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AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S2 Receives Small Android 4.0.4 Update

The Cool Android 4.0 Settings Feature

 

Updates are a welcome part of the smartphone experience. Since they only come once or twice a year (sometimes more), the excitement surrounding smartphone updates is contagious. If you are an AT&T customer and own Samsung’s Galaxy S2 smartphone, you most likely figured that the S2 would receive the Android 4.1 update. With AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular obtaining Jelly Bean updates for their Galaxy S3s, Galaxy S2 owners must have thought somewhere that there may be a chance for them to obtain the 4.1 update as well.

So far, that has not happened; rather, AT&T Galaxy S2 owners will receive a small update to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) by way of a 4.0.4 update. The Android 4.0.4 update brings some changes to the operating system. First, there are a few changes to icons, menus, and the web browser itself. Camera improvements are another part of the 4.0.4 update that provides more customizations for your photos as well as a better look. The 4.0.4 update will also update all Google applications, improve AT&T’s own applications and application launch, as well as increase Office365 security. Other features include performance enhancements to help your smartphone process applications better than before. Extra widgets will also come with the new update, providing for more customization of your Android phone than before. You can never get too many customizations!

Screen rotation is improved with the Android 4.0.4 update. There has always been something of a hesitation with screen rotation in Android phones, but this safety measure is in place to make sure that your phone does not rotate its screen haphazardly. Accidental touches and turns are given a few seconds in order to see whether or not you intended to turn your phone or not. There is also a brightness adjustment slider that ends up in the swipe window that lets you select menu functions when you swipe from up to down.

There are some caveats, however. According to one Galaxy S2 owner, the 4.0.4 update removed the brightness adjuster from his swipe-down window, while another said that there is still no shortcut action for a screen shot. I would suggest that the “palm shot” function is best for screenshots.

While AT&T Galaxy S2 owners are getting an Ice Cream Sandwich update here in the US, Galaxy S3 owners are getting the Premium Suite Update in the United Kingdom. The Premium Suite Upgrade comes with tech goodies such as Facebook Lock Ticker (which places your Facebook feeds on your lockscreen) and geotagging, which allows you to note details such as the place, time, location, and activity regarding each photo in your photo gallery. It has been said that the Android 4.0.4 update is the last go-round for the S2, since the update is incremental rather than large (as with the Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update). To acquire your Galaxy S2 update, go to your settings application and click on “software update” or add the “software update” widget to your home screen and touch the icon to begin the process.

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10 Comments

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  1. Gabe,

    Deidre here again. I wrote a first comment, but I wanted to offer a second in case the first seems frustrating.

    I had some issues earlier on with my phone rebooting for no reason. Eventually, I decided to tinker around with the controls and see if something I selected was causing the problem. For me, it was the “smart stay” option. You can find it in your settings section, then scroll down and touch “display.” For me, the screen was going off in the dark and rebooting my S3. When I turned it off, it started to stay on and go into standby mode instead of booting off each time.

    Other things I did to keep my phone from rebooting involved placing my phone in “standby” mode (click the button to the right of your smartphone screen) and I selected the developer option called “stay awake” that forces your phone to stay awake when it’s charging. These all helped my problem, and I haven’t had one random reboot since. -Deidre

  2. Gabe,

    I am sorry to hear about your Galaxy S2. If you receive a new S2 and the problem persists, you should use your insurance to get a new one. The goal here is to make the carrier provide you with a decent phone. My local carrier gave out a few defective S3s to people that I knew; when I got ready to order mine, I ordered it over the phone with the headquartered plant in Chicago; this allowed me to get a phone that was not defective. One person I knew who had an S3 couldn’t use her 4G; my 4G works just fine, whether in the city or in rural areas.

    I say all this above to say that there are phones that are not defective; however, it might be a long battle until you land one. The next time you go to get a new phone, ask the carrier to test the phone for you before you bring it home with you. Tell the carrier that you want the phone tested in their store so that you do not have to take it home, then bring it back in a few days. Your insurance is in place to cover defects in the smartphone, defects that are not your fault. If I really wanted an S2, I would stay outspoken with my carrier until I received one. They may have to test every S2 they own, but you will at least save yourself (and others) from getting a defective phone and having to go through the same headache.

    If they cannot find a smartphone that works, I would order through the same carrier, but from another branch. If you are a loyal customer, the carrier will feel a sense of obligation to find some way to make it up to you. Please write back and let me know what happened the second time around.

    I hope this helps.-Deidre

  3. I got a new Samsung Galaxy S2 in May. Around September/October my phone started Randomly shutting itself down without me doing so. It would also drain the battery heavily. I received a new battery but it did not help. I have insurance, my question is, What happens if I receive a new S2 and the problem still occurs?

  4. BSingh,

    Thanks for writing me about this problem.

    I had a cousin who owned the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and he experienced the same problem. Unfortunately, there is no solution to this — except to get a replacement. My best advice to you would be to take the phone to your phone carrier, explain the problem in detail, and request a replacement. If u have insurance as part of your monthly payment, then this should not be a problem.

    Phone carriers are often picky about cases that involve defective hardware, so write down the details about your problem. If you have to, time the number of times your phone shuts down randomly in a single day as well as the length of time between random shutdowns. You may also want to note what applications or functions were in operation at the time the phone shut down. In cases such as those, it may have something to do with the battery and apps.

    You may want to try removing some of your heavy-data apps from your memory storage and see if the situation changes. My phone shut down randomly on me until I deselected the “smart stay” function. It was putting my phone in sleep mode once my eyes were off of it. Now, I put the phone in standby mode when I’m not using it and I can easily awake my phone to play with it.

    I am sorry to hear about your problems. You are not alone. I think Samsung will provide new updates to these problems in the days ahead. At the moment, the best thing to do is get the phone declared “defective” and use your insurance to receive a new, free phone from your carrier. I hope this helps. -Deidre

  5. I have the Galaxy S2 and an update( 4.0.4 ) was pushed to my phone – Since then the phone just shuts down randomly. It does not turn on till i remove and reinsert the battery.

    Any solution to fix this?

  6. Olivia,

    Thanks so much for writing me here at studentnews.

    I am sorry about the troubles you are having with your S2. I am having similar trouble with the S3 now that I have upgraded from 4.0.4 to 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean). I think the battery drains faster with the new upgrades because the upgrade packages themselves take up more of the memory storage (and require more of the battery for operation) than before. Android added more stuff in 4.0.4 and 4.1, so it tends to drain the battery significantly.

    One of the most sure solutions to this problem is to purchase an extended battery for the S2. The battery pack will add the extra battery life that you need. If this is not a solution in the immediate future that you can afford, I suggest turning off a lot of functions on the device that you do not need. Two things I did today were disable my Bluetooth connection and turn off my motion sensor in the settings section. Turn off as many features as possible that you do not need, and turn on your power saving feature. Stick to basic themes for your wallpaper– do not resort to motion wallpapers, since this will also suck your battery dry.

    If it will help, you may want to purchase an extended battery as well as a battery pack for your S2. This will provide the maximum battery life (to date) that is available for any smartphone. I hope this helps. Thanks so much for writing me and feel free to write back at any time.-Deidre

  7. I have the Galaxy S2 and updated to 4.0.4 – the phone constantly is messing up now!! 🙁
    The screen randomly goes black and does not turn back on unless I reboot the phone (manually)… also, the battery life SUCKS.
    I can usually charge my phone and then leave it unplugged over night, but with the update, it drains my battery to zero with no warning.

    This is really making me angry. Any solutions? (Other than going to an AT&T tech location and downgrading my OS?)

  8. Ning,

    I just updated my Galaxy S3 to Jelly Bean (4.1), but I had the 4.0.4 update prior to that. You should be able to swipe from the top down (up to down) and pull down the window. At the top of the swipe-down window, you should see a little meter similar to a volume meter that lets you slide the little dot from left to right. This is the brightness adjustment slider. I hope this helps. Please write back regarding any more information you discover while playing around with the new ICS update.

  9. I updated my phone last night to 4.0.4 and have been noticing that the touch response of my screen is glitchy. I’ll swipe left, and often times the screen will go right instead. The other thing I noticed is that when I plug in my phone to a computer that has Kies installed, Kies notifies me that “Your current firmware version is not supported to update firmware via Kies”. I’m not sure if that simply means I’m updated, or if the update has rendered Kies useless.

  10. I figured out that in order to get screenshots, you now need to hold down the “Home” and “power” buttons for about 2 seconds simultaneously. Still haven’t figured out the brightness shortcut though.

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