However, their JB release isn’t out yet (as of this writing) so I will be focusing on updating your good old Galaxy Ace to ICS first. Oh, and this isn’t just any old ICS. Its even Android 4.0.4 which Samsung has just started seeding to Galaxy Note and Galaxy SII recently.
CAUTION: The steps are relatively simple and if followed carefully, should not result in any unexpected and unwanted outcomes. However, I do not assume any responsibility for any bricked devices. As usual, flashing a phone is done at your own risk and there always exist a chance that something could go wrong. If you are worried of doing something wrong, read the steps, find reviews, ask your friends and read the steps again. Once you’re comfortable, then only attempt it. Another way is to get a friend that you trust to do it for you. I’m sure that there are plenty of friends who would do it without a cost just so that they can experience upgrading it for themselves. If you’re in Penang, you can even look for me and I’ll upgrade it for you at no cost.
1. Have at least 60% battery life remaining on your phone before attempting this.
2. Have 600MB – 1GB of space in your phone’s SD card before attempting this.
1. Backing up your data. This should be well known to most by now. I use SMS Backup & Restore for backing up my SMS. I sync my contacts to Google. You can export it to a vcf file or even use other backup apps to do it. You may also want to do a nandroid backup (later I will cover how to do exactly just that). Any other application usually allows an export data process which you can then copy out the exported data file.
3. Put all the downloaded files into your phone’s SDcard. Usually I’ll create a folder like “/sdcard/All_<phone>_ROMS” and place all the files I need in there. I prefer to use a folder starting with A so that you don’t have to scroll too far later on.
4. Turn off your phone. This is done by holding down the Power button until the menu pops up and selecting “Power off” from the menu.
5. Boot into recovery mode. This is done by holding down the Home button and then holding down the Power button. Hold both until the Samsung word appears on screen then let go. You should boot into recovery.
6. (Note: Skip to step 8 if you already have CWM recovery.) In recovery mode, use the Volume keys to navigate up and down the list, the Home button is used to select/enter while the Power button is used to go back a level. Select “Apply update from SDcard“, navigate to your folder and select the CWM kernel file.
7. Once the update completes, restart the phone and then boot into Recovery again using steps 4-5. Now, you should be in CWM recovery.
8. (Note: This step is optional. Skip to step 9 if you want to.) Navigate to “backup and restore” to create a backup. This can take some time so don’t be alarmed.
9. Navigate to and select “Wipe data/factory reset“. This is done to wipe the old data from the Previous ROM.
10. Navigate to and select “Wipe cache partition“. This is done to wipe the old data from the Previous ROM.
11. Navigate to and select “mounts and storage“, then “format /system“. This is done to wipe the old system files from the previous ROM.
12. Navigate to and select “Install zip from sdcard“, then “Choose zip from sdcard“. Now navigate to your folder and select Maclaw’s Galaxy Ace CM9 package. This can take some time so don’t be alarmed. You do not have to install gapps as Maclaw has included it in his CM9 package already.
13. When the installation is completed, restart your phone. The first boot up will take some time but eventually, you will reach the Google account setup screen.
14. Congratulations. Your Galaxy Ace is now on CM9. Restore all the SMS, contacts and any other data that you need to your phone and enjoy your new custom CM9.
NOTE: Maclaw recommends changing the CPU Governor (Settings -> Performance -> Processor -> CPU Governor) to “SMARTASSV2”. Then check “Set on boot”. This is supposed to give better CPU control compared to the original “ONDEMAND” governor.
CM9 turns out to be functioning quite well on Galaxy Ace. One of the more prominent bug that Maclaw and team are still working on is the stability of the camera. There are still a few other issues that have been reported which I’m confident that Maclaw will be able to fix them in coming releases. You can see the issues here. For myself, I feel that the camera is a little sluggish but still usable. There have been some occasions of blank pages in GMail as well (some emails, not all) which I guess could be related to the limited cache that Galaxy Ace has. WiFi is working for me but I feel that the reception is a little poorer than expected.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I will do my best to help.