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  • Five months for updating to ICS: 'very reasonable,' says Android lead developer

Five months for updating to ICS: 'very reasonable,' says Android lead developer

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Five months for updating to ICS: 'very reasonable,' says Android lead developer
You might have not heard about Jean-Baptiste Queru earlier, but he’s the technical lead of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and when he talks about Android updates, you’d better listen. One of the interesting things he had to share is his praise for how quickly Sony was able to update its Tablet S to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Now, the most controversial quote to take out is that five months for updating to ICS is a “very reasonable” time frame given the fundamental novelties introduced to the platform with 4.0. Queru gives some much needed context for that, clarifying that it’s not just the phone maker, but it’s also about getting carrier approval, a process that can take quite a while.

To prove its point, the engineer stressed that devices under Google’s direct control got Android 4.0 almost in a flash. The US Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi version for once took only two months to get the update. It’s getting more complicated with carriers involved and the carrier-branded Nexus S was brought up as an example.

“It took Sony only about 5 months to ship this [Android 4.0 for the Sony Tablet S] after I released the code in the Android Open Source Project at the very end of last year. This is actually a very reasonable time, since under the hood Ice Cream Sandwich is quite different from Honeycomb (and upgrades from Gingerbread are likely to take longer as those differences are huge).

Since Sony has been contributing a lot to the Android Open Source Project, they have fewer changes that they need to maintain on their own: those changes of theirs are already there when the source code is first released. That's probably one of the reasons why they could get done faster: the work they did preparing those contributions gave them a head start. I don't think that any other manufacturer has been contributing nearly as much as Sony did, so everyone else is now going to have to play catch-up.”

Sony also deserves credit for promising  to bring its 2011 Xperia family to ICS within a reasonable amount of time. The company is also one of the few that contribute back to AOSP. 

As for Google itself, the company has taken a step towards ensuring that devices where it has direct input like the Galaxy Nexus are sold directly on Google Play. That will definitely help, and also will the sliced price of the last Nexus phone that costs a mere $399 off contract on the Play store. Hit the source link below to follow the discussion and you can also jump in with your question if you feel like you need more clarity.

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posted on 27 Apr 2012, 10:52 7

1. danwatson (Posts: 117; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)

With every company offering LTE on different frequencies, i'm guessing the days of Google selling a phone without carrier input will be over after the Galaxy Nexus. You either have to go the Apple route and make demands without exceptions, or you have to go the way Google has gone and let the carriers F-up the hardware/software.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 11:28 10

3. remixfa (Posts: 14604; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

its the exact opposite really. Since google doesnt force carriers into indentured survitude to sell their products, they are going around carriers. Selling Nexus devices in the play store is only just beginning. And I hope it succeeds. 400 bux for an unlocked top tier phone with direct OS support ?? Yea, thats got me interested.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 12:51 1

5. Sleepy (Posts: 13; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

Google should make the Galaxy Nexus available in other countries as well. US may be a big market but it is not the only one!

posted on 28 Apr 2012, 08:24

22. danwatson (Posts: 117; Member since: 03 Jan 2012)

I'm saying i love the idea of going around carriers and the price is perfect. But how can they keep going around carriers when LTE doesn't allow you to just change your sim card. My understanding is that the phone has to be carrier specific with LTE. Thus, Google could never sell a LTE enabled phone without going through the carrier

posted on 30 Apr 2012, 03:15

23. Sleepy (Posts: 13; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)

I thought CDMA was carrier specific and not LTE.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 11:56 1

4. theruleslawyer (Posts: 108; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)

I don't see why LTE can't be handled fundamentally the same way as GSM is now. Throw in a pentaband LTE radio and you're good to go. I'd bet that the next nexus has LTE and GSM support. CDMA is the real problem with no sim card.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 11:25 2

2. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)

A lot of us, including myself, see when Google launches their newest OS and think it's just that simple to jump onto the latest update.

It was only till recently where I was fully informed on how it works. Those who have google-controlled GSM handsets should enjoy blissfully not having that issue but people who have a CDMA handset should respect the virtue of patience and await the glorious update.

I should be thankful, some phones don't even have my update (2.3.4) yet.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 14:11 5

6. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)

After so long i'm proud to hear a good news about Sony. That's something right.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 15:53

14. haikallp (Posts: 246; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

yeap, seems that only Sony is doing a good job in updating thier phones/tablets to ICS.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 14:13

7. HugeTroller (banned) (Posts: 80; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

Indeed, very reasonable because Android is already so fragmentated. Android lead developer doesn't care.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 14:35 1

9. theBankRobber (Posts: 682; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)

Or maybe you just don't understand what he has to go through to try and push this 1 update to OEM's and carriers. You think its easy to do what this man does? At least he's letting everyone know what the issue is, and its been the carrier problem the whole time and everyone has said that.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 14:47

10. HugeTroller (banned) (Posts: 80; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

That's why I say, its fragmentated no one can change that. While things are just smooth for Windows Phone/iOS. Carrier problem? Why I dont see that on iOS?

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 15:27 1

12. theBankRobber (Posts: 682; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)

Because the carriers have NO CONTROL over the iphone, Apple pushes IOS updates out, not the carrier. Android on the other hand has to have the carrier approve the update after they tweak it with there with their crap. That's why you don't see carrier logos on iPhones and carrier apps like you do on Android.

posted on 28 Apr 2012, 03:46

21. frydaexiii (Posts: 1475; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)

I bet you don't even know what fragmented means...

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 14:14 1

8. facelessbelief (Posts: 13; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)

On my Atrix 2, i'm on 2.3.6 so much better than my Intercept on 2.2. Can't wait for ICS, but the day will come. :-)

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 16:39

16. Cwebb (Posts: 501; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

Don't speak the name of the "intercept." (shutters) I hated every second of that phone, but look where I am now. I know the OS was great, just the crapsung phone was so horrid. Terrible processor, funky screen, and so on and so forth

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 15:01 3

11. rg987 (Posts: 130; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)

now , the GOOGLE shud definitely choose SONY as the MANUFACTURER of the NEXT NEXUS phone...............as they r really gud and can provide the SUPER PREMIUM LOOK to the GOOGLE'S NEXT FLAGSHIP........................and specs will be ofcourse of google's choice.....................................so SONY is a PERFECT PARTNER for NEXT NEXUS phone

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 15:51

13. haikallp (Posts: 246; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

easy for him to say, he probably updated his phone within a month after ICS was released. I dont think he would say its reasonable if he was on the other side..

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 16:41 1

17. Cwebb (Posts: 501; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

You really don't understand carriers do you? They don't care when you get the new OS, because you already spent the money to get the phone and are locked into a contract. They will slowly pass it out once they're sure that there is hardly any bugs, and then we complain that it took so long. If you want a speedy update, rooting is easy ;)

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 17:04

18. haikallp (Posts: 246; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)

i do understand but it doesnt change the fact that waiting for 5months for an update thats already out, kindda sucks dont u think

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 23:18

20. Cwebb (Posts: 501; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)

I totally agree, but thats why I rooted. The best way to do it would be getting an international phone if your on AT&T/T Mobile or get a Nexus, assuming you wouldn't root. I've had an ICS ROM since Christmas :) Most roots aren't really complicated and you have almost no chance of bricking it as long as you follow all the directions (and don't flash radios or extremely OC)

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 16:28

15. jcpwn2004 (Posts: 314; Member since: 18 Jan 2012)

This is pretty unacceptable. If google doesn't do something to improve the android experience they may be surprised at how fast people can jump ship. iOS and WP8 aren't slowing down anytime soon. I have a at&t gs2 and I love it but everyday I wake up and don't see an ICS update I get more and more annoyed. If the new iphone comes in different sizes I may be jumping ship. WP8 phones are sure to make a splash as well.

Come on google, you have the power to start influencing carriers, start using it.

posted on 27 Apr 2012, 17:20 2

19. Santi_Santi (unregistered)

Nexus From Sony

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