02-28-2012 05:43 PM
51 123
tools
  1. JayWill's Avatar
    This is an early unreleased and unofficial version of ICS for the E4GT that can only be obtained by manually flashing your phone and voiding your Samsung warranty. ICS HAS NOT been officially released, and it will probably be another month or two before it's pushed out. I wanted to add this for those that see this post and wonder why hitting "Firmware updates" is not downloading a sweet Ice Cream Sandwich update for you. When ICS officially starts rolling out for the E4GT, you can bet your butt that the guys at Android Central will have a story on the front page.


    Before I begin, keep in mind that the ICS builds for the E4GT that leaked over the weekend are early test builds, and as a result, contain bugs and may be missing features. It is very likely that things will change between now and the official release. But I wanted to come here and share my initial observations and thoughts, now that I've been able to install it.

    The first impression I had was something along the lines of "okay this looks the same". Well, it does. ICS or not, it's still Touchwiz, and it basically looks exactly as the current EL29 firmware does. But there are some differences.

    Here are some of my observations ...

    - The signal bars, 3G and WiFi icons and some of the notification icons have changed. They're still grey however not the ICS blue.

    - The stock lockscreen has been improved. The status bar shows at the top of the lockscreen, but the clock is removed (makes sense since it's in a widget on the screen) and you can now also include the Accuweather widget. It has an "ICS-like" unlock where a lock icon shows up anywhere you touch the screen and you drag out of the circle to unlock. It's actually quite good and rather unique.

    Homescreen transitions have the nice animation with a border highlight and sort of a "slant-in" effect. Looping homescreens seems to have been removed again, or I haven't found the way to enable it (I'll add more on this in a minute when I discuss scrolling wallpaper).

    The task manager has been updated to the ICS style manager that has a vertical scrolling list of open Applications.

    Menus - This is where ICS really shows itself in the new ROM. The menus have changed a lot, and in some ways are more intuitive. The ROM is a bit strange. It's definitely a Touchwiz themed ROM, but there are elements of the blue ICS infused into it. You mainly see this is settings, sliders and menu options. I have a feeling we will see less and less of the blue ICS as work continues to go into the ROM theme.

    Scrolling Wallpaper - Since this was an area of contention with the EL29 update, I thought I'd share what I've found so far. For those interested, you'll be happy to find that the Microbes and Nexus live wallpapers are back, as is scrolling wallpaper. However, as of this build, scrolling only works on the Live Wallpapers and the "Wallpapers" selection from the menu (I've attached a screenshot to illustrate what I'm talking about) Any wallpaper you select from the Galleries do not allow you to set in Landscape thus do not scroll. However, the wallpaper scrolling from the "Wallpapers" menu are glitchy and "stutter". In other words, it's bugged ...

    which is why I believe they were removed in the EL29 update. They couldn't get it working in time and still meet Sprint's CIQ removal deadline. I'm now convinced that the ROM theme and UI changes in EL29 was Samsung infusing some of the elements of their ICS Touchwiz ROM into the EL29 update, probably to use the opportunity as a free user test. The Phone icon change, the Incoming Call screen and others are all present in the ICS ROM. I believe what broke scrolling wallpaper is the homescreen transition animation, and they still haven't gotten it working properly in the Touchwiz launcher. Still, assuming they work it out, I would expect scrolling wallpaper to return when official ICS is released.

    As far as bugs go, there are surprisingly very few. With some adjustments, one could easily use this as a daily driver right now (although I'm not sure if I will yet heh). My GPS, data and phone worked very well right out of the gate.

    Bugs I've observed so far ...

    GPS causes pretty heavy battery drain and has issues getting a lock
    Visual Voicemail force closes and basically doesn't work. I have a constant VM notification that I can't clear (force closing and clearing data fixes the FC and notification issue but it reoccurs upon receiving a new VM)
    Scrolling wallpaper can randomly glitch out and stutter
    I can't get Bluetooth to connect in my car, while it worked fine in my GB ROM
    There is a toggle to add a % to the battery icon but it doesn't work
    Notification LED is bugged. Notifications result is a solid blue LED light
    WiFi will not auto-reconnect to my router. I have to toggle it off, then on again to reconnect
    Sprint TV doesn't work (oh my the horror!)

    I've attached some screenshots for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to ask any questions here and I'll see if I can answer them for you.
    02-21-2012 02:09 PM
  2. dtm_stretch's Avatar
    Awesome, thanks jay!

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    02-21-2012 02:29 PM
  3. Paul627g's Avatar
    Jay, can you check notification (pull down notifications) from the lockscreen without unlocking the device? That is an ICS feature we have on the NS4G/GN, etc... wasn't sure if its something exclusive to us only...
    02-21-2012 02:37 PM
  4. JayWill's Avatar
    Jay, can you check notification (pull down notifications) from the lockscreen without unlocking the device? That is an ICS feature we have on the NS4G/GN, etc... wasn't sure if its something exclusive to us only...
    Yes you can! Nice feature.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    02-21-2012 02:53 PM
  5. MannyZ28's Avatar
    Do we get smooth transitions going from portrait to landscape and vice versa? If so, in what instances? I saw that this worked in a Galaxy Note for both the browser and text messaging and email.

    Thank you sir!
    02-21-2012 03:29 PM
  6. Paul627g's Avatar
    Yes you can! Nice feature.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    Yes this is gold right here in my book... So now I hear a notification come in and instead of the normal unlocking the lock screen and then waiting a sec or two for everything to stabilize and then hitting the notifications pull down it can all be skipped and just tap the power button to wake it and then grab your pull down. Not to mention you can also toggle your power menu toggles Turn on/off wifi/bt/ etc...

    One of the best features of ICS, IMO.
    02-21-2012 03:38 PM
  7. MannyZ28's Avatar
    JayWill,

    Have you tried changing launchers from Touchwiz to the ICS one like he showed here?



    Compared to all the review videos I have seen of the Galaxy Nexus, it looks like the Epic 4G Touch handles the ICS launcher better than the Galaxy Nexus, just looks smoother in that video.

    I doubt Sprint/Samsung will keep that option, but it sure would be nice!
    02-21-2012 03:48 PM
  8. JayWill's Avatar
    Do we get smooth transitions going from portrait to landscape and vice versa? If so, in what instances? I saw that this worked in a Galaxy Note for both the browser and text messaging and email.

    Thank you sir!
    Yeah portrait to landscape transitions are nice and smooth in the SMS, Email, Browser, Settings and other Apps. Still no rotate on the homescreens though, like in Go Launcher EX (which handles that beautifully).

    JayWill,

    Have you tried changing launchers from Touchwiz to the ICS one like he showed here?

    How to Switch to the Native ICS Launcher on the Samsung Epic 4G Touch - YouTube

    Compared to all the review videos I have seen of the Galaxy Nexus, it looks like the Epic 4G Touch handles the ICS launcher better than the Galaxy Nexus, just looks smoother in that video.

    I doubt Sprint/Samsung will keep that option, but it sure would be nice!
    Yes I switched to it to check it out. Other than the widget selector, I don't really care for the stock ICS launcher. I find it boring and lacking in options for customization. Gallery images scroll on the homescreens on it, but the selector only allows you to select a portrait area, so the wallpaper gets blown up and distorted like the issue with the current EL29 Touchwiz launcher.

    Honestly, I have yet to find a launcher better than Go Launcher, but now that I have ICS on my phone, I'm going to be giving the CM9 Launcher, Trebuchet, a try. I'm also going to give Nova launcher a spin as well.
    02-21-2012 04:11 PM
  9. Paul627g's Avatar
    +1 on the CM9 Trebuchet launcher... Much improved over the stock ICS launcher...

    Nova, haven't really given it a fair chance.
    02-21-2012 04:16 PM
  10. MannyZ28's Avatar
    Never heard of the Nova launcher. I was pretty happy with the ADW EX Launcher until I had to reboot one day and all my nicely setup folders had apps with standard android icons in them, the apps also were missing from the App drawer. Back to stock I went. Been pretty leary of 3rd parth launchers since then.
    blitz118 likes this.
    02-21-2012 04:53 PM
  11. JayWill's Avatar
    Never heard of the Nova launcher. I was pretty happy with the ADW EX Launcher until I had to reboot one day and all my nicely setup folders had apps with standard android icons in them, the apps also were missing from the App drawer. Back to stock I went. Been pretty leary of 3rd parth launchers since then.
    Here's a video review of Nova launcher for ICS.

    cjones likes this.
    02-21-2012 05:28 PM
  12. androidpirate's Avatar
    In the web browser, does scrolling lock to the y axis when you scroll down or the page moves freely in the x-y axis?
    02-21-2012 05:51 PM
  13. JayWill's Avatar
    In the web browser, does scrolling lock to the y axis when you scroll down or the page moves freely in the x-y axis?
    I'm assuming you mean a page you've zoomed in on so there is page content to the left and right of your view? If so, then it moves freely on the x-y axis. Although careful flicks up and down keep you on the same axis. Is that what you were asking?

    Also, regarding the browser, I don't know if this had been added in one of the updates, but I checkbox has been added to enable "Desktop view". I never use the stock browser, but I remember people having to use the about:useragent function to stop the browser from auto-loading the mobile version of pages. I tried that function on the ICS browser and it doesn't work anymore. So I hit the "Desktop view" checkbox and loaded up a few sites and they all defaulted to the desktop view. Nice!

    Maybe this was already in and I never knew it, but it was news to me hehe.
    02-21-2012 06:31 PM
  14. androidpirate's Avatar
    Yeah that's what I meant, it was taken out in the last update, mostly because apple has a patent on it.



    I'm assuming you mean a page you've zoomed in on so there is page content to the left and right of your view? If so, then it moves freely on the x-y axis. Although careful flicks up and down keep you on the same axis. Is that what you were asking?

    Also, regarding the browser, I don't know if this had been added in one of the updates, but I checkbox has been added to enable "Desktop view". I never use the stock browser, but I remember people having to use the about:useragent function to stop the browser from auto-loading the mobile version of pages. I tried that function on the ICS browser and it doesn't work anymore. So I hit the "Desktop view" checkbox and loaded up a few sites and they all defaulted to the desktop view. Nice!

    Maybe this was already in and I never knew it, but it was news to me hehe.
    02-21-2012 06:36 PM
  15. JayWill's Avatar
    By the way the Gmail app for ICS (version 4.0.3-239410) is in this ROM and it's pretty nice! It definitely got a facelift. Still no pinch to zoom though. Grrrr.
    cjones likes this.
    02-21-2012 06:56 PM
  16. ledlauzis's Avatar
    Thanks JayWill72 for nice summary of what is improved in this build!

    Hopefully Samsung will release update for my SGS2 sometime soon
    http://crazytechlab.com/samsung-gala...display-sucks/
    02-22-2012 10:29 AM
  17. JayWill's Avatar
    I thought I'd add a Quadrant benchmark I ran, for those who actually care about benchmarks. It came out about 800 points higher than the current Gingerbread stock ROM, or at least back when I ran the stock around release. It's been awhile lol. Anyhoo...



    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    02-22-2012 06:53 PM
  18. qfnol31's Avatar
    How's battery life for you? It's been really bad for me, but I'm going to try to wipe the USB storage and my SD card to see if that works.

    Have you tried out the stock ICS launcher? I switched to it not long after installing ICS and haven't gone back. The stock launcher works really well and looks nice. It bring in a lot of the original ICS upgrades, like the light blue at the end and some of the transitions, along with the app drawer and widget drawer. Overall I have been quite pleased with this, though there are a couple instances with touchwiz that I wish they hadn't. I don't care for the TW calendar and stuff like that.
    02-22-2012 08:41 PM
  19. JayWill's Avatar
    How's battery life for you? It's been really bad for me, but I'm going to try to wipe the USB storage and my SD card to see if that works.

    Have you tried out the stock ICS launcher? I switched to it not long after installing ICS and haven't gone back. The stock launcher works really well and looks nice. It bring in a lot of the original ICS upgrades, like the light blue at the end and some of the transitions, along with the app drawer and widget drawer. Overall I have been quite pleased with this, though there are a couple instances with touchwiz that I wish they hadn't. I don't care for the TW calendar and stuff like that.
    Battery life isn't too bad if I keep the GPS off. Not like on my ROM with my underclock and undervolt scripts running, but respectable. I'm at 45% right now with 10 hours off the charger and 1.5 hours of screen on time.

    Yeah I tried he stock launcher. I don't really care for it. If you like it though you'll really like Trebuchet. It's the stock launcher but with extra features.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    qfnol31 likes this.
    02-22-2012 10:13 PM
  20. maluminse's Avatar
    Updated today thinking it was Ics rolling out but nope nada. rip.
    aadelman likes this.
    02-23-2012 12:31 AM
  21. Ogre840's Avatar
    So far it seems from the XDA thread that GPS is about 50/50 if it will work or not. I installed Caulkin's rom today, and unfortunately I'm in the bad 50% with no GPS.

    GPS Status wont even show satellites visible, let alone lock on.

    Other than that, very nice, no other issues so far. Data speed is the same (unfortunately that means bad, but not worse. Haven't actually tried to load any sites) and I did have a problem getting Chrome2Phone working, but a reboot solved that.

    Can't wait for the next leak, or official version
    02-23-2012 01:35 AM
  22. Titus37's Avatar
    Jay, thanks a lot for your report. I'm definitely looking forward to the official update.
    02-23-2012 10:02 AM
  23. qfnol31's Avatar
    Battery life isn't too bad if I keep the GPS off. Not like on my ROM with my underclock and undervolt scripts running, but respectable. I'm at 45% right now with 10 hours off the charger and 1.5 hours of screen on time.

    Yeah I tried he stock launcher. I don't really care for it. If you like it though you'll really like Trebuchet. It's the stock launcher but with extra features.

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk
    This made me go back and check all my app settings. Come to find out, Read it Later was on push sync.

    After using this ROM for the last few days I'm still very happy with it. Ice Cream Sandwich looks great, especially in the optimized apps. They need to fix touch sensitivity on the screen, but I have no plans to go back to EL29.

    EDIT: New bug. My keyboard doesn't work well on websites.
    02-23-2012 11:01 AM
  24. JayWill's Avatar
    Updated today thinking it was Ics rolling out but nope nada. rip.
    I updated the OP for a bit more clarity. This is an early unofficial build that can only be obtained by manually flashing your phone's firmware.
    acadialover likes this.
    02-23-2012 11:32 AM
  25. Night Train's Avatar
    Here's my Burning Question:

    With the ICS upgrade, WILL MY GALAXY S2 BE ABLE TO GRAB AND HOLD A GPS SIGNAL SO THAT GOOGLE NAVIGATION WILL WORK RELIABLY AND CONSISTENTLY??

    That is the one weak spot of this otherwise great smartphone.
    02-23-2012 01:01 PM
51 123
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD