Google Nexus One not getting ICS, but Nexus S will in a few weeks

Google Nexus One not getting ICS, but Nexus S will in a few weeks
It looks like Apple isn't the only company that wants to push older handsets into obsolescence. As we've covered before, the mobile industry moves fast, and if software is going to keep up with hardware, companies need to make older handsets incompatible with newer software. The newest victim is the original Nexus device the Google Nexus One. 

Android Product Manager at Google, Hugo Barra, recently told the Telegraph that the Google Nexus One will not be getting the official update to Ice Cream Sandwich because the hardware is simply too old. It's something we could have predicted last year with the introduction of the Nexus S, of course. The Nexus devices have always been used as examples of features Google wants to see pushed in the Android ecosystem. The Nexus One pushed an AMOLED screen and faster CPU, the Nexus S pushed NFC, bigger internal storage and a more powerful GPU, and the Galaxy Nexus is pushing higher res screens. The Nexus S that was the telltale sign that the Nexus One would be pushed out this year. We're pretty sure that Google was trying to prep the ecosystem with better GPUs to be able to make way for ICS, which needs the GPU for to make the UI and animations as smooth as possible.

Of course, that all means that the Nexus S will easily be able to use ICS, and Barra also confirmed that update would be making it out to Nexus S users in a few weeks. Granted, that is assuming there aren't any troublesome bugs like Gingerbread had with the random reboot, which caused the update to be delayed.

We'd also like to point out the use of the word "official" when talking about the Nexus One update to ICS, because we've already seen very early alpha ROMs of ICS running on the Nexus One, so it's very likely that Cyanogen and other developers will be able to get it running well enough. Still, if you want ICS on your Nexus One, you're going to have to root.

source: Telegraph

Related phones

Nexus One
  • Display 3.7 inches
    800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage , microSDHC
  • Battery 1400 mAh
  • OS Android 2.3.4
Nexus S
  • Display 4.0 inches
    800 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware Samsung Exynos 3, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB,
  • Battery 1500 mAh
  • OS Android 4.1.2



43. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

This is why I don't go out and rush to buy anything that comes out first. The hardware will be outdated and don't get the software upgrade support it needs. Just glad I waited this long to get my Motorola Atrix. After that I'll be getting the GOOGLE NEXUS

33. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

The thing I personally agree with is the lack of internal storage on the device, causing it to be super hard to push a new OS update inside that without removing the new looks and features of the OS. Like it or not Gingerbread barely fit there already

31. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Maybe. But that is normal in our tech world, right? My point is, that they still supporting it. Yes, they want to earn money, but they still supporting this system to 2016. Abandoning Maemo, now MeeGo is obviously flop. Huge flop. It's like a very bad joke in mobile phones world. And Nokia did it. Twice. I'm saying that tech race is to quick. End user don't even have a time to get familiar to his new toy, and WOW! HEY! I see another. HTC behaves like his old phones wouldn't exist. No upgrade, buy new ones.

24. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

You must buy new precious androphone to get the latest and greatest from uncle google. The same was with desire. Shame HTC. And people still complain about Nokia or SE. SE learned sth from the past. Nokia is still supporting, even oldies like 5800. Andro is so defragmenting...and so unfair when it comes to updates. ...and HTC as always has cheap excuse.

25. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

"Nokia is still supporting, even oldies like 5800". Yet, Nokia is also abandoning the Symbian system completely in order to support Windows Phone. And, you can be sure that Windows Phone will make old hardware obsolete just like any other OS that wants to keep growing.

35. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

if you want the latest features to run well, you need to have the horsepower to run them. whats worse? not having the features.. or having them and the phone runs like crap 24/7 because it cant handle it?

41. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Don't lose sight of the fact that it was the software side of Nokia's buisness that was making them bleed profits. They could pump out some great, dependable hardware quickly. But all the groups of engineers and programers trying to keep up with all the versions of the software while also trying to promote new software to compete was killing their bottom line. Now, HTC uses WP and Android, so of course that doesn't apply here. Basically, it seems you should be able to bet on a top tier device getting the next software upgrade after you buy it. After that, it is either enjoy what you are on, or upgrade, or purchase outright.

22. mio15

Posts: 38; Member since: Mar 21, 2011

talking about broken promises... "hardware is simply too old" -> cheap excuse! Don´t get me wrong, but something doesn´t fit in our lovely Anrdoid Ecosystem. Every manufactor can code it´s own unique "Android" which is more or less great. But to let the manufactors handle the upgrades for their handsets is just worse. All of the past great devices a struggeling to get even 2.3.x . What´s the deal? Programming is not often an easy task but look at cyanogen (and they don´t get paid for what they bring to the people). There is simply one answer... profit! See HTC (don´t take this too bad, i think HTC is great) don´t push a software update to everyone, no sell the Update Version of a device with 2.3.x and make it "S" for fast. Wildfire S vs. Wildfire (both CPU < 1Ghz) 2.3.x vs. 2.3.x by Cyanogen So tell me again that 4.0 would´nt work on a Nexus One Of course! Not all features can be on board but at least get an updated UI would be great and in my opinion realizable. "People you won´t geht ICS" = "People spend money for a new device" greetz

23. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

It's probably just too hard to divorce the updated UI with all of the other features in ICS. There are basic tradeoffs that need to be made, and to give the Android OS the wow-factor that people have been asking for, rather than a simple utilitarian, but malleable UI, requires horsepower. I'm sure the Nexus One will be able to run ICS eventually, but we'll have to see how smoothly it will work. Remember the Nexus One also has fairly limited internal storage, so if too much is put into ICS, it just won't run well. Besides which, the as we've talked about, everyone in the industry is working to fit into the 2 year contract cycle that exists in the US. A 2+ year old phone will still work, but to work to support those devices is just silly. I'd rather see more software improvements that keep up with hardware than to see software lagging behind because it has to support older hardware. If you really want the new features, it's likely that the root community will be able to help you out. But, if you refuse to upgrade your phone after the standard 2 year contract cycle, you'll miss out on features. No reason to complain about it, because it's your choice to not upgrade and let the tech eclipse you. No one should be telling these companies to slow down their innovation.

27. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

but look at Apple's iOS 5. They made it available for the 3GS which is now 2 years old(older than nexus one). I think the iOS 5 for the 3GS is kinda like a "LITE" version because a lot of features that are on iP4's iOS 5 are missing. But they still manage to nail it that way which I think is great. Of course old hardware and new software sh*t are inevitable but I'm sure they can do it like how Apple did it. They just wanna push consumers to buy a new device. For them it means, less work and more profit.

28. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

the 3GS is only a few months older than the Nexus One for one thing and Apple still kind of Counts on getting the 3GS out to people that want the iOS experience without having to pay a dime. iOS itself doesn't really push hardware limitations like Android does, as a mere updated App Launcher it doesn't take much to run.

38. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

that shouldnt matter.. what happened to the Nexus promise then? the reason why theres nexus is to be updated when updates are released.. so for me this is a rip off..

59. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

People forgets an important factor, storage! check how much storage GB chucked of the N1 it was left with no OS space, this is not about nexus One not being capable of holding the update is about the Nexus One Storage Capability for the new OS to be held

29. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

This is also the first time Apple made the OS work well on a 2 year old device. iOS 4 was terrible on iPhone 3G, and iOS 3 wasn't good on OG iPhones either. You could update if you wanted, but it would likely be a bad experience. Better to just not offer the update at all.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

I vote Michael as the author of the year. Finally someone who actually knows what they are talking about! I could not have agreed more or said it better myself.

40. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

I'm sure if Apple did it, Google could've done better..

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

big differences. 1) iOS isnt nearly as resource heavy as android, and especially not ICS 2) the 3gs is still being sold. the nexus1 went the way of the dodo a long time ago. 3) If manufacturers port a sub par stripped version of ICS to their slower phones, customers will complain about slowdown, ect ect. Ask mytouch3g owners how they feel about android 2.2.. its slooow. Ask a lot of those 3gs owners how they felt about iOS4 and maybe even iOS5.. i hear nothing of complaints about its sluggishness on older sets. A bad update is WORSE than no update at all.

42. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

1) true, but again, they could've cut it down to where it will run smooth on older devices.. 2) should not matter if Nexus one is no longer on sale, again the Nexus has a promise.. update to date software when available.. I can understand if the Nexus one is more than 2years old.. 3) I have a 3GS with iOS 5 and it works flawlessly the same as it did on iOS 4.. and again these manufacturers or google itself sure has software geniuses. Imagine those phones who didnt get gingerbreads but XDA manages to keep em up. and of course these manufacturers and carriers arent stupid to release bad updates..

45. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

The only promise that smartphones have are to be supported for 2 years. That's it. Smartphones are not computers. They need to be more agile than computers because there is more competition and faster iteration of hardware. Sure, Google could have cut down ICS so it would run smoothly on older devices, but that's not the point of Android or any other modern smartphone OS. The point is to give the best experience to current and future customers. If you want an OS that doesn't iterate in favor of supporting older hardware, that's been a main factor behind systems like Symbian and BlackBerry taking big dives in the market.

48. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

i agree that smartphones should be supported for up to 2yrs but I'm pretty sure the nexus one is under 2years old.. but I wonder how XDA manages to keep a better experince with updated softwares that carriers and manufacturers didnt provide. i know all the logics you're giving me are reasonable, it's just that this business arent suppose to run that way.. i currently own a desire hd, i don't expect to get an official ICS but I'm sure XDA will have it pretty soon..

52. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

The Nexus One was released in January 2009, so it's close enough to 2 years old. XDA makes it work often by pulling features. Obviously, not having the Sense UI packed in helps a lot for performance and storage concerns. Why aren't businesses supposed to favor innovation over supporting legacy devices? I'd say that innovation is better for everyone, including consumers.

54. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

nope, Nexus one was released January 2010. If it's released 2009 i could understand if it wont get ICS. Well i dont think innovation will be altered if they will support devices such as the nexus one, it will just make consumers who arent ready to get a new device a happy camper and will most likely get a new device from the same company.. and after market support is always a huge factor which i think is a sign of a good business..

57. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Sorry, you're right, January 2010, still close enough to 2 years ago, and all other points stand.

65. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

but the 3GS is more than 2years old now.. it clearly shows that Apple outdoes Google as far as software updates go. I don't know man, if I own a nexus one or a similar model who wont get ICS and I'm not into rooting, I'd be pissed. I'm sure my Desire HD will get ICS over XDA, but unfortunately I'll be getting a new phone Q1 next year.

75. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

I'd rather not keep having this debate in this comment thread where no one can see the ideas. I'm in the process of writing up a new column expressing my ideas on the innovate vs legacy debate. I hope to see you there. You've been great at getting me to coalesce my thoughts on the topic, so I'm hoping your comments will be able to make the new column better.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Agreed Remix, you know how many people would still own the original Droid and Droid X if they were running Android 2.0 and 2.1? Lol this guy right here

46. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

well I don't think so. I normally switch phones once or twice every year. I just feel sorry about non root users not getting the latest softwares as they're supposed to.


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

Exactly! People were pissed that the original Droid didn't get gingerbread. It had issues running 2.1 even. It worked good at the time on the stock 2.0 but it went down hill from there. Yet amazingly enough people were easily able to get gingerbread by rooting and putting a gingerbread rom on it.

56. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

that's what I'm saying, and the most amazing part about it is, those dev geniuses are working for those ROMs for free.. imagine what kind of resources these people have compared to the carriers and manufacturers.. and another thing, the gingerbreads from XDA worked flawlessly on those devices.. I'm sure these carriers and manufacturers can do better.

68. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i bet money its the size of the upgrade thats killing it, not the phone itself. older phones have next to no internal storage. how are you going to fit a huge completely new OS on a device with no storage?

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