Samsung is apparently working on customizing Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for use on Samsung phones. The folks at SamMobile have obtained a leaked ROM for the Samsung Galaxy S II which includes a custom version of Android 4.0.1 with Samsung’s TouchWiz user interface.
The app launcher and home screen look virtually identical to the ones for Samsung’s devices that run Android 2.3. In other words, Samsung threw out some of the hard work that Google did to make sure that Android 4.0 played well with screens of all sizes.
The good news is that Samsung continues to use a custom notification tray which offers quick access to brightness, WiFi, and other settings. Many of the new features in Ice Cream Sandwich are also present including a redesigned Settings menu, a better way to view recently used apps, and a Face unlock security option that lets you unlock your phone by looking at the camera.
While this is the first time we’ve seen Android 4.0 with a customized user interface, it probably won’t be the last. HTC, Motorola, and other device makers have long put their own polish (some people have another word for it) on Google’s mobile operating system.
You can download the leaked ROM for the Galaxy S II from SamMobile, but it’s still an early build with a number of bugs, so proceed with caution.