[Video + Download] Early Samsung Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich (With TouchWiz) Build


One of the biggest things I wondered about when Google unveiled Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was how OEMs would adapt their custom user interfaces to the new version. For one OEM, it looks like not much has changed at all.

An Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Samsung Galaxy S II is already in the works and an early build has been leaked. Our friends at Samsung Firmware are our benefactors and they have even put together a little video showing the ROM off.

If you were expecting anything other than TouchWiz, you’ll be sadly disappointed. We still have a lot of the core ICS apps and features here, though, such as the new browser and settings menu, face unlock and the new application switcher (activated by holding the ‘home’ button).

Who knows? Perhaps the launcher will eventually become available for download and you’ll be as close as you’ve ever been to a stock Ice Cream Sandwich experience.

SF warns that this build is still largely broken and should not be flashed for use as a daily driver but it’s nice to see Samsung making such progress. If you’re feeling a bit daring you can try it out at the link ahead, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. As a precaution, North American users should steer clear even if it were stable.

If this rollout is anything like the Gingerbread rollout for their Galaxy S phones, everyone outside of America shouldn’t have to wait long for their tasty dessert. Watch the video above. [SamMobile via EuroDroid]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. and this is why my next phone will be a Nexus.  i don’t want Sense, Wiz, or Blur bogging down my phone or my experience.  if OEMs want to include their skin by default – that’s fine.  but let me uninstall it for pure Android if i want to. it should be just like any other app that i can install or uninstall.

    1. Skins were somewhat relevant in androids infant stage bow it’s a hinderence. I wonder if any of these companies know that lol.

      1. I found that they were pretty much unneeded since Android 2.1. 

    2. The main eyesore in Touchwiz is the launcher, which you can simply replace with another launcher app. And you can of course use a custom ROM like Cyanogenmod, so I don’t see what the big deal is.

      Let’s not also forget that GS2 owners are getting a taste of ICS before the Galaxy Nexus has even been released in the states … not too bad, if you ask me.

      1. I hope you have an unlocked/international version. If not, it may be a while before you get more than a taste. 

      2. Lets not forget that ICS will probably be he last major update for that phone so I hope they make it good, then their focus will be on the GS3.

    3. I installed ADW.Launcher about a week after getting my SGS2 and I haven’t looked back. As my phone is rooted I could probably uninstall Touchwiz, but I haven’t looked into it. I haven’t noticed any slow-down either.

      I don’t like TW, I don’t want TW, but I wouldn’t dismiss any phones because of it.

      1. i don’t want to layer launcher on top of launcher – bloat on top of bloat.  i want PURE ANDROID.  I WANT INSTANT OS UPDATES.  i don’t want to have to hide SKIN BLOAT by adding LAUNCHER BLOAT.

        1. well really using another launcher isnt really adding bloat, since they old launcher doesnt even start up the next time you boot your phone.. :P

        2. The slow updates are a shame. I installed Cyanogen on my HTC Desire to get Gingerbread. It doesn’t bother me a whole lot, I care about the apps more than the OS, but still, I do like to play with the latest stuff.

        3. Launchers do not “layer” on top of each other.  And you can delete unused launchers easily.  Not to mention bloat.

          Pure Android is nice but rather Spartan. I like the huge amount of customization launchers like ADW provide. But if you want completely stock, it’s simple enough on the GSII.

      2. You should try out stock ICS. I put the ALPHA build on a old Vibrant and it is a night and day difference from TouchWiz. Now that phone is usable but it is my back up for my Galaxy Nexus.

        1. My SGS2 is my main phone, so I’m not comfortable putting an alpha OS on it. If my HTC Desire is anything to go by, I’ll be putting ICS on it with Cyanogen Mod rather than a Samsung update.

          1. I meant the stable build for your phone but I was just telling you how good the Alpha one was as an example.

  2. What an ugly implementation of ICS.  Thank God for CyanogenMod!

  3. LOL TouchWiz is so fu*king ugly! Its exactly why I rooted my Captivate and put CM7 on it and made my (Android) life so much better! Thank you CM!!

    P.S. Cant wait to get my Nexus phone!

    1. TW 4.0 was great on 2.3.x actually, I have a feeling you are talking about TW 3.0

  4. blah. i guess the people that like touchwiz will be at home.

  5. looks like crap with touch wiz 

  6. remember this is really early build and we wont see the true implementation of touchwiz with ics until touchwiz 5 is released and we aint going to see that until the gs3 is released.

    1. You sir have won the gold medal, the GS3 will get the real deal, sad to say but SGS2 is last years phone

      1. I hope you are a man of your word and are actually sending him a gold medal for his meritorious observation. 

    2. I have actually been thinking about waiting for the S3 rather than getting the Nexus, but I dont know if I can wait that long. Who knows when that phone will come to the States.

  7. Just makes me more happy that I got my Galaxy Nexus :) if this is what OEMs will be doing to the beautiful Ice Cream Sandwich (making it look no different to Gingerbread) then I thank god that I have my pure Google beauty 

  8. I expect that some SII users would be confused if the UI changed massively for the ICS update. For most, a few improvements to the browser and settings will be a welcome update – the big UI changes will come for the S3.

  9. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous!!

    I’m eagerly awaiting Cyanogenmod for my GS2 but my next phone will be a Nexus. I’m sick to death of the manufacturers thinking they can do better than stock Android – especially the gorgeous Ice Cream Sandwich.

  10. An what did you expect. Original SGS went from 2.1 to 2.3.6 with hardly any changes to UI other than some cosmetics in the not. bar. Granted ISC is complete overhaul of the vanilla UI but not for most of OEM’s. 
    Look at the “new” MIUI for Nexus S…. Same feel to it as 2.3.5. 
    Well they will be able to install Trebuchet launcher from CM9 to get rid of some of TW, Sense and what not. 

  11. If and when this makes it to the Sprint SGSII E4GT, hopefully they will keep the Sprint ID pack “clean” that’s pretty much stock Android appearance.  However, the lock screen, etc. will be different. I would love if they’d just leave it alone from ICS onward.

  12. TouchWiz was sorta ok on Gingerbread, but it’s completely ugly on top of ICS. Looks so outta place.

  13. They still use the worst dialer and message app I have ever seen.
    If i could replace messenger and dialer with default apps I would be happier but TouchWiz has made me dislike Samsung phones.

    1. I have a GS2 and have been using GO SMS and GO Dialer EX and they are fantastic, they have theme support with many themes available.. Fully functional replacements..

  14. F@ck it looks the same. I want on screen navigation buttons on my tmo gs2

  15. I like TouchWiz 4.0 way better than Vanilla 2.x because it just looks better and has better features and the SGS2 is still faster than any Vanilla phone, but ICS is a very big visual step up and I would rather have that than Touchwiz. If they could switch to Stock launcher and keep some of the SGS2 exclusive features (motion controls, etc.) Then that would be perfect!

  16. The official 4.0 update will certainly not come with Touch Wiz 4.0 which has been out since April/May 2011.  I’m sure TW5.0 is in the works right along with the OS update.

  17. This looks like TouchWiz 4.0. Hey, ICS, are you really down there ??

    Hate you Samsung!

  18. samsung, you Touchwiz sucksss!!!. give me the beauty of pure ICE CREAM SANDWICH. give me a choice between pure Ice Cream Sandwich or “Touchwiz Sandwich”. give us a choice

  19. I’d complain, but me and my Sensation will probably see a disgusting Sense port. Ultimately im going to have to root this phone, can’t stand Sense anymore, its such bloat. Sad that manufacturers still can’t break the cycle of making crappy UIs to throw on top of Android.

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