updated 05:25 am EST, Mon November 7, 2011
HTC to bring ICS to compatible handsets
HTC has taken to Facebook to announce its 'first wave' of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) updates for compatible handsets in the US and elsewhere. Since Google and Samsung used a Hong Kong event to debut the first handset to run Ice Cream sandwich on October 18, Android users have been clamoring for details about when, or if, the respective manufacturers will bring the new OS to their device. HTC has now outlined its broad update timetable for 2012, indicating that the first updates could come in the first half of next year.
HTC's Facebook post states:
"HTC knows how excited our fans are to get their hands on Google's latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, so we're thrilled today to announce the first wave of HTC phones that will receive upgrades."
"Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in early 2012 to a variety of devices including the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and HTC Sensation XE, as well as the HTC Rezound, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G and HTC Amaze 4G through close integration with our carrier partners."
"We're continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich."
Historically, Android updates have usually taken manufacturers several months to arrive on compatible handsets, if they arrive at all. Although the source code for Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) was announced in late 2010, handsets running Android 2.2 (Froyo) have only started receiving their updates over the past two to four months.
The process can take some time for a variety of reasons. Manufacturers need to be able to access the source code, which has not yet been released for Ice Cream Sandwich. Then, if they are planning on skinning it with their UI, their coders need to take time to ensure that the UI works as intended and that the core OS is tailored according to the requirements of the various hardware that they have utilized in the device. Once internal testing has been completed, the updates are then tailored and tested for each carrier. Field tests verifications can also take a significant amount of time.
HTC's suggestion that it will bring Ice Cream Sandwich to devices in 'early 2012' could mean that it plans on trying to accelerate its previous development timeframes. HTC was able to bring Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) to the Evo 4G as soon as June this year, but also canned plans to bring Gingerbread to the Droid Incredible altogether.