Samsung Releases Android 4.0 Update for Galaxy SII
Samsung recently posted the source code of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) update for the Samsung Galaxy SII, opening way for enthusiasts and hackers to create their own flavors. Previously, Samsung released source codes for three different versions of Gingerbread (Android 2.3.x), for various phone models. As it stands, the source code is only compatible for Galaxy SII released in Korean and European markets, although it may be possible to modify the source code for phones on other markets. There are many variants of Samsung Galaxy SII released in the United States and each has different hardware configurations, consequently, making the source code to be compatible for each of them may not be easy. However, the source code may help builders of custom ROM, such as the Cyanogenmod team to effectively manipulate fiddly hardware such as GPU and camera. The 193Mb package also includes Samsung’s Touchwiz UI, which can easily be removed by those who prefer to use their own launcher or ICS’ stock launcher. Touchwiz UI is so ubiquitous that many users believe that it is the standard Android interface.
Android is an open source platform and most phone makers modify the source code based on their requirements. Just anyone can get a full access to the source code, so they can modify the platform to their heart’s content. Consequently, some manufacturers may choose to omit features considered essential in an Android device, such as apps for Google Play, Gmail and Gmaps. Samsung is well known for being generous in distributing its own version of Android source codes and users don’t even need to register to obtain them.