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Samsung Galaxy S2 Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' upgrade confirmed

Samsung has officially confirmed that it is to launch an upgrade for its Galaxy S II smartphone this weekend to update its software to Google's Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich.'

Samsung has plenty of experience with the newest and most advanced version of Android: the company was selected to create the Galaxy Nexus, Google's own-brand handset used to showcase the latest release of its mobile operating system. While Samsung had promised to bring the same technology to its older Galaxy S II handset, it had previously been reluctant to provide a timescale.

Thankfully, it has now done so: the official launch date for the Galaxy S II Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' upgrade is the 10th March. At that time, users with the latest version of Samsung's own-brand KIES update software - available to download already - will be able to manually upgrade their handsets, while those relying on over-the-air updates will need to wait a short while for the software to reach them.

Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' brings plenty of improvements over the Android 2.3 'Gingerbread' software originally launched with the handset: a slick new user interface makes it look more modern while cleaning up the notification system, while the camera receives improved functionality. Performance is also improved, while a new 3D scripting language - first introduced in Android 3.0 'Honeycomb,' but never before made available to smartphones - allows more advanced user interface designs for apps and games.

Although some features - most noteably Android Beam, which requires in-built Near Field Communications (NFC) hardware present on the Galaxy Nexus but missing from most Galaxy S II handsets - won't be available, the update will bring many of the advantages from the Galaxy Nexus to its older sibling.

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