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back to article Samsung opens up the Ice Cream Sandwich

Samsung has posted the source code for its Ice Cream Sandwich, Android version 4 for the Galaxy SII, opening the way for hackers to create their own Android spin. The release follows three iterations of Gingerbread (the last incarnation of Android v2) which are also available from Samsung in all their open-source glory, and …

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Anonymous Coward

and still

HTC drags its heels.

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Linux

Re: and still

That's why I bought a Samsung, they appeared to be better at updates. I said that HTC need to focus on the handsets they have already released instead of focussing on releasing a near-identical handset each month.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and still

HTC released their source yesterday, at least for the Sensation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and still

True Samsung have the one top of the range phone while HTC appear to churn them out. When they do release an update it always takes ages to reach the UK. It's even worse if you have a branded handset, one reason I now buy the phone outright.

There's so many variation of android on so many different types of phone. It seriously makes me yearn for an iPhone, well for about a second or so, one operating system, on phone and it tends to work without complaint....mostly.

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Re: and still

HTC's CEO commented in an interview recently that that was exactly their strategy from now on. Ie. More focus and fewer models going forward.

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PTR

I'll still take the Samsung ICS first. But may well consider a CM9 version down the line.

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Nice, but...

I'd be satisfied with a binary (Software Update continues to tell me there's nothing available).

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Anonymous Coward

Good luck trying do download anything from that website.

After trying Firefox, Chrome and Safari I give up.

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Devil

Welcome to Korea

Our websites allow both kinds of browser: IE 6, AND IE 8.

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Please?

... can we have the Captivate Glide (basically a Galaxy S 2 with a keyboard) in the UK? With ICS?

No? Oh well, guess I'll go back to my ageing Milestone then.

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Thumb Down

What use are updates if you can't install them?

The only way to update a Galaxy S (yes, I know, 18 months old, get with the project, gramps) is to use the truly execrable Kies software. I have now tried it on five physical machines and one virtual machine and the most I have ever managed (twice, different machines) is for the phone to be recognized for ten seconds or so.

I'm not alone, according to Mr Google's helpful search engine, not alone by a loooooooooooooong chalk.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What use are updates if you can't install them?

No use at all, but at least it's open...

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Re: What use are updates if you can't install them?

All parts of Samsung Kies should be removed, formatted, wiped out of memory - both your computer and yours. It's rare that I come across software that's so gob-smackingly awful that you're left in a gibbering state wondering just what the **** were the developers thinking?

My specific problem with the phone comms (and not alone in this) was that Kies recognised the phone when the device was in USB mass storage mode. Switch the device into Kies mode and Kies just refused to recognise that it exists.

Solution? Use some of the rather good 3rd party tools to update the device. Google for ODIN and you should find some good guides and links.

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Go

ODIN vs Heimdall

Heimdall is the FLOSS clone of ODIN, and is a much better choice, as ODIN is a leaked windows-only crashtastic utility, and it's also written by Samsung, which I figure if you hate Kies that much you're gonna hate ODIN too.

http://www.glassechidna.com.au/products/heimdall/

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Unhappy

@Nick Ryan. Re: "It's rare that I come across software that's so gob-smackingly awful....

.......that you're left in a gibbering state wondering just what the **** were the developers thinking?"

Erm, not that rare. Cyberlink Power DVD and iTunes come to mind immediately.

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TouchWiz is actually OK I think. I thought I'd miss Sense, but not so much...

TMOUK have said they're prepping the ICS update to be ready 'as near to the release date as possible'. Clock's running

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Happy

Exactly how it should be done

Samsung have got this bang on, releasing the source to the wild nurtures a vibrant developer community which increases user choice and also builds brand loyalty. A lot of other companies should take note here and follow Samsung's direction.

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Anonymous Coward

Depends what part of Samsungs direction you want to follow...

Being fined by the Korean FTC for price fixing

Being fined by the Korean FTC for obstructing the price fixing investigation

Being investigated by the EU for anticompetitive use of patents

A lot of companies would be a lot better off not following Samsungs methods at all.

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No help to me

Galaxy S2? Galaxy nexus? What happened to small phones! I don't want a phone big enough to surf on - I want a small, smart one, that'll fit into any pocket - if I wanted a tablet I'd buy one...

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Re: No help to me

What about the Galaxy Ace or the soon-to-be-released Galaxy Ace Plus?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No help to me

Sony Ericsson Ray. You can get good deals on these at the moment.

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License compliance

Readers must remember that Samsung, like most Android deployers, has in fact been in *license violation* for the entire period between distribution of handsets running ICS and their current code dump. Although the userspace of such phones is composed of BSD and Apache licensed code which does not require source distribution, the critical part as far as getting actual hardware to run is the modified Linux kernel -- and that is licensed under the GPLv2 license.

That license contains a "Liberty or Death" clause -- if a company violates the license by distributing a binary without an active offer to provide the source code -- from the very beginning -- then it loses its right to distribute *permanently* the software without forgiveness from the rightsholders.

No one has yet enjoined one of the Android distributors for engaging in this widespread and flagrant licensing violation, but I hope that it happens at some point. License compliance is not something "optional", or to be done when "convenient" -- it is part and parcel of using the code to build a product.

And this includes the distribution of binary modules to speak to the hardware on essentially every phone. Most who have made a study of the legal requirements of the GPLv2 that all software linking against internal symbols of the kernel (as opposed to standard system call interfaces) must also be provided in source code have agreed that the increasing use of unpublished binary kernel modules to speak to hardware is in direct violation of the GPLv2 license. Samsung should be ashamed for not publishing full sources of the modules used to communicate with the GPS, data connection, voice, and wireless hardware. But it's not just shame -- it is a direct legal violation of the license.

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