Samsung Note and Android 4 upgrade worth it?

Finally Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is available for the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy Note i717 and Galaxy S II. Is it worth the upgrade? I was hesitant to run the upgrade. What if it didn’t work? What if it lost my stuff?

I followed the instructions at: AT&T Cell Phones: How do I update my Samsung Galaxy Note to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich? Essentially you have to download the Kies application to your PC or Mac and connect your phone to the PC and follow the process. Of course, you should back up your data using the Kies backup system.

My first download of Kies was damaged. So, I downloaded it at a different time period. Then the first use of the backup was extremely slow. I cancelled it. The next day the backup attempt was extremely fast. Hmmm. The Kies app has a lot of critics on the web. Oh well, its free.

But, then you have to update the Kies app on the PC/Mac. Then when you restart Kies, connect the Note to the PC with USB cable (wifi works for upgrade?), you can select the update option for the phone. Of course, this takes long if you watch it. On Windows 7, you have to stick around to respond to the security prompts. Eventually, after very confusing messages on the Kies, your phone will do its thing and be ready.

Of course, some things will change and certain settings will be gone. The above link gives you the list of what changes, for example:
“Application Menu: The application menu sorting, folders and home keys will be reset. Downloaded applications will be preserved.” Fortunately, ICS makes setting the screens so much easier.

Why upgrade?

  • Faster
  • Smoother
  • S Pen lag is gone!
  • Hard to tell, but when playing music, the sound seems better

Yeah, there some productivity suites enhancements and all that. And Android 4 has UI improvements and new features. What I noticed though is the speed. I can scroll web pages so fast it is a a blur. Also, the S Pen is now usable. Well, you could use it before, but on my phone the lag was annoying. Maybe I’m imagining it, but even the Swype keyboard is faster too.

Wikipedia’s list of features in Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich.

PC: Windows 7, AMD quad-core
Phone: Model SAMSUNG-SGH-I717
Android: version 4.0.4

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