updated 06:03 am EDT, Wed July 11, 2012
Galaxy Nexus, Note updates highlight Android fragmentation
Two major Android updates have arrived overnight. International Samsung Galaxy Nexus users with HSPA+ handsets are now getting an update to Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean). Highlighting the fragmentation plaguing the Android ecosystem, just as the plain vanilla Galaxy Nexus gets the latest OS update, the Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T has coincidentally just received an update to the superseded Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
It is expected that users who have bought a Galaxy Nexus through the Google Play store during the past several weeks will also be receiving the update. Google says that Galaxy Nexus users can expect to get the update over the coming days and weeks, which should include Verizon Galaxy Nexus customers.
The update to Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy Note owners has arrived over 8 months after Ice Cream Sandwich first appeared on the Galaxy Nexus when it debuted last October. To help make up for the extended delay, Samsung has also included Premium Suite enhancements for the Note. There is a new app, My Story, which is designed to allow users to share their personal story using templates and the S Pen. The S-Note Productivity Tool and S Memo have also received significant usability enhancements.
As Android 4.0 is a major upgrade, it will not be made available O-T-A. Instead, PC and Mac users can download and install the upgrade from within the Samsung Kies desktop utility. Although it may not be Google's latest and greatest OS, it will represent a significant upgrade over the rapidly aging Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Despite approaching nearly two years on the market, Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) devices remain the dominant version of Android with 64 percent of users still using it.