kazahani

    Yeah, right. My T-mobile Vibrant hasn’t even gotten a Gingerbread update. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • lxgeorge

    My my its about time the Galaxy Tab got an update!

  • Johnathan Prochaska

    If we keep demanding updates and they are possible with the hardware configurations, they will continue to update our devices. I hope they will continue to update my Galaxy S 2 when the next iteration comes out.

    Good luck Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab owners! Set some precedent for all of us.

  • romy134

    grow a spine!

  • cherrytree

    They should offer vanilla ICS, as flashable odin package, because the most people that really want ICS are people that know how to use it! The most othets dont really know that there are different firmwares! My opinion! Really hoping for this!

  • droilfade

    That’s good….I9000 is such a great phone…It deserves the ICS.

  • inviolable

    The people have spoken

  • w0urds

    It’s nice to see this, but it send as if they just put out there to get S owners off their backs, then when it comes down to it, it will become a carrier issue.

  • Stella

    It’s nice to see they will consider it. I won’t get my hopes up too high.

  • kwills88

    Android’s big selling point is options.. So I don’t see why they don’t create an update website where we can choose which version of android we want to manually download and install to our devices.. If we don’t want touch wiz or sense… Then we have the option to download the stock version from the manufacturer who’s phone we are using.

  • Skis03

    I love that Samsung has listened to public outcry!

  • DroidPower

    and the consumers win again!

  • scores87

    The problem is that if they remove touchwiz the consumers will be like WTF is this

  • jamal adam

    Don’t mess with the community.

  • Stalte

    They need to remove touch wiz in all devices or make it optional. I hope they listen to there loyal supports like htc tried to do.

  • Nathan D.

    That great! It nice to see them listening to what ppl have to say.

  • crazy-4-android

    Samsung was always going to add Ice Cream Sandwich but they saw there was no room. Its great Samsung is looking into this, but the only solution would be to remove Touch wiz or some other feature which may lead people to complain. I think that there really is no way to appease everyone. Hopefully though there will be a solution found.

    By the way, doed anyone know around what date the asus transformer prime of the Galaxy S II will be recieving android 4.0?

  • cxandroid

    They don’t even have to go that far, just release some opensource drivers / kernel, Dev’s will do the rest.

  • Juan Almanzar

    I doubt they will give us vanilla. While for nerds it would be a dream come true, for the average consumer, it would be a change that would cause a lot of people to just be mad.

    Hopefully they can squeeze it on there. Honestly, I’m probably going to be making a leap to of of the GSII phones instead of waiting it out.

    If they are only now agreeing to do this, that means they haven’t even started on the update meaning this thing is probably months out for the international version and god only knows how far out for the US versions which always see updates coming and slower than snail’s pace.

  • Juan

    I doubt they will give us vanilla. While for nerds it would be a dream come true, for the average consumer, it would be a change that would cause a lot of people to just be mad.

    Hopefully they can squeeze it on there. Honestly, I’m probably going to be making a leap to of of the GSII phones instead of waiting it out.

    If they are only now agreeing to do this, that means they haven’t even started on the update meaning this thing is probably months out for the international version and god only knows how far out for the US versions which always see updates coming and slower than snail’s pace.

    (Sorry wanted to post under my actual name).

  • goncalossilva

    At least they’re paying attention to the community. Good to know!

  • donger

    yes please update to ics on the tab.

  • Samar

    With millions of Tab’s and ‘S’ sold, how can Samsung expect the consumer to keep quite with all ICS goodness in the market.

  • cristian cristiandonose

    Hope they will do it. I own a Galaxy S and i still like it. Imagine if i got Ics.

  • Efendi Chandra

    I hate Touchwiz anyway…… release ICS stock to those devices

  • cherrytree

    They should release ICS as flashable Odin package! Because the most people that want to have ICS are knowing how to flash there phones! The most others don’t care if there is GB or ICS is running on there device!

  • _Diego

    They should opt for leaving the choice to the device’s owners: current ROM or stock ICS if they can’t get their bloatware in…

  • Baron Munchausen

    You would think the company would think of the consumer first than their damn ‘overlay’ or ‘bloatware’ etc etc. Tells ya where they concentrate on making the phones work..haha.

  • pebenito

    I’m not holding my breath. I would have installed cyanogenmod had they not dropped support for my Vibrant. It would be nice if they just dropped TouchWiz and gave the stock ICS. Its not as if this would be a required update, if you still want TouchWiz.

  • donger

    way to go samsung!

  • mingchan06

    Hopefully it happens. Im not holding my breath though.