ICS - My reaction.
The ICS update came as a surprise. I had just finished the week long task of a factory reset when I got the notification. The actual upgrade was poorly executed, but completed successfully even though my battery was half depleted.
I like the Roboto font a lot. The darker theme will probably reduce display power consumption, but might be harder to see in the sun. Everything feels faster. I notice fewer stutters, flutters, and pauses.
Face Unlock is nice. I've been using it since the update and I've found it gets better each time I calibrate it through the Security menu. I never locked my phone because I'm too lazy, but looking at the thing for a second or two is easy enough. Failing a match, the phone prompts me for my PIN.
One strange change I already hate is the behavior of the useless (and pink on my handset) back lights behind the capacitive buttons. Before the update, Screen Filter could turn them off, not now. I am thinking of rooting this phone merely to permanently disable them.
Connectivity is no different for me. This phone still is noticeably inferior to the DX in that regard.
The new version of Google Maps has the expected enhancements and the dreaded "We Google, you stupid user. We make program simpler, less convenient, and more difficult to use. You thank us." changes. Random display elements like the compass, the my location chevron, and waypoints disappear and inputs are frequently ignored in lieu of preprogrammed eye candy, for example.
Many Play apps look different. The phone still takes all day to boot. Battery life seems a little better, and this phone has always frequently been hotter than is reasonable. The volume slider no longer hijacks the phone.
I was pleased I was able to disable most of the animations, which I couldn't do before. Disabling the bloatware, of course, was cathartic. The LED still needlessly reports charging status, making it useless for notifications when plugged in.
The new menu layout is... well, Google wouldn't be Google if they didn't needlessly change things for the sole purpose of punishing veteran users for learning their phones. Reversing Okay and Cancel was just vindictive. Shameful.
Voice Search, which Google clearly doesn't want us to use because they allow manufacturers to sell half completed phones with no search button, seems more responsive.
The browser still asks to save login info before the subsequent page loads, so there is no way to know if I am saving the correct login info. The option to show passwods still does nothing.
So, in conclusion... it could be worse, I guess. Google has (NOT HAVE, companies are singular) sped up the computer, but negated that by further encumbering it with more unnecessarily roundabout UI paths and unfamiliar, illogical layouts.
I agree that the Eclair update for the Eris was more meaningful than this one.
Better than Gingerbread, but flawed in many ways.
NOTE: I tried for an hour to log in, but my password fell out of my head and the password reset protocol didn't work. This ain't my first rodeo.
Does anyone know how to enable the mobile version of this site?