Dec 02 AT 4:32 PM Dustin Earley 80 Comments

Ice Cream Sandwich headed to Google employee Nexus S phones


Throughout the madness that has become the US launch of the Galaxy Nexus, it’s been easy to forget that Samsung’s latest device won’t be the only US phone to run stock Android before the year is over. Some time ago, Google made an announcement that Android 4.0 would be rolled out to Nexus S devices just as soon as the Galaxy Nexus was released. Well, as that time inches ever closer, Google is taking the proper measures to make sure Nexus S owners get their dose of ICS right on schedule.

According to some Google+ posts from AdSense Policy Applications and Signals Developer Adel Saoud, Google employees are already receiving test builds of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Nexus S. The purpose of updating Google employee’s devices before consumer’s is so that developers can help iron out any kinks before the update goes live. The Google+ posts revealing this information doesn’t give away any details on the update, just that it’s not ready for prime time.

If previous updates are any indication of how this one will roll out, it shouldn’t be long before anyone still holding onto a Nexus S gets brought up to speed. I’ll still be using my Nexus S for quite some time to come, so once the update is live, we’ll be sure to bring you plenty of in-depth coverage on what Android 4.0 brings to the device.

Source: Android Police

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • stenzor

    brb, applying for a job at Google

    • charliethesuperturtle

      As do I.

      • iamXiV92a

        Make it three :)

        • goncalossilva

          I’ll settle with you guys sending me your old phones when a new one arrives. I bet that 4 old phones on ebay = 1 brand new phone!

    • Sean the Electrofreak

      My friend works for Google in Mountain View. Every now and then we hop onto a Hangout session where he shows me all the stuff Google lets him play with (tablets, phones, etc) but then he’s not allowed to show or tell me about anything unless it’s open sourced.

      I hate the lucky bastard! :p

    • Droidey

      make it four :)

  • frankwhite44

    OMG!!!!! I can’t wait!

  • pixelswim

    In time my dear Nexus S… in time.

  • roamdeus

    I can’t wait I want my update now …..
    I wana try ics on my nexus s before I have galnex in my hands and wana buy it Google ur killing me here

    • jathak

      With the Galaxy Nexus, it’s Verizon holding it up. Google has an exclusivity deal with Verizon, so Google can’t release it on any other carriers until Verizon releases it.

  • Instrumentals


  • BigCiX

    Why is it so hard to release to every compatible android device

    • Homncruse

      Because it’s not Google’s responsibility to update phones they didn’t release?

      Even in a perfect world where every manufacturer updated every phone every time in a timely manner, the releases would be staggered and some dropped because the hardware is different in each phone model – this means different drivers, different kernels, etc.

      There’s a reason you can’t flash your Nexus S ROM to your Nexus One or any other – the software is *not* identical – close, yes, but the lowest level of software varies from phone to phone, each one introducing possible “gotchas” that need a) discovery, b) testing to reproduce, c) code fix, d) testing of the code fix, e) testing to see if the code fix introduced other problems (“regressions”)… it’s a long cycle. And there’s a lot of phones.

  • jsweetser2

    The Nexus S is a decent phone, i’m not sure it can handle ICS smoothly though. If i had a Nexus S i’d probably stick with 3.xx for the same reason I don’t buy games that my computer CAN run, but would be slow and choppy. I’d rather wait to get a phone that can handle the elegance then trudge through the OS with limited capacity.

    Hence, upgrading to a Gnex as soon as it’s available for my carrier.

    • Dustin Earley

      I rooted and tried an early alpha. Not everything was working, but it was super smooth. I went back to stock because of errors, but there’s good reason to believe it will run great on the Nexus S.

    • timmytae

      Sounds like you are ready to make the switch to the iPhone 4 any day.

    • 94wolfpack

      I am not SURE the NS can handle it smoothly either… but the rom is supposed to have speed improvements, allow for HW acceleration and they have said that most phones running Gingerbread should be able to handle the update.

      Seems like there is a pretty good chance that it will work ok. As a NS owner I sure hope so, cause it will be another year before I can upgrade :(

      • buttocks maven

        CyanogenMod 9 alpha 11 ICS has been running very smoothly on my Nexus S. So much so that I am never going back to Gingerbread again!! Some very minor bugs but I am using it as my “daily driver” without issues.

        I am confident that the official OTA version from Google will run flawlessly :)

    • redraider133

      Too bad android 3.x.x is for tablets only… My fascinate handles ics fine the nexus s can handle it easily…

  • Greg

    I’ve been using CM9 (alpha 11) on my Nexus S and while it has some quirks with some apps it works really well. The new browser is the only one I use now (previously dolphin hd). The music player work well, being able to pull down the notification and skip tracks while in another app is something I’always wanted and it works great. There is a little lag here and there but its generally great.

    There is just so much good about ICS on Nexus S it makes the phone a real pleasure to use (gingerbread was good but ICS is just so much more refined and good to look at)


    wasnt it over a month after the the NS arrived that the N1 received gingerbread? Im sure it will be the same here. part of verizons exclusivity may be ice cream as well

    • Nathan

      That would be BS if it is just saying.

    • 94wolfpack

      If VZ doesn’t have an exclusive on ICS remember this phone has already been released else where so maybe it will only be a short while longer…. one can hope.

  • Dan13

    I bet there isn’t a better place to work at than Google. Especially right now. I gotta get in SOMEHOW!

  • Eduardo Mauricio Aliaga

    Ohhhhhh yeah way excited i have been running a rom but still cant wait

  • Tom

    I can confirm this. I interviewed at Google earlier this week and one of the employees had a Nexus S with ICS on it.

  • triangle

    This gives me hope that at least Samsung phones with hummingbird processors could get ICS though it may not be through official channels.

  • Donnieace

    I want it NOW!!!!

  • Ciela

    Now if only they would change their mind on an N1 update, so it could readily be ported to my Desire :(

    • Chrislewissd

      Thats what cm9 is for ;)

  • dandroid4g

    Wonder how ICS will looke with sense? Hope it doesnt cripple it too much :(

  • Luke Haviland

    This is amazing. the fascinate is barely getting gingerbread but google is still pushing updates for the nexus S. I jumped ship while waiting for the fascinate to get froyo. This only furthers my need for a Nexus device.
    …………….waiting impatiently

  • dacatalyst41

    Why do I feel like Verizon is sitting in a room laughing at me? Everyone has ICS but us!….including Apple co-founders. Well, my quest for ICS will not end until Verizon releases my Galaxy Nexus and causes me to lose countless hours of sleep and fun time with my friends!

  • spintrex

    Another plus in working with Google wonder what would happen if one of the employees loses one of their devices, do they have a Google Secret Service to hunt down the device? …………NAH

  • Rob

    When is the release date on the ics for nexus s im still waiting they say it we should get the update note before 2012 they say we should get in dec 2011 before xmas ill believe it wen i see it

  • dabious

    I saw a video with a Nexus S running ICS and it looked so smooth. I can not wait.

  • mrbill187

    Verizon needs to die and i hope they burn in hell!

  • cherrytree

    Hopefully it will be released soon! Its similar to my beloved SGS. So the devs have some new sources for cm9!

  • orangestrat

    I’m surprised they haven’t already been dogfooding it…

  • andrew9bernard

    There are soooo many perks to working at Google!!! Wish I was there!

  • tkitty93

    ICS on Galaxy S2 will kick some asses. I think it will be faster than nexus galaxy :-”

  • cwjones4

    slightly off topic, but does anyone know when cyanogen mod 9 is supposed to be released? sometime January is all i have heard

    • roody-poo

      cm9a11 + franco’s latest kernel + latest gapps runs really well. i will be using it until google starts pushing an official build to our phones ^_^;;

  • Costanza

    Can’t wait for ICS on my Nexus S bevause I’m saving money for the Transformer Prime.

  • rishabhbhatia36

    Applying at google right now :)

  • frusak

    Its good to now but I think CyanogenMod 9 will beat them !

  • frusak

    Its good to now but I think CyanogenMod 9 will beat them. The Alpha 11 build runs really smooth

  • fede77m

    I’m trying ICS port i9000 beta from xda and it’s so nice. Have a little lag but it is a beta 2. It is incredible. Let see if cyanogenmod 9 rules!

  • ccn_cristi

    Very nice! That’s why it’s worth investing in a Nexus phone :) First one to receive an update.

  • nault89

    Rocking the CM9 alpha 11 and it’s great!

  • damambt

    Hopefully, this build will leak out. It would be a nice “treat”.

  • ndub21

    I could save some $$$ and get the Nexus S instead of the Galaxy Nexus… Nah!

  • pdowling

    I want to work for google just for this

  • ddmart

    The amount of perks Google employees have must be endless! I wish I worked at Google :[

  • wontsttle4less


  • wontsttle4less

    google rocks

  • cxandroid

    Hope we get a system dump of this soon, might help with the other galaxy s family roms being developed.

  • Codz

    It will accent the awesome galaxy S family

  • goodevilgenius

    Yet another reason I wish I worked for Google.

  • spoon201

    For all the people saying the the Nexus S is to slow try an alpha before you spout nonsense. I have been using an alpha for a while, besides the rare glitch works fine.

  • carlosestremera

    Wake me up when cyanogenmod w ics is available for my G2…

  • seven2k

    Google employee please let xda copy your room :)

  • yohimbe

    Why does it take so long to get updates out?! It took 11 months for a gingerbread update and now ics is out and they are taking about maybe 2nd quarter for new phones?

  • TinTin

    I want my DX to get ICS! If it can handle GB it can handle ICS. as stated by Google.

  • Stefan75

    I should of got one of those.

  • ILoveComputers

    I’m Impatient. I wanted to put A Galaxy Nexus on my wishlist, but who knows if it will even be out on time. Come on, hurry up.

  • mingchan06

    Ahh i cant wait! Cmon cmon google

  • mclarensr

    I have a Nexus One so no ICS for me. Still waiting, patiently, for official Galaxy Nexus GSM announcement.

  • dave19137

    I love this phone.

  • sylar

    Man do I hope the Samsung Attain gets Ice cream.

  • txbluesman

    Can’t wait for it to make it out to the general public.

  • SCJaredJ

    Really interested to see a good review of the NS running ICS. Might be worth poking around on craigslist to pick one up cheap while waiting for the GN to release.

  • Oskar Wismierski

    Hate the wait for ICS.. bring it to galaxy s II!

  • Aaron Kemp

    Looking forward to a official ICS release for Nexus S, I have a ROM running now but a stable version of this beautiful OS is going to make me a very happy man.

  • Jason Porter

    Considering how intense Google normally is about employees dogfooding the new pre-release products, I’m really surprised that most Googlers haven’t been using ICS already.

  • mrmrchris

    It’s unlikely, but if Google ever need a tech-savvy nurse, I’m there. So many perks to working for them!

  • jimmy_bones

    wow, my brothers going to be sooooooo happy



  • Tom Murphy