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Updates for Galaxy S2?


Abel from Internet writes

I have a Samsung Galaxy s 2 and wanted to upgrade the OS to jellybean.  Is there an official release?  What are the new features?  And how do i upgrade it?  I have the international version(GT-I9100).

Hi, Abel.  Thanks for the great question.

The Galaxy S2 was one of Samsung’s flagships of the “Galaxy” line and one of the most advanced cell phones of 2011.  It has been supplanted, logically enough, by the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy S4 (and “life-proof” Galaxy S4 Active).   The newest in the series is the Galaxy S5 costs $600 retail, which is one of the reasons that cell phone companies are all trying to drop their old “subsidized phone with 2-year contract” model.  The phones are just getting too expensive.  I read an article recently wherein an industry analyst said that he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Iphone 6 retail for $850 to $1000.  The bad news for cell users is that they’re going to have to start actually PAYING for their phones.  The good news is that all of the cell companies are offering great pricing plans to help offset the high costs of the phones. 

The good news for you, Abel, is that the phone IS upgradable to the Jellybean OS.  The bad news is that your phone is three years old… don’t count on many more updates being available for it.  Eventually, the phone’s memory and processor will not be able to handle the new updates. 

Since this is an older Galaxy phone, there is no over-the-air update option available.  Instead you will use the Samsung Kies application.  You can find the download for Kies and instructions for downloading here.  The newest version as of this writing is 4.1.2.  It is recommended that you back up your phone before performing the upgrade.  No data loss is expected, but… stuff happens. 

I’m not going to list all of the changes in the new version, most of them are minor league or cosmetic anyway, but I will list one that I think is kind of cool.  That’s the introduction of the “OK Google Now” voice recognition program, Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri.  I have been using the program with my Motorola Moto X and, aside from the launch phrase (OK Google Now is a little clumsy to say) I find it to be simple and intuitive to use. 

I hope that this helps!

~ Randal Schaffer

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