Google has announced the launch of the latest version of Android: Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, in Hong Kong on Wednesday - and with it the shiny new Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
That’s all very well and good, but when is it coming to your Android smartphone? Will the smartphone in your hands be getting an upgrade to enjoy some of the new features such as Face Unlock and the new Roboto font?
Google on Ice Cream Sandwich
Hugo Barra, product management director of Android, has said that the aim is to get Nexus S running Android 4.0 shortly after the release of the Galaxy Nexus device but that the original Google-branded Nexus One is just too old to come to the party.
Samsung on Ice Cream Sandwich
Samsung Italy has confirmed that the update is coming - but possibly not until Q2 2012. Ice Cream Sandwich will hit its high-end devices including the Galaxy S II, the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus at about the same time.
Samsung Norway has recently confirmed that the update for the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note will be arriving by the end of Q1, so we make that March.
UPDATE: The Samsung Galaxy S won't be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update
UPDATE 2: The Nexus S did get the Android 4.0 update, however shortly afterwards Google halted the rollout of the Android 4.0 update for the Nexus S as users started to report problems with the mobile phone's battery.
UPDATE 3: Samsung Israel has revealed that Ice Cream Sandwich updates will begin next week on 15 March. Speaking via its Facebook page, it said: "We promised that we are working about that. You have waited patiently. And it's coming in March 15: Android version 4, ICS, for tens of thousands of the Galaxy S2 owners that purchased it from the cellular company in Israel or directly from us. We are very excited in here towards the launch, hope that you too :)"
UPDATE 4: Samsung issued the following statement on its official blog: "The upgrade will begin in European countries including Poland, Hungary, Sweden, as well as Korea today and gradually roll out to other markets. Android 4.0 ICS software upgrade for Galaxy Note, Galaxy SII LTE, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 will follow soon."
UPDATE 5: In a specific statement to Pocket-lint Samsung has said: “Samsung UK can confirm that the roll out of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) on Galaxy S II will be available from week commencing 19 March. However, the availability of software upgrades in the UK will be dependent upon each network’s own software approvals process.”
UPDATE 6: The ICS update for the Samsung Galaxy S II has now started in the UK. Three customers should have it on their phone by now, Orange has issued the following statement:
"We know you're all looking forward to the ICS update. We can confirm that it is being worked on for the Galaxy SII but we don't have a release date at the moment. We will tweet when we have more information or when we get information on other handset updates. ^Andy"
UPDATE 7: We've created a separate story detailing the Samsung Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich Update.
UPDATE 8: Reports came out on from the US and Germany on 10 May that Samsung Galaxy Notes were being updated to Android 4.0, but there's still no sign of Ice Cream Sandwich for the massive device in the UK.
UPDATE 9: Finally we're happy to say that we have successfully updated our Samsung Galaxy Note to Ice Cream Sandwich, meaning you should be able to too.
UPDATE 10 (20/06/12): Insiders are stating that Samsung will finally start with the Android 4.0 updates for the Galaxy Tab 7.7 – 8.9 – 10.1 in July and August. The 4.0 update will improve battery and speed amongst other things. The next tablets will receive an Android 4.0 update include:
GT-P6210 Galaxy Tab Plus 7.0 WIFI
GT-P6200 Galaxy Tab Plus 7.0 WIFI + 3G
GT-P6810 Galaxy Tab 7.7 WIFI
GT-P6800 Galaxy Tab 7.7 WIFI + 3G
GT-P7310 Galaxy Tab 8.9 WIFI
GT-P7300 Galaxy Tab 8.9 WIFI + 3G
GT-P7510 Galaxy Tab 10.1 WIFI
GT-P7500 Galaxy Tab 10.1 WIFI + 3G
UPDATE 11 (02/08/12): The update for Galaxy Tab devices has started to roll out, with the 10.1 ICS firmware now available both over-the-air and via Kies. Both the 3G and Wi-Fi only versions of the tablets can be updated.
The rest of the Galaxy Tab family will be updated imminently.
HTC on Ice Cream Sandwich
The official line from HTC to Pocket-lint is: "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."
UPDATE: HTC has confirmed the following: "HTC has been working hard to get its Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades ready, and we’re excited to announce that our first round of ICS upgrades will roll out by the end of March for the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE, followed soon thereafter by the HTC Sensation XL."
There is also hope for HTC EVO 3D, HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Desire HD owners, with the company confirming that although they won't be getting the ICS update in March, they will be getting the update at some point in 2012.
"In addition, we can confirm Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades will be coming later this year to the HTC EVO 3D, HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Desire HD. Stay tuned for more updates on Ice Cream Sandwich releases in the coming weeks," adds HTC.
UPDATE 2: HTC has started its European trial of the HTC Sensation XE Ice Cream Sandwich update to a limited number of users before a wider rollout becomes available. Read our HTC Sensation XE Ice Cream Sandwich pictures and hands-on.
UPDATE 3: The roll-out to Sensation and Sensation XE handsets has now begun, with many owners getting the upgrade over the next two weeks (from 14 March). HTC has also revealed that another UK handset to get the upgrade will be the HTC Ryhme.
UPDATE 4: We are getting early reports that the HTC Sensation XE update has hit the UK.
UPDATE 5: A time scale for the HTC smartphones that are still to be updated has now been revealed. It reveals that the HTC Desire S will get it between June and July; HTC Desire HD, July to August; HTC EVO 3D, June - July; HTC Incredible S, June - July; and the HTC Sensation XL, before the end of June.
The company has also admitted that all devices with a 512MB ROM will not be getting the update at all, including the "HTC ChaCha, HTC Salsa, HTC Wildfire S, HTC Explorer, and others". HTC tablets will also remain on their current Android version (Honeycomb).
UPDATE 6: Despite initially saying it would be rolled out, reports are claiming that there will no longer be any ICS update for the HTC Desire HD on account of "poor device performance during testing.”
UPDATE 7: It's now official; there will be no ICS upgrade for the Desire HD. "After extensive testing, we’ve determined that the current version of HTC Sense with Android provides customers with the best experience on the HTC Desire HD," HTC posts on its own website.
"When we consider new versions of software, we weigh a number of factors, but ultimately the customer experience on the product is the deciding factor. We apologise for any confusion this change may have caused our customers."
Sony Ericsson / Sony on Ice Cream Sandwich
The official line from Sony Ericsson to Pocket-lint is: "Sony Ericsson is currently rolling out the upgrade to Gingerbread 2.3.4 across its entire 2011 Xperia smartphone portfolio. This software upgrade will be available through a phased roll out in select markets. Beyond Gingerbread 2.3.4, we plan to upgrade our 2011 Xperia smartphone portfolio to the next Android platform made available to us.
"Official Sony Ericsson communication regarding software upgrades will be published on http://blogs.sonyericsson.com."
UPDATE: Sony Ericsson has confirmed on 15 November 2011 that it will be bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to it's 2011 range.
"There have been a few questions here on the blog and in our support forums regarding our upgrade plans beyond Gingerbread. We can today confirm that we plan to upgrade the entire 2011 Xperia portfolio to the next version of Android known as Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich," it said.
"We are working on merging our current Xperia experience with the new features in Android 4.0. More detailed information regarding this upgrade, timing and global availability will be communicated in due course here on the blog."
The 2011 Xperia Portfolio is the Xperia arc and arc S, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo and neo V, Xperia mini and mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active, Xperia ray as well as Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman.
UPDATE 2: Pocket-lint has heard that the Sony Ericsson / Sony range will be getting the update in Q2. So that's basically between April and June (inclusive).
UPDATE 3: Sony has detailed the updates a little more, but still not nailed a date, other than to confirm that the roll-out for the Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Ray will be first in line, starting in mid-April.
Following this, the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will get their update around the end of May/beginning of June.
There is still no word on the update to Sony's newest phone, the Xperia S.
Sony has added that the updates will be via cable only, i.e., you'll have to plug your phone into your computer, rather than it being an OTA update.
UPDATE 4: Sony Ericsson has issued the following on its blog on the 13 April:
"Starting from today (13th April), we’re beginning the Sony software upgrade including the uplift to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for our 2011 Xperia smartphones.
"The software will initially be made available for Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray for consumers in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Finland and Norway.
"Following on, Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will receive their scoop starting from the end of May/early June."
No word on a UK or US release date for the update.
UPDATE 5: Although Sony officially said that its Xperia S handset should start getting Ice Cream Sandwich updates from late May, early June, it has been attributed to an over zealous employee. Unfortunately, its update won't be arriving until the latter part of Q2 - end of June at the earliest.
UPDATE 5: Sony Ericsson announced through its blog on 25 May that the Xperia arc, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman would all be receiving an update to Ice Cream Sandwich from the first week of June.
However, the Sony Xperia PLAY will not receive an update as Sony has "concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich."
UPDATE 6: Users of the Sony Tablet S began tweeting on 31 May saying that they were now able to upgrade their tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich.
UPDATE 7: Sony Xperia S users will now begin receiving an over-the-air update to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. The update will enable users to resize widgets, control data consumption, access recently purchased apps via a virtual 'recent apps' button and add personal information to the lock screen. Users will also be able to fire up the camera directly from the phone being locked.
UPDATE 8: Three has become the first operator to make Ice Cream Sandwich available on the Sony Xperia S. However, there will be no push notification alerting customers. Instead customers will have to actively download the update via PC Companion.
UPDATE 9: Sony has begun rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich to its Xperia P devices. The manufacturer has said that the rollout will be gradual, but that users will be alerted on their phone when they can update.
Sony also said that the next ICS update would be made available to Xperia U, Xperia sola and Xperia go handsets.
UPDATE 10: Unfortunately O2 has said that the Sony Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo all failed to meet the necessary standards for an Ice Cream Sandwich update. The three handsets - at least those that are on the O2 network - will have to make do with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.
UPDATE 11: Signs of network disparity as Vodafone confirms to Pocket-lint that updates for the Sony Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc and Xperia are all expected to go ahead as planned. This is despite O2 ruling out a similar move for the handsets on its network.
UPDATE 12: An update for the Sony Xperia Sola is now available that introduces "Glove Mode." This enables users to navigate via the touchscreen while wearing gloves. Very useful with the winter months ahead.
Asus on Ice Cream Sandwich
"Asus Eee Pad Transformer will be getting update to ICS - but we can’t provide a schedule at this stage," Asus told Pocket-lint, making it the first Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Asus has subsequently confirmed that Ice Cream Sandwich will be rolled out to the Eee Pad Transformer following the update to the Eee Pad Transformer Prime on 12 January 2012.
UPDATE: The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Asus Transformer is now out. On Asus's Facebook page the company says: "Many of our Eee Pad Transformer TF101 users have waited patiently for the promised Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and we are delighted to announce that the first wave of FOTA updates for TF101 firmware v.188.8.131.52 started today in Taiwan. The update will FOTA in other regions soon after."
LG on Ice Cream Sandwich
The official statement to Pocket-lint from LG is: "LG is committed to offering the best smartphone experience on our Android Optimus phones. We are currently reviewing the latest Android OS release and will be making a decision with our carrier partners on a rollout schedule. Specific phone models and timing of updates will be posted on relevant local websites or at www.lg.com."
Although Unofficial reports came in that LG would not be updating the LG Optimus 2X to Ice Cream Sandwich the company was keen to debunk these on Facebook, stating: "LG firmly denies the rumours that claim LG will not be providing the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS update for the LG Optimus 2X. These rumours are NOT true.
"LG is currently in the process of planning the ICS OS update for the LG Optimus 2X as well as other LG high-end smartphones. Detailed information on the ICS OS update schedule for specific models will be announced, once the ICS OS is publicly released by Google. Please stay tuned for more updates from LG."
UPDATE: According to LG's Facebook page, LG will begin rolling out the ICS Android 4.0 update between April and September 2012.
"LG will be offering the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS upgrade for a range of LG smartphones which were introduced this year," LG said via Facebook. "The global upgrade schedule will begin in the second and third quarters of 2012, which will be followed by a global roll out.
"During the second quarter of 2012 upgrades will begin for the following smartphone models: the LG Optimus LTE, Prada phone by LG 3.0, the LG Optimus 2X, the LG Optimus Sol, the LG my Touch Q and the LG Eclipse.
However owners of phones such as the Optimus Black and the Optimus 3D will have to wait until some time after July for the ICS update:
"These upgrades will be followed by upgrades for the following smartphone models during the third quarter of 2012: the LG Optimus 3D, the LG Optimus Black, the LG Optimus Big, the LG Optimus Q2 and the LG Optimus EX," the company said.
UPDATE 30 July: LG Canada has said via Twitter that the LG Optimus 2X will not be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update as previously promised.
"The Optimus 2X will not be receiving the ICS upgrade. The original upgrade announcement was a general statement issued from HQ," the company says.
Motorola on Ice Cream Sandwich
Having introduced the new Android superphone to assembled European journalists, Alain Mutricy, senior vice-president portfolio and product management, candidly referred to Google's Hong Kong announcement in which Ice Cream Sandwich was launched.
Mutricy highlighted that although the Motorola RAZR had been designed for, and will be launching on, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the company has a plan in place to update the phone to Ice Cream Sandwich at the "start of 2012".
UPDATE: The company has now confirmed that the Motorola RAZR and Xoom among the Droid Bionic and US version of the RAZR will be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update.
UPDATE 2: Motorola has now said for UK readers, the first Motorola devices to get Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi-only, the Xoom Family Edition and the Motorola RAZR. Rollouts will begin sometime between March and May.
Then the wait begins.
For Motorola Xoom 2 customers, you'll have to wait until the summer to get your update. Motorola is saying the update is in development and that it is working to get it out for some time in Q3. That's June to August, for those who care.
After that it's anyone's guess of when or if you'll get the update. Devices in that pile for UK readers include the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi and 3G model, The Motorola Atrix and even the newly announced MotoLuxe and Motorola Pro+.
Motorola has also confirmed that if you own a Defy Mini, a Defy+, Milestone 2, Milestone, Defy MB525, Charm, Flipout, Milestone XT720, Backflip or Dext you won't be getting any updates. The version of Android you currently have is the version you are stuck with.
UPDATE 3: All Motorola Droid Razr and Droid Razr Maxx users should have received the ICS update automatically. If not, go to the About Phone: System Updates in the Phone Settings and you should see the update available to download from there.
Viewsonic on Ice Cream Sandwich
The official line from from Derek Wright, ViewSonic European marketing manage,r to Pocket-lint is: "Within ViewSonic we are committed to delivering a great out of box experience with our tablet and phone products.
"The V350, 7e, 10e are our latest products to be announced as value propositions, all featuring Viewscene 3D the visual aspect of Android does not alter so much for the different versions of Android. We are currently evaluating ICS features that overlap with Viewscene 3D and how we best continue to deliver this to consumers as soon as we can without compromising the experience to consumers,"
ZTE, Acer, Dell, Huawei, and the rest on Ice Cream Sandwich
So far none of the companies has confirmed whether or not they will be bring Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) to their smartphones currently available on the market.
UPDATE 1: Vodafone has announced that an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Huawei Ascend G 300 is now available to customers.
Interested in Jelly Bean instead? Check out our Android 4.1 Jelly Bean: When is it coming to my phone? feature.