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Samsung eats Galaxy S II owners’ Ice Cream Sandwich update

by Phil Hornshaw

It’s been a rough time for Samsung device owners hoping to get the latest version of Google’s Android mobile operating system.

The latest episode in the ICS drama came this week when an FAQ on Samsung’s website suggested an update to Android 4.0 was imminent for Galaxy S II owners, according to a story from PCWorld. But Samsung backpedaled on Twitter, noting that the update wasn’t ready. Samsung also assured users it would post information on the social network when the ICS update finally becomes available for Galaxy S II users.

Google announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the final quarter of last year, but actually getting it out to users has been something of a challenge (right now, the only smartphone actually available with ICS is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google’s branded device). Samsung and Motorola both have been slow about distributing the operating system, with Motorola’s updates probably not getting pushed to users until sometime this summer. For Samsung, it has been even worse: Originally, the device maker said it wouldn’t be bringing ICS to its flagship Galaxy S II smartphone at all.

That changed, much to the relief of Galaxy S II owners, when Samsung said it would “look into” the upgrade. No promises were made, but the door wasn’t closed completely, and that was definitely an improvement. And seeing the upgrade FAQ go live must have been even more exciting to Samsung owners. But Samsung said that the error came through its Filipino portal and that the upgrade isn’t coming yet.

Meanwhile, PCWorld reports that in order to be primed for ICS when it eventually does make it to users, Galaxy S II owners will need to update their devices to Samsung’s KEIS upgrade software. That’ll make their devices fully compatible with whatever modifications Samsung makes to Android 4.0 before it’s ready to go.

While some Android users are waiting impatiently for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to come to their devices with all the improvements it offers, at least it does appear that it will make it eventually. Unfortunately, the big question of “when” continues to loom over the Android ecosystem, and it seems nobody has an answer.