A rather innocuous OTA update (T989UVLH1) for T-Mobile's Galaxy S II was announced today, with a 2-line changelog that, on the surface, probably won't excite anyone:


  • ISIS/NFC update
  • Bug fixes

That's the whole thing. But that little Isis mention is easy to overlook - this is the first phone to officially indicate (if indirectly) support for the carrier-backed mobile payment system. Unfortunately, we don't have a T-Mobile Galaxy S II in order to check if this update actually brings the Isis app itself, or is merely in preparation for support. Either way, it implicitly confirms that this phone will be Isis-ready.

Some users on XDA are claiming this update brings Android 4.0.4, as well, but T-Mobile's own update page indicates that it's still an Android 4.0.3 build (it's entirely possible T-Mobile is wrong on this point). The update is available through Kies only.


We can extrapolate some pretty important things about Isis from this news, too. First, this confirms that Isis won't be something that ships only with new handsets. At the very least, we can probably assume that carriers will update older, more popular handsets to support the system, and that's a pretty big deal. Carriers backing the Isis system include T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon (Sprint is maybe making its own system) - to the tune of a combined $100 million-plus investment into the company. Microsoft has announced Windows Phone 8 will support the standard out of the box.

Isis also has deals for point of sale support with VeriFone, Ingenico, VIVOtech, and Equinox Payments - whom together control the majority of the point of sale hardware market in the United States.

It's clear that the carriers wish for Isis to become the de facto mobile payment standard here in the US, and they certainly seem to have the advantage right now, but it's a market in which competitors are springing up rapidly. A consortium of retailers worth over $1 trillion of annual commerce just announced MCX, which looks like it could be a serious force in the mobile payment landscape.

If you have the OTA update on your device, we'd love to hear if the Isis app is on-board, so be sure to let us know in the comments.

T-Mobile Support

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Samuel

    Google Wallet will win... No matter what.

    • Matthew Fry

      Google hasn't lost before....

  • fixxmyhead

    fuck yea im gonna check this update now. glad to see tmo supporting my phone

    • jammer

      You sound good excited to get those bug fixes.

      • fixxmyhead

        my main concern is the isis/nfc thing. i really wanna use my phone to pay for stuff.hopefully we can get to use wallet

  • wilxxrt

    i just updated but i dont see that app but i see a couple diffrent things

  • mduran1023

    Google's gonna need to step up it's game if they hope to keep up with everyone else.

  • Kam Siu

    it doesnt matter if all the smartphones in the world get NFC (google wallet or isis) support, if the vendors don't have NFC terminals then it doesnt matter.

    • Goldenpins

      i agree but the worst part is some most places ive been to do but there split between vendors..some like bestbuy started there own NFC/app type application and dropped google wallet. I heard walmart is having there own version too. its a pain in the ass.

  • http://twitter.com/2LadyDi Lady Di

    I'm still on 2.3.6 until I can go no longer

  • anon

    Can anyone confirm that this update does indeed install ISIS?

  • LowlyExile

    No ISIS app. Android 4.0.4. From what I see, it has fixed a browser history issue. The pattern lock screen is visually different. Feels somewhat smoother/faster.

  • LowlyExile

    email application is updated too, states version 4.0 but the menu now has icons, next to the text and the APP Icon seal is now Red versus Blue.

  • http://twitter.com/rein4ldy Reinaldy

    you can get 50% off on the event launching of #GalaxyNote101, see for yourself http://www.galaxy101note.com/get/?link=93251fae5591b651521a47454a06f79a

  • Stephen Scott

    No isis... but picture mail is back to a slideshow and not a full pic :( the text notification is clear (not yellow) and my haptic feedback is like an electric zap with every key press.. noticeably more feedback than before. Oh and the delay when i hit home has been fixed.

  • keke

    This update has some issue. My navigation /maps want launch nor does develop options in the settings