Older operating systems decreasing, buoyed by older hardware
Google's latest Android adoption numbers, fueled by a recently-changed methodology, are showing improvements in adoption of Android "Jelly Bean" variants. The 14-day snapshot shows a 3.4 percentage point increase in Android 4.1 and 4.2 "Jelly Bean" to 28.4 percent with a contraction of Android 4.0.3 and 4.0.4 "Ice Cream Sandwich" devices to 27.5 percent, a decrease of 1.8 percentage points.
How does the 18-month old Nexus S fare with Jelly Bean?
We recently reviewed the Google Nexus 7, which is the flag-bearing device for Google's latest mobile operating system, Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean.' Powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor utilizing the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture and clocked at 1.2GHz with 1GB of RAM, the Nexus 7 runs Jelly Bean with aplomb. So how does the official Android 4.1.1 update for the Nexus S, loaded with much less firepower fare?
Development team suggests release candidate one month away
A port of Android 4.0 for the Raspberry Pi is getting closer to release. An update from the Raspberry Pi blog shows a video demonstrating the most recent Ice Cream Sandwich build running on the credit card-sized computer, as development nears completion. The stumbling block delaying the release centers around AudioFlinger, the audio software used by Android, which is still being worked on by the developer.
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Nexus gets the latest OS update, the Samsung Galaxy Note on AT&T has coincidentally just received an update to the superseded Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich).
Gingerbread continues to be the dominant Android installation
Android 4.0 is now running on just over a tenth of all Android-based smartphones, some eight and a half months since it was originally released. Statistics on the Android Developer website for devices accessing Google Play in a two-week period show Ice Cream Sandwich running on 10.9 percent of the Android ecosystem as of July 2. The recent release of the latest Android "hero" phones -- including the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X, along with updates to older devices that are starting to roll out -- are thought to be behind the boost.
Xperia Arc and Neo upgraded to Android 4.0.4
Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) updates have become available today for the Sony Xperia Arc and Neo. The phones will be updated to Android 4.0.4 and will remain on phone kernel version 2.32. Other Xperia phones will be upgraded over the course of the summer. The Xperia Neo was released in July 2011, and the Arc on April 1, 2011.
Stability, compatibility listed as issues with Play and ICS
The official Sony blog published an update today, detailing the progress on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) upgrades on Xperia smartphones. As noted yesterday, the Xperia Play has been removed from the upgrade list. All other upgrades are proceeding as previously announced.
Motorola issues statement on ICS omissions
Following its publication of an updated list of devices that will get an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update, Motorola has moved to explain its decision to omit certain devices. Many users were disappointed to learn that popular devices including the Droid X2 and Droid will not be getting an update the latest version of the Android OS. Instead, they will be left running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which was released in December, 2010.
Droid X2, 3 not on list; stuck on Android 2.3
Motorola has updated its list of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) updates today. Eleven phones and tablets are scheduled to be updated to the new operating system between now and the end of the year. Two popular phones, the Droid X2 and Droid 3, won't see the upgrade to Android 4.0.
Android 4 reaching Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tabs
Samsung has expanded its Android 4.0 update list to include several devices sold through T-Mobile. The carrier appears to have committed to Ice Cream Sandwich for several Galaxy handsets and two Galaxy Tabs.
Vodafone Portugal outs HTC Desire C before official announcement
Vodafone Portugal appears to have leaked an official image of the HTC Desire C. The May catalog for the mobile carrier shows the handset before any official announcement has been made by HTC, with published specifications showing it to be more like a Wildfire S than its namesake yet running Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
Samsung Galaxy Note gets ICS, Premium Suite, multi-core support
The Samsung Galaxy Note (N7000) has received its long promised update to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The revised firmware (XXLPY 4.0.3, build date May 4) is rolling out to users over-the-air in Germany and the Netherlands at the time of writing. It brings with it Samsung’s revamped TouchWiz UI and its new Premium Suite of S-pen based apps including S Note, Shape Match and My Story.
Sony reveals new Android speed demons, Xperia GX/SX
Sony Mobile has announced its first LTE handsets powered by Qualcomm’s fast Krait-based Snapdragon S4 dual-core processors. Capable of download speeds up to 75mbps, the Xperia GX and SX will also be the first Sony Xperia handsets to launch with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) out of the box. Sony also claims that the smaller of the two phones, the Xperia SX is also the world’s lightest LTE smartphone at just 95 grams.
Company takes another shot at ICS tablet market
Although most hardware makers have focused on new cellphones and related accessories at the CTIA expo this week, ZTE also brought its new V96 tablet. The 10.1-inch device brings a standard set of Ice Cream Sandwich tablet features, along with multi-band radios for GSM and LTE networks.
RAZR MAXX to start shipping with Android 4.0
The German version of Motorola's RAZR MAXX could be one of the company's first phones to carry Android 4.0. A mention of Android 4.0 in the fact sheet shows the OS by name. No mention is made of any changes to Motorola's own interface layer along with the 4.0 upgrade.
Note to get specialized Premium Suite apps
Samsung shed a good deal of light on its future plans regarding its software offerings for the Galaxy Note, releasing a video showcasing the capabilities of its coming Premium Suite of apps for the device. The Premium Suite, soon to be released along with the Note's Android 4.0 update, looks to contain a range of enhancements taking fuller advantage of the Note's unique capabilities.
Xtex My Tablet joins the entry-level tablet fray
While the premium tablet market is largely dominated by the iPad, Amazon's Kindle Fire has managed to carve out a niche position for itself at an entry-level price point. That niche position will soon see competition with the introduction of Xtex's MyTablet 7, a seven-inch slate with specs comparable to its higher-priced competitors, and a price point much lower than the rest of the competition. At $150, the tablet comes with just an 800x480-pixel display but a 1.5 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage expandable up to 32GB.
Unclear if ICS phone will carry droid branding
A rendering and press photos of what may turn out to be Verizon's second smartphone shipped with Android 4.0 has surfaced. An image of the HTC Incredible 4G has been posted by Pocketnow, while photos have emerged at Android Police. Rumors of the phone, known also as the HTC Droid Incredible 4G and HTC Fireball, first appeared in February.
Galaxy Note users get early taste of ICS
An anonymous source has leaked an internal Samsung test-build of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Galaxy Note to the team at RootzWiki. Before making the download available to the public, the site used an internal build tester to identify what worked and what may not. In most instances, the Galaxy Note’s performance with ICS is both stable and enhanced.
Notice follows update for HTC Vivid
AT&T has published a list of several devices that are confirmed to be upgraded to Android 4.0. The carrier has already released an Ice Cream Sandwich update for HTC's Vivid, ahead of updates for LG's Nitro; Motorola's Atrix 2 and Atrix 4G; Pantech's Burst and Element; and Samsung's Captivate Glide, Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II Skyrocket, and Galaxy Tab 8.9.
False start in January had battery issues
After a previous false start that was aborted in December when serious battery drain issues were discovered, Google now plans to make Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.x) available as an update to owners of the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G smartphones sometime in the next few weeks, a source tells Engadget. Google pulled the updates repeatedly after making them available "to monitor quality feedback."
Samsung suffers PR gaff over ICS update for GS II
Samsung faced a minor and embarrassing PR trip-up when its Philippines division incorrectly told to its Galaxy S II users that an Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update was imminent. Users were informed that ‘Starting March 10, 2012, you may upgrade your Galaxy S II to Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) thru [sic] KIES 2.0.’ However, this date was abruptly kyboshed by Samsung Korea, which issued a statement saying that the March 10 date was incorrect and the any launch of the long awaited update for the GS II would be announced through its dedicated Twitter account.
Update brings Sense 3.6 UI
As expected, HTC has begun pushing Android 4.0 updates for its Sensation and Sensation XE handsets for users located in Germany. The update brings the standard set of Ice Cream Sandwich improvements, along with HTC's Sense 3.6 interface overlay.
Tablet said to target sub-$200 price point
Google may have chosen ASUS to produce a Nexus-branded Android tablet, unnamed industry sources have told Android and Me. The rumored device is said to be a seven-inch model equipped with NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 chipset and a stock Ice Cream Sandwich build.
Google may have picked 2013 Android name early
Although Google has yet to officially confirm the next release of Android, Jelly Bean, new leaks have floated the name for the version coming afterwards. The tip to The Verge gave the possible 6.0 release the nickname Key Lime Pie, keeping in tune with Google's practice of naming Android versions alphabetically, after desserts. Android 4.0 is nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich, while 3.0 was Honeycomb.
Phone aims to please in midrange market
ZTE is one of several companies that attempted to satisfy the demand for low-, mid- and high-end smartphones with its Mobile World Congress unveilings. The Mimosa X is aimed at the midrange market, pairing a dual-core processor with Android 4.0. Electronista tried out the new device after ZTE's press event.
Audio enhancements coming via software
Although AT&T's biggest news for Mobile World Congress centers around the HTC One X, the carrier also announced details surrounding a software update for the HTC Vivid. The existing device launched late last year with Gingerbread and Sense 3.0, however an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade is on its way with Sense 4.0 and Beats Audio.
Second MWC phone with quad-core
HTC has formally unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the One X, which follows Huawei's Ascend D as another quad-core phone introduced this week at Mobile World Congress. Confirming earlier rumors, HTC chose to stick with NVIDIA's Tegra 3 chipset that will serve as the basis for several different high-end Ice Cream Sandwich devices from various manufacturers.
Sony delivers Ice Cream Sandwich beta for Xperia
Sony is working hard to turn around its image as an Android laggard to the leading vendor when it comes rolling out Android updates to its mobile phones. Now known as Sony Mobile Communications, the company has posted a page on its website allowing Xperia users to officially unlock their bootloader and follow the posted instructions on how to install Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) on their handsets. So far, the beta ICS ROM is available for the Xpera arc S, Xperia ray and Xperia neo V and suggests that Sony is on track to make good on its promise to have ICS updates for its 2011 smartphones starting this March.
LG takes the wraps off new 'L-Style' range
LG has continued with its pre-World Mobile Congress announcements, this time revealing the previously teased L-Style smartphone series. The L7 is a high-end smartphone that centers on a 4.3-inch widescreen display and the L5 is a mid-range device with a 4-inch display incorporating ‘enhanced readability’. Both phones are among a trickle of new devices starting to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as a standard install. The L3 will have more compact form factor built around a 3.2-inch display.
First images point to Verizon phones
Motorola's Ice Cream Sandwich development may have been exposed ahead of schedule, as several leaked images are claimed to show the company's Blur interface running on Android 4.0.3. The images, which surfaced on a DroidRzr forum, appear to show the Ice Cream Sandwich and the Blur UI running on a Droid Razr from Verizon.
Carrier posts reference to Android 4.0.3
Sprint may be working to offer an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for Samsung's Epic 4G Touch handset. The carrier has added to its official website an RDF page for the Epic 4G Touch running Android 4.0.3, fueling speculation that an update is currently working its way through the development process.
HTC Endeavor UI leaked all over the Internet
The yet to made official HTC Endeavor has had its ROM leaked on Chinese website ahead of its official unveiling expected at the World Mobile Congress. The leak has confirmed the rumored Tegra 3 processor and has also yielded screenshots of HTC’s revamped Sense 4.0 UI overlay for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). In addition to confirming that the Endeavor will be one of the first Tegra 3 smartphones, it also offers the first look at how one of the leading Android smartphone makers has reworked Google’s stock ICS interface for its own hardware.
MIUI 4 gives Kindle Fire users a taste of ICS
MIUI 4 has arrived for the Kindle Fire. The custom UI gives users an iOS-like interface, however retains the much improved Ice Cream Sandwich experience. However, in order to install the ROM Kindle Fire users will need to root their device and flash the new ROM, which will remove any trace of the tight Amazon integration in the standard Kindle OS.
Exact release date remains unclear
Lenovo has confirmed that its ThinkPad Tablet will receive an Android 4.0 upgrade sometime in the second quarter of the year. The company already promised an Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Tegra 2-equipped device, however until now the release timing was unclear.
ASUS issues OS build, updates GPS, Wi-Fi drivers
ASUS has rolled out an update for its troubled quad-core Tegra 3 Transformer Prime that is said to address its GPS and Wi-Fi performance issues. Since its hyped launch, users have complained that the metal back of the device hinders its Wi-Fi reception its GPS performance. The latest software build is 184.108.40.206 and includes a version of Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) that also addresses issues some users had when trying to upgrade from Android 3.2 (Honeycomb).
Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi users get ICS update
US Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi users are now reporting that they are starting to receive the promised Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update over-the-air. They now join Xoom early adopters who owned the Google Experience version of the tablet who received a special early update last week. The major update has arrived relatively quickly to the Xoom as it was loaded with an unskinned version of the Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) software.
Code to help non-Nexus upgrades to ICS
Inside Secure has released an update to its open-source Open NFC protocol stack for Android 4.0. Although Google has already created its own code for NFC on the Galaxy Nexus, the Open NFC stack is expected to ease the Ice Cream Sandwich update process for other NFC-equipped Android handsets.
K2110 pairs Medfield hardware with ICS
Intel is currently showing off a Lenovo tablet, the IdeaTab K2110, that appears to be the first Atom-based Android device to run the latest Ice Cream Sandwich build. The tablet utilizes the same Atom Z2460 processor that powers Intel's own Medfield smartphone reference design and Lenovo's K800 Android smartphone that are also on hand this week at CES.
Beats Droid Razr by a thin margin
Huawei has unveiled the Ascend P1 S, which for now is the world's slimmest smartphone at 0.26in (6.68mm). The Ascend P1 S is a major upgrade to its previous flagship smartphone, the Mercury. The Ascend P1 S has a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 chip powering a Cortex A9 CPU running at 1.5GHz, the same engine that powers the Google Nexus Prime. Not surprisingly, it will ship with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The Ascend P1 S also has SGX 540 graphics for its 4.3-inch 540x960 Super AMOLED display. It is capable of recording 1080p HD video with its 8-megapixel main camera, and 720p video with a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera.
Lenovo IdeaPad S2 kicks up speed and follows ASUS
Lenovo has led off CES Unveiled by revealing the IdeaTab S2, the sequel to its very first Android tablet. The new 10-inch tablet is one of the first mainstream slates to ship with Android 4.0 and is also a major leap in performance. It ships with a new, 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon MSM8960 that takes advantage of both a higher clock speed and a new cooler, more efficient chip design.
ASUS Transformer Prime gets Android 4 timetable
ASUS posted word of a definitive timetable for the Android 4.0 upgrade on the Transformer Prime. The over-the-air update will be ready worldwide starting from January 12. ASUS hasn't said how quickly it expects the updates to finish, or if owners can push the update manually.
Trebuchet launcher alpha brings handy tweaks
The CyanogenMod Trebuchet launcher has now reached Android 4.0.3 devices. The alpha version of the software is available for download and maintains much of the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) theme, but delivers several useful new features. Among them includes the ability to create a custom number of homescreens as well as the ability to enable/disable the new persistent Google Search Bar on the main homescreen.
Samsung may find way to fit Android 4 in Galaxy
Samsung has said it's reconsidering plans to skip Android 4.0 on the original Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab. In a pair of responses to AJ News and MSN, the Korean company said it was "discussing ways to support" the new OS on the earlier hardware. The over 20 million original Galaxy S owners and the vocal opposition to Samsung's current plans were considered important factors.
LG starts Android 4 updates in spring, summer
LG in an update gave a long timetable for its Android 4.0 upgrades. The first releases will only start in the spring, or no sooner than April, with the Optimus LTE, Prada Phone by LG 3.0, Optimus 2X, Optimus Sol, myTouch Q, and Eclipse getting updates that season. Some phones won't get their updates until the summer, including the Optimus 3D, Optimus Black, Optimus Big, Optimus Q2, and Optimus EX.
MIPS-based Ainol Novo7 up for pre-order for $120
A couple of online resellers have placed the Ainol Novo7 Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet [video embedded below] up for pre-order at $120. Both PandaWill and Merimobiles have listed the super-cheap 7-inch capacitive touchscreen tablet on their respective webstores. The Novo7 is the product of a partnership between US-based MIPS Technologies, using its low-cost MIPS-based mobile chip design, and China’s Ingenic Semiconductor.
Sony tips Android 4 upgrade for Tablet S users
Sony UK promised owners of the Tablet S an upgrade to Android 4.0. The company didn't say when the upgrade was coming other than "soon." Most companies vowing 4.0 upgrades are expecting it in early 2012.
Preview shows tweaked UI, new features
Dropbox has announced that it is set to release an updated version of its Android app, which brings a range of optimizations for Google's latest Ice Cream Sandwich builds. The interface has received a number of tweaks, including an improved gallery view, single-tap acces to file and folder actions, and separate tabs for 'Dropbox', 'Uploads' and 'Favorites'.
Galaxy Nexus for Google touts special back
Google workers such as Edu Pereda are reporting getting a very limited edition of the Galaxy Nexus. The Android 4.0 headliner comes with a special printed back that has many of the icons from the new mobile OS. It's presumed most or all staff will be getting the new Nexus, although they may have to line up to get it directly.
Android 4.0.3 unveiled days later
Google promised a quick update to its new OS in Android 4.0.3. The new version is more than just a fix and introduces a programming interface for the social stream in contacts: a check-in app like Foursquare or a social network like Facebook can now either put their updates in or extract them from Android, including photos. Camera use also gets better by letting apps control image stabilization in video.