Google has announced the launch of the latest version of Android: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, in Hong Kong on Wednesday â€“ and with it the shiny new Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Thatâ€™s all very well and good, but when is it coming to your Android smartphone? Will the smartphone in your hands be getting an upgrade to enjoy some of the new features such as Face Unlock and the new Roboto font?
Hugo Barra, product management director of Android, has said that the aim is to get Nexus S running Android 4.0 shortly after the release of the Galaxy Nexus device but that the original Google-branded Nexus One is just too old to come to the party.
Samsung Italy has confirmed that the update is coming â€“ but possibly not until Q2 2012. Ice Cream Sandwich will hit its high-end devices including the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus at about the same time.
Samsung Norway has recently confirmed that the update for the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note will be arriving by the end of Q1, so we make that March.
UPDATE: The Samsung Galaxy S wonâ€™t be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update
UPDATE 2: The Nexus S did get the Android 4.0 update, however shortly afterwards Google halted the rollout of the Android 4.0 update for the Nexus S as users started to report problems with the mobile phoneâ€™s battery.
UPDATE 3: Samsung Israel has revealed that Ice Cream Sandwich updates will begin next week on 15 March. Speaking via its Facebook page, it said: â€We promised that we are working about that. You have waited patiently. And itâ€™s coming in March 15: Android version 4, ICS, for tens of thousands of the Galaxy S2 owners that purchased it from the cellular company in Israel or directly from us. We are very excited in here towards the launch, hope that you too â€
UPDATE 4: Samsung issued the following statement on its official blog: â€The upgrade will begin in European countries including Poland, Hungary, Sweden, as well as Korea today and gradually roll out to other markets. Android 4.0 ICS software upgrade for Galaxy Note, Galaxy SII LTE, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 will follow soon.â€
UPDATE 5: In a specific statement to Pocket-lint Samsung has said: â€œSamsung UK can confirm that the roll out of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on Galaxy S II will be available from week commencing 19 March. However, the availability of software upgrades in the UK will be dependent upon each networkâ€™s own software approvals process.â€
UPDATE 6: The ICS update for the Samsung Galaxy S II has now started in the UK. Three customers should have it on their phone by now, Orange has issued the following statement:
â€œWe know youâ€™re all looking forward to the ICS update. We can confirm that it is being worked on for the Galaxy SII but we donâ€™t have a release date at the moment. We will tweet when we have more information or when we get information on other handset updates. ^Andyâ€
UPDATE 7: Weâ€™ve created a separate story detailing the Samsung Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich Update.
UPDATE 8: Reports came out on from the US and Germany on 10 May that Samsung Galaxy Notes were being updated to Android 4.0, but thereâ€™s still no sign of Ice Cream Sandwich for the massive device in the UK.
The official line from HTC to Pocket-lint is: â€We are excited about the latest update for Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and are currently reviewing its features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans. Our goal for Android updates is to give every customer an improved user experience, which means balancing each phoneâ€™s unique hardware, HTC Sense experience and the Android kernel.
â€œWhile our goal is to upgrade as many of our recent devices as possible, we are committed to maintaining every phoneâ€™s performance and usability first. Please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans.â€
UPDATE: HTC has confirmed the following: â€HTC has been working hard to get its Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades ready, and weâ€™re excited to announce that our first round of ICS upgrades will roll out by the end of March for the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE, followed soon thereafter by the HTC Sensation XL.â€
There is also hope for HTC EVO 3D, HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Desire HD owners, with the company confirming that although they wonâ€™t be getting the ICS update in March, they will be getting the update at some point in 2012.
â€œIn addition, we can confirm Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades will be coming later this year to the HTC EVO 3D, HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Desire HD. Stay tuned for more updates on Ice Cream Sandwich releases in the coming weeks,â€ adds HTC.
UPDATE 2: HTC has started its European trial of the HTC Sensation XE Ice Cream Sandwich update to a limited number of users before a wider rollout becomes available. Read our HTC Sensation XE Ice Cream Sandwich pictures and hands-on.
UPDATE 3: The roll-out to Sensation and Sensation XE handsets has now begun, with many owners getting the upgrade over the next two weeks (from 14 March). HTC has also revealed that another UK handset to get the upgrade will be the HTC Ryhme.
UPDATE 4: We are getting early reports that the HTC Sensation XE update has hit the UK.
UPDATE 5: A time scale for the HTC smartphones that are still to be updated has now been revealed. It reveals that the HTC Desire S will get it between June and July; HTC Desire HD, July to August; HTC EVO 3D, June â€“ July; HTC Incredible S, June â€“ July; and the HTC Sensation XL, before the end of June.
The company has also admitted that all devices with a 512MB ROM will not be getting the update at all, including the â€œHTC ChaCha, HTC Salsa, HTC Wildfire S, HTC Explorer, and othersâ€. HTC tablets will also remain on their current Android version (Honeycomb).
The official line from Sony Ericsson to Pocket-lint is: â€Sony Ericsson is currently rolling out the upgrade to Gingerbread 2.3.4 across its entire 2011 Xperia smartphone portfolio. This software upgrade will be available through a phased roll out in select markets. Beyond Gingerbread 2.3.4, we plan to upgrade our 2011 Xperia smartphone portfolio to the next Android platform made available to us.
â€œOfficial Sony Ericsson communication regarding software upgrades will be published on http://blogs.sonyericsson.com.â€
UPDATE: Sony Ericsson has confirmed on 15 November 2011 that it will be bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to itâ€™s 2011 range.
â€œThere have been a few questions here on the blog and in our support forums regarding our upgrade plans beyond Gingerbread. We can today confirm that we plan to upgrade the entire 2011 Xperia portfolio to the next version of Android known as Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich,â€ it said.
â€œWe are working on merging our current Xperia experience with the new features in Android 4.0. More detailed information regarding this upgrade, timing and global availability will be communicated in due course here on the blog.â€
The 2011 Xperia Portfolio is the Xperia arc and arc S, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo and neo V, Xperia mini and mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active, Xperia ray as well as Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman.
UPDATE 2: Pocket-lint has heard that the Sony Ericsson / Sony range will be getting the update in Q2. So thatâ€™s basically between April and June (inclusive).
UPDATE 3: Sony has detailed the updates a little more, but still not nailed a date, other than to confirm that the roll-out for the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Ray will be first in line, starting in mid-April.
Following this, the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will get their update around the end of May/beginning of June.
There is still no word on the update to Sonyâ€™s newest phone, the Xperia S.
Sony has added that the updates will be via cable only, i.e., youâ€™ll have to plug your phone into your computer, rather than it being an OTA update.
UPDATE 4: Sony Ericsson has issued the following on its blog on the 13 April:
â€œStarting from today (13th April), weâ€™re beginning the Sony software upgrade including the uplift to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for our 2011 Xperia smartphones.
â€œThe software will initially be made available for Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray for consumers in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway.
â€œFollowing on, Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will receive their scoop starting from the end of May/early June.â€
No word on a UK or US release date for the update.
UPDATE 5: Although Sony officially said that its Xperia S handset should start getting Ice Cream Sandwich updates from late May, early June, it has been attributed to an over zealous employee. Unfortunately, its update wonâ€™t be arriving until the latter part of Q2 â€“ end of June at the earliest.
UPDATE 5: Sony Ericsson announced through its blog on 25 May that the Xperia arc, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman would all be receiving an update to Ice Cream Sandwich from the first week of June.
However, the Sony Xperia PLAY will not receive an update as Sony has â€œconcluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich.â€
â€œAsus Eee Pad Transformer will be getting update to ICS â€“ but we canâ€™t provide a schedule at this stage,â€ Asus told Pocket-lint, making it the first Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Asus has subsequently confirmed that Ice Cream Sandwich will be rolled out to the Eee Pad Transformer following the update to the Eee Pad Transformer Prime on 12 January 2012.
UPDATE: The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Asus Transformer is now out. On Asusâ€™s Facebook page the company says: â€œMany of our Eee Pad Transformer TF101 users have waited patiently for the promised Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and we are delighted to announce that the first wave of FOTA updates for TF101 firmware v.184.108.40.206 started today in Taiwan. The update will FOTA in other regions soon after.â€
The official statement to Pocket-lint from LG is: â€LG is committed to offering the best smartphone experience on our Android Optimus phones. We are currently reviewing the latest Android OS release and will be making a decision with our carrier partners on a rollout schedule. Specific phone models and timing of updates will be posted on relevant local websites or at www.lg.com.â€
Although Unofficial reports came in that LG would not be updating the LG Optimus 2X to Ice Cream Sandwich the company was keen to debunk these on Facebook, stating: â€LG firmly denies the rumours that claim LG will not be providing the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS update for the LG Optimus 2X. These rumours are NOT true.
â€œLG is currently in the process of planning the ICS OS update for the LG Optimus 2X as well as other LG high-end smartphones. Detailed information on the ICS OS update schedule for specific models will be announced, once the ICS OS is publicly released by Google. Please stay tuned for more updates from LG.â€
UPDATE: According to LGâ€™s Facebook page, LG will begin rolling out the ICS Android 4.0 update between April and September 2012.
â€œLG will be offering the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS upgrade for a range of LG smartphones which were introduced this year,â€ LG said via Facebook. â€œThe global upgrade schedule will begin in the second and third quarters of 2012, which will be followed by a global roll out.
â€œDuring the second quarter of 2012 upgrades will begin for the following smartphone models: the LG Optimus LTE, Prada phone by LG 3.0, the LG Optimus 2X, the LG Optimus Sol, the LG my Touch Q and the LG Eclipse.
However owners of phones such as the Optimus Black and the Optimus 3D will have to wait until some time after July for the ICS update:
â€œThese upgrades will be followed by upgrades for the following smartphone models during the third quarter of 2012: the LG Optimus 3D, the LG Optimus Black, the LG Optimus Big, the LG Optimus Q2 and the LG Optimus EX,â€ the company said.
Having introduced the new Android superphone to assembled European journalists, Alain Mutricy, senior vice-president portfolio and product management, candidly referred to Googleâ€™s Hong Kong announcement in which Ice Cream Sandwich was launched.
Mutricy highlighted that although the Motorola RAZR had been designed for, and will be launching on, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the company has a plan in place to update the phone to Ice Cream Sandwich at the â€œstart of 2012?.
UPDATE: The company has now confirmed that the Motorola RAZR and Xoom among the Droid Bionic and US version of the RAZR will be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update.
UPDATE 2: Motorola has now said for UK readers, the first Motorola devices to get Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi-only, the Xoom Family Edition and the Motorola RAZR. Rollouts will begin sometime between March and May.
Then the wait begins.
For Motorola Xoom 2 customers, youâ€™ll have to wait until the summer to get your update. Motorola is saying the update is in development and that it is working to get it out for some time in Q3. Thatâ€™s June to August, for those who care.
After that itâ€™s anyoneâ€™s guess of when or if youâ€™ll get the update. Devices in that pile for UK readers include the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi and 3G model, The Motorola Atrix and even the newly announced MotoLuxe and Motorola Pro+.
Motorola has also confirmed that if you own a Defy Mini, a Defy+, Milestone 2, Milestone, Defy MB525, Charm, Flipout, Milestone XT720, Backflip or Dext you wonâ€™t be getting any updates. The version of Android you currently have is the version you are stuck with.
The official line from from Derek Wright, ViewSonic European marketing manage,r to Pocket-lint is: â€œWithin ViewSonic we are committed to delivering a great out of box experience with our tablet and phone products.
â€œThe V350, 7e, 10e are our latest products to be announced as value propositions, all featuring Viewscene 3D the visual aspect of Android does not alter so much for the different versions of Android. We are currently evaluating ICS features that overlap with Viewscene 3D and how we best continue to deliver this to consumers as soon as we can without compromising the experience to consumers,â€
So far none of the companies has confirmed whether or not they will be bring Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) to their smartphones currently available on the market.