We were all looking with our strange faces at Samsung when the company decided to release the Galaxy Note. We couldn’t make sense of the device, as it was neither a normal sized smartphone nor a small tablet, in fact it was both. While some presumed that nobody would but it as it was too big to carry in an ordinary pocket, Samsung proved us wrong and managed to ship a staggering number of Galaxy Note’s in the time since its launch. Some might argue that it has ranked in the top three Android smartphone by shipped units and if you are to ask us, we feel the same. Nonetheless, a crafty piece of tech such as the Galaxy Note was bound to eventually be upgraded to Android 4.0 ICS and it time has finally come. This update bears the codename of UCLC5 and comes as a flavor of the ICS 4.0.3 OS.
Unlike many other official updates, the UCLC5 one can be applied to a rooted device and because it requires a computer it can also be used as a nice tool to revert back to the unrooted stock version if you have to send your Samsung Galaxy Note to warranty for example. It is also important that you have the i717 version of the Note, as this update was specifically tailored for this model and if you try and apply it on another version of the Note you might jsut end up with a bricked device.
Before going to the actual updating process you should take a look at the features this new update brings and decide if you want to use to new software or not :
- Face Unlock is fully functional
- LTE connections are solid and up to speed
- Phone calls work great both ways
- Audio quality is up to par
- Stereo Bluetooth is fully functional
- MMS is fully functional
- GPS is fully functional
- Google Talk and Video Chat work
- Google Voice is fully functional
- Task Manager is smooth and transitions are quick
- Downloaded Flash video and in-browser video works flawlessly
- Chrome autosync is fully functional
- AT&T Hotspot functionality works, external devices connect fine
As with any software that is not our own creation, we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us. With this in mind you should not worry very much as the whole procedure presented here has been tested prior to its release and it should work flawlessly. We also want to thank our friends from androidadvices for testing the procedure themselves.
We will begin this guide with some safety measures that need to be taken before attempting the updating process. Many of you will simply go to the KIES software provided by Samsung and backup their important information there, but as the software that you will put on your Galaxy Note will be very recent, there is a slim chance that KIES will not recognize it. To this extent we will rely on some applications and simpler procedures to backup all the important data. Please read the following lines carefully and make sure you don’t skip any steps:
- Text messages – We will back them up with this application: SMS Backup & Restore
- Phone Contacts – You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
- Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log: Call Log Backup and Restore
- Pictures, Music, Videos and other files– The simplest way to backup them is to move them to the microSD memory card
- Internet & MMS Settings – You will need to write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”
Apart from the procedures above which refer to backing up your personal data you also have to do the following in order to reduce the risk of your smartphone becoming an expensive brick:
- Be sure to charge your device to full or to a minimum of 70%. This will guarantee that your device will not run out of juice during the updating process.
- Enable the USB debugging in your Samsung Galaxy Note. This can be done from the following: Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging. The USB Debugging option should be ticked.
- Turn Off all the antivirus as well as Firewall tools in your computer as these tools might block some important components of the program we will use to apply the update.
The ast part of this guide is the hard one, as it covers the whole updating process. By now all of your data should be backed up, so if anything bad happens you will be able to restore your Galaxy Note to working condition. All you have to do in oder to apply the update is to follow these simple steps below:
- The first step requires you to download this ICS I717 Firmware Package to your computer and then to extract it to an easily accessible place, such as your destkop.
- The second step requires you to start the Odin application from the downloaded pack and to reboot your phone into download mode. In order to do the latter you need to power off your device, remove and then re-insert the battery. Then you need to simultaneously press and hold the Volume Down Key, Center Key and the Power Key. This key combination should lead you to a screen with a green robot on it. This screen is the one that represents the download mode.
- The third step involves connecting your Galaxy Note in download mode to the computer already running the Odin software and waiting a couple of seconds/minutes for it to recognize the device. You can check when Odin has recognized your device by looking at the color of the ID: COM window. If it is yellow you are ready to proceed.
If the section mentioned earlier doesn’t turn yellow you will have to check the following:
- Make sure that the USB driver of the Samsung Galaxy Note is installed on your PC.
- Ensure that the Samsung KIES option is ticked on the phone. You can find this option by going to Settings > Wireless & Network > USB Settings. You will have to restart your phone the normal way to have access to this option.
- The fourth and last step is the easiest so far, and it only requires you to press the Start button in Odin and to wait a couple of minutes for the new ICS 4.0.3 UCLC5 firmware to be flashed on your phone. After it has finished, your Galaxy Note should automatically reboot. If your Note doesn’t reboot by itself please reboot it manually. Mind you, this boot may take a little bit longer than usual as the software is tinkering a little with your Note.
When everything is completed you have successfully updated your Samsung Galaxy Note to the official version of the Android 4.0 ICS software and you should start enjoying the benefits of the latest revision of Android.