Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich coming to the Nexus S and Droid RAZR, HTC still thinking about updates
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you probably know by now that a few hours ago, Samsung and Google announced the new Galaxy Nexus superphone and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
While the Galaxy Nexus will be the first device to the market running the newest version of Android, we were obviously wondering what will happen with other smartphones – will the get updated to ICS, or not?
It will take a while until we hear from all manufacturers on the issue, but we have a nice start now. Google has announced that the Samsung Nexus S, the predecessor to the Galaxy Nexus and the company’s previous ‘pure Android’ Nexus device, will be receiving an update to ICS about a couple of weeks after the Galaxy Nexus starts shipping.
Since we have a time frame of ‘November’ for that to happen, this means that, worst case scenario, the ICS update for the Nexus S will arrive mid-December. That’s still a couple of months off, but it’s almost certain that the Nexus S will become the second phone to run Android ICS, so for Nexus S owners, this is good news of course.
However, those of you who have a Nexus One may not be as happy. Google hasn’t said anything definitive about whether the Nexus One will get ICS, which means that it probably won’t. That would make the Nexus One the first Nexus device not to be supported with software updates after a point (about 18 months after its release). This may signify a new trend at Google, or it may just be that the Nexus One simply doesn’t have the hardware prowess needed to run ICS. We’ll see.
Hours before the Galaxy Nexus and ICS were unveiled, Motorola and Verizon announced the Droid RAZR. That superphone will launch running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but, according to Motorola itself, it will be updated to ICS. The update will come at the beginning of 2012, which isn’t a very specific timeline, but we’ll take it for now. So the point here is that if you want to buy a new high-end Android smartphone and simply can’t wait a few months for it to run ICS, you should get the Galaxy Nexus (which is coming to Verizon soon). If, however, you like the Droid RAZR more, and don’t mind waiting a bit for its software to be up to date, then by all means, get that.
If you own an HTC smartphone, there’s some update-related news for you too. The Taiwanese company has said the following:
“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 phone’s unique hardware, HTC Sense experience and the Android kernel. While our goal is to upgrade as many of our recent devices as possible, we are committed to maintaining every phone’s performance and usability first. Please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans.”
Translated, that means that it’s safe to assume that not all HTC devices currently on Gingerbread will be updated to ICS. Some of them obviously will, but you probably shouldn’t count on the lower-end hardware or memory-constrained devices to be sporting ICS (officially, at least) any time soon. That’s probably what all Android phone makers will say. When we hear something more concrete from HTC or any other company, we’ll let you know.