Gingerbread on Galaxy Ace

Ever since I bought Galaxy Ace, I always had the nagging feeling that I was not on Gingerbread, the newer Android version for cell phones.  Ace came with Froyo.  I had seen links stating Ace could be upgraded to Gingerbread - most of them unofficially.

Then came the firmware upgrade in Kies, the official Samsung Windows application to talk to Ace (and other phones).  I had installed Kies on my laptop as soon as I got the cell phone.  That was Kies 2.0.2.  Recently, there was the Kies 2.0.3 release.  I updated Kies to it, but did not see any firmware upgrade coming in.

I installed the same on my desktop and lo, there it was - a firmware upgrade for Ace.  Gingerbread was here. 

The very fact that the firmware upgrade was detected in one installation and not another must have alerted me that something was wrong. I found a bunch of links [1 | 2 | 3 ] describing how people had used Kies to upgrade their Ace to Gingerbread.  Each blog had a bunch of comments at the end - most of them about people having problems getting it working.  This should have been another warning.

But then am I not technical?  My ego spoke and I connected Ace to desktop and started the process.  The steps happened as documented.  Till the cell phone screen started showing "Downloading..." and Kies started getting stuck at 0%.

This went on for 45 minutes or so.  One of the links had mentioned that this does happen and not to worry. "Disconnect cable. Restart phone..." it said.  I disconnected the cable.  And that was it!  The phone had hung - it showed three symbols - cell phone - triangle - monitor and stayed there -  no matter how many times you tried restarting.

It was time to visit Samsung service centre. The nearest one for me was in Domlur.  The ambience was forbidding - a dark room with a bunch of seats and a lady seated in the far corner taking service requests.  It was a laborious manual process - with the lady writing down each person's complaint, while getting interrupted continuously.  At least two people who got their phone after repair came back to her saying the problem was not fixed.   She needed a photostat of the invoice to prove the phone was under warranty.   The best part was, I said "problem upgrading to gingerbread using kies" and she wrote in the complaint sheet "logo hang.  data lots (she meant lost, of course"

The only redeeming thing was I was not the only guy who had the problem - a bunch of Galaxy S2, Galaxy S and other assorted Android phones had been brought in for similar reasons.

I went back and collected the phone yesterday and it was indeed running Gingerbread.

Sincere advice: Do not try updating Samsung software on your own - it sucks big time