Andy Rubin, HTC talk Ice Cream Sandwich updatesAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
So Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus are finally here. Pretty exciting, right? If you can't/won't be upgrading to the spiffy new Nexus from whatever Android phone you currently be rocking, though, you're probably wondering just when you might be getting a taste of Android 4.0. During an interview at the AsiaD conference, Google's own Andy Rubin said that he expects ICS to begin rolling out to existing devices "a couple of weeks after" the Galaxy Nexus arrives. The new Nexus will be launching sometime in November, so it sounds like other products should begin seeing ICS by the middle of December, just in time for the holidays. Rubin didn't say precisely which Android products would be the first, but the Nexus S is likely pretty high up on the list.
Andy Rubin isn't the only one talking Ice Cream Sandwich updates, as manufacturer HTC has issued a statement on Google's latest tasty treat. HTC doesn't have any concrete details to offer concerning an ICS rollout, but it did promise that it's reviewing the new OS and although its "goal is to upgrade as many of [its] recent devices as possible," how a phone performs is more important to HTC than forcing an ICS update that might hinder a device's usability. HTC's full statement is below.
It's good to hear Google planning to begin rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich mere weeks after the Galaxy Nexus makes its retail debut. Of course, not everyone will see an update right then, as precisely which type of device you have will help to determine how soon you'll get a shot at Android 4.0. Manufacturers that use custom UIs not only need to examine ICS but also take the time to get their special skin on top of the new OS and figure out which devices should/can be updated. The good news is that Google's own Matias Duarte has said that ICS "theoretically should work for any 2.3 device," so all of you currently on Gingerbread at least have a chance at being bumped to Android 4.0.
"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."