Man! This has really gotten me pissed! When Jellybean came out with the announcement that it will support higher resolution images (720×720) compared to what Ice Cream Sandwich did (2562×256), I was really excited.

But even when I sync my Android smartphone with Google Contacts, the contact photos still revert back to 96×96 versions.

I wondered why it took them very long to do something about this and I found out that it had been a few years back when this issue was raised. More than 3 years have passed and the GMail team still had not done anything.

So maybe they are doing something about it … but … 3 years have passed and not even a 256×256 support has not been incorporated.

This is actually the only feature I am looking forward if I were to upgrade my Android OS to Jellybean. I just want to see my contacts’ photos in high resolution.

After a few days of using Ice Cream Sandwich in my Samsung Galaxy S2, I can say that it is more than worth it. Though not totally. Why did I say not totally? Let me point out the pros and cons that I have experienced so far.

Pros

  • Excellent battery life. No matter how long I play, the battery does not get drained quickly unlike Gingerbread.
  • Fast charging. I noticed charging does not take forever compared to before.
  • You can disable useless apps easily even when your phone is not rooted.

Cons

I think there is only one flaw that I can jot down. And this problem still persisted from when I first had my Galaxy S2 with Gingerbread OS. Why the hell did they not unify the system and internal USD partition? I still am limited to 2GB of apps and games to install.

It would have been nice if users can move the installed data to its internal USD partition. The “move to SD Card” option under Settings > Application does not work and is only good if you have an external USD card added to your phone. The label is so misleading!

I am against using custom ROM since it would just make any Android smart phone ordinary and not unique. Because Samsung still did the same stupid thing by not unifying the partitions, I am definitely awaiting the time that Cyanogen Mod 9 will come out.

Not so Pro+Con

This falls as an in between. I would have liked it if Samsung changed their user interface a bit. Instead, it is the same TouchWiz display with only a few minor tweaks in other user interface areas like the Task Manager.

So is Samsung’s Ice Cream Sandwich stock ROM worth it? Depends on your usage. If you like to install many apps and games, this is crap. But if you are not much of a gamer and just want to do social networking, then the ICS stock ROM should be okay.


Stock ROMs are crap. I tried to hold on to it but it came to a point where my phone memory was running out of space and I could not move my apps to the internal SD card. Their fault anyway, Samsung’s that is. So I decided to use a custom ROM instead, courtesy of Cyanogen Mod.

There are other custom roms out there but most, or maybe all of them base it on Cyanogen’s version then just stock them up with their own tweaks. The result? Seamless. Fast. Yes! Blazingly fast, even during bootup. Plus, I like the fact that you can just long press the power button and choose Screenshot in the menu rather than doing those 3 annoying button press at the same time.

And just like that, I could then move my apps to internal SD card. Plus, I decided to use an Ice Cream Sandwich theme for CM7. Looks great doesn’t it?

There is one thing you should take note though. In my case, I could not install stock apps from Samsung’s TouchWiz interface because their apps uses libraries only found in the TouchWiz. If you really want to have those apps back into your phone, you will have to revert back to your stock ROM.

If you want to upgrade to a custom ROM, make sure your phone is rooted.

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