After much waiting and deadline movements, Telstra finally released Android ICS to its Samsung Galaxy S II customers last night. But the process is not painless; here are the things that I wish I knew before I stayed up last night trying to get it to work.

Screencap your home pages

The ICS update will not destroy any data stored on your devices, but it will clear any home pages you have set up, and that includes all widgets and applications, and replace it with Telstra crapware.

If I’d known that was going to happen, I would have screenshotted my seven pages so that I could rebuild them quickly after the update. As it stands, I’ve spent all morning trying to remember what apps and widgets went where — guess it’s a good time for a clean-up.

Move big apps to SD card

I tried to install over the air last night, and after downloading the update and having the phone reboot to install, all I got was a simple error that said it couldn’t update the firmware. I suspect that it was because the phone’s internal storage was full of apps. My hunch is based on Google Chrome refusing to install this morning after the ICS install, and complaining about lack of space.

To quickly move apps to the SD card, go to Settings > Applications > Menu button > Sort by size and then click on the app you wish to move and hit the Move to SD card button.

Big apps like AIDE need to be moved.
(Screenshot by Chris Duckett/TechRepublic)

You’ll need several hundred megabytes free (~300MB). I cannot test this, since I have already updated, but if you can determine a better approximation on the amount of free space needed, leave it in the comments below.

Get Swype back on ICS

Disclaimer: I love Swype, and I hate typing in a tappy-tappy style that everyone else does.

Thankfully, you can get Swype back by visiting and registering for the beta. Sweet relief.

Fix that font

On my phone, the Touchwiz-based font was bad; really bad.

I wouldn’t hit the middle option if I were you.
(Screenshot by Chris Duckett/TechRepublic)

To fix this, go to Settings > Display > Font style > Default. This will set the font to Google’s Roboto.

It turns out that after I did this, the artifacts with Helvetica’s rendering went away. So feel free to return to Helvetica if that’s more your thing.

Install Google Chrome

Since Google Chrome is restricted to ICS, go and install the app to see what all the fuss is about.