I only recently managed to connect my Galaxy S with Kies via USB. And I've upgraded it to Froyo 2.2. What can you do in Samsung Kies other than upgrading your firmware. I've seen the interface and there doesn't seem to be a lot of interesting that you can do with it
As you noted, you can upgrade the device software. You can also back your contacts, text messages up, and you can sync photos or videos/movies both ways.
You can view movies from your phone on your pc directly, that goes both ways; watch from cell on pc and from pc on cell. I believe you also can download apps from kites onto your cell but that doesn't work anymore because of google's market policies. Apparently, you also can make your cell work as a modem, but I didn't try that so...
Anyways, as edelcom and mru said before me it still needs some work to live up to what it should do and to keep up with handset itself.
Lastly, in samsung defense, kies isn't just for androids, it's their software for the whole cellphones lines, and many users are happy with it, obviously not us, android handsets' owners.
This software may be used for:
- Data backup
- Data transfer (between a Windows or Mac PC, and a Samsung mobile device), limited to certain media file formats
- Multimedia (audio, photos, video, etc.) management, but limited to certain file formats; for example, Kies does not recognise .avi files
Purchase/acquisition of additional or special device features
Device firmware and operating system (OS version) upgrades