Ice Cream Sandwich Stories December 8, 2015

android-versions

Google has released the latest distribution numbers for the various shipping versions of Android, with the latest version, Marshmallow, picking up a marginal increase.

Last month’s numbers showed Android 6.0 running on only 0.3% of devices, while this month’s chart puts it at 0.5%, making it the least-used version of Android except for Froyo.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 3, 2014

Android Distribution November 2014

The latest Android distribution numbers for a seven-day period ending November 3rd reveal that KitKat is installed on 30.2% of devices that accessed the Play Store during the last week. Meanwhile, the distribution of the over two-year-old Jelly Bean version continued to decline, but remains the leading platform, with a 50.1% share. expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories August 12, 2014

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Like it always does during the first half of a new month, Google this evening updated its Android Distribution data to reflect a 7 day period ending on August 12th. The data shows the most recent version of Android, KitKat, reach an all-time usage high at 20.9 percent, up from 17.9 percent this time last month. Jelly Bean continued its steady decline, falling from 56.5 percent to 54.2 percent.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories July 7, 2014

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Like it does at the beginning of every month, Google this afternoon updated its Android distribution numbers to reflect a 7 day period ending today, July 7th. The most recent version of Android, 4.4 KitKat, saw a modest increase from 13.6 percent to 17.9 percent. Jelly Bean, for the first time ever, saw a decline as a whole in usage by 1.9 percent.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories April 1, 2014

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As it does at the beginning of every month, Google has just updated the Android Distribution data to reflect data collected during a 7-day period ending on April 1, 2014. Notable this time around is that Android 4.4 KitKat usage more than doubled, rising from 2.5 percent last month to 5.3 percent. Of course, that’s still a very small percentage of the total user base, but growing by double in a month signals that KitKat updates are finally starting to make their way to the masses. 

With the rise in KitKat usage came a slight decline in Jelly Bean numbers from an even 62 percent to 61.4 percent . Ice Cream Sandwich declined to 14.3 percent from 15.2 percent last month, while Gingerbread continued to slow demise, going from 19 percent to 17.8 percent.

With this new data, 81 percent of all devices are now running a version of Android 4.0 or greater. This seems respectable, but it’s important to note that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was originally unveiled all the way back in 2011. So it’s apparent that Google can still do even more to improve the Android update progress. But things are improving and that’s what matters.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories February 4, 2014

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Google has just updated its Android Distribution numbers to reflect data during a one-week period ending on February 4th. This data is collected by recording what version of Android every device that accesses Google Play is running. Most notably, Jelly Bean has surpassed the 60 percent milestone, going from 59.1 percent to 60.7 percent. KitKat saw very minor growth, increasing from 1.4 percent to 1.8 percent.

No other version of Android saw an increase this time around, with Ice Cream Sandwich falling from 16.9 percent to 16.1 percent and Gingerbread dropping from 20 percent from 21.2 percent.

Also noteworthy is the fact that 80 percent of all Android devices are rocking Android 4.0 or higher, meaning that most have the latest design interface and features from Google.

Google has had problems in the past rolling out updates in a prompt manner to devices, but things have definitely improved over the last year or so. It is, however, disappointing to see the latest version, KitKat, only running on 1.8 percent of devices.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories July 8, 2013

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As it does every month, Google has just updated the Android distribution data to reflect the month of July. Jelly Bean is now running on 37.9 percent of devices, with 32.3 percent of those running Android 4.1.x. That’s up from 33 percent this time last month. Gingerbread fell from 36.5 percent to 34.1 percent, which makes Jelly Bean the most used Android operating system. Ice Cream Sandwich is now at 23.3 percent, down from 25.6 percent last month.

Froyo is now at 3.1 percent (was at 3.2 percent), Eclair has fallen to 1.4 percent (was at 1.5 percent), Honeycomb and Donut are both now at just 0.1 percent.

Google collects this data during the first week of each month by logging the devices that access the Play Store. It use to be that the data was collected when the device simply checked-in to Google servers. expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories May 2, 2013

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Jelly Bean (Android 4.1 on) has overtaken Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) for the first time, with 28.4 percent of active Android devices now using it against 27.5 percent for ICS … expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories August 13, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi gets official ICS update in US

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi just received an update to Android 4.0.4 in the United States.

According to SamMobile:

  • Some details about this firmware
  • This firmware is specially for USA (Android 4.0.4)
  • Build date August
  • Changelist: 818980
  • PDA: P7510UELPL
  • CSC: p7510XABLPL

Many U.S.-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi owners allegedly woke up to Ice Cream Sandwich this morning, as seen in AndroidCentral’s Forums (below). Rumors circulated heavily that the tablet would get the push sometime this summer, and it now seems like those reports are panning out. Some users have noted the flavor is missing for them, however, so the rollout appears to be gradual.

The update is available via Samsung KIES or OTA.

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories July 10, 2012

AT&T made things official this morning for Samsung Galaxy Note users by announcing the availability of an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and Premium Suite from Samsung. While most of us know what to expect with ICS, the Premium Suite will give you access to a number of apps and new features including: the S Note app, which is a widget for quick access to S Memo features, and an app for creating customized notes and greeting cards with S Pen called “My Story”. AT&T also confirmed ICS for the Galaxy S II Skyrocket.

The update is a little hairier than most with the requirement that you connect your device to your Mac or PC and the Kies application. From there, you are hard resetting your device and will lose stuff like Bluetooth devices, Music playlists and apps folders.

The update is available now from Samsung, while a description of the new S Pen capabilities thanks to S Note is below in the full press release:

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories April 17, 2012

Google announced on the Google Chrome Blog today an updated version of the “Chrome for Android Beta” app that includes support for 31 additional languages and a few new features highly requested by users. The beta is now available to users in all countries with access to Google Play.

Among the new features is the ability to view the desktop version of a website, add bookmarks to your home screen as shortcuts, select default apps for opening links, and use Chrome with the system proxy for Wi-Fi.

As always, “Chrome for Android Beta” is available free through the Google Play store for Android 4.0 devices. Google also released a change log of fixes, changes, and known issues:

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories April 2, 2012

The latest marketshare-ish numbers are in for Android and it seems that people continue to update their phones…to Gingerbread. Almost two-thirds of all Android phones hitting the market in the last two weeks are running Android 2.3.x with a significant share—23.1-percent still on Android 2.2 Froyo. Honeycomb, the Tablet-only fix OS, is at around 3.3-percent, while Ice Cream Sandwich is on a scant 2.9-percent of devices including Galaxy Nexus, Acer Transformer Prime, and newly updated HTC Vivid (along with some custom builds and some unlocked manufacturer phones).

The distribution over time (below) is showing the long haul ICS has ahead of it (and do not forget we are likely going to hear about Jelly Bean at Google I/O in June).

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories March 28, 2012

Google just pushed out an update to the “Maps for Android” app that brings new high-resolution map tiles for pixel dense displays, a new look for Navigation on Android 4.0, and the ability to set a preferred mode of transit for directions.

New high-res map on the right, previous map on the left

In addition to a redesigned home screen for the Navigation feature of the app on Android 4.0 devices, the new higher resolution map tiles provide “a crisper, less cluttered map that is easier to read.” Google noted this would allow you to take full advantage of the pixel density of displays on devices like the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S II, and Droid Razr.

The high-res tiles will appear when visiting new locations on the map, but you will have to clear the cache in Map settings for previously visited locations. Google explained the benefits:

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories February 16, 2012

Your favorite custom keyboard for Android, Swype Beta, just updated with Ice Cream Sandwich compatibility (via Android Central). Sadly, this update still does not make Swype available on the Android Market, but you can download it from the Swype website. For those of you unfamiliar: Swype is a custom keyboard preloaded on a few phones that lets you drag a finger across the keyboard to type. It is very intuitive and definitely worth a try.

Besides seeing ICS compatibility, Swype Beta also saw an upgrade for improved word accuracy, new downloadable languages, and add-ons with DragonGo.

You can download the new Swype Beta from Swype’s website.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories February 15, 2012

Attention Nexus S 4G users: The moment you have been waiting for is finally hitting tomorrow. Android Police reported that the Nexus S 4G would receive the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update tomorrow, according to a screenshot of Sprint’s internal systems (seen after the break). The over-the-air update should hit any time now, so get ready. Let’s hope nothing goes wrong in the process.

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Handset maker Motorola Mobility, about to be acquired by Google for $12.5 billion, published today a list of devices eligible for an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade (it previously explained why device updates are taking so long). The Xoom Family Edition tablet will get ICS in the second quarter. Unfortunately, owners of other devices will have to wait even longer, particularly the Photon 4G, Atrix 2, Atrix 4G and the non-Verizon Xyboard 8.2 and 10.1 that are slated to get ICS upgrades in the third quarter. Worse, many Verizon devices lack windows, including The Razr, Razr Maxx, Droid 4, Droid 3 and Droid Bionic.

This suggests Verizon certification is pushing back the planned ICS roll out for some of Motorola’s high-end phones sold in the United States. International version of the Razr is due for an ICS upgrade during the second quarter of this year. The company re-iterated that “Our engineers and designers are combing through the code and preparing it for you.”

 

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories February 10, 2012

With no information regarding sources, Eldar Murtazin took to Twitter to claim Ice Cream Sandwich will roll out to Samsung’s Galaxy S II on March 1. While he has made many predictions lately, it is not clear exactly how accurate he is. Time will only tell. At any rate, ICS should hit the Galaxy S II relatively soon. He also said ICS will roll out for the Galaxy Note and other Samsung devices from March to May, depending on model and carrier. We shall see!

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories February 9, 2012

Following its November promise, Taiwanese handset maker HTC today detailed through its Facebook page the devices that will get Ice Cream Sandwich in March. The first round of upgrades will roll out by the end of March for the Sensation, Sensation 4G, and Sensation XE. The Sensation XL will upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich “soon thereafter,” the company noted. Additionally, other devices will get Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades “later this year,” including the Rezound, Vivid, Amaze 4G, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Desire S, and Desire HD.

After posting a 26 percent profit drop for the holiday quarter, HTC warned it will scale back its 2012 roadmap to focus on flagship devices rather than spread itself thin developing, manufacturing and marketing dozens of short-lived phones. The company will make announcements at Mobile World Congress that runs Feb. 27 to March 1 in Barcelona, Spain. The rumor-mill thinks HTC will launch the Ville and Edge handsets at the show; the latter being billed the world’s first quad-core smartphone. The device should run Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip sporting four processing cores clocked at 1.5GHz.

 

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories February 7, 2012

CyanogenMod is one of the most popular custom tweaks for Android users. The team began work on CyanogenMod 9 after Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” was announced in late October last year. Today, CyanogenMod gave us a quick update on the progress of CyanogenMod 9, and some of the problems it is running into.

The team contributes “the many internal changes that require updated graphics drivers” as one of the major issues with rolling out the new software. There is not any official devkit surrounding graphic drivers, because it is device-to-device, so it has taken a little longer than the team hoped.

Currently, CyanogenMod 9 is available for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wi-Fi and T-Mobile versions), HP Touchpad, and Motorola Xoom. Next, CyanogenMod 9 will be available for Samsung handsets (Exynos chipset), and devices based on the Qualcomm MSM8660 and 7×30 chipsets after Samsung.

With CyanogenMod 9, the team continues to emphasize that it has completely started over with the new version —for a good reason:

We hope to achieve a good balance between tweakability and a great out-of-the-box experience. I want your phone or tablet to feel like it should have come with CM9.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories February 2, 2012

Galaxy Nexus

Google updated its Android stats —as they do every two weeks— revealing how much of each version of Android is installed across devices. Yesterday’s update revealed that Android’s most recent offering, Ice Cream Sandwich, is now installed on 1 percent of devices, which is pretty meh if you ask me. Ice Cream Sandwich saw its first debut on the Galaxy Nexus, and over time, it has seen both official and unofficial installs across many other devices.

Not much else has changed from the last stats refresh. Android 2.3 Gingerbread still holds the most installs with almost 60 percent across every device, while Android 2.2 Froyo follows close behind. Let’s hope Google can deploy Android 4.0 to devices very quick, because we would not want any of you to miss out! You can see the graph below for the full breakdown.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories January 19, 2012

AnandTech does its typical thorough job of reviewing the Galaxy Nexus and, as you can see above, there is an in-depth analysis of the mobile landscape.  The conclusion was not much different from ours, however.  Spoiler:

As far as Ice Cream Sandwich is concerned, it really is Android perfected. Everything is smoother, faster and nearly all of our issues with the OS have been addressed. ICS brings Android into 2012 and gives Google a great platform to begin to introduce new features going forward. Android is now very close to UI performance parity with iOS, which eliminates a major tradeoff you had to make in the past. If you were hoping for ICS to be iOS with a Google logo on it, you’ll be sorely disappointed. However if you’re a fan of Android and just wished it were smoother and more polished, Ice Cream Sandwich is what you’ve been waiting for.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories January 18, 2012

If you are after an Ice Cream Sandwich tablet you now have exactly two options: the ASUS Transformer Prime which got the update last week, or the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi that just got ICS, according to Motorola.

Note that only the Wi-Fi version gets ICS.  The 3G/LTE versions are coming shortly —we are assuming— due to radio issues.

It is still impressive of ASUS/embarrassing for Google/MOT that ASUS beat the Android tablet reference design to ICS.  The press release is available below…

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories January 5, 2012

Acer America announced Jan. 5 that it would launch the 10.1-inch budget-friendly Iconia Tab A200, equipped with Android 3.2 Honeycomb operating system, in the United States for $329.99.

The titanium-gray A200 weighs 1.5 pounds, but the hefty tablet comes with a high-definition multitouch display at 1280-by-800 resolution. Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core mobile processor and GeForce GPU power  the device that features Acer’s Ring interface. With such a large screen, touted processing power and graphics processor, Acer is calling it an ideal gaming tablet.

“Made especially for multimedia enjoyment, the A200 packs hardware and apps for loads of fun,” said Acer in the announcing press release. “The Iconia Tab A200’s fast gaming experience is also supported by a six-axis motion sensing gyroscope, essential for high-precision gaming so actions and animations are more correctly performed.”

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories December 29, 2011

A faithful developer on the DroidForums has ported Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the Droid Bionic. The Ice Cream Sandwich port is based off Cyanogenmod 9 that was also used in the Ice Cream Sandwich port to the Kindle Fire and more. As of today all seems to be working well and dandy in this alpha, except 3G/4G data, camera, and stable USB mounting support. This might be worth checking out if you are daring, or in the mean time, you can wait for the official release by Motorola in early 2012. For those interested in installing, hit up the DroidForums for the full list of details.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories December 12, 2011

PocketNow has obtained leaked press shots for the LG Spectrum — formerly rumored the “Revolution 2” — that is on its way to Verizon Wireless. Most likely seeing a CES announcement, the LTE handset is packing a 1.2GHz processor, 720p HD display, and an HD capable camera (probably 8MP). The LG Spectrum is a successor to Verizon’s LG Revolution, and doesn’t look too much different on the outside. I guess it’s the internals that really matter. It doesn’t appear the Spectrum will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich. At any rate expect the Spectrum sometime this winter season, hopefully with some ICS love.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories December 9, 2011

Coby Electronics, the maker of cheap Android tablets and other electronics, has announced five new Android tablets that will run the new Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablet will come in five different screen variants: 7-inch MID7042 (4:3 aspect ratio), 8-inch MID8042 (4:3 aspect ratio), 9-inch MID9042 (4:3 aspect ratio), 9.7-inch MID9742 (4:3 aspect ratio), and a 10-inch MID1042 (4:3 aspect ratio). The tablets will be landing in the first quarter of 2012, after seeing a debut — presumably with a ton of other Android tablets — at CES 2012.

All five variants will pack a 1 GHz RM Cortex A8 processor and multi-touch capacitive touch screen underneath.Other specs include 1GB of RAM, expandable memory up 32 GB, Wi-Fi, and 1080P HD playback.  There’s no word on if this device will actually have the Android Market pre-loaded or what the actual price will be. We’ve posted the full press release after the break. (via AndroidCentral)

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories December 7, 2011

Following the release of Cyanogenmod 7 on the Kindle Fire, an Xda-Developers user has ported the latest and greatest Ice Cream Sandwich to the device. The port is currently a bit sketchy — missing audio, Wi-Fi, accelerometer, and light sensor — but does have a working touch panel and hardware graphics. The forum user promises a release of the code in the near future, and we can promise you this project isn’t for the feeble. You have to remember there’s no going back if you mess up. But it doesn’t hurt to look does it? Head on after the break to see the port in action.

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Google’s Eric Schmidt recently took the stage alongside Android Product Management Director, Hugo Barra, at Le Web conference in Paris to talk Ice Cream Sandwich and the future of Android. Most of the interview and demo consisted of showing off some of the new flagship features of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich like face unlock, but the Google chairman also took some time to talk competition (via Cnet). While noting that Android is now ahead of iPhone by unit volume, price points, and number of vendors, Schmidt shared his thoughts on why he thinks developers will perfer Android to iOS in the near future:

Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favored by the open approach Google is taking. There are so many manufacturers working to deliver Android phones globally. Whether you like Android or not, you will support that platform, and maybe you’ll even deliver it first.

When asked about iOS apps beating the Android versions of apps to market, he had high hopes that would change with Ice Cream Sandwich:

My prediction is that six months from now you’ll say the opposite.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories December 5, 2011

There is no shortage of cheap Android tablets from Chinese manufacturers that can be found for under $200 online, most of which are running an older version of Android and don’t have Google’s blessing (meaning no Google services and Market). MIPS Technologies and Ingenic Semiconductor announced today availability of the world’s first Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.0-powered tablet, and it just so happens to a $99 budget-friendly tab with decent specs.

The tablet will pack in a 1GHz MIPS-based ‘XBurst” CPU, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, microSD, HDMI 1.3, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0, 2-megapixel main cam, front-facing cam, and bluetooth. Ainovo, the company offering up the tablet to the Chinese market, is promising 30 hours standby and 8 hours video playback for battery.

The Novo7 will become available to the US market (likely with different branding) through other companies including OMG Electronics Ltd. and Leader International Inc. at a later date. There will also be 8 and 9-inch variants released in the future, mostly likely depending on the success of the 7-inch model. You might have to pay a little more than the US $99 price tag to get it shipped from a Chinese supplier before it lands stateside, but it will probably be your first chance to get your hands on an ICS tablet if you do.

Google’s Andy Rubin had this to say about the launch of new MIPS-based ICS tablets like the Novo7: expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 28, 2011

LG published on their official Facebook page a list of handsets that will get a firmware update with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich software. Initially, high-end LG smartphones will be eligible for upgrade to Google’s latest Android release, including the Optimus 2X, the Optimus Black, the Optimus 3D and the Optimus LTE. The company did not say when Ice Cream Sandwich will arrive for the aforementioned handsets, noting it will update customers via Facebook in December. As for their other devices:

We are also continuing to evaluate the ICS OS to determine whether it is compatible with the functionality, features and performance of other LG smartphones to make the ICS OS available on as many LG smartphones as possible.

Google’s been serious about requiring phone vendors and carrier partners to support high-end handsets with Android software updates for up to 24 months since the purchase date. Phone vendors recently began announcing lists of devices eligible for Ice Cream Sandwich, including Sony Ericsson and HTC.

Google on its part confirmed that the Nexus S will get an Ice Cream Sandwich firmware update “within weeks”, but not owners of the older Nexus One smartphone. Samsung refrained thus far from public comments, but their flagship Galaxy SII is certain to get the new software and we have no doubt in our mind that the South Korean manufacturer will soon detail an ICS upgrade path concerning their Android devices.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 23, 2011

An issue with the volume control on the Galaxy Nexus handset spontaneously going to zero plaguing some UK users have been addressed and fixed, Google said in an official statement to The Verge:

We are aware of the volume issue and have developed a fix. We will update devices as soon as possible.

This is good news for owners who feared the volume bug was actually a hardware flaw with the device whereas it was actually a software thing. Google will likely squash this bug with a next point Ice Cream Sandwich update delivered over the air. A video clip, included below, outlines the bug which manifests itself as another phone is put near a Galaxy Nexus device, causing it to cycle through the menu in bootloader mode, activated by the volume rocker.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 22, 2011

It looks like the first quad-core Tegra 3 tablet is getting one step closer to a final release with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime officially going up for pre-order on Amazon today. We knew it would be landing for $499 sometime in December, but today it’s listed at a slight discount for $492.20 for the entry-level 32GB model ($584.22 for 64GB).

Asus also today officially listed the device on their website with full specs, however we don’t learn much more than we already found out last month. Some new pieces of information– ‘SonicMaster’ audio tech brings the “most precise processing protocols and codecs, superior speaker construction and large resonance chambers”, and a power saving mode which according to SlashGear lets you switch off three of the CPU’s four cores. Asus notes their battery life estimates are measured using the powering saving mode.

We also learn there will be a bunch of preloaded apps including the SuperNote note taking app, MyCloud for cloud storage and remote access, MyNet for streaming over home networks, and My Library which stores all downloaded publications in one convenient location. There will also be the Asus launcher, Asus sync app, and TegraZone, and a full list of accessories can be found here.

The page confirms an Ice Cream Sandwich update will be coming, while Nvidia (via TheVerge) gives us our first look at Android 4.0 ICS running on the Transformer Prime in the video above. expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 20, 2011

Four days ago, Google released the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich, and it was inevitable hackers would get working on an ICS port for devices. One of the most popular Android handsets to date, the Galaxy S II, is one of the first outside of the Galaxy Nexus to receive Ice Cream Sandwich’s touch. The port is pretty stable, only missing Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and audio from the mix, but we expect bug fixes to be rolling out soon.

LG’s Optimus 3D is also among the first devices to receive the Ice Cream Sandwich port. The status of this port is unknown right now, but from the looks of it everything seems to be pretty smooth. Check it out after the break. (via Android and Me)

 

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 16, 2011

Following a lengthy interview in October where he gave us insight into the future of Android and Google’s view on iOS and Windows, Android’s head of user experience Matias Duarte sat down with The Verge to discuss his work on Android and more specifically, Ice Cream Sandwich. During the interview Duarte elaborated on his competitor’s design choices, where he says iOS looks cartoonish and explains if it were “put on a website or magazine, you’d laugh at it, it would look childish”. Host Joshua Topolsky also calls him out for saying Windows Phone looks like “bathroom signage in an airport”, to which he didn’t comment.

Matias gave a few demos using a Galaxy Nexus, including one of live video chat effects like blurs and warps that alter your face in real-time. He also explained his view on photography features calling traditional features of point and shoot cameras such as white balance “crap”, saying “if it’s not immediately obvious, it’s something the machine should be taking care of for you”.

Duarte also defended Google’s choice to create the new Roboto font for ICS, which he also recently explained in a blog post, as well as addressed the controversy of ICS’s Face Unlock feature (which was recently tricked using a photo). expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 15, 2011

Engadget has leaked the specs of a new handset from HTC called the Zeta (rendered above). The HTC Zeta is rumored to pack a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 720p 4.5-inch display, 8-megapixel rear camera (1080p HD), and 1.3-megapixel front camera. With specifications optimized for power, the HTC Zeta makes itself favorable over its previously leaked brethren the HTC Edge.

The 2.5 GHz S4 processor will be manufactured by Qualcomm, a competitor to Nvidia’s Tegra 3 that is finding its way into devices by next year. This device is sure to be a speed demon.

Engadget doesn’t say which version of Android the Zeta will run, but with the Ice Cream Sandwich source code released yesterday, we’re hoping the device will see ICS on launch day if not shortly after. HTC’s custom Sense UI will also most likely earn a spot on the Zeta. There is no word on pricing or availability, but Q1 or early Q2 of 2012 sounds about right.

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 14, 2011

This morning we told you about HTC’s plans to bring a quad-core tablet to market thanks to Nvidia’s new Tegra 3 chip. That was after we introduced you to the new Transformer Prime from Asus, which will most likely be the first Tegra 3-powered tab you can get your hands on starting in December. Now, not to be left out of the Tegra 3 tablet party, Lenovo is gearing up to launch their own quad-core tab.

According to Engadget, the company is prepping a new 10.1-inch, Android 4.0 tablet powered by Nvidia’s new chip for December. As for specs, you can expect 2GB of DDR3 RAM, USB host socket, main backside camera, and a “Special Fusion-Skin Body”. The report also mentions a fingerprint scanner on the backside of the device that can also be used as a joystick for gaming. We’ll obviously have to wait for more info before we know if this will be a true competitor to the many quad-core tabs we’re bound to see in 2012. Until then, check out a few more images below. expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 9, 2011

Curious about some of the details in why Google switched to their new Roboto type face in Ice Cream Sandwich? Matias Duarte, Android director, took to Google+ this evening to explain it in great detail. Switching from Droid type face to Roboto type face was mainly due in part to the higher pixel density screens, Matias explained. As screens get bigger, and more pixel dense, certain font schemes can lose their luster.

The other big part of the new type face was also due in part to the design strides Google is trying to make with Ice Cream Sandwich. You’ll notice in screenshots that fonts are much more crisp and tie in better with the rest of the UI.

The Android team is devoting themselves to continue working on the font, and the overall UI. We can’t wait to check it when we get our hands on the Nexus Prime in a few weeks.

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories November 1, 2011

The Galaxy Nexus could launch the week after Black Friday if a timeline leaked by Droid Life stands to be true. Our first look at Ice Cream Sandwich will reportedly launch with Samsung’s Holiday Portfolio after Black Friday, which is the busiest shopping day of the year. Samsung’s Holiday Portfolio most likely includes the Galaxy S II and various other devices.

Verizon’s holiday lineup is sure to be packed with Samsung’s offerings and Motorola’s new Droid RAZR and Motorola’s portfolio. Oh yeah, there’s the iPhone 4S too!

A flier from Carphone Warehouse confirms the Motorola Xoom 2 will be hitting the market before the holidays, Engadget found. Motorola’s next tablet, a successor to the original Xoom, will land for 400 euros with Wi-Fi and 16GB of storage packed in (presumably there’ll be a 32GB version too).

The flier touts the Xoom 2 having an 8.2-inch touchscreen, Android 3.2 (no ICS!), Wi-Fi, and tethering. There’s no word on U.S. availability, but more information will most likely come out about that soon.

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories October 25, 2011

A user on the XDAdevelopers forum has posted a somewhat stable ROM for Ice Cream Sandwich running on the Nexus S. This build shouldn’t be mistaken as complete though, seeing as it does have a number of bugs.Problems with this ROM include 3G connectivity (for some), data, NFC, panorama mode, and camera will force close with the first boot. If you’re just dying to checkout Ice Cream Sandwich this ROM is for you but shouldn’t be used day-today. Get the full details here.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories October 24, 2011

Motorola announced via their official Twitter account that they will be updating all of their Android devices to Ice Cream Sandwich, six weeks after Google releases it to OEMs. Like any new Android update users worry about how quickly it will be available on their devices. Luckily, Motorola is being pretty proactive about this one, most likely because there wont be much customization — since MotoBlur is no longer. It is unclear how other OEMs will respond with the update.

It was recently rumored that the Droid Bionic would be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich in Q1 of January 2012. We’re certainly happy that Motorola gave us an official timeframe to ease the waiting. Now its Google’s turn to get the ball rolling.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Stories October 19, 2011

The Droid RAZR was announced yesterday afternoon with a killer set of hardware. We were worried, however, when it came to software seeing as the device packed Gingerbread, and Ice Cream Sandwich was going to be announced that evening. Well Ice Cream Sandwich is now here and looking wonderful, but don’t fear though, TechCrunch is reporting that the RAZR will be seeing its Ice Cream Sandwich update in Q1 of 2012.

You can check out the RAZR in our hands-on above (it doesn’t really do it justice) and check out the Ice Cream Sandwich screenshot tour for all of the details on that. ICS + Droid RAZR = perfect match.

Image courtesy of The Verge

Following a slew of announcements from Google yesterday culminating with the unveiling of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the accompanying software development kit, Android Beam, the new People app, the panoramic camera feature and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone (among other things), The Verge has published an exclusive, lengthy interview with Android’s head of user experience Matias Duarte. It’s a highly recommended read with revealing details and interesting insider perspective on Google’s arguably the most propulsive property.

Some of the more noteworthy highlights:

Android Honeycomb, which was Duarte’s first big Google project following his departure from Palm after the company was acquired by HP, was a lot like “emergency landing”, he said.  It’s a platform which has “a flexibility designed into it that you don’t have to worry about when you’re doing a completely integrated device”. And why Google refused to open-source Honeycomb? “On Honeycomb we cheated, we cut the corner of all that smaller device support”, adding this:

Honeycomb was like: we need to get tablet support out there. We need to build not just the product, but even more than the product, the building blocks so that people stop doing silly things like taking a phone UI and stretching it out to a 10-inch tablet.

People are fed up with “two decades of windows, and cursors, and little folder icons”, he says. The search company actually visited “shadow” users at their homes and workplaces to figure out how they interacted with mobile devices. What they found out was surprising: Android lacked emotional connection with its users who deemed the operating system overly complex. So they set out to build a wonderland of sorts, improving on Android’s typography by creating in-house a clean typeface for Ice Cream Sandwich dubbed Roboto. He then took a jab at Apple, calling the iOS design “juvenile” and likening it to web pages with “cartoony things hanging off a page”.

More tidbits below the fold. expand full story

Matt Cutts has been using ICS on his Nexus S for awhile and recently used the panoramic photo feature to take these pictures.

Now that Ice Cream Sandwich (the newest version of Android) has been revealed, I can tell you that I’ve been testing ICS on my Nexus S.

One feature I love is the panorama mode. I recently did a multi-day hike in Yosemite, and here are a couple panoramic pictures I took with my Nexus S. I can’t wait for the Galaxy Nexus to come out.

I guess it goes without saying that Android 4.0 will work on older Android phones – with buttons- though it isn’t exactly clear how that will work or which phones will make the cut. expand full story

Ice Cream Sandwich Stories October 18, 2011

Before they announce it on-stage here in a few minutes, This is my next has just posted a full run-down of Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of Android. The new version features numerous UI changes, including a new color scheme called Roboto. Since the Galaxy Nexus features no hardware buttons, Google has introduced new virtual buttons to the homepage. To also compliment the homepage GOogle has introduced five screens and resizable widgets. Google is also introducing a new feature to Ice Cream Sandwich called Android Beam. Using NFC, Beam allows users to share content with other Android users.

-Ice Cream Sandwich now also features face-recognition to unlock the device. The device will recognize your face and will unlock it when it sees it.

-Ice Cream Sandwich features a new Google+ app, that also features a new People app that pulls photos from your Google+ friends and puts them in your contacts. This new feature will certainly bring a new aspect to the social network.

-To compliment the 5-megapixel camera, Google has added a new camera app to Ice Cream Sandwich that will allow you to edit photos. The keyboard now features an inline spell checker and improved copy and paste.

-Android’s internet browser now features Chrome desktop sync and offline syncing.

-Gmail now features swiping and offline mail.

-Calendar now features pinch to zoom.

-Now features data usage so you know how much data you have used for the month. It also will project data usage for you.

-New camera features.

-Google announces new People App. More to come.

This story is developing, please refresh for updates.

http://www.viddler.com/explore/engadget/videos/3389/

Engadget has posted a video of someone demoing off the Nexus Prime before its announced in roughly two hours. The video shows off the device and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) entirely, both of which are to be announced tonight.We’ll be covering the event, so just hang tight.

While it’s not exactly a flagship feature, lack of native screenshot support on Android has been an annoyance for some (especially those who don’t use select Sammy and HTC devices that build the feature in).

The guys over Android Police are reporting two binaries, “Screenshot” and “Screencap”, provide hints that screenshot functionality will be baked into Android natively. The feature is enabled by pressing “VolDn+Power” and returns the “Sreenshot saved to Gallery” prompt seen below. They note that the feature could be easily stripped out before a public release, but if not it would allow all Android users running ICS or above to snap screenshots without third-party apps, root, or carrier specific implementations. expand full story

We’re but a day away from Google’s and Samsung’s major Hong Kong event meant to serve as a launchpad for the Nexus Prime, the first handset to feature Android 4.0 nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Guardian reports that the handset is “expected to be released in the UK within the next four weeks, in time for Christmas”, without naming a source for their claim. Meanwhile, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo wrote on Twitter that the Nexus Prime will land in Japan around November, boasting about it being “among the fastest” devices on the market.

An unlocked version of the phone is already showing up at third-party resellers, priced at about $750. The features allegedly include a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor, native 720p display, eight-megapixel camera on the back with 1080p video capture, support for NFC and more.

Google pushed back the Nexus Prime launch originally scheduled for Monday last week out of respect for Steve Jobs. Coincidentally, the new October 19 date collides with a celebration of Steve Jobs’ life due tomorrow in the outdoor amphitheater of Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. Apple will even close its brick-and-mortar stores for an hour so employees can watch the ceremony.

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