T-Mobile of the United States announced on their support blog yesterday that owners of the T-Mobile variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II (SGS2, or model SGH-T989) would now be able to update their phones from Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread) to Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich [ICS]) via the Samsung Kies application. Interestingly, the update to ICS is only available through the manual installation method through Kies, and will not be sent out OTA (over-the-air).
Since I don’t have any computers that run Windows or Mac OS, I had to fire up a virtual machine in order to install the Samsung Kies application. Other than the download being a bit on the slow side (probably due to Samsung’s download servers being overloaded) and the typical Samsung bloatware, the Kies installation went smoothly inside of a Windows XP SP3 VM. Thereafter, I simply had to enable USB Debugging in the settings menu, connect the phone via USB, and enable USB passthrough in the XP VM. Of course, I had to reboot the VM in order for the application to function properly, as is the case with most Windoze programmes.
I’m not sure if it was related to having Kies installed inside of a VM, but I had to minimise the main Kies application window immediately after starting the programme. If I didn’t do so, the firmware upgrade screens were behind the main application window, and none of the options could be selected. Further, once the process started, the progress window glitched and didn’t display any status updates. After that glitch, the firmware transfer simply halted. At that point, I decided to try the upgrade in a Windows 7 VM. The application installed successfully, and didn’t have the visual glitches that were seen in the XP VM, but I couldn’t get the drivers to function properly in Windows 7, so no go there either.
So much for upgrading to ICS a little bit early… at least from within a VM. Maybe I will give it a try tomorrow on my work laptop, which unfortunately has Windows 7 as the primary OS.