The state of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates

The state of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is a big update to Android for handsets. So big, that it's got some phone makers hesitant whether they'd even update their devices to the new version. First, it was LG which dropped the bomb on Facebook by saying it's not going to update its LG Optimus 2X flagship. The company quickly changed its position and is "currently in the process of planning the ICS OS update for the LG Optimus 2X as well as other LG high-end smartphones," according to a note which also appeared on the social network.

But it's not just LG – pretty much every other major phone maker has been vague about updating its handsets to ICS. HTC, which was recently ranked as the number one smartphone vendor in the States, judging by smartphone shipments, said it "has been looking closely at the new OS's features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans." The Taiwanese are likely to update their high-end handsets, but when it comes to exact models the company says it needs more time: "Our goal is to upgrade as many HTC devices as possible and we'll be sharing details on specific devices and timing in the coming weeks!"

Update HTC: HTC has announced that it's Sensation series will be the first to get ICS by the end of March. It has also added more handsets to its list of ICS-eligible devices, which will get updated later in 2012.

Samsung, which has gathered some negative PR after some of last year's Galaxy S models took a long while to get bumped up to new Android versions, has now said that its top-tier smartphones will get Android 4.0. The list includes all 9xxx models, so that means that last year's Samsung Galaxy S in all of its flavors should also be bumped up to the new Android.

Motorola, which is now closer to Google than any other phone manufacturer, seems to be the only company which has given us exact time frames. Moto has pledged to deliver ICS updates six weeks after Google pushes the public release.



Sony Ericsson has also given us a vague promise that it will bring ICS to its devices, but there it seems that the situation will depend a lot on Sony, which is taking over the company in the near future.


With so much uncertainty, we've decided to post a table of everything we know about Android Ice Cream Sandwich updates on various handsets and tablets. We'll update it as soon as we hear about a particular devices getting the update or being denied, so make sure to bookmark it and check back every once in a while. Below, you'll find what we know so far. But now it's back to you, do you care about your device receiving ICS? Would the ambiguity of ICS updates only boost Android fragmentation? Chime in with your opinions on the issue in the comments below.


FEATURED VIDEO

72 Comments

1. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

Why does Sony Ericsson get sure updates usually? the x10 was supposed to be up to 2.1, then all of the sudden there is gingerbread. ICS FOR ATRIX PLEASE. Motorola!!!

35. choupino

Posts: 69; Member since: May 28, 2011

bobfrekin55 READ CAREFULLY: "Motorola, which is now closer to Google than any other phone manufacturer, seems to be the only company which has given us exact time frames. Moto has pledged to deliver ICS updates six weeks after Google pushes the public release." If you own a Motorola Atrix 4G, that pertains to you. It clearly states that you have the device from the only manufacturer that has a clear update time frame. RELAX. :)

37. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

it actually does not pertain to the Motorola Atrix. it uses a Nvidia Tegra II processor. the phones that were confirmed to be getting the updates 6 weeks after it's release are the Droid Bionic and the Droid Razr both of which use the OMAP4 processor that ICS was made to work with from the ground up.

62. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Maybe I'm not understanding, but public release of ICS was December 15th, 2011 (Galaxy Nexus on Verizon), not counting the presser in Asia a month earlier. If that's the case they're already late then aren't they? Currently we're at week 8.

43. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

Because they work and it seem they care now...

44. Droidude

Posts: 20; Member since: Jul 04, 2010

Will the Droid 3 be updated? The software is pretty similiar to the Bionic. I would be really happy if that were to happen at some point. The Droid 3 has been really good since the software update.

45. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i'm sure it will be it's just not confirmed yet. that's all this list is made of is devices actually confirmed to be getting the update.

2. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you forgot the original galaxyS which samsung also pledged to support with ICS with their "all 9xxx series phones will have ICS" (it is the exact same thing as the nexus S after all )

4. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

This brings up a very very good question about ICS re: skins. ICS is a fully developed UI in a way 2.x was not. I suspect some of the skins like TouchWiz and Optimus came about because people were expecting (or the manufacturers *thought* we were expecting) a friendly iOS-like UI. Others like Sense evolved from custom WinMo skins legacy smartphone owners were accustomed to. So now that ICS comes along with its own solid look and feel, menu animations and the like, what will become of skinning in general? Is there a concern that the move from the existing 2.x skin to stock ICS would be too jarring for current owners? I suspect in Samsung's case, they'll adapt ICS to TouchWiz's bright, AMOLED-friendly scheme. Ditto HTC and Sense - someone who's used to seeing Sense might not like the coolness of stock ICS. But Gingerblur is a pretty serious, cool UI to begin with, so Moto may be a great fit for stock ICS (as well they should be, should the Google acquisition go through).

6. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

You're absolutely right. ICS makes all of these skins arguably useless.

8. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Arguably, yes, but not entirely. Sense is an integral part of the HTC look/feel/experience. I can't see HTC giving it up just because stock is now just as functional. And I believe Samsung will keep using TouchWiz to appeal to the masses who like the iOS look and feel. I don't think skins are going away, and that means much longer waits for ICS on 2.x devices.

21. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

hopefully they will take the same route as Samsung did with honeycomb and just add the widgets and only do very very minor changes to differentiate. the less they change, the faster future updates can come. :)

70. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

but then how will manufacturers differentiate themselves? if nobody used skins then there would be no difference between many android devices

9. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

Thanks, remixfa, I've added the Galaxy S to the table as well. I just wish Samsung said when will those updates start rolling out!

22. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

absolutely. ;-) who knows.. lol. if history is an example, korea will see it Q1, europe Q2, and america will get it through samsung's constant leaks to samsungfirmwares.com and XDA since american carriers seem to hate to allow phones to update for some reason

26. windowsRocks

Posts: 155; Member since: Oct 28, 2011

I dont see Galaxy S2 in the list however it should be added first

54. PostalJim

Posts: 46; Member since: Sep 01, 2011

I dont trust anything Samsung says. My son now has my Infuse and I'm still waiting for GINGERBREAD on that!!!! They implied it would get GB almost a year ago!

39. GoodFella

Posts: 112; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I am curious to see what the next cyanogenmod will look like after they put ICS on steroids

3. avmitking

Posts: 19; Member since: Aug 29, 2011

16. Victor.H

Posts: 1062; Member since: May 27, 2011

Now it's in the list! Thanks!

5. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Talk is cheap. Lesson I have learned about all this. Buy the device that has what you want on it already. Have no faith in these companies to fulfill their promises in a timely manner.

11. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

I disagree with your philosophy, terabyteRouser. Look at the HP TouchPad. That guy will never get another update ever. If you witness bugs in the OS, they'll never get fixed. If there are features you wish it had, they'll never get there. With today's tech regardless of device (ps3, media player, phone, etc.) it's pretty comforting knowing that a updates are regularly released with bug fixes and new features to keep your device feeling new again. Then again, if you're part of the Android rooting and ROM'ing community, you don't care how long it takes for updates, but these folks are not the majority of smart phone users.

18. terabyteRouser

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

I agree with you. I was not referring to other devices; I guess I should've been more clear. Buy the "Android device" that has what you want. Updates are typically a non-issue with these other devices. It's just that updates for Android devices have been notably abysmal. The HP TouchPad thing is sort of a different story. It's sort of like a person who bought a Sega Saturn. Unfortunately they just invested in losing technology.

20. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Right, I guess my main point is that you are not only buying a smart phone for today, you are investing in it for the next 24mos. I expect my new phone to be updatable for at least those 24mos. It's like getting married...you are marrying the person for who they are GOING to be, not the person they are TODAY. Ok maybe TODAY has something to do with it, but you just can't expect them to be the exact same person in the future.

23. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

you never buy a phone and expect anything but what is on it. If there is a bug you should expect it to be fixed, but there should be no expectation of an OS update unless told so by the manufacturer, not by some sales rep.

30. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

I think you have become desensitized to NOT receiving updates because of the fragmentation present in Android. When buying a phone that has an expected life of only 2-3 years, I expect feature updates, bug fixes, and OS upgrades throughout those 2-3 years. If 1-year old devices aren't getting those upgrades anymore, why would I want to buy those brand devices in the future if I know they won't be supported for long? I think the consumer has every right to expect these updates.

34. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

no, i think the opposite is true. I think people have become OVER SENSITIVE because of the initial fragmentation issues. Until android came around you NEVER heard a bunch of people screaming about updates and versions all the time. It was just a very small group of people that even knew or cared. In all my years, i never heard anyone screaming about windows phone 5xx/6xx upgrades, or the latest blackberry version... no this problem of update madness is a pure google issue.

63. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Before the OG Droid & Eris came to Verizon, some of the guys worked with were constantly checking the Crackberry forums for new versions or bug fixes. As far as not expecting updates, when Rubin came out and said that all android phones would be updated for 18 months after launch, I would expect it, seeing he's the guy people look to for all things android.

24. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

That's got to be one of the worst analogies I've ever seen on this site. Sure, you may be marrying a self-centered materialistic bitch today, but I'm sure your gentle and fun-loving nature will transform her into a loving, caring woman in a few years' time. Plus she's smokin' hot, right?

29. vette21man

Posts: 351; Member since: Apr 06, 2011

Um....sir? Completely missing the point. In your scenario, you shouldn't be getting married in the first place. The point is not, "Oh, if only I could change her...I know! I'll get married!!" It is, "I love you for the person you are today, and for whomever you become in the future." The point is that you expect the smart phone and the marriage to evolve and keep up with time. We expect an update here and there for the phone, and when the wife becomes a crack addict we will still love her and whisk her safely off to rehab.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.