Oct 26 AT 9:01 AM Anthony Domanico 81 Comments

Nexus One “too old” to be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich


It seems the trusty Nexus One has made it into the legacy column. Google has confirmed what we have long suspected; the beloved Nexus One, Google’s original Nexus device, is too old to be fully and officially upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Fortunately, many people who purchased the Nexus One were individuals who wanted to root their devices. Though Ice Cream Sandwich will not be officially brought to the Nexus One, we’re quite confident that Nexus One owners will see an unofficial┬áversion of Ice Cream Sandwich come to their devices.

Who out there is still using the Nexus One as your daily driver? Are you disappointed that Google couldn’t find a way to make it work, or did you largely expect this move? Any developers out there planning to port Ice Cream Sandwich to the Nexus One? Sound off below.

Via: Android Central

Source: Telegraph

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • Chahk

    “Officially” is the operative word here. CM9 will probably do just fine on the good ‘ole N1.

    • Lekz

      Quite true. My MyTouch 3G was deemed obsolete a year ago (and for good reason), yet I’m still running Gingerbread on it. I can see why Google considered it obsolete, tho. It’s just not the full experience as intended.

      • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

        Yeah, there is no way the nexus one has enough internal space to store the behemoth that is Ice Cream Sandwich. Someone, somewhere will find a way to squeeze it on there though.

        • Dharmabhum

          Yea, I’m running up against the internal storage problem constantly these days. I don’t see how ICS would cope with that.

          And yes, I’ve got everything on SD that I can.

          • TWiT Commander

            I was using the Nexus One as my main device till early this year. Then, I started running into low memory problems, even though I had removed Flash and AIR (since I didn’t use them much), removed infrequently used apps, and moved as many as possible of the remaining apps to SD. Daily chores included clearing app caches (browser and Skype in particular).

            I really wanted to wait for the Galaxy S II, but the Nexus One memory problems reached such a critical state that I bought the Nexus S as a stop-gap measure in March.

            One thing we have learned from last year’s Android devices is that you need at least 2GB ROM if you want to install lots of apps. Even apps that are moved to SD store some blobs in the ROM.

  • triangle

    Unfortunately, the lifespan of a smartphone on cutting edge software isn’t 2 years. It doesn’t mean that the phone isn’t usable, it just means that the specs required to run the newest capabilities keep going up. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you need to shell out more money to experience the latest and greatest features.

    • http://www.infotainmentempire.com pekosROB

      Usually the rechargeable battery will crap out well before the phone itself gets dated – of course thankfully Android devices primarily have removable batteries unlike some phone manufacturers… :-)

  • dcormier

    My phone is still a stock Nexus One. I was an early adopter, and I was expecting this. I would’ve been (pleasantly) surprised if ICS was made available for this phone. Even before learning this news I was planning to upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus, so it’s no loss for me. I just need to know when I can get the unlocked GSM version in the US. The lack of official dates had gotten ridiculous. You don’t see Apple doing that. They just tell people right away when to line up to get their new toy.

    • hnn

      what’s a stock Nexus One?

      mostly kidding. i am disappointed by this because of the associated lack of official drivers, but i’m sure the Cyanogenmod team will be bringing CM9 to us.

      long live the N1.

      • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

        Yeah seriously. People out there still have STOCK nexus ones? that’s crazy!

        • jf79

          I still use a stock N1. See no point in rooting it since it’s already unlocked and pure google experience…

    • iDiaz

      I finally gave in and rooted mine a few months ago, having bought it at launch. Cyanogenmod 7.1 is fantastic. You should give it a shot. I didn’t think it would be, but it’s actually a fairly decent leap forward from the stock Gingerbread distro. Tons of customization options. My favorite? Being able to selectively disable permissions for apps. For example, why does Angry Birds need my location data? They don’t, so I can go into Manage Applications and block that permission for Angry Birds. Most of the time, the app works fine with more limited permissions. Sometimes it’ll break the app (whereupon CM7 conveniently asks if you want to reset permissions to default), but I haven’t had that happen yet with blocking location data.

  • http://keridel.blogspot.com keridel

    we all know xda will not only make a rom but make one as good as google (if not better)

  • protozeloz

    I think the main issue might me memory, the amount of storage available for the update to fit on the device.

    • MarkT

      I’d go with that, I still have an N1 as my daily driver and its built in storage is a pain. In fact the lack of SD storage and the rumour of UK only getting the 16Gb Nexus Prime is a worry.

      It will be fine for my young lad though. :-)

    • http://www.the-wolf.co.uk mabroid

      Currently have am HTC desire, looking to upgrade to galaxy nexus early next year. What difference can I expect from a vanilla device?

      • protozeloz

        faster updates, faster UI, since this is a dev device too, apps are built to work best with nexus, and any other hidden goodies we might see on the IO

      • http://droidsamurai.blogspot.com DroidSamurai

        Well, until your device is officially obsoleted like the Nexus One reported here, your Android will be updated by Google directly. Using the Nexus One as a reference, that means a Nexus should have a lifespan of about 22 months. Within this period, you don’t need to worry whether the phone will be updated (it will.)

        In addition, there won’t be any bloatware, and all previous Nexus can be easily unlocked and rooted. We don’t know for sure if this tradition will be continued in the Galaxy Nexus, which seems to be more targeted to the consumers than previous offerings from Google.

  • Nathan

    I’M SURE CM9 will come to the Nexus One one way or another.

    Personally i still have a N1. i’ve been using it since april 2010 and i’ve loved the phone. thanks to cyanogen i’ve kept it all this time for the nice features it has such as the trackball led notify, and trackball unlock thanks to CM.

    The Galaxy Nexus was always going to be my next phone though and as soon as a GSM T-Mobile version is released it’s mine.

    and hopefully with this article showing a t-mobile one that’ll be sooner than we think: http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/hands-on-ice-cream-sandwich-review-1036402

  • hector

    What? Oh, come on, it’s not 2 years old yet! What happens to people with a 2-year contract? Really disappointing.

    • hector

      Replying myself: just imagine how many “recently released” phones won’t be updated then… Every mid-to-low-cost android stuck in gingerbread. Amazing!!

    • ihatefanboys

      its simple….its 18months old…..you hang on the 6 months and get a new phone , on contract again. duh

      • http://www.anthonydomanico.com Anthony Domanico

        Yeah, even the Android Update Alliance is only going to promise updates for 18 months. With the exponential level of advancement in the mobile industry, there’s just no way tech from 18 months ago can run current software.

        • Dharmabhum

          Yea, I guess I just have to balance my desire for new gadgets against not wanting to promise two years of my mobile life to a carrier against not wanting to drop $600 on a new device.

          I figured 18 months would be the sweet spot though. Close enough to whet the appetite for the next 24 months, long enough to convince people the phone won’t get dropped off the update list in the near future.

  • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

    Two years of updates is somewhat reasonable, as it’s greater than the 18 months which Google is hoping for every other Android OEM to pledge. And that’s also the length of most people’s contracts. As far as I know, it would also be the longest supported phone with software updates that isn’t an iPhone.

  • ben dover

    what sucks is that all other OEMs are going to nix all their phones from the upgrade that are comparable in N1 specs now…

  • Nathan

    Well it still kinda sucks to hear this but that way we have rooting =)

  • mike

    I’m kind of upset about it since it’s my regular phone but I’ll look into the unofficial roms. I still like the phone and I have no interest in purchasing a new 4″+ device

  • Rey

    I just hope CM9 still cover G2 for ICS

  • Mattt

    Hopefully my EVO will get the update, but now I’m no so sure as the performance is similar to the Nexus One.

  • http://oceanmedia.net Scotter

    I have a Nexus One. Planning on getting Galaxy Nexus. Merely seeing this “news” as a confirmation that it is important to get the very best you can afford when you buy a phone.

  • Leonardo Leal

    Yes. I use N1 as my main phone and I love It! I’m sucking up all the juice this baby can provide, using Voice on my Car Dock for Navigation and all… and I’m very dissapointed. I actually think that software updates don’t need to mean It needs to be heavier on the resources if you don’t consider big-time newly added features.

    I’d say… yeah… I believed It would not have Facial Recognition from GN or maybe another feature or two from the Full Fledged Galaxy Nexus, but I strongly believed that It can work well on N1… so yes, I’m very dissapointed that Google didn’t want to work an update for their first Nexus Device.

    Heck! iOS5 runs on 3GS… there are 2 newer iPhone models around… Nexus Devices? Same number… It’s even lighter than iOS4…

    Yes… I’m comparing between 2 completely different SOs for Mobile Phones… because they do compete for the love of the crowd.

    Today I’m an avid Android user… but I lay no loyalty to any brand… I keep comparing Apples to Mangos to Robots – see what I did there? :) – all the time, Robot is winning, but for me, as I can’t really buy a new Phone right now, It worked as a great turn down that I’m gonna be the victim of the first occurence of Fragmentation in the Nexus Line of devices… the line that you put your trust into because It’s Google Branded… N1 may be old, but It’s not a Junk-Phone… It’s specs are pretty consistent even nowadays (512MB RAM, 1GHZ Processor…), just doesn’t have a Super-Duper GPU.

    The culture in Android needs to change that It’s needed to crank up the hardware to accomodate every software advance… software needs to be better optimized.

    I’m dissapointed. :(

    • Legend

      I don’t think it was the specs holding it back but mainly the piss poor storage on it.
      512 MB (190 MB application storage) and I believe a 512 MB ROM partition?

      I thank the person who made Apps2SD because my htc desire (relatively the same specs) ran out of space within a week!

      • Legend

        oops my bad..512 mb rom…more like 150ish

  • David Hall

    I think this is all to do with internal memory (a problem all Nexus One owners are familiar with). The CPU and GPU are plenty good enough for ICS, especially with the latter’s hardware acceleration. Those claiming that ICS is more “taxing” of hardware than Gingerbread are wrong.

    Basically Google can’t work out how to fit the ICS programs into the Nexus’ internal memory and leave the same amount of free space for apps. 3rd party ROM developers won’t have the latter restriction (and besides, you can always install S2E or whatever to use your SD card for app storage) so they’re not going to do it.

    That said, they might work out a way of squeezing it in like HTC did with the Desire Gingerbread update by basically removing some pre-installed apps. I bet they don’t have the engineering resources for that kind of effort though.

    Shame as I’d have hoped 2 years of updates would be the norm.

  • Andres

    I use my trusty N1 for everything. It’s with me all damn day. It’s my point-and-shoot. It’s my calendar, my email, my everything. Love it. But, it’s showing its age and was planning on getting the Galaxy Nexus anyway. My wife will be bummed, though, she was planning on continuing to use her N1. Guess I’ll have to root hers when the time comes. Bummer.

  • Jeb

    I am a N1 owner, its the best phone I’ve ever owned. I’ll probably get the Galaxy Nexus, but we’ll see as money is an issue at this point.

    I don’t buy phones on contract so i usually end up paying full retail price. I’m not disappointed at all by this. I was expecting support for the N1 to stop pretty soon. That being said, I’ve been exceptionally happy with the N1 and the support given by Google, particularly when it came to updates.

    Looking forward to a new phone, and the N1 will become my new PMP. :)

  • Jamie B

    I expected it, but still a little disappointed.

    Honestly, though, I’ve never once updated OTA in the two years of owning my N1.

    No big deal to me, XDA will make it happen.

    Probably going to upgrade to the Galaxy Nexus, trusty ol’ N1 has done its job well. Still my daily.

  • Scott

    I have used my N1 every day for almost 2 years now. It’s the best phone I’ve owned, but the memory limit has been an issue for me for a while now.

    I’m not surprised at all that it isn’t getting the update. I’ve had to remove apps that are now being distributed with ICS for lack of space on the device (and I had been using the apps).

    I will probably still keep the phone, root it, update it, and use it as a test platform for my own projects. But it won’t continue to be my “daily driver”.

  • 00 Qan[T] Meister

    The Nexus One is 21 months old. In that time, the Nexus One got several major updates including both FroYo & Gingerbread. Only now are many phones just getting upgraded to Gingerbread which keeps it fresh for at least 9 more months. Frankly, to be bluntly honest, there were many Android devices that never got to see FroYo or Gingerbread. My previous phone, the Samsung Moment never went beyond Android 2.1 aka Eclair. To say that it best, Nexus One owners have gotten pretty darn good treatment for the last 21 months. Its time for it to be retired into the legacy column.

    For those complaining about the updates, the original iPhone & the iPhone 3G are also in the legacy column. While the iPhone 3GS does technically have iOS 5, it doesn’t have all of the full features that the iPhone 4 or the iPhone 4S has. It’s a very stripped to the bone upgrade for 3GS users that proves that fragmentation does exist on the iOS side

    Fragmentation? Absolutely. 3 different sets of processors, 3 different hardware configurations, 2 different sets of screen resolutions, different feature sets, & now support for different 3G radio technologies. Throw in the iPod Touch lines and you’ve got even more fragmentation. It’s not to the extreme of Android but it does exist.

    Most Nexus One owners are close to or already in renewal periods. Just in time for the Galaxy Nexus or whatever choice they choose to make.

  • Nate B.

    Its pretty much dual cores and upcoming quadcores from here on out if you want to have the hardware to run anything for next few years OFFICIALLY.

    I have a feeling carriers or even manufactures will use this as a jump off for excuses as to why previous devices aren’t updated. Keep it stock. You can’t Makeover ice cream. Stop drowning the market with a bump up in spec devices. One beast on every carrier yearly. Basic phones in between for lower end users who like messaging and just use a phone as a phone.

    If they really think these skins can’t compete then make your own OS and let it run android apps. Call them offspring of blackberry lol. Ha!

  • Starship

    Too old. Yes. Too old to complete the upgrade – Yoda.

    I’m glad Google has a grasp of the limitations of their hardware/software. I’m sure they would rather have no update than a stripped down husk of OS. Just look at how many people were pissed about the IOS4 on 3g(s) – sluggish as hell.

  • Lazndirmbitah

    I would like 2 use dis.

  • lolobabes

    Google owes me and all N1 owners a clear cut reason, I didnt buy 2 N1 for me and my wife $550 each only to be told 1 and half yrs later thats its old so it may not be upgraded. WTF! If the hardware cant support it then so be it. But what they have said so far is just unacceptable. We deserve a difinitive and better explanation than N1 is too old!

    • Queen Laqueefa

      Your phone has already received TWO major OTAs. Stop sniveling.

  • http://www.ericfortin.ca Cocorickoo

    i bought my N1 a year ago, it was already old and slower than the newer phones at the time. However i know its the phone most ROMs support so i’ll always get whatever OS updates there is thru the wonderful android community. MIUI is great and i assume it will include ICS soon enough.

  • ihatefanboys

    Really guys, the phone is nearly 2 yrs old…its time to move on and stop clinging to mommy, i mean your N1…. As much as you guys love Cyanogen and the devs, having a port of ICS is not having ICS. Rooting only brings the flavor of a full OS upgrade, you can spin the extras not included in an “official” release as sprinkles on your low fat ICS but it doesnt make it the same or “better” as one of u laughably said in the comments. I rooted my G1 and put a ROM of 2.0 on it, but I also had no illusions that it was as good or “better” than the real 2.0, it just looked like it on the surface..but lurking below was still the almost 2 yr old hardware that was clearly straining to run it…..the N1 is now in that same position…..give it up guys……time to upgrade…get a new NEXUS, on contract if youre so inclined…or if you dont like SAMSUNG then wait for HTC to premiere the NEXUS like G3 next year….but stop clinging to a 2 yr old phone for the sole fact that u spent $600 on it and feel it should last as long as YOU want it to….tech is advancing too fast for that….there will always be something better on the horizon….even the GALAXY NEXUS will be obsolete, perhaps within 18 months or less….like lots of your parents are saying as you approach 30 and youre still mooching off them…….. MOVE ON with your life…

    • Richard Yarrell

      That’s keeping it real I appreciate that people always think rooting and roms as well as xda are the Savior like a phone god. Truthfully all that functionality is suppose to come out from the box on day one you shouldn’t have to go through all these changes just to keep a phone on a daily basis. All good things come to an end my beloved Evo 4g has reached EOL.. We all move on and so does technology it’s meant to be that way…

  • JoogleMe

    If I still had my Nexus it wouldn’t have been a surprise that it wouldn’t receive ICS. Mainly because it’s hardware won’t be able to handle the best that ICS has to offer. I know i was starting to have memory issues even after buying a 16GB MicroSD. So I’m looking forward to Galaxy Nexus.

  • Guy Bailey

    Like most other posters, I love my N1 – it is the best phone/gadget I have ever owned but time and tide wait for no man or woman; the memory is bumping up against the edge, can’t even free up space to have Flash and Air on it so will go Galaxy Nexus at earliest available opportunity.

    With T-Mob now and quite happy but would switch to Verizon just to get the new Sexy Nexy.

  • JLishere

    The main reason has to do with internal storage. A Nexus One running stock Gingerbread already has limited storage left for apps and data. ICS would render the phone unusable. I’m running Cyanogenmod 7.1.0 / Android 2.3.7, with almost all apps forced to SD (85 in total) – that gives me barely 20-25 Mb left.

    • Nychtos

      That’s actually quite a few apps….
      I find that the N1′s limited app space (even with CM 7.x) has made it such that I filter out all the crap and leave only the gems i need.

  • Nexus One lover

    I almost threw up when I read this shit! I won’t be getting any damn Galaxy, I seriously don’t want any other phone then my N1 until it comes out a new good Nexus, preferably from HTC, but not necessarily. What’s necessary for it to qualify which the Galaxy lacks is an SD-card slot, serious graphics chip and preferably an aluminium body like the N1. I hope that it won’t be any problems for Cyanogen to get the drivers working ad expected.
    It’s seriously

  • bin artyte

    HTC dream guys? No thought? Awwwwwwwwww…….

  • CeeJ

    At this point wouldn’t a phone that you could basically get for $20 when you renew your contract be better than the Nexus One?

  • DaveC

    I recently brought my N1 out of retirement to use in place of a damaged EVO. I love the phone but now I remember why I used to fill this board with cries for a phone with a good physical keyboard. Those cries stopped when I got the Nexus S temporarily before switching to Sprint and getting the EVO. The 4.0 screen seems to be the minimum size my fat thumbs are happy with. I’ll be using the N1 until Sprint brings on the Galaxy Nexus. After that, I’ll still save it for emergencies, and to use as my alarm clock with the great OEM dock that I bought for it. I may load CM on it but I’ll hold off on that call until we see what kind of space requirements are needed.

  • Jens

    Too bad. My Nexus One is my daily device and I really like it. I can partly understand why ICS is not making it on this device:

    - Internal memory is a joke. I’m constantly deleting apps just to be able to update existing apps (app2sd alone doesn’t solve this problem)

    - Performance (CPU, GPU): Gingerbread (currently 2.3.6.) is not super snappy on the Nexus One. I can see that ICS could not be a good experience.

    It’s still a great device and many ICS features are demanding hardware (front facing camera, NFC, etc.) which the Nexus One does not have anyway. So it’s not that big a deal. Just the updated stock apps (Gmail, calendar, etc.) would have been nice. Too bad they are not available as individual apps in the market.

    But still, not supporting ICS on Nexus One has the taste of planned obsolescence.


  • skidmarksally

    does this mean my g2x would get the ics update hell yea

  • Mark

    Can anyone say if the G2 will get ICS?

  • sylar

    I hope the G2 gets ICS if it doesn’t I will be very mad! Not that it not getting it would surprise me much.

  • Nychtos


  • Dr.Carpy

    The Nexus One was my first foreray into the world of Google. This phone has served me extremely well. However, as all good things, unfortunately it’s time has come. I understand, and I’m not upset. Once I heard that facial recognition was coming, I saw the writing on the wall. I always planned on changing my phone (my wife has the Nexus S). I want a bigger screen, and internal memory for applications as well (getting really tired of low memory warning). All hail the Nexus One, the Godfather of the Nexus lineage!

    • Jens

      Yep, Nexus One served well. I’ll miss the trackball. I like the LED (let’s see what Galaxy Nexus’ LED can do) and the scrolling for text editing.

  • http://klout.com/#/SliestDragon SliestDragon

    Wow. Never thought Google would do this. At least the Nexus One was primarily bought to root, so as mentioned through out all the comments above me, CM9 will definitely come to this. :/

  • xdarthveganx

    I am still using the Nexus One on T-Mobile as my daily phone. The Nexus S just was not a significant upgrade in my mind so I saw no need to switch. Assuming I can get a T-Mobile version of the Galaxy Nexus, that will be my new phone, and I really don’t mind purchasing it at full price.

  • http://youtube.com/user/jawckamoe Marcus

    I am really disappointed that Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t coming to the Nexus One. My Nexus One right now is rooted running CM7.1. Hopefully someone will be able to fit at least some features of ICS into it. I would love them forever :)

  • Rashad

    Google also said g1 had to stop at doughnut…

  • ihatefanboys

    more like on it, not into it…. but good luck getting all that sticky ice cream off your screen….yuck…lol

  • ihatefanboys

    yes donut was 1.6, that was the last official update for the G1…so in fact it did stop.

    • Queen Laqueefa

      LOL, you and your FACTS!

    • Rashad

      G1 made it all the way to 2.2 with custom roms so I assume Nexus One will be getting the same treatment. That is my point

  • Ben 1.0

    I’m gutted by this, I was really hoping the Nexus One would get ICS officially. I still have a year on my contract to go, so it looks like I’ll have to try CyanogenMod!

  • Jay

    I got my Nexus One on launch and was just about to trade up when decided to go the MIUI route. I now love my phone again and I no longer have the internal storage issue thanks to darktremor.

  • Pascal R

    Thank you LG, was the first and last product I would ever buy from you.

    • Justin

      Nexus One was made by HTC. Also this seems like more of a Google decision than a HTC decision.

  • CptSheridan

    *cough* MIUI. Being serious here since on their twitter they confirmed that they’re working on 4.0 Android releases at this second.

  • Alex

    So we can say that Matias Duarte has a pretty huge mouth because on the Galaxy Nexus launch he said that every phone that is currently running official Gingerbread can run ICS. Hmmmm

  • Justin

    I bought the Nexus One the week it launched. I’m still on my 2-year contract for the device. I bought the phone with the promise I would receive all the updates. Also so that I could get stock Android without having to root it. Yes rooting is a fairly simple process, but I just don’t want to have to deal with that on my phone.

    When you buy a new device on the standard 2-year contract you should be able to expect at least 2 years of support. Honestly I think that the 2 year count down to legacy status for the Nexus One shouldn’t even have started until the Nexus S launch.

    I was dead set on getting a Nexus device next year, but with the prospect of getting less than 2 years of support from launch date I have to reconsider my position. What I thought was a guarantee of stock Android updates for the reasonable life expectancy of the phone is what set the Nexus line apart from the rest.

  • Jibby

    I have had a N1 for a year and a half and am running 2.3.6 & lovin it. This phone is still the shit, Im sure there will be a ICS update on XDA soon!

  • pritams