Oct 19 AT 12:04 AM Taylor Wimberly 65 Comments

Android 4.0 should work on “any 2.3 device,” but don’t hold your breath waiting on an update

nexus-s-ice-cream-sandwich-tilt

I know what you’re thinking right about now. Android 4.0 looks pretty damn awesome, but when is that update going to hit my phone? I asked this question to Andy Rubin earlier this year at Google IO, and his response was pretty straight forward. He told us that most of the current generation of Android devices would be able to support Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s always up to the carriers on which devices actually get updated.
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At tonight's Android 4.0 event, Tim Stevens of Engadget asked Google the same question and got a similar response. Google's Gabe Cohen said that the Nexus S would definitely get Android 4.0 and that he thinks most devices currently on Android 2.3 Gingerbread or higher could eventually see an update. Gabe went on to say that Google is "currently in the process of releasing Ice Cream Sandwich for Nexus S. Theoretically [it] should work for any 2.3 device."

We don't know when Google will release the actual source code for Android 4.0, but it should be shortly after the Galaxy Nexus hits store shelves in November. This likely means that we won't see any official updates to Android 4.0 until 2012.
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So right now there's no way to tell which devices will receive Android 4.0 (outside of the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S), but I have a feeling the race is on among the carriers to see who can get their update out first.

If your phone already has Android 2.3 and it was a popular device, chances are good that you will eventually see an update. But if you're still stuck with Android 2.2 (or an older version) or have a device that flopped and didn't receive much support, then don't get your hopes up.

Recent history has shown us that Sprint normally does the best with Android software updates and AT&T is the worst, but this is a clean slate and every carrier now has the opportunity to impress us again. Which carrier do you think will be the first to get out an Android 4.o update?
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Via: Engadget

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://www.millionsofnerds.com Cristian Markovich

    Glad I bought a Nexus S.

    • travis

      I have the nexus s and don’t know how to do the ice is update

      • http://www.millionsofnerds.com Cristian Markovich

        Travis, Google will push it out to you a few weeks or so after the release of the Galaxy Nexus. So sit tight.

        • JamieB

          Us original N1 holders will get it as well. If we don’t get an OTA, someone will release it anyway.

          No worries!

  • Richard Yarrell

    I personally can tell you now I always have been a major sprint supporter and that will always exist. But I will pick up this Galaxy Nexus why ?? because I have never had a pure google device and while I hope this comes to SPRINT on day one ” Rather it does or not even if this means I have to also get a device on verizon then day one I will have the Galaxy Nexus. I always believe in having the best and the combination of both the EVO 3D and the Galaxy Nexus will offer me the experience I am looking for. So while I may dislike both Verizon and At&t without question that won’t stop me from getting this device..

    • ihatefanboys

      wow they really dont like you here do they ?

  • brian

    Since getting the Sprint Motorola Photon in September, I’ve got 2 OTAs. Granted they were maintenance updates, the last one made a lot of improvements. My point is Sprint does seem to approve the updates rather quickly.

    Now, most Android phones have a manufacturer skin (Sense, Blur, etc) . So im sure some will want to add their spin on 4.0. That will take time to develop. Hopefully they realize 4.0 will be hard to improve upon. Add their required app junk and quickly push the 4.0 update OTA sooner, rather than later.

  • Gabe

    The average android phone user doesn’t even know about the latest 4.0 operating system, therefore carriers aren’t going to be big on updating devices unless they get massive customer complaints…

  • Dustin Earley

    It’s only a matter of time my sweet, sweet Nexus S. Only a matter of time.

  • ags29

    Taylor, work your sources to get us a release date, pleeease!! :)

    Will you be dropping the Nexus S for this? I don’t think I would feel as tempted by this if I were coming from a Nexus S. Depending on how long I have to wait for CM9 on my Sensation, I might just go for this. It really comes down to price/ carrier.

    • Nathan

      document from Verizon says nov. 10

  • Nate B.

    They need to surprise everyone and update all phones with a pure 4.0. I mean what can they really improve on? What they want a different color scheme? Just stock it up and let the hardware speak. Obviously if your phone able to update but missing certain physical features like a front facing camera, then of course you won’t have the face unlock, but you will still have the OS 4.0. Feel me? Let the obvious speak. If they want the full ex. then upgrade or hopefully they have a phone that has all that to use when IC is pushed out to them. Better off just getting the Galaxy Nexus, shoot lol.

    I want a port to my Epic Touch 4G, but I guess I better take my lovely Nexus S 4G out the box and prepare :). And, wait and pray for a global release (Sprint future proof LTE Nexus?) when it hits public in Nov :)

  • Sean

    I wouldn’t hold my breath either. It took a while to upgrade to Gingerbread, and that was a small upgrade. The ICS upgrade is HUGE! How long is it going to take them to work all these features into their phone?

  • Ken

    If your phone already has Android 2.3 and it was a popular device, chances are good that you will eventually see an update.

    HTC Desire has Gingerbread… it was a popular device too…

    how come i ve a feeling it will never get ICS…

  • travis

    I watched the Hong Kong release of the android 4.0 hours ago…I cannot figure out how to do the update…irritating, specially when they said you could go to developer.android.com and update there no wait….

    • Dirty_Azkals

      Its not available for phones yet.

      Its for developers to download and test their apps, create new apps, ensure compatibility, etc. You still have to wait for Google to push it to your phone if its a Nexus. God knows how long if ever for non Nexus phones without being skinned with a manufactures skin.

  • DanDaman

    Bring it for galaxy s2, as they said themselves the most popular android device to date, and was in the linup of android devices shown in the event today, but it was after the nexus s and before the galaxy nexus. Wonder if it will get it before OR at the same time as the nexus s. Remembering Samsung was working closely with google for the ICS, and samsungs top device is the galaxy s2. Would be the smart move for google and samsung ;-)

    • Mikeylikesit

      No. As they said the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G will get the update real soon because these are pure Google phones. The Samsung Galaxy S 2′s probably will take a while to get the updates to there phone. Remember you have a Samsung and they had a problem with this on the original Galaxy S. I’m thankful that I have a Nexus S 4G and don’t have to wait for ever to get an update.

      • mkrmec

        Dude you know NOT what you are talking about…

      • ihatefanboys

        what ? huh ? eh ? you do know that the NEXUS S is a SAMSUNG phone right ?

        • hinoobs

          Nexus s is not a pure samsung phone lol. Its technically a google phone. Its like the nexus one. It was released with htc, but it doesnt have htc sense because its not a htc.phone. lol.

  • pitacrips

    My bionic better see 4.0 or ill be pissed.

  • inviolable

    I bet cyanogenmod is at work on it right now

    • CTTKDKing

      They are not yet because Google wont release the source code for ICS until The Galaxy Nexus has been out for a bit. Maybe by the end of the year though.

  • http://www.clusta.com H0ruza

    Google IO 2011 – 18 months or under. Did no one pay attention to one of the first things said at this event.

    Its never going to be quick unless you buy a nexus but at least you can hold them to there statement from this year if only people remembered what was said less than six months ago. Hahaha you crazy kids. :)

    Now is the Galaxy Nexus enough of an upgrade from the GSII, do I eBay this beautiful device and buy the GN or do I calm down and get ready for the GSIII?

    The pure experience is becoming harder to ignore isn’t.

    • rovex

      Apart from the screen the GN is a step BACK from the GS2. I might just have to have both, if the GS2 takes too long to get ICS.

  • Aeronoors

    Just wait it will coming to my htc sensation.. *hope

  • M3rc Nate

    Well i wont get my hopes up at all, but i have a G2 that has gingerbread and i am pretty sure the G2 was (at least on Tmobile) in the top 3 most popular phones. It would be awesome if it got ICS but i almost dont want it IF it slows down the phone at all. I say that because i already feel Gingerbread has added a bit more weight than froyo on my G2. Since the update iv noticed a bit of lag when doing OS stuff like swiping through home pages.

    Overall it seems awesome, i love a lot of features they showed, a lot of common sense stuff, some “interesting” stuff that i will probably never use but is still technologically cool, and some stuff thats just blah.

    I am not a fan of the design of the “open app tray” button, it looks like the Blackberry emblem, and i dont like the side scrolling app tray. I can accept it, and i understand that they wanted everything uniform, but it still seems like a copy of iOS devices , just like how they copied the notification tray. I want more differences between my Android and iOS, not less. But like i said, i understand.

    • ihatefanboys

      G2 here also…..no lag after the update…..you should try clearing out your texts and pictures and stuff every once in a while…..maybe update that SD card to a 32 Gig like i did, then toss all the apps u can onto it….which in my case was about half of them….i have 175 apps total….

      The open app tray button looks nothing, nothing like the blackberry emblem…..and nothing in ICS or any prior version of Android looks nothing like IOS….there are limited ways to display app icons, a grid is the most efficient way..its not a copy…..just like there are limited shapes available for a portable phone…..just because a phone is rectangular and has a center button and apps…it is not a copy of the iphone…..i hate people that WANT WANT WANT different when there wont be……if you want differences in mobile OS, go try a NOKIA circa 2005….then maybe you will just be happy you can do almost 10 times the things on mobile than you could back then….im glad you “understand”

  • fatspirit

    And what about AOSP? HTC Desire won’t receive official ICS anyway…

  • travis

    Would y’all say nexus are the phones to have…I think so

    • Mikeylikesit

      Of course the Nexus phones are the phones to have because it is the true Google experience. Vanilla Android all the way.

  • Melissa

    Very nice new features for ICS, but I wonder how it will look with HTC Sense.

  • Kev

    Im not even sure it the nexus s will have a timely update. I live in korea and my nexus s has yet to recieve the 2.3.6 update so im not really that excited….google should release a web app so that people can plug in their nexus phone the a computer and manually update

  • YNWA

    My Droid Charge still has Froyo. I can’t wait to ditch that slow ass phone for the new Nexus!

  • vyprnoch

    What happened to ICS reuniting mobile and tablet OS? Did they show anything about the tablet ICS?

  • vyprnoch

    What happened to ICS reuniting mobile and tablet OS? Did they show anything about the tablet ICS?
    I don’t care if carriers bring it to my device. CM versions are more better than carrier’s.

  • Nas

    I guess I’m rooting my G2X again. I have no hope of seeing ICS for at least 6 months otherwise.

  • Ben 1.0

    What do people think about the chances of the Nexus One getting ICS? I dearly hope so!

  • uzunoff

    Any 2.3 device….. Does that include Nexus one?

  • mrjlwilliams

    Well, if it does not come to the GSII I will not be getting another phone. I’m not buying a new phone just to get software, that can work on my current phone.All because they want some money, lol. NOT

  • Carl Akins

    I have the Nexus One with a Simple Mobile SIM card and I received the last Gingerbread update rather quickly. I want the Galaxy Nexus but only if it heads to Sprint. While I’m sure I’ll get the update (or download it manually), I still want some new hardware. Until I hear otherwise it’s the Nexus S at Sprint for me.

  • ihatefanboys

    well at least i know itll at least be 4.0 when the G3 comes out next october !! thatll be my next phone….im not rich….so i work contract to contract……. woo hoo

  • Nathan

    I don’t even have gingerbread lol, i need a new phone, I’m using skins to copy the look of ICS

  • Rashad

    CyanogenMod FTW! I’m so glad I rooted

  • Gabriel

    Hope ICS does come out for GS2!
    At the latest by the end of this year::
    Or else, what a waste of money!!
    I would definately not like Samsung for the rest of my life…..
    Samsung! Bell Canada update ASAP please!!!!!!

  • Mike

    Well G2 is will still be in its 18 month support window ’till end of Q1 of 2012, so …maybe? Who knows. That will be the time to go get some Cyanogen ICS!!

  • Aaron

    Will Honey Comb tablets, 3.0/3.1, Tablets (Mine the- Asus Transformer) get the Ice Cream Sandwich updat also, because I know the Prime does…? So im really hoping it does1
    -Please Reply!

  • Dave

    Hi people, I need ur help. I recently manually updated my nexus S to ICS android 4.0
    I couldnt wait for OTA push.

    Now I am not satisfied with the performance of ICS on my phone perharps bcos I couldnt wait for OTA update.
    So, i decided i want to go back to gingerbread. I tried the normal process to install back gingerbread but it didnt appear to accept my attempted install back to gingerbread.

    I powered on with my finger on power button but it never showed me the triangle (that was after the first step) that would warrant me to press volume up. Instead its screen went completely dark, I can only see light on the button for about 3-4minutes before powering itself back on again. I tried many times but it never worked.

    What might be the problem? Does it mean when we update our nexus S then we can never be able to re-install gingerbread back to nexsus S?

    Any help? or suggestion?

  • LLovro

    will samsung galaxy note get ice cream sandwich?

  • Shitangshu Maity

    HI,
    I’m using LG Optimus Pro, and run pretty good with Android 2.3.4 . So my query is, that, is it possible to run Android 4.0.x in this device?

    Thanks.

  • sharbaz

    will an update come for samsung galaxy y……. 2.3.6 to 4.0

  • Amit

    my phone is Spice 350n its android 2.3 my Question is does my phone upgrade to android 4.0?
    Please help me for that.

  • swapnil desai

    will i get updated in my samsung GALAXY Y ?:?:???????????

    • Mohamed.ahsan

      Please hellp me

  • NOOR

    will it be available for htc explorer and if not how upgrade it unoffically… plz waiting for the answer

  • Ilina Kiho

    I am using android 2.3 wespro tablet, and i want to update it to 4. So please let me know the process to update same.

  • yackou

    can I install the new version 4.0 of the Sony Ericsson XPERIA play?

  • rio

    hi! i have a galaxy mini ((s5570)) phone, does it support android 4? please answer me asap! please.. thank you.

  • ANIL

    i hav android 2.3 reliance 3g tablet, and i want to update it to 4. So please let me know the process to update.

  • aravind

    Guys im having An android phone which 2.3version how can i upgrade it…

  • ramesh

    My phone is spice mi 350 android 2.3.3. I want to update it to 4.0 so please let me know the process to update.

  • omarica

    2.3 is better better better than4.0

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  • praveen

    Hi

    I am using i-ball tablet with android 2.3 version. is it possible that it can be upgraded to android 4.0 or ICS ?if yes than plz tell me the process