TechSpot: Android 4.0: Tracking ICS' Availability on Smartphones

Last week HTC published a list of phones that will receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, along with approximate launch dates and a projected completion date of late August 2012. This is not a very encouraging prospect considering Google officially introduced ICS last October. Also because Android's next major revision codenamed “Jelly Bean” will be close to release already (slated for Q3/12).

But this is not an issue with HTC phones exclusively. In fact, Ice Cream Sandwich is more the exception rather than the rule on Android devices across the board. There’s a total of four smartphones shipping with the OS preloaded, just over a dozen with upgrades available, and more than 30 on the “coming soon” list.

Phones shipping with ICS

Your choices here are limited to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which was released in December in partnership with Google and features an unskinned version of Android 4.0, and the HTC One lineup comprising the One S on T-Mobile, One X on AT&T, and Evo 4G LTE on Sprint. These are soon to be joined by the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is expected to launch globally soon, including all four major carriers in the US.

Read: Android 4.0: Tracking Ice Cream Sandwich's Availability on Smartphones

These articles are brought to you in partnership with TechSpot.

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Reading things like this, make sure that I have never, NEVER will have any device that uses Android.

i love u m$

It'd be nice if Google just outright admitted that ICS was a failure. So many customers upset they could not get it, late updates, incompatible devices, etc. What a screw up.

seebaran said,
It'd be nice if Google just outright admitted that ICS was a failure. So many customers upset they could not get it, late updates, incompatible devices, etc. What a screw up.

Admitting failure just isn't how any of the big companies roll

The real issue here is Google doesn't care about Android as a brand or as a plattform. To Google, its just a way to get their apps on a phone which can then generate ad revenue. To oem's and carriers, its a way to get a free mobile OS they can do anything with.

Google doesn't require any sort of minimum standards, commitments to upgrades from their partners. They simply don't view this as a problem. They have gone on record to say that if you want to run Android, get a Nexus, every other phone is not their responsibility.

And the oem's on their part shift blame on to Google, which is partly true - e.g. ICS was built specifically for the Galaxy Nexus, and takes a lot longer to port to other phones. It's not in the carrier/oem interests to upgrade your phone in a timely manner, they'd rather force you to buy the next one.

This is going to continue until Google takes ownership.

I've got a Razr Maxx..and the release of that says Q2 2012 and it is BEYOND that now!?!!? I've yet to get ICS and its a damn shame such an awesome phone doesn't have this OS yet.
A leaked photo a month or so ago showed it to roll out towards the end of May like 25th but its come and gone and still nothing!

sava700 said,
I've got a Razr Maxx..and the release of that says Q2 2012 and it is BEYOND that now!?!!?

Q2 2012 is Quarter 2 2012 with a quarter being 3 months. That makes Q1 2012 Jan-March and Q2 April-June. It won't be BEYOND Q2 2012 until July 1.

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!

Trolling like a Spammer ?

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!
Care to explain how iOS stole from every other mobile OS, because it is really sad. In fact, Apple has a great history of copying *cough Xerox *cough. Apple doesn't innovate. You just have a really weak brain that gave into their mentality.

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!

Hey dawg, I heard you like to troll your own troll so you can troll some more.

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!

Ignorant comment, possibly person - since it comments twice with the same post.

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!

I see, thank you for your informative post.

Not really sure how its relevant to this article but anyway...

4.0 is a huge step up from 2.3, it will take time to get drivers and everything working on existing hardware.

What does your comment have to do with this article? Did you just see that the topic was Google and decide to voice your opinion on them?

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!

Really? Care to explain, then, why not a single one of Apple's lawsuits against Google have taken any hold? I think like most truly ignorant iFans you seem to be getting confused between Android, and the lawsuits against Samsung over the physical design of their products, and against HTC and Motorola over some features built into the custom skins of their products. In fact iOS 5 was pretty much a buggy piece of copy ware that mysteriously turned up with features that Android and WP already had.

Sorry, I know this thought scares you but the fact that Steve Jobs says it's stolen tech doesn't mean it's stolen tech. And I know this thought also scares your ilk but Apple don't and didn't invent everything.

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!

Soooo the dropdown notification bar was all apples idea?

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!

Xerox.

vladmihaelescu said,
What do you expect? Android is stolen apple tech. Maybe Google should learn to innovate instead of STEAL!
Because good 'ole Apple has never stolen anything during any point in it's history. iOS had the notification bar before Android. iOS had square, colorful icons arranged in a grid format before the rest of the technological world. iOS had 'swipe to unlock' before LG and definitely before Android. iOS could parse links and numbers in a text message before EVERY email provider, Blackberry, Android, WM, text editors, all IM clients, and even 'dumb' phones.

Apple has never 'stolen' anything, right? No, they just pretend they invented it and sue everyone else.

I just love you guys that hang on Jobs dusty rotting nut sack until the bitter end.

This article seems a bit strange to me. It's a pretty unreasonable expectation to expect the update to be made available for every recent phone in their lineup, as soon as it's released. There is always a latency period of about 6 months before new versions of Android disseminate into the market en mass because development work and integration take time. And it's not exactly a dirty secret that OEM's are going to target their premium devices first, it's basic economics.

No offense but personally I'm finding it insane that we've reached a point where the customer has to wait over six months to receive the latest major OS version. Hell, companies like Sony still release flagship devices with Android 2.3 installed! It's pretty much the reason why I won't get an Android phone in the future unless this changes.

.Neo said,
No offense but personally I'm finding it insane that we've reached a point where the customer has to wait over six months to receive the latest major OS version. Hell, companies like Sony still release flagship devices with Android 2.3 installed! It's pretty much the reason why I won't get an Android phone in the future unless this changes.

Get a pure nexus experience phone and you won't have that problem.

Javik said,
This article seems a bit strange to me. It's a pretty unreasonable expectation to expect the update to be made available for every recent phone in their lineup, as soon as it's released.

Why is it unreasonable? Apple and Microsoft seem to be able to do it.

.Neo said,
No offense but personally I'm finding it insane that we've reached a point where the customer has to wait over six months to receive the latest major OS version. Hell, companies like Sony still release flagship devices with Android 2.3 installed! It's pretty much the reason why I won't get an Android phone in the future unless this changes.

It's perfectly normal. Google releases Android with a HAL for one specific SoC, a TI OMAP nobody uses in the case of ICS. Phone builders do not get access to ICS during the development process. That means that as soon as ICS is out for the Nexus devices, all other manufacturers first have to build a completely new HAL and kernel. Then fix their own software. Then fix all third party software they have to include. Then push it out for certification (which takes about a month), then push it out to carriers and regional offices for regional testing and adjustments, and THEN they can release it.

6 months is long, but it's quite normal it always takes about 3-4 months.

Why do Apple and Microsoft not have these issues? Because they have very strict hardware control. Apple makes all their hardware themselves, and all Windows Phones run on the same SoCs with the same HAL. Because the update is then released globally it looks like it's fast, but both Apple and Microsoft have to do the same internal and external testing and certifications before they can push an update.

Google does seem willing to improve it, and they've said they will give manufacturers more time to adjust. Add to that that Android 2.3 to Android 4 is a HUGE step on system level and you have nothing but perfectly valid reasons why the update takes a while.

It's not even that big a deal really. Sure the interface looks slightly better, and sure the hardware acceleration does 'something' in some apps, but it all doesn't matter that much. My Xperia S is running 2.3.7 now, it's extremely fast, extremely stable, and it runs every app I found without issues. The stability and compatibility of ICS still aren't on Gingerbread-level you know.

Thanks for explaining the obvious. In general I don't care for all the custom stuff manufacturers add to Android and it doesn't change the fact I don't feel like waiting six months before I get the latest OS with the latest features, if I get the update at all.

Because the update is then released globally it looks like it's fast, but both Apple and Microsoft have to do the same internal and external testing and certifications before they can push an update.

With Android it pretty much always needs to be done twice so it does in fact take longer.

Ently said,
Get a pure nexus experience phone and you won't have that problem.

I know about that option and about rooting.

Ambroos said,
Google releases Android with a HAL for one specific SoC, a TI OMAP nobody uses in the case of ICS. Phone builders do not get access to ICS during the development process.

Both of these problems are ones that Google could fix immediately, if they actually wanted to. I have a phone that was released less than 18 months ago (Milestone X, a rebranded Droid X from Cspire). Compared to Apple (and likely Microsoft as well), it seems outrageous that the latest OS update that I can ever hope to get for it through official channels is 2.3.5, which was released nearly a year ago (just over 6 months after the phone's introduction).

Ambroos said,

It's perfectly normal. Google releases Android with a HAL for one specific SoC, a TI OMAP nobody uses in the case of ICS. Phone builders do not get access to ICS during the development process. That means that as soon as ICS is out for the Nexus devices, all other manufacturers first have to build a completely new HAL and kernel. Then fix their own software. Then fix all third party software they have to include. Then push it out for certification (which takes about a month), then push it out to carriers and regional offices for regional testing and adjustments, and THEN they can release it.

6 months is long, but it's quite normal it always takes about 3-4 months.

My Xperia S is running 2.3.7 now, it's extremely fast, extremely stable, and it runs every app I found without issues.


You see, customer shouldn't give a thing about all those technical aspects. And Google could fix all the deployment and development process just on wish.

BTW. My MediaPad runs on official ICS with first official beta ROMs released to public just a month and a half after ICS release, while your Xperia S, with same hardware, still lags with GB with no even particular reason. There are all drivers, kernels, everything it needs to run on ICS right now. The only reason is greed with Google's complete indifference on what's going on.

roadwarrior said,

Why is it unreasonable? Apple and Microsoft seem to be able to do it.

Microsoft only has to manage a handful of devices with near identical internals, same for Apple.

thealexweb said,

Microsoft only has to manage a handful of devices with near identical internals, same for Apple.


And that is who's fault exactly? Oh, right, it's Google's fault for not enforcing some sort of hardware guidelines. Even Apple has a relatively wide range of hardware (not as wide as Android, but still more than just one or two devices), yet releases for all of them at the same time.

roadwarrior said,

And that is who's fault exactly? Oh, right, it's Google's fault for not enforcing some sort of hardware guidelines. Even Apple has a relatively wide range of hardware (not as wide as Android, but still more than just one or two devices), yet releases for all of them at the same time.

If you enforce too many restrictions it turns off OEMs hence why OEMs are meh about Windows Phone, and iOS updates are always poorly optimised for the older devices, my 3GS when iOS4.0 came out = terrible