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Last Updated: June 5th, 2012

No, it's not a joke, prank, or some cruel attempt to make you click things. This is for real. The first screenshots of Android Ice Cream Sandwich have been leaked to us as well as RootzWiki (who have two different screenshots featuring the launcher and app drawer we aren't showing here - so check them out). We're not going to build this up - you want the goods. Here's Ice Cream Sandwich running on a Nexus S:

wm_IMG_20110810_181710 wm_IMG_20110810_181857

What can we learn from these? Well, the big stuff is obviously all the UI changes - namely, blue: everywhere. But you can see that the notification bar has been totally revamped for the first time since Éclair.

And in the About menu, we can finally say months of "rumors" about what version of Android Ice Cream Sandwich will be have all either been clever trolls or totally unfounded speculation - because Google themselves have yet to decide what version number it is. Anyone from here on claiming to have information about a version number better be willing to furnish some screenshots, because ours clearly lacks such a number. And yes, it's very recent. We do know the build number is IRK36B.

Other Details

What else can we tell you about Ice Cream Sandwich? Our source has revealed the following:

  • Brand-new launcher and app drawer, with screenshots of both featured exclusively on RootzWiki - with what appears to be a task switcher icon on the homescreen, though it could be something else.
  • Camera now has a panorama mode (not pictured)
  • Gmail has been totally re-themed to go with the new OS (not pictured)
  • Nexus S will be receiving ICS via update, but the "Nexus Prime" will be getting it first
  • Mostly UI changes - many older devices (< 1 year old) should be able to run it

We know this isn't a lot, but hey, it's something, and it's the first time anyone's publicly released any images of Ice Cream Sandwich - which Google has kept a very closely guarded secret since its existence was formally announced. So we'll take what we can get. Also, to the skeptics: both we and RootzWiki have the utmost confidence in our source on this one, we'd call it a "rumor" if we didn't, there's no build.prop editing going on here.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • TDC

    First.
    Sorry.
    Teehee

    • http://www.hugeblackcox.com Bloody fake

      FAKE.
      FAKE.
      FAKE.
      FAKE.
      FAKE.
      FAKE.
      FAKE.
      FAKE.FAKE.FAKE.

      • aj

        Cool story dude...

        • ObsceneJesster

          How was that even a story? If your going to use a outdated saying from 2008, at least use it in the right context.

      • Stephen

        I agree there is no way google would let this one slip through

      • http://isradroid.wordpress.com susuFOX

        I really hope you are right.

  • Robert

    Call me skeptical, but it looks like a themed install with a build.prop edit.

    • David Ruddock

      We have more than enough confidence in the source. It's not fake - you can take that to the bank.

    • http://trsohmers.com trsohmers

      You can believe that, but I'll give you a 100% guarantee that this is the real McCoy.

    • Ryan

      Definitely agree. Why does it say "IceCreamSandwich" and not 4.0? I thought ICS was going to use linux kernel 3.0 as well.

      • Ron Amadeo

        ICS has no number yet, 4.0 is pure blogspam speculation.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Exactly, as we mentioned in the article.

  • slinky317

    I thought ICS was using kernel 3.0?

    • David Ruddock

      This is an extremely early build - it's possible the kernel hasn't been updated yet, or that Google doesn't plan to do so on the initial release. We don't know.

  • Zac

    I thought ICS was supposed to run a Honeycomb kernel. Does't make much sense to release this with a few UI changes might as well be android 2.3.6. Also, I thought ICS was supposed to run on both smartphones and tablets for less fragmentation?

    • http://mgamerzproductions.blogspot.com Mgamerz

      It will... where are you getting it isn't?

  • Eggo

    So the picture to the right is the notifications pulled down right? Can't really tell.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That's what it looks like, yeah.

    • http://isradroid.wordpress.com susuFOX

      I'm sorry I love Android but this is some ugly UI :/ I really hope the final build will look different.

      whats with the ----O----

  • http://www.twitter.com/49ers_of_new Droid_Dizzy

    I was hoping ICS was red themed since Honeycomb was Tron Blue themed. Looks like its coming along while though.

    • GergS

      Once it hits AOSP I'm sure T-mob's theming engine will be ported to the new framework. Red can be done easily :P

  • milad

    so there is no on screen buttons ? i think it's fake , because there is nothing new to offer, but we will see

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      This is a build on the Nexus S. Why would it have on-screen buttons?

      • milad

        I don't think if it matters to be on a nexus S or anyother phone , A rom is a ROM , and as they say its a ICS Rom which had been supposed to support both smartphones and tablets kind of in the same way!

        • Ryan

          No, I would think Google would be smart enough to have a phone/tablet with physical buttons tell the OS to leave off on-screen buttons.

        • GergS

          It's easy as having a variable:

          buttons = TRUE

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          ^^^ What they said.

  • Scott Oldfield

    Sounds like there is no update on a timeline? Last rumor I heard was maybe October to compete with iPhone5.

    • NCX

      That might be for the NEXUS Prime but we still don't know when ICS will come out for other devices. Releasing a build of software thats tailored to the release device is alot easier than making a build that is compatible with all devices so it might be a few months after just like Gingerbread was for the NEXUS ONE after the NEXUS S came out.

      I'm curious to see what the NEXUS Prime will look like considering we have no idea what the on-screen buttons will look like yet since this is being tested on a NEXUS S with capacitive buttons. Which proves it will work on other devices that have physical buttons still. With software anything is possible, I think the NEXUS Prime will be the first without physical buttons, and I personally think it was this device that was later pulled off the website it was posted to at the request of the source, but it was too late.

      http://techcovet.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/google-nexus-3-by-htc.jpg

      • nawor

        No, that pic was proven to be a shopped fake.

  • MigFig

    The power widget is still green. I'm sure that'll change to blue as well. Would've liked to see resizable widgets and scrolling widgets.

  • nil21

    Is Pulse an app? Or is it something entirely new with ICS?

    Edit: Never mind, found out it was an app. I'm curious as to what the white space in the notification bar is though.

    • http://trsohmers.com trsohmers

      It's an awesome RSS app... Pretty sure it was the first or one of the first ones optimized for Honeycomb.

    • DrewPWeiner

      That's personal info, that was whited out....

  • James

    On the other site the pic they think looks like an app drawer to me looks more like a multi tasking button where the one on the far left is the usual app drawer style like on the nexus one.

    Can't wait. Think this will be the first Nexus device I actually buy

  • http://iandouglas.com Ian Douglas

    If history serves, the next Nexus device will be out December/January, given the timelines of the Nexus One and Nexus S. I suppose we'll see leaked hardware specs in November. Wonder if Google is sticking solely to GSM carriers again or if they'll branch out.

    • Scott Oldfield

      Latest rumors I've heard were Thanksgiving and more recently, even as early as October. Sounds like it may be earlier than the last two years. I'm really curious about which carrier will be tapped first. Recent bets have been on Sprint, but who knows!

  • rupst2

    does the baseband confirm a Samsung Nexus Prime device in the future?

    • Eric

      No, it confirms he's holding a Nexus S.

  • Eric

    Fake I think. Wrong color, teal not tron blue. That phone icon is straight out of Froyo, not even gingerbread. Unlikely to be true. I know you are "confident" but "excellent" sources have been known to be wrong far more often than right.

    • David Ruddock

      Based on the color and the look of the icons? You're suggesting because Google changed its design that this is somehow substantive evidence pointing towards it being illegitimate?

      Tell you what, you give me a *good* reason for it being fake, and I'm all ears. We were given this, have every reason to be confident in it, and have far more reasons to believe it's real than fake. This kind of grandstanding and nitpicking happens every time screenshots are leaked.

      • Eric

        Give me a good reason why it's not fake. Don't say it's a trusted source, those are proved fake all the time. You could try even doing it in a calm way. Fake leaks have a way of missing the little details. I see a lot of bad little details.

        I am not grandstanding or nitpicking. I'm stating my opinion. You know, you are on a blog. On the internet. Dependent on page views. Comments deliver views. Calm rational statements of opinion, stated as opinion, and backed up with why we have that opinion should not be something for you to jump on. Calm down and get off your high horse.
        Give me one reason why they would use a froyo phone icon. One. I'm all ears. Where are the AP writers that don't feel the need to jump on their commenters? Maybe they can provide a rational answer. I'm not even going to ask about why none of the features that are likely to be in ICS are there, or how this doesn't looked like a themed GB build.

        And please. Don't attack your commenters. I love this site, and comment regularly. I'm not accustomed to the editors trying to play god however. It's not flattering on you.

        • iThinkiTsReal

          It didn't sound to me like he was being rude or irrational. His comment sounds pretty calm to me. AP says that this is a source that they trust. If it wasn't then they would just say it was from an untrusted source so take it at face value. He's defending AP's stance just like you're defending your stance.

        • David Ruddock

          When you want to be critical of something, you should expect critical feedback.

          "Trusted sources" rarely deliver screenshots of the product in action. We're extremely careful about what we call rumor and what we don't - the kind of effort required to fake something like this is substantial, and I can tell you for a fact that the source providing it has zero reason to do so. This isn't some random who sent us an e-mail.

          It's an extremely early development build, no one said anything about a finished product, and the point you're making is essentially "it doesn't look finished." And the Phone icon has been the same since Froyo - just different colors. The picture doesn't provide enough color reproduction for you to say with certainty it's the *exact* Froyo icon. Even if it is, Google may have decided to return to it because it matches the new blue theme - which also is likely distorted by the camera in terms of color. Or, Google could have changed it.

          There's a reason Google doesn't publish screenshots of early builds - because they don't meet consumer expectations and because they aren't at all finalized.
          If you feel you're being attacked, sorry for the grandstanding comment.

        • NCX

          Eric, Comments about the blog writers/authors like yours is why the internet is like it is right now, full of arrogant assholes that prevent the internet from being the full rich info source it should be. Its why most websites keep info to themselves or decide to keep stuff from the public because of scrutiny of its credibility when no evidence can be given to keep the source protected.
          Comments might drive page views but not every blog thrives on them. Some thrive on articles like this one, exclusive info with leaked screenshots.
          They might be subject to questioning but if the article states they have 100% confidence in the source and that its legit, don't ask questions of the author, they already answered it in the article.
          As for them attacking the comment posters, there only moderating and standing up for the article. If anyone is attacking anything its you attacking the articles authenticity.
          Try to be more friendly

        • Chris

          Have you ever seen the screenshots of Windows 8's early builds? Almost all of the ribbon interface icons are identical rings, like the loading ring, that are clearly just placeholders. And those are Microsoft's official screenshots. Once the details are hammered out, they'll be replaced. The use of placeholders is extremely common in the industry, for good reason.

          Dropping in the right icon comes later in the development process once it's confirmed the feature will actually see release. Spit and polish items like custom icons are added last, since they don't matter to developers, who prioritize more important things. Like making sure the apps actually work.

  • GergS

    Pull-down drawer "X" button matches g+'s new "X" button for notifications. Smells real to me.

    Lemme at it!

  • http://www.steveedson.co.uk SteveEdson

    Am I the only one who doesn't like the dark theme of Honeycomb and ICS? The screen on my Xoom is terrible, and the dark colours of the UI don't help it at all.

    Maybe it will be a lot nicer on my Galaxy S2 with S-AMOLED+, we'll see.

    I really was hoping that Google did a 180 of the UI change and turned it into more of a Google+, light UI, now that would be very nice.

    • aj

      I'm a HUGE fan of the dark minimal UI.

      • NCX

        I think it should save battery, not having to use the backlight as much for darker screens rather than bright screens with a lot of white makes you use more backlight, which in turn uses more battery. Its more efficient to use dark colors and a small amount of color or brights in the UI. the color added makes it that much more appealing. It goes well with Honeycomb and the new Android market/Music apps. Especially if its true that we can change the color across the whole platforms UI to our liking, by using a color wheel of some sort, rather than a preset color palette

        • Hugo

          Wrong...you save more energy on white screens...the backlight is always on...even on a black screen. But to provide a black pixel, an LCD screens needs to use energy to block the light behind this pixel...white screens save battery for LCD screens...black is good for OLED...

  • iThinkiTsReal

    Why are so many people calling this out to be fake? What hard evidence do you have to provide to refute their claim that it's real? And why would they completely fabricate this story out of thin air and then swear up and down that it's real if they didn't believe it was? That would only result in bad press for them in the future if it turned out not to be real. If that was the case, they would just say it's a rumor.

    We already know Google is changing the UI for ICS. This would line up perfectly with that fact. As for the buttons lighting up.. Do you really think Google is stupid enough to release a ROM that displays on-screen buttons AND uses regular Android buttons? That's completely illogical and nothing but a waste of space. There's absolutely no reason to ever think they would do that. It's just tacky and if Google is really trying to go for a seamless experience as they said they were, it would only make sense for the ICS build to be able to judge when it's being run on a device with Android buttons or not.

    • Michael

      If it's real:
      1) Why does it say "Ice Cream Sandwich" in the Android version? Google never does that.
      2) Why is the end of the Kernel version number blacked out? No reason unless you want to hide a mod tag.

  • Michael

    Looks fake. If it's real:
    1) Why does it say "Ice Cream Sandwich" in the Android version? Google never does that.
    2) Why is the end of the Kernel version number blacked out? No reason unless you want to hide a mod tag.

    • Cullen

      Maybe the name of the original leaker is embedded at the end of the kernel version? Ever think of that? If I worked for Google, I wouldn't want them know I was the one who leaked it. I think that is censored simply for job security.

      • NCX

        You make a very good point, also sometimes the kernel even has the carrier embedded in the name. but as a company watermark to make sure they can figure out who leaks what, it would make sense to embed it with that employees ID. Kinda how HTC, Motorola and Apple mark there prototypes with serial numbers and assign them to certain testers to keep them under check. Its another reason why those too are blacked out when there leaked.

        I'm curious to know why the statusbar has some blacked out icons, I can't think of what might be in the statusbar that would be tied to their identity

        • Cullen

          I think it may be he gmail. If you look at the shots from RootzWiki it shows in the status bar that he has an email. But there are also other notification icons that have been blacked out. SO it may be that he is just protecting his identity or it may be that there is some new app or pulldown menu widget for this next release. Who knows.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      The first argument is invalid - Google can put whatever they want in there when they're in the middle of developing and haven't decided on a version # yet. The 2nd - because it identifies the device a lot more when it's visible than when it's blacked out. It was blacked out for the safety of the source.

  • http://androiddesserts.com Ac

    Fake.

    -Honeycomb uses a much newer kernel build, 2.6.36, and ICS was allegedly supposed to use 3.0.

    -Phone icon taked from froyo

    -Android version is supposed to say the version number, you cant always say they havent decided a number yet because even during the nexus S gingerbread leaks and previous leaks they always showed the Number, never the name.

    -This has a teal blue theme rather than the dark blue colors of Honeycomb

    -Shouldnt the clock have an LED font?

    -The power control widget has been removed from Honeycomb

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      "taked" - I loled. But seriously, those are just your assumptions why it may be fake, and I understand why you have them. Yet, this is what dev ICS builds are running now.

    • Josh

      1. Very early test build

      2. The icon matches the theme better, does it not?

      3. Gingerbread leaks showed the version number because the version number had already been decided on.

      4. Dear God it mystifies me why people don't think a THEME CAN BE CHANGED.

      5. This isn't honeycomb.

      6. Early test build, and who says this isn't Extended Controls or something similar?

      Now go away.

  • alamoe

    for everyone saying they don't like the teal color (i don't either) the first sentence in the Rootzwiki post said you could change it yourself.

    I say its real. I remember when people were saying the early leaked pictures of Gingerbread were fake too. Turned out all of the pics were real.

    • NCX

      Exactly, early builds don't use the final graphics, they seem to protect the builds from early leaks to keep it from being leaked to the public and to its competitors. Pretty ingenious way to keep the outsiders in the dark.

      I like how we'll be able to change the color scheme. I don't like the Cyan thats for sure. But it might be the default color seeing how Ice Cream seems to match the Cyan color, aka Ice Blue = Cyan. so yeah... i'm rambling on now... @_@

    • Cullen

      On RootzWiki I think they were saying that you can change the RootzWiki theme to the ICS one. There is a drop down box at the bottom of the site to change the theme.

  • Daniel

    It looks a lot like some of the cm7 themes I have used more in the past, and it doesn't look like a major ui haul to me. I either hope this is a fake, or a early build. I love the holographic ui on honeycomb, I was hoping ics would be more honeycomby. I have to admit, I am a but disappointed. I was hoping it would be more like honeycomb.

    • aj

      I agree completely. I'm really pulling for this being a super early build, because I was really hoping it would look more like Honeycomb.

  • Hugo

    Gingerbread Kernel: 2.6.35.x
    Honeycomb Kernel: 2.6.36.x

    HOW can ICS running on 2.6.35.x ?

  • DarkN’Droid

    I hope to god this isnt anything like ICS... It looks appalling

  • Chelsea

    I call it a fake and that's my 2 cents.

  • Chelsea

    Update: According to theandroidsource they are highly fakes.

  • Androidster_XLS

    Android 4 ICS will be a true BOMB!^^
    I expect some KILLER features.

    Probably the photos are fake:
    Android Honeycomb kernel version is 2.36, this OS kernel version is 2.35

    We need more timeless Android UI design.

    Anyway, I LOVE ANDROID!!!

  • JOey Dean

    No way dude thats like totally cool. Do want.

    http://www.anon-vpn.it.tc

  • Dave

    It is easy to tell that these are fakes lol

  • http://www.geeknik.com/ geeknik

    I smell bullshit. =)

  • jbon

    Sooo we will see icecream cyanogenfun in what like 3 days.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/thegreenjacket rhy

    That's all well and good, but where's the source? I thought Android was supposed to be "Open"?

  • chris

    Fake as fuck. Couple websites looking for hits and they got em.

  • Janek

    Thanks for these, was waiting for some ice cream goodies for quite some time. :)

  • Jim

    Fake or not. Who cares...always nice to see new iterations of Android. Thx AP
    :)

  • TechTime

    My sources absolutely discredit these screen shots... sorry everyone.

  • TechTime

    My sources absolutely discredit these screen shots... sorry everyone but these are absolutely proven to be fake

    • aj

      I want to believe you, do you have any way of proving that your source is legitimate?

  • http://smartrevu.posterous.com Wes Campbell

    fake... they be trollin. looks like cyanogenmod with some tweaks.

  • http://www.superstararjunchauhan.info Arjun Singh

    From where did you get this on your mobile!

  • alex

    if this isn't fake, this is what it looked like a day after they started trying to make ICS. either way, it looks horrible and too much like the touchwiz samsung UI. it's not very good news and I wouldn't even upgrade if this were the new version. Google and Android are better than these screenshots. all it is is a revamped notification screen and blue instead of green icons... I can do the exact same thing with CyanogenMod, however, CyanogenMod sucks IMO, at least for the G2x.

  • Alan

    That four button dock is hideous. The stock 3 button dock is one of the reasons stock is so much better than blur, wiz or sense. having four equally spaced icons from top to bottom (including the function buttons) looks really dumb.

    • aj

      I agree completely. Real or not, this looks terrible. The app draw looks cool, and the notification window looks okay, but the homescreen/launcher looks gnarly.

  • http://www.google.com David

    Fake or not (although I reckon fake) one thing for certain is, DO WE CARE???

    Its not even ready for release yet, final one better look a lot different. I mean, FroYo to Gingerbread looked a lot different, more refined icons, Honeycomb (what the heck was that about??) and so ICS should look a whole lot different. If this is indead true/real, then they are most likely doing what Microsoft claims, totally re-written from the ground up, yet still use icons from the 80s ;) lol

    We shall see when it comes out, but if it intends to release along side iOS5 (as they claimed) in time for iPhone5 release, they better make it look/do a heck of a lot more than add an icon, remove an icon, rename, bosh!!

  • http://rootandroid.net root android

    ice cream looks tasty!

  • http://www.xionsms.com xionsms

    yummy android ice-cream.i will eat one :P
    means buy one.

    visit

    http://www.xionsms.com

    free android tricks,games,downlods and more...

  • http://wootmanga.com Manga Online

    Phew ! Lets go advanced with Android !

  • Nick M.

    Since when does "Android version" in the phone information spell out the OS name like the "IceCreamSandwich" in the shot? My Gingerbread build says "2.3.4".

    This is a fairly obvious fake with no evidence to back up this is an authentic if even a very early build of the new Android OS. It looks like anything anyone can customize on their Froyo phone. You can't just post things that will attract hits and declare its authenticity again and again to anyone questioning it without anything to back it up, because this sort of thing pops up all the time. If you want it to be believable and can vouch for its authenticity, then back up why it is.

    Sorry, it just plain doesn't look real, or presents anything that reinforces the hint this new build will be a big overhaul to mesh with Honeycomb. It doesn't look like anything but a poor customization of any available Android build, and nobody has any reason to believe these shots represent anything but lazy trickery to attract attention.

  • droidshmoid

    wow. big news. *yawn* does anyone really care? lol

  • http://ericcamil.com Eric

    Wow, after reading through all that. I'm enjoying eating this ice-cream sandwich. I mean as long as it simulates with it's UI the amazing taste I am experiencing right now, I'm good. oh and those screens don't look fake. Just edited so the source can keep their job.

  • Tommy

    Gingerbread with the build re-labeled. Took your rep down a bunch! I spotted this crap in a millisecond.

  • http://techspalace.blogspot.com Techs Palace

    I can tell you what it is http://goo.gl/lJy87

  • max

    It is fake, first off the main dock was said to have 5 icons not four like in the pictures, second last time i checked my phone it doesn't say gingerbread for the android version it says Android 2.3.4, and dont tell us you blacked out personal information cause you didn't what you simply did was cover up the stock icons on your phone so we dont see that they are still gingerbread icons, this is most likely a custom rom made to look very similar to the new ICS but it is not it

    • Guest

      I bet you feel silly.

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/services/mobile/iphone-application-development iPhone App Developers

    Hahaha..!! I would love to enjoy this ice cream sandwich :)

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