Is it worth it to switch?
AT&T is finally supporting ICS on the Nitro. No longer do I have to be oppressed in the dark ages of Gingerbread
I am far too lazy to download things twice knowingly, so I have been holding off on loading it up with toys, since the OS update would wipe them all out anyway. Plus GB just had some annoying issues, so I was looking forward to it. But a quick google scan seems to show a lot of people not as impressed with it as the sense I got from the pre-release hype.
Either way I am going to commit for a long time, because I have been app naked for too long
I run ICS on a custom rom on my Samsung galaxy sII LTE from Rogers (same model as the AT&T skyfire). I didn’t want to wait for the official update to ICS…
Vlingo Labs is neat, but not as good as Siri. Both are inifinitely better than S-voice. Battery life is better in ICS. Besides that…question mark? Chrome is fun to have, but I guess I’m just falling out of love with Android!
I upgraded my Galaxy S II to ICS and… umm… it’s okay? Honestly, I can’t tell much difference except for minor cosmetic things. I mainly did it just in case one day I start seeing more apps that won’t run on Gingerbread for whatever reason.
Here’s a list of features. Most of it looks like behind the scenes stuff you wouldn’t directly notice.
Just put it on my S2 and I kinda hate it. Browsing with multiple windows is more difficult for now since you have to go to top of the page to switch. And, I can’t one hand surf especially if I need to refresh the page. If I’m missing something let me know.
But the keyboard does appear better especially with Swype.
FTR, you can download and use any number of browsers.
I prefer Dolphin HD, but there’s also a mobile Chrome, Firefox (both of which are good if you use one of them as a computer browser, since they can sync tabs and/or bookmarks,) and others. I’m sure at least one has customizable controls to put things like refresh, switch tabs, etc… at the bottom of the screen instead of the top.
However, I will say that, in general, most phones that upgrade to ICS (as opposed to being built with it pre-installed,) won’t perform or look well. The main reason is ICS and Gingerbread/Froyo have some pretty big differences in how things work (makes sense, a 2.X OS version vs a 4.0.) So hardware that was optimized for one won’t be as good on the other.
On top of that, manufacturers still cram as much of their own bloatware on top of ICS, so most of the time, it still looks like Gingerbread (I’m sure most people aren’t even aware that ICS was a major design shift from Google, but unlike Apple, who are more demanding that app makers stick to their design guidelines, Google takes a more lax approach, even with the actual manufacturers of the phones.)
The main exceptions to these rules is the Nexus line (specifically the Nexus S, since it was released with 2.3 and upgraded to 4.0 (soon to be 4.1,) whereas the Galaxy Nexus already had 4.0 when it was released.) They are “pure Google” phones, and have no carrier or manufacturer branding/skinning, and all the programming for them is done by Google, and in fact, the OS upgrades are designed and optimized for these phones first and foremost, and then the code is released to manufacturers for them to change around for their phones.
I found that installing ICS (specifically, Cyanogen 9) on my old AT&T Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S) was a big improvement over the previous gingerbread versions I’d been running. Now, part of that is that ICS was more efficient and so ran better on the limited hardware of the Captivate than did gingerbread, and part of that is that even the nightly/beta builds of Cyanogen had far fewer bugs and issues than the Samsung/AT&T derived gingerbread ROMs. I got much better battery life with ICS than with gingerbread on the old Captivate.
ICS does have some nice features, unless of course your vendor has removed them. One is the ability to track mobile data usage by application, and disable background data on an app by app basis. Another nice feature is the ability to “disable” applications. So, if your carrier installs some annoying apps you don’t want, you can go into the applications section under settings and disable the offending apps. Not all apps can be disabled, and some, like Google Play Movies and Music, come back, but it is effective at killing a variety of annoying things that you’ll never use. If you search tech sites from a year ago, you’ll probably find some nice articles about the user visible differences between gingerbread and ICS.
The way to think about it is moving up along the Windows line, from 3.1 to 95 to 2000 to XP to 7. I’d say the jump from gingerbread to ICS is about the same as from 2000 to XP. That’s not a perfect analogy, but just think in terms of general usability. And, as Google continues to develop Android, it is generally getting more optimized and more efficient.
I say, if there is anything on the market you want which requires ICS, then upgrade. If you just want to try the new thing, then upgrade. If you think your phone works fine now, and are afraid of change, then don’t upgrade. In general, upgrading will probably make your phone work better. The exceptions are, if there’s a bug in the new system that causes problems or if there’s a change or feature you find particularly annoying. I can’t tell you if that’s going to be the case, because I have no idea what gingerbread only features you’ve come to rely on.
I thought Samsung/ATT was slow to get ICS to my Galaxy Skyrocket, but I guess LG/ATT is slower.
I like the improvements. I can use Chrome as my browser, which harmonizes my home, work, and phone browsers.
You won’t get the virtual buttons, obviously. To be honest, I prefer the real buttons on my phone to the virtual buttons on my Tablet with Jelly Bean (Nexus 7). Face unlock is convenient, if less secure.
IMO, it’s worth it, but check some Android user forums for your device to see that it’s going smoothly in the majority of cases.