Okay, I've been following the update schedule of ICS closely since the first announcements in December that the Epic 4G Touch was getting it. Now, firstly, I find it an absolute shame that the first American model Samsung Galaxy S II has had to wait nearly 7 full months before receiving an update that started leaking at the end of January. I also find it even more shameful the T-Mobile variant received the official update before the Sprint (first) one did. Now that that's out of the way, let's get down to it. THIS IS, BY FAR, THE WORST ANDROID UPDATE I HAVE EVER SEEN!!! Both Sprint and Samsung are EQUALLY guilty in this and, though a bold allegation, it could be argued you're simply sabotaging the device in order to sell the Galaxy S III. I won't publicly make such a claim, though, you should be mindful that there will likely be a huge uprising of customers publicly posing such an argument...and I'd be inclined to hear them out...just saying...
Sprint, whoever reviewed and marked this update for approval should be fired! Furthermore, whoever actually approved this update should be fired as well. Any yes-man or yes-woman who had the audacity to agree with said individuals should be fired too. As a matter of fact, you should restructure your entire tech/tech support division. Only with Sprint have I had the displeasure of telling tech support how to fix my problem simply because I lacked the access to fix it myself. ONLY WITH SPRINT!
I'd also like to add that you may want to throw some pressure in Samsung's direction because many of these issues are, in fact, their fault. This is a perfect example of poor coding, bad ideas, refusal to follow the update schedule, and a lack concern for the consumer. Since you work with them you should know a few names you'd like to have disciplined...or even discharged for this ridiculous prank.
1. Social Hub is interfering with the text messaging app properly clearing the message counter. This is a problem because, firstly, it burns more battery having this bright orange and white mini icon on the screen constantly; secondly, it also burns more battery to have to take the additional steps to troubleshoot and clear the notification; and finally, it burns more battery to check for messages that aren't actually there. Social Hub was unnecessary in the first place because most people don't use the stock apps in the FIRST PLACE! None of my third party apps route notifications through Social Hub, never did, and I won't set it up to allow them to. Social Hub was NOT A PROBLEM on Gingerbread, it just went into a folder to be ignored as useless bloatware.
2. Sprint Apps are taking up space and resources that I need for other things, like productivity. I have asked over and over that all of these apps be removable by default instead of written in as system apps. NONE OF THESE APPS ARE NECESSARY FOR THE BASIC FULL FUNCTIONALITY OF THE DEVICE!!! NONE OF THEM! They are simple enhancements that aren't very helpful to many people at all. However, I can understand your brand providing them in the package, what I CAN'T understand is why I'm being force fed them! If I DON'T WANT them and I OWN MY PHONE, I should be able TO REMOVE THEM without ROOTING AND VOIDING MY WARRANTY! YOU DON'T GET TO TELL ME WHAT I WANT! You're the service; I TELL YOU what I want, pay you for it, and go about my business. THIS VERSION OF THE GALAXY S II DOES NOT HAVE AN NFC CHIP, THEREFORE, SPRINT MOBILE WALLET IS A TOTAL WASTE OF SPACE!!! REMOVE IT! You promised as less bloat, you promised us more of it would be removable, there has been no change. Fix it.
3. The modem is faster but the voice service provided by it is weaker. Even after updating my Profile and PRL my call quality has declined, signal meter showing an obvious deterioration in voice service connection strength, and less reliability. When incoming calls don't connect and I get random voicemails, it annoys me. When outgoing calls fail to connect or disconnect immediately, it angers me. When I move my phone mere inches to check the time while on a call and the other person sounds like they're applying auto-tune to a scratched record on the DJ decks for the next 5 minutes, I begin to ponder how much free service you'd owe me after enough complaints. Considering how expensive my 450 plan turned out to be (approx. $110/month), I'd imagine I'd be receiving better treatment.
4. Font settings are being ignored now. Some third party apps that obeyed them before are now ignoring them completely. Some Google Apps are as well. I change the font size of Gmail and it doesn't shrink like I commanded it to. That's irritating considering how well behaved it was before. It's baffling how the font within the email itself is exactly as I want it but the inboxes are gigantic.
5. Screen mode settings have changed and all the colors have a red hue. Also, the screen tends to cycle through colors and hues periodically. I like the realistic, power conscious, and subtle visuals of movie mode. The problem is that movie mode has become standard and vice versa. How in the world did THAT happen?! O_o
6. Battery drain has INCREASED what I estimate to be about 50 percent!!! I'm hard pressed to actually get a full day's use out this ROM like I used to with Gingerbread. 3 hours, 5 minutes off the charger (from 100%) and I've already dropped 35% with light use!!! Though the screen is set to it's dullest and the phone has been locked with the screen OFF most of the time, SOMEHOW the screen is the biggest culprit being responsible for 65% of the use! WHAT?! O_o How is THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?! This ALSO means by battery statistics are COMPLETELY inaccurate and giving me false readings on what resources and hardware are drawing what amount of power. How did you even pull that one off?! On EL29 today's current usage would have only taxed me 17.5 %...if even THAT much!
7. Touchwiz is drawing even MORE resources than it used to on the inferior Android version. Google strives to make Android more efficient with each release, therefore, this is simply Samsung's fault. Touchwiz has been forced fed to us to the point of it consuming more resources and bogging down the phone and ROM. My RAM stays fuller than it did on Gingerbread! What in the world is going on here! I have to limit my background processes to 3, leaving me with more services to be executed and updated on a whim, destroy every activity I as soon as I leave it just to bring my RAM usage down to somewhere around 400 Mb. On EL29 it idled at 350 Mb and rarely crossed 535 Mb. On FF18 it idles at 496 Mb and quickly crosses 600 Mb even with very light usage! Seriously?!
8. Overheating is going to shorten the overall life of the device's hardware (this is the good part where people who melt their phones will be ready to cry sabotage lol). Before, my phone would run cold while charging if I wasn't doing much with it. I could read for hours and it would only feel lukewarm. I could even play a resource hogging game and it would take more than 30 minutes before it would cause my palm to sweat or feel hot to the touch. Now, that same game can tan my hide in 5 minutes. I generate heat I can actually feel just by opening the gallery...I don't even have to open a folder or view an image within the gallery. In less than 30 seconds my phone goes from being icy to manifesting a detectable change in temperature. That's not even while charging!
9. The phone now lags and hangs a LOT more frequently than before. When this happens it becomes completely unresponsive. Even the power button and volume rocker does absolutely nothing. At least on EL29 if the phone started hanging I could lock the screen and unlock it to fix the issue. With this I'm stuck waiting on some indication of whether or not I'll have to pull the battery. I've turned off the window animations and transitions entirely, no change. I've shortened them, no change. There is no way to remedy this problem. Keep in mind I've power cycled the device several times, battery pulled, cleared all my caches, force stopped apps and processes, limited processes, crushed tasks after exiting them, and even cleared the RAM. No change. This happens at random and cannot be remedied without battery pulling. Even still, battery pulling will not prevent the problem from surfacing again.
10. Some apps require a repeat update attempt because the updates from the Play Store won't stick. This isn't an issue with the Play Store, this is an issue with the ROM not saving changes. This is supported by double installs in order to have the app create and maintain the proper system files in order to exist on the device.
11. The settings are jumbled in that they've been ordered differently from stock ICS. There are literally settings options that fall under the same purpose and divided into totally different sections. Also, many native options have been removed entirely. I'll revisit this later.
12. Some settings won't stick without a power cycle. I've had to reboot the phone just to get my Developer Settings to stick. Otherwise, the threshold for process limiting will repeatedly reset to Standard Limit. There is no reminder or notification mandating a power cycle in order to make this setting stick.
13. Visual bugs: Screen mode colors change. At one point they're just how you want them, at other points they transform and become completely untrue to the generated image. Resent apps and tasks still has the visual bug, from the leak, at the bottom of the screen (I HAVE NOT rooted the device and changed switched any ROMs, these leak references are from review videos and have manifested in the official release). Not only is this unattractive, it's annoying. It seems there are buttons at the bottom that act as triggers of some sort. I have seen these toggels once and exited before realizing I could have tapped them to discover their actual function. It's to be assumed they may toggle whether you want to view apps or processes, or what page of recently used apps and processes you'd like to view and/or close.
14. Though audio notifications during a call have returned in some highly limited capacity (text messages), it is highly disappointing that camera functions during a call have not. This is permission based and is possible on the T-Mobile variants of some of the same devices carried by Sprint. Since this is a feature that impacts your network in absolutely no way, you should allow this feature to return immediately! It's not fair to miss a moment one would like to capture for memories because they're on a call. It's duely messed up to miss it while trying to quickly and abruptly bring a call to a close simply to capture said moment. It's EVEN MORE messed up to have been able to capture images AND VIDEO during a call with my Samsung Moment when it initially launched but can't do it with the Epid 4G Touch, a former super phone that had overshadowed the iPhone 4 and 4S in power and functionality just last year.
15. Touchwiz limitations and aesthetics are transferred to the stock ICS launcher when switching. Samsung has intentionally limited the stock launcher to the point of crippling it. You can't properly crop images for wallpapers anymore, scrollable wallpapers have completely vanished, all of the settings are completely the same, the icon pack is identical and dated, the skinning has not changed, only the dock bar, the widgets are totally overcrowded with optional sizes and shapes but live panel doesn't allow for resizing widget resizing directly from the homescreen (stock ICS allows you to resize ANY WIDGET!!!), and cropped wallpapers are poorly cropped and stretched resulting in an absolutely ridiculus background. Furthermore, Samsung has destroyed the stock functionality and gesture control of Swype Beta (preloaded on this ROM but I signed up for Beta testing before then, thus being in posession of the app prior to) and now it constantly commits to errors (wrong word, crippled predictive text, combining words, auto adding typos to the user dictionary, select word/select all tap/Swype button disabled, long press for imput method removed, text navigation while proofing has gone haywire, auto spacing failures, auto capitalization failures, and lagging while swiping). FURTHERMORE, the preloaded Swype does not execute even after a power cycle and battery pull! Instead, no keyboard appears, no functionality occurs, a force close warning appears, and the keyboard can't be disabled in the settings! The Samsung keyboard is locked from disabling as well! Many users will simply have to download a new virtual keyboard in order to swipe!
16. Fragmentation is insane! Resources are being consumed like crazy simply to process useless data! There have been no bug fixes lmao Are you kidding me?! There's even a bug in the phonebook causing you to have to manually edit contacts you've added from text messages otherwise they will save to Gmail but not to the device so that you can actually SEE them when viewing the contact itself! Accuweather is inaccurate and the watermark is very unappealing, can't even remove that or the AP which is only a widget that serves as a bookmark to the site! No actual fricking app!
17. Where's the stock ICS gallery?! Why do I still have a resource hungry 3D gallery in BOTH launchers?! This is for Samsung, not for Sprint, the GO team has proven that a manufacturers UI does NOT need to be written into the framework for function fully. GO Launcher brings all of these features in more and is only an apk. Not to mention a plethora of customization options, themes, and skins all amalgamated into a single app group! Back to Sprint, why in the world would you give this horrible update to your customers?! I'd have rather waited another month than be wondering how long the fragmentation and deterioration process of this ROM will take to kill my phone!
18. This is why people ROOT and modify! Plus, your warranties for smartphones are terrible! If I root my device in order to fix mistakes YOU GUYS made I shouldn't have to buy a COMPLETELY NEW DEVICE PRELOADED WITH THE SAME PROBLEMS!
And don't worry, I'll be giving Samsung the same 3rd degree!
STEP YOUR GAME UP PLEASE!!!
The original poster was referring to what he considered defective or broken features after updating to ICS. For whom do I speak you ask? I, of course, speak only for myself.
To all struggling with or interested in the ICS update to the Samsung Epic 4G Galaxy S2:
Please consider reviewing the link below and adding your thoughts on the larger mobile computing/Android industry implications raised by the flawed ICS update.