Samsung officially announced today that the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note will be upgraded to Android OS 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) by the end of the first quarter. This should put these devices among the first to get the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system.
The Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note debuted in 2011 with Android OS 2.3 (Gingerbread). Google introduced Android ICS near the end of the year.
It is expected that the international versions of these devices will most likely receive the OS 4.0 upgrade in Q1 while the U.S. versions will receive the it slightly later. This is because these smartphones were available in Asia and Europe well before a U.S. release.
What’s New in Android OS 4.0
Ice Cream Sandwich features virtual buttons in the System Bar that allows users to navigate back, home, or to recent applications from any app. These on-screen buttons remove the need for physical ones on a device’s front.
Multitasking has been upgraded in Android OS 4.0, making it easier to jump from app to app with a touch of a button. Users will also be able to easily create folders to group apps and shortcuts to their likings. The Contacts app from previous updates has been upgraded to a People app that links profiles and social networks with names, phone numbers, and emails of individuals stored on the phone. The Camera app has also been upgraded to allow users to edit images more easily.
Other features from ICS include a unified calendar app, visual voicemail, a powerful web browser, improved email, improved text input and spell-checking, a voice input engine, improved accessibility, control over network data, and Android Beam which allows sharing across two NFC-enabled devices.