Saturday, September 29, 2012

Alchemy Classic Premium (Featured Game)

Genre: Puzzle

Cost: Free


Throughout history, humans have always been eager to explore the world they inhabit. Human efforts resulted in significant progress, from the simplest of tools to high-tech industrial plants and flying machines. If you think about it, however, some time ago there was nothing but the basic elements of nature: fire, water, earth, and air. These very things form the basis of all diversity. It sounds incredible, doesn't it? Can you throw a bunch of dirt into air and get a hot air balloon? Of course not. And yet, these elements of nature are at the heart of nearly all objects, from an hourglass to a complex engineering facility. As a player, we offer you a different kind of game, a puzzle in that allows you to explore and build your own surroundings. You will uncover many secrets that concern the true nature of all things. Alchemy Classic gives players a unique chance to become a real explorer and creator!



'Samsung Apps' link

Monday, June 18, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 might work as a phone, hands-on video suggests

As unusual as it may seem, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet might actually work as a cell phone too. As in a cell phone that you can pop a SIM card in and use to make calls. Evidence in support of this rumor comes from a Galaxy Note 10.1 hands-on video, which was posted on YouTube several days ago.

Details are scarce, and the presenter does not make any calls for the duration of the video. At the beginning of the video and then later around the 1:05 mark, however, they bring up an application called "Teléfono" (Spanish for "phone"), which seems to be a working dialer (as far as we can tell). The tablet is branded for the Mexican carrier Telcel, which is why the interface language is set to Spanish.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 might work as a phone too - Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 might work as a phone, hands-on video suggests

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A quad-core sporting Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 gets shown off on YouTube

All signs point at a launch of the updated Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in the nearest future, people. An updated version of the slate got handled on YouTube, showcasing a number of serious improvements, compared to the Note 10.1, which we encountered back in April.

The updated Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 will feature a quad-core Exynos CPU and an S-Pen slot built in – right in line with the previous leaks on the subject.

Furthermore, the upcoming slate from Samsung features the same Pebble Blue finish as the Samsung Galaxy S III. Here goes the video itself.

Monday, June 4, 2012

5.5" Galaxy Note 2 allegedly scheduled for October 2012

Samsung scored a huge hit with their Galaxy Note, a combinatio of phone and tablet which was released late last year, featuring a large 5.3 inch screen complete with stylus. To date, some 7 million Galaxy Notes have been sold globally.
It seems that the success has spurred the Koreans to work even harder on a sequel to the popular device, as rumors have surfaced that the Galaxy Note 2 is scheduled to be released this October, exactly one year after the original.
Check out this mockup of the new Note:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Android 4.0 ICS update for the Samsung Galaxy Note gets the green light in the UK

Needless to say, there has been a lot of praise surrounding the Samsung Galaxy Note of late, but everyone is still wondering when they’ll be able to experience Ice Cream Sandwich on the mighty smartphone. Well, as we already know, our German friends have been living it up with the ICS update early last month, but now we’re hearing word that it’s coming to the folks in the UK as well!

Android 4.0 ICS update for the Samsung Galaxy Note gets the green light in the UK

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note ICS source code released

Samsung Galaxy Note ICS source code releasedDevelopers, rejoice! The Samsung Galaxy Note’s Android Ice Cream Sandwich kernel source code has been released by Samsung on their official Open Source website. This means that programmers can leverage the code and start developing their own custom ROMs, tailor made for the Galaxy Note.

Up until now, developers were working on ROMs with leaked code, and now that they have the full source, it will be easier for them to make better and safer custom ROMs.

As for the casual user, you probably shouldn’t care much at the moment. But check back a couple of weeks later, and you’d probably be looking at many interesting ROMs for your Galaxy Note. The code is below and you can share your experience with the handset in the comments section.

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 now comes with quad-core Exynos processor ands slot for S Pen

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 now comes with quad-core Exynos processor ands slot for S PenDuring MWC 2012 in February, Samsung showed off the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 tablet. At the time, the device featured a dual-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor under the hood, a 1280 x 800 display, 3MP camera and lack of a place to store the S Pen that comes with the tablet. But last month, the Korean based manufacturer warned that changes might be coming to the tablet. And sure enough, when the tablet was displayed at an event in Europe on Tuesday, there were some changes made.

Samsung has added a holder for the S Pen - Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 now comes with quad-core Exynos processor ands slot for S Pen

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Chart compares smartphone screen-to-body size ratios, Samsung Galaxy Note holds the top spot

Chart compares smartphone screen-to-body size ratios, Samsung Galaxy Note holds the top spotAs any well-executed teardown reveals, there is a whole bunch of different components that go into the construction of a modern smartphone. The majority of these parts, however, reside on the inside. In most cases, all that users get to see is a body with a touch-sensitive display panel up front. That is why the display is often what a user's initial impressions revolve around when being introduced to a handset for the first time. 

Speaking of smartphone displays, here is a comparison chart that a Reddit member put together. However, what makes it special is that of all things, it compares screen-to-body ratios of a number of smartphones. Basically, the figure represents the ratio between the total area of the display and the total area of a smartphone's front side.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Samsung selling Galaxy Note Olympic Edition in UK

You must be aware by now that Samsung is the official sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics to be held later this year in July in London. Now we have come across a picture of this rather attractive special edition Galaxy Note being sold in the UK.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note in pink is in bound for the UK sometime in June

Samsung Galaxy Note in pink is in bound for the UK sometime in June
The last time we heard about the elusive “berry pink” version of the Samsung Galaxy Note, was back last month when it officially made its debut in Samsung’s home country of Korea. Of course, the new color added a little bit of flavor to the white and typical black versions of the larger than life smartphone, but word has it that it’s in bound for the UK as well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet to feature powerful ARM Mali T-604 graphics, adding to a quad-core processor

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet to feature powerful ARM Mali T-604 graphics, adding to a quad-core processorWhatever tablet Samsung was preparing with the Galaxy Note 10.1, it has gone back to the drawing board in terms of specs now, as a leaked Taiji graphics benchmark shows, and as Samsung itself hinted at us when we were doing the hands-on preview at MWC.

The score of 61.4 megapixels per second beats the second in line - Galaxy S III - by a huge margin, indicating a new graphics processor. Since the chipset in the Galaxy Note 10.1 is listed as the same Exynos 4412 we have in the latest Galaxy phone, then the graphics processor must be the next generation Mali T-604, not the Mali-400 in the Galaxy S II and S III.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note finally gets the official Ice Cream Sandwich

Now we've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for this update to finally come. We even braved to try a leaked ROM to see how ICS would feel like on the Note. What can we say, even the Cyanogen team managed to produce a custom ICS ROM for the device before the manufacturer.
Never mind, the important thing is that the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Samsung Galaxy Note is finally seeding to users across the world. So far there is no official statement by Samsung so the roll-out schedule is unclear. As usual with this sort of things, not everybody would get it at the same time, some regions and SIM-free devices will be first.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

CyanogenMod 9 now available for Galaxy Note international version

For all you owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note who want some sweet custom ROM action, CyanogenMod now has a release based on its latest Android ICS build, Cyanogenmod 9, available for download.


If you’re willing to get along with the few known issues, the CyanogenMod ROM is a great way to get some added functionality out of your device.

The official thread, alongside all the steps you need to install it, is available at xda-developers.

In other Galaxy Note-related news, the highly popular tablet/smartphone has managed to sell 2 million units in its home country of South Korea since it was launched this past October, giving Samsung a whopping 64% handset market share in its backyard for the month of April.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note leaks out, looks ready for launch

T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note leaks out, looks ready for launchThe Samsung Galaxy Note has turned out to be a success for Samsung and carve a “phablet” niche thanks to its experimental, 5.3-inch gargantuan display, and now the device seems ready to make its official entry on T-Mobile. A Galaxy Note with T-Mobile branding on top and a set of T-Mobile apps like T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile Mall, T-Mobile TV and My T-Mobile, has surfaced in pictures in the hands of TMoNews and all clues point to a nearing release date.

Good news is that the T-Mobile Galaxy Note comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich from the get-go. Now, there’s a shade of doubt left about this as with every other unofficial leak, but it’s more likely that this is real and coming soon. The model number of the leaked device was also revealed - it is the Samsung SGH-T879.

T-Mobile is still mum on the actual price and release date, but we bet we’d be hearing more about them soon, so stay tuned. Hit the source link for all the images of the T-Mo Galaxy Note.

source: TMoNewsT-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note leaks out, looks ready for launch
T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy Note leaks out, looks ready for launch

Monday, April 23, 2012

Samsung GALAXY Note top smartphone in Q1 based on sentiment in social networks

Samsung GALAXY Note top smartphone in Q1 based on sentiment in social networksSocialNuggets scans social networks like Facebook and Twitter to see what people are thinking based on their comments. According to their index for smartphones, at the end of the first quarter of 2012, it was the Samsung GALAXY Note that was the on the top of the list. The cross between a phone and a tablet with its 5.3 inch screen, the phablet had the Samsung Galaxy S II trailing behind it, followed by the Apple iPhone 4S.

T-Mobile could get its own Galaxy Note as T879 leaks

Samsung has been intensely promoting its Galaxy Note phoneblet ever since its announcement, and it looks like it might finally make its way to T-Mobile.

While the T879 model number may be a far cry from the SGH-i717 of the original Galaxy Note, there's a few key bits of information that point шд it being a T-Mobile branded Note:

…the leaked ICS build for the AT&T Galaxy Note has the build number IML74K.144, indicating the build date and it is the 144th custom build. The SGH-T879 has the same build number because it was built from the same sources at the same time, meaning that it is indeed a brother to the AT&T Galaxy Note. The build servers and time stamp match up with Samsung’s official build information. We know that this build is intended to be an official build because the build number is suffixed with the baseband version instead of a decimal number indicating a custom build that voids the warranty.

Obviously, all of this is still highly speculative. Be sure to check back with us for more as this story develops.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Samsung might also unveil a new tablet at the May 3 event in London

Samsung could be lining up for a new Galaxy Tab announcement at their big London event on May 3.

Samsung GALAXY Note to appear at T-Mobile?

The User Agent Profile hints at it...Samsung GALAXY Note to appear at T-Mobile?At one time, there had been some speculation that the Samsung GALAXY Note would be taking it's 5.3 inch display and head to Verizon as the Samsung GALAXY Journal. Outside of a petition started by some of Big Red's customers,pleading for the device to be launched with the Verizon brand, nothing more has been heard about a Verizon version of this phone. However, a User Agent Profile string points to the phablet coming to T-Mobile.
How do we know that the User Agent

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and Galaxy Note 10.1 to get quad-core processors

The launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2′s has been delayed, reportedly to do a little extra work on the software. But a new rumor has cropped up saying that the real reason is a hardware one – namely Samsung wants to put a quad-core processor inside the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 (no info about on the Tab 2 7.0). 

Samsung Premium Suite for Galaxy Note includes S Pen apps for ICS

Samsung Premium Suite for Galaxy Note includes S Pen apps for ICSAfter a couple of leaks here and there, and some custom ROMs, Samsung finally explained how the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note will get updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and what the mysterious Premium Suite coming along is. When you first hear the words, you might think Samsung is again referring to a collection of features instead of a full ICS update, but in actuality the Premium Suite is a collection of apps specific for the S Pen. Those include the S Note, an update of S Memo, and My Story.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Android Vs iOS The Truth about Apple and Google's OS

I know it's off topic, but couldn't resist to share it with you guys.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

FAQ Session:

Thanks to Wicked4u2c for the videos!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pink Samsung Galaxy Note makes a debut in Korea

Pink Samsung Galaxy Note makes a debut in Korea todayThe gigantic Samsung Galaxy Note with its 5.3-inch display might sound like a monster truck among smartphones that will only scare the ladies, but its sales have been huge. While we don’t know the demographics that buy it, now there’s one reason why women and pink-loving men can get the handset - yes, the Galaxy Note arrives in pink today in Korea.

The huge phone is pink right down to the bone, aka the S Pen stylus, and of course the back cover and the whole body is painted in the same color.

Now, it’s an open question whether pink really would help differentiate the handset to sell it to women. What would concern us more is how the ladies would fit this into their pockets. The pink color also doesn’t change the fact that the Note comes with an HD screen and a dual-core processor. What’s your take on pink phones? Do we really need them?

source: Samsung Tomorrow via TheVerge

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Unbranded Samsung Galaxy Note is seen over on Sprint's web site

Earlier in the year right before CES, there was a rumor regarding the possibility of a Sprint version of the Samsung Galaxy Note donning 4G LTE connectivity. At the time, it was believed to make an unveiling at CES, but in reality, the only LTE enabled device that we saw was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. However, it seems that the rumors are slowly coming back from underground about this Sprint Galaxy Note.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 delayed, might become a different tablet altogether

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 delayed, might become a different tablet altogetherThe Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 was launched at MWC and while it offers S Pen input much like an oversized Galaxy Note phone, it failed to impress much and it pales in comparison to the high-res new iPad.

Samsung seems to have noticed that the Note 10.1 might not be the most competitive tablet it’s released, and now confirmed that it has no release date for the device yet, and the actual specs might change.

Samsung is now probably the world's biggest phone maker

 Estimates show that Samsung shipped between 41 and 44 million smartphones, and somewhere around 44 to 47 million feature phones. This puts Samsung’s lowest estimate for phone sales in Q1 at 85 million units, and even this lowest estimate is higher than Nokia’s total of 83 million phones sold.

Monday, April 9, 2012

[ROM] imilka's CyanogenMod 9 v01


This is an UNOFFICIAL CM9 build compiled using galaxys2 branch
This build IS NOT SUPPORTED by CyanogenMod team
Basically, it works better than AOSP does right now.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Galaxy Note release pushed back to June

Report: Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 delayed until June; tablet will feature quad-core Exynos processor
According to Korea's daily IPD newspaper, the tablet's release has beenpushed back to June,  but for a good cause.
The dual-core processor is being replaced with a quad-core Exynos processor, most likely the 1.5GHz Exynos 4412 chipset.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dropped your Note in water? We tell you how to rescue it

Dropped your Lumia in water? Nokia tells you how to rescue itHave you ever sat there, watching transfixed as your phone fell out of your grasp into the nearest source of water (or other liquid)? For smartphone connoisseurs that probably ranks up there with the sickening crunch that comes when your wife’s car backs over something you were sure you placed on the seat.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Samsung's version of Face Unlock requires you to blink before it grants access to the phone

Just when we started wondering whether the company can pull off the eye-tracking tech supposedly in store for the rumored Samsung i9300 M Olympics phone, and it clarified how they do it.

Today Samsung Tomorrow, the company's official blog, issued a post aiming to introduce us to the kitchen of software updates. Buried inside the Galaxy S quasi-ICS update section was hidden this little gem: "Included in the firmware upgrade is the ‘Face Unlock’ feature found in the ICS upgrade. In response to security issues raised regarding Face Unlock, Samsung incorporated blinking for added security."

[ROM] ICS STUNNER Beta 4.1 by Team Passion


Latest PLAY apps. Working without any issues.
AOKP Features. Look below for the Euphoria Control in screenshots.
Device Settings. Tweaking data connection, screen color tuning, touch keys, and more.
DSP Manager. Far better than stock MusicFX.
TabletUI and PhoneUI can be switched with one reboot.
MultiTasking Mode and Gaming Mode available for RAM Tweaking
Increased HEAP Size. Enjoy your large apps.
Ad-free browsing and applications you install.




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note shipments hit 5 million

Samsung Galaxy Note shipments hit 5 million
More and more factual evidence suggests that the Samsung Galaxy Note is doing more than well with the latest statistics showing the gigantic device hitting the amazing 5 million shipments. That’s tremendous success for what’s seen by many as a rather niche device.

The Galaxy Note has been available globally for a mere five months. It launched in October, and stateside it arrived much later, but it seems that the US launch gave it a big push. 

Back in the beginning of the month, Samsung reported 2 million Notes sold, and now shipments are said to be 5 million.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

[ROM] AOKP BUILD 28 03/24/12 Beta 1 "NoName" 4.0.3This is theWidely Popular AOKP Rom been built by Roman and TeamKang who are Recognized Developers here on XDA and RootzWiki, the Original Thread is Here Without Their Hard work Developing this Rom we would not have it to port for your enjoyment many thanks to TeamKang.

This is theWidely Popular AOKP Rom been built by Roman and TeamKang who are Recognized Developers here on XDA and RootzWiki, the Original Thread is Here Without Their Hard work Developing this Rom we would not have it to port for your enjoyment many thanks to TeamKang.  

AOKP Build 28:
Added lockscreen color changer
Added 'traditional' toggle layout [where the toggles are on the very top] (Stevepear426) -- find in RC > Statusbar General > Layout

Added AOSP lockscreen style (Whitehawkx)
Added extra volume slider options (Stevepear426, tmoskowite on gummy)
Added lockscreen calendar options (!!!) (sethyx)
Removed any trackball support the ROM had, was only throwing errors, not properly implemented
Improved brightness slider under toggles, doesn't jump anymore
Improved brightness slider (when sliding your finger across the statusbar if enabled). MUCH more responsive now
Added ability to set custom lockscreen image for targets. Click picture in RC to set.
Also increased size of custom lockscreen images to more match the normal icons
battery bar should no longer disappear when in the navigation bar

**Beyond build 28 changelog**:
-Based on AOSP V06 + AOKP Build 28
-Photoshop capable now!
-USB Mass Storage works*use USB Mass Storage app from the app drawer, or play is on desktop/folder for quicker use* *DO NOT USE STANDARD ANDROID MOUNT!* *view HERE for bugs related to this app and to thank Neobuddy89
-replaced phasebeam lwp with rootbeam lwp
-added AppWidgetPicker2*helps organize widget menu*
-160dpi calling working.
-external sd is mounted where aosp has it /mnt/external_sd
-no launcher fc

Anything from AOSP
call answering slide may get cut off  


For downloads, visit the XDA Thread here.
Do thank the dev for his awesome work!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note ICS update coming in Q2 with Premium Suite in tow

Earlier this year, Samsung had promised a Q1, 2012 time period for the roll out of the Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note. But while its younger brother has started receiving the update, the Galaxy Note users are still munching on Gingerbread that is well past its expiry date. 

Samsung recently announced that the Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy Note has been pushed to Q2, 2012. This means it could be coming as soon as April or as late as June.
But to make sure that the wait is worth the while, Samsung has announced that the update will come with some extra goodies exclusive to the Galaxy Note. This includes a Premium Suite of applications and extra multimedia features.
The Premium Suite includes the S-Pen application, which allows you to scribble with the provided capacitive stylus, as well as draw tables and grids that are automatically digitized, along with solving hand-drawn numeric formulas. The Premium Suite also includes My Story app, which lets you create personalized digital cards for friends and family.
Along with this, you will also get a special version of Angry Birds Space. This version will include 30 extra Danger Zone levels, not found on any other platform.
And then of course, it's Android 4.0 itself, which will bring new features like Face Unlock, redesigned multitasking view, GPU accelerated UI, etc.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note ICS update pushed back to Q2

We are afraid we have some bad news for the Galaxy Note users out there. The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the phoneblet has been pushed back from its initially announced Q1 launch to Q2.
It's only been confirmed by Samsung Norway through its Facebook account, so it's not certain if the delay will be a global thing, but that seems likely. The global rollout of the Ice Cream Sandwich update only took a few days, so we assume the Galaxy Note units, which are much fewer in number will be updated in a very short interval.
The reason for the delay is unknown just yet and so is the exact launch date. With Q2 starting in a couple of weeks and ending in June the delay might be a pretty minor thing or it could mean another three months without the latest and greatest from the Google OS for the Note users. Here's hoping it will be a case of the former rather than the latter!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Google Play replaces Android Market, new source for apps, books, movies and music

Google Play replaces Android Market, your new source for apps, books, movies and music

The Android Market has morphed significantly since its inception, which now allows users to purchase books, music and rent movies, all from within a hub that was originally designed for just apps. To recognize this fundamental shift -- and emphasize the availability of content for sale -- Google is launching a new platform known as Google Play. The move hints at a strategy shift from just Android to the cloud as a whole, and establishes an umbrella brand for the diverse content sold by Google. For example, its Books, Music and Videos apps will now become Play Books, Play Music and Play Movies, while the Android Market itself will take on the moniker of Play Store. Users of Android 2.2 (and above) should notice the software update within the next few days, although other than the new name, initial changes should be minimal. We're also to be on the lookout for a new "Play" tab within the top toolbar of Google's website. To mark the occasion, the company has announced a promotional "Seven Days to Play" sale, which will tease would-be shoppers with discounted apps, books, movies and music throughout the week. For an additional peek at what's in store, you'll find the gallery below and a video after the break.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[ROM] Galaxy Note imilka's AOSP ICS IML74K v4.0.3

I really don't like TouchWiz at all, so, when the first ICS sources became available, a developer named 'Imilka' started porting AOSP (Android Open Source Program) to the Galaxy Note.

There are still some major and many minor bugs, but ROM seems to be stable and usable.

It is clean and clear ICS (4.0.3) without any modifications. This is not CM (Cyanogenmod), just AOSP. It may be used with tablet or with phone UI.


  • MAJOR: Video recording (camcorder) doesn't work (videos are not saved). Camera (taking pictures) working properly.
  • MAJOR: USB File transfer (MTP) doesn't work.
  • MINOR: First SMS Message is reported as not sent. It is NOT TRUE - first message sends correctly. This is just some false report.
  • MINOR: Sometimes Wi-Fi can't be re-enabled - that means sometimes you can't turn wifi on after you've turned it off. Reboot fixes that.

Google increases the app size limit for Android Market to 4GB

Developers for Android have had to work around the crippling 50MB file size limit for a long time now. To take care of this problem, many developer devised an idea where you first download a small application from the Android Market and upon launching it will download the rest of the files from the developer's server.

Samsung looking to push "Premium Suite" update to Samsung GALAXY Note instead of Android 4.0?

Sometimes it is hard to know what a manufacturer has in mind unless it is said clearly and completely. Other times, no matter what is said, it is best not to believe it until you see it. Back in December, Samsung said that instead of delivering Android 4.0 to the Samsung Galaxy S and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, it would update both devices with a "value pack" that would bring better multitasking, faster web browsing, improvements to the camera and new widgets to the pair. The Korean based manufacturer 86'd the "value pack" in January, and those two units might be stuck with Gingerbread forever.
The teaser reveals a Premium Suite coming

Monday, March 5, 2012

Key Lime Pie is the next tasty version name of Android

Wondering what Google would be calling the next to next version of Android – folks over The Verge have got the answer. According to their trusted source, Google will be naming the version after Jelly Bean as Key Lime Pie. It fits perfectly in the alphabetical dessert naming scheme of Google for different Android versions.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note: ICS installation guide, detailed impressions

Up until a few days ago I was really beginning to worry that Samsung wasn't on track with it's release schedule for bringing ICS to the Galaxy Note. I'd been watching leaked ICS ROMs come to the Galaxy S II with an alarming frequency for weeks and weeks, but nothing for the Note. Given Samsung seem to be as leaky as a sieve when it comes to keeping their firmwares in-house, this just made me think the Note might have been getting a bit neglected. Fortunately those fears have proven unfounded, as an ICS build for the Note leaked a couple of days ago. Naturally I flashed it ASAP, I mean, what's a self-respecting Android geek to do?

OK, so here are some of my thoughts in some more detail and some screengrab which might be an easier way to digest some of the stuff.

In terms of looks the ROM is a bit frankenstein at the moment with a mixture of TW/GB/ICS elements throughout the UI. This isn't too big a deal, within a few days we should start getting custom ROMs and themes to remove this jarring eyesore from our vision.
  • Performance in general UI navigation is a big step up from Gingerbread ROMs, even custom ones. It's worth pointing out that this is despite this ROM limiting the CPU clock speed to the 1.2Ghz/core that the Chinese i9220 Note uses, rather than the 1.4Ghz/core clock speed in the international N7000 version.

As you see from the model number in settings
this ICS build comes from the Chinese Note
- model number i9220
  • On the topic of performance, there is one thing I know a lot of people will want to know - has wakelock delay been sorted? Happily I can report that it seems drastically reduced in ICS - in fact from my point of view it's gone (others who are more discriminating than me may still notice it I guess)
    If we move away from how it feels in general use and get to some hard numbers the Note saw nice increases all around in benchmarks. In particular graphics performance got a very nice bump in ICS - 44fps in Nenamark 2 which is basically the same as the Transformer Prime on ICS (in other words, wow)

                An increase of 12fps over the Note's Nenamark 2 score on Gingerbread!
  • Those lovely little ICS touches that I missed coming back to the Note from the Nexus - the brilliant task switcher, swiping to dismiss individual notifications, Face Unlock in all it's novelty-not-security glory, the consistent UI language throughout system and stock apps - are all here

The ICS task switcher, awesome. Swiping
away recent apps is rather addictive.

Swiping away individual notifications? Also
addictive. Note the ICS persistent shortcut to
Settings here also, and the Mobile Data
Toggle, which I much prefer here over GPS

  • Inbuilt Google Apps are of course lovely in their ICS incarnations
  • While talking about new ICS stock apps I really want to single out the most important of them - the browser. The browser is a massive step up from the Gingerbread browser. The performance is better for one thing, but even better the options are excellent - inverted rendering (an excellent battery saver on AMOLED screens), the ability to save pages for offline reading, the ability to finally! have a desktop UA without about:useragent shenannigans. If that wasn't enough you can even get the Chrome for Android beta, which is also excellent, although lacking some nice features of the ICS default browser like the ones mentioned above and flash player support.

Inverted rendering, your AMOLED will thank
you for it

A bevy of excellent new options

A good increase in the Vellamo score, if a little
disappointingly less than the Tab 7.7's score

The browsermark score much increased

The Chrome Beta, love how it handles tabs!

...and here is that consistent UI design in action:
you can swipe between tabs if you start the
swipe from the bezel outside the screen!
Still some work to do to bring the beta browser
up to speed though

  • Apps with stuff specifically for ICS work with this build, for example notification drawer controls for PowerAMP are present (YES!)
A feature I've wanted for a while from
  • Of course all this is well and good, if it's too unstable to be actually be used as your daily driver then this all becomes a bit academic, doesn't it? This may be the best news of all, because it is already stable enough. More than stable enough, it's running incredibly well!

So, you've suffered through reading my impressions of the ICS build, and all you really want now is to find out how to get it on your Note - this bit is for you (or maybe you paged down a couple of times instead, whatever). What follows is the method I used, and I've had zero problems with it on my Note. Naturally I can't guarantee that it'll be so smooth for you, that seems to be one of the vagaries of flashing, sometimes things don't seem to work the same even following the same procedure. While I'm talking about not guaranteeing anything, please familiarise yourself with our standard disclaimers found at the beginning of this post here. Bear in mind I don't say all that stuff to be cruel, it's just that our capacity to troubleshoot from the blog is limited.

Before we get into the step-by-step, there are of course a few pre-requisites:

A fully charged Galaxy Note. Duh.
The Galaxy Note must be Rooted. Bummer. Oh, wait!
The Note must be properly backed up before flashing this ROM. That means making a Nandroid backup, backing up your apps and their data in Titanium Backup, and backing up your EFS folder. That's quite a bit to get your head around if you're not already familiar with it, but luckily for you we've got your back again with a guide for backing up your Rooted 'Droid.
Odin on your PC, or Mobile Odin from the Android Market on your Note. Mobile Odin is the easiest option, and a superb app for supported Galaxy Devices. It is a paid app, but you should know that in buying it you not only get the app, but also a heaping helping of warm fuzzies for supporting developer extraordinaire Chainfire - at no extra cost!
OK, once you've worked through those few things here are the steps you need to follow to give your Note the fresh, fresh taste of Ice Cream Sandwich:
Download Chainfire's repack of the i9220 ROM version for the international N7000 Note model. Get it here. Once downloaded copy it to your internal SD.
Download Google Apps 7.1 here. Once downloaded copy it to your internal SD.
Open Mobile Odin, choose the ROM .tar file and flash it to the phone - this will also Root the new ROM and pre-install CWM recovery and Superuser. Your phone will reboot.
When your phone restarts it should automatically boot into recovery, in recovery factory reset/wipe data and then install the Gapps zip.
Reboot the phone.
When your phone is fully rebooted, reboot it again.
Use Titanium Backup to restore apps and their data. DO NOT restore system settings. Freeze or uninstall all of the Chinese bloatware the ROM comes with - I got rid of them all without incident.
Enjoy ICS on your Galaxy Note
If any of that is difficult to follow read the guides linked to above, they cover basics like going into recovery, and how to do things in recovery like factory resets/wiping data/installing zip files and so on.

If you're too cheap or too poor to get Mobile Odin you can get the same result with Odin on your PC, simply flash the ROM .tar file as PDA in Odin (the second half of the Note Root guide shows you how to use PC Odin if you're not already familiar). Be aware that if you do use PC Odin the flash count for the phone will increase, which of course means potential warranty problems. You can reset the counter and remove the attendant yellow triangle by using Triangleaway. This is yet another Chainfire app, so I hope you're beginning to realise how awesome this guy is and how much he deserves a few of your dollars for Mobile Odin if you're in a position to pay for it.

So, there it is. ICS finally! on our Galaxy Notes.

What are you waiting for?