Last week, when a post on Samsung’s Norwegian Facebook page stated the Galaxy Note’s update to Android 4.0 would not arrive until April at the soonest, it was as something of a surprise. After all, the company had just started sending out the latest version of the OS to its Galaxy S II phone, and had repeatedly promised a pre-April release for the Note.
Unfortunately, the delay has now been confirmed by Samsung, but it has wrapped the bad news up in some good news to appease disappointed Note owners.
First, and perhaps best of all, is that the Note’s Ice Cream Sandwich update will be distributed worldwide during the second quarter of the year, meaning it should be in the hands of the networks between April and June.
Samsung continues to say “the availability and scheduling of the software upgrade will vary by market and wireless carriers’ requirements,” but as the Note is an AT&T exclusive in the United States — and therefore only has one pair of hands to go through — perhaps it won’t suffer from any further delay.
The second piece of good news is that the update won’t merely contain Ice Cream Sandwich and all its new features, but will also be packaged with what Samsung is calling the “Premium Suite.”
This will add more applications designed to make use of the S-Pen stylus, including S Note, where images, sketches and notes can be brought together, scrapbook-style, in one place, plus My Story, for creating personalized electronic cards, and updates to the Memo feature.
The newly released Angry Birds Space game will come pre-installed too, complete with the option to download 30 Danger Zone levels exclusive to the Note.
Providing added value to an OS update is a great idea, and certainly softens the blow of having to wait a while longer for it to arrive, and it’s a strategy to which other manufacturers with ICS waiting in the wings should consider adopting. Samsung is obviously pleased with its decision too, as it has released a video showing the Premium Suite in action. Say what you like about the Note’s S-Pen stylus and massive screen, but they both look like fun to use here.
Samsung has made no announcement concerning the Premium Suite being added to the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, but there’s no obvious reason why it shouldn’t appear in the future.
Updated March 25, 2012: The Samsung Galaxy Note is exclusive to AT&T in the United States, not North America. Bell, Rogers and Telus offer the device in Canada. Thanks go to DT reader Anthony N. for the correction.