Well here’s some bad news for some (most?) of you. It looks like even though the Samsung Galaxy S2 will receive an update to Android 4.0, it will look nothing like ICS at all. In fact you’ll barely notice any difference in the UI compared to what you have now. It will mostly be the same old TouchWiz 4.0. So most of the changes will be under the hood.
Personally, I find this very disappointing. I was hoping manufacturers would finally start to allow lighter skins on top of Android 4.0, so the user can choose whether he wants to use the stock UI or the UI made by the manufacturer. I understand that the manufacturer feels compelled to make modifications to improve the user experience, but Android 4.0 looks pretty good as it is, and even if they find flaws in the interface, they should still allow the changes to be reversed, at the very least, if they are using stock Android in the first place.
In a way, I understand Samsung’s decision right now. Maybe they thought the new Android 4.0 UI would confuse its users after they’ve been using Touchwiz 4.0 for months. Perhaps they are making TouchWiz 5.0 look a lot more like the Android 4.0 UI. But then won’t the users be just as confused when they will upgrade to TouchWiz 5.0?
But then does this mean the Galaxy S2 won’t be receiving TouchWiz 5.0 at all? And if TouchWiz 5.0 is the only that really embraces ICS, does it mean that some features of Android 4.0 have been removed from this update to accomodate for TouchWiz 4.0? These are a lot of questions that hopefully will be given an answer soon.
Still this gives me little hope that the manufacturers are moving towards a cleaner, stock Android experience. And this might be to their disadvantage in the future. When Google finally acquires Motorola, I’m pretty sure they will make all Motorola phones with the stock Android version, and then all customers who want stock Android will switch to Motorola.
But it’s not just them, all the people that are friends with them, too, because most of them will recommend the Motorola phones then to their friends, too. Hopefully, the other manufacturers wake up to this before it’s too late for them.