It's been a long time coming, particularly for the pioneer Android tablet, but the Ice Cream Sandwich update for Verizon's 4G Xoom is rolling out today as expected. The update brings the Xoom to the very latest version of Android available - 4.0.4.
An over-the-air rollout has started today, but if you are too impatient to wait for that, you have the option of installing the update manually (this method requires the use of a USB host cable):
Last week, HTC released a detailed timeline of when ICS updates to various devices are expected to roll out. Hitting almost dead-center in the middle of its projected update window, users in various parts of Europe with unlocked Sensation XLs are now receiving the update. According to user reports, customers of UK's Three network are also receiving the update. Unfortunately, there's no word when other carriers will begin pushing the update.
The title should make this one obvious. HTC has published a brand-new list of its devices to get Android 4.0, but the difference between this one and previous lists is the level of detail. Most phones have a target OTA deployment range of 2 months, significantly more precise than the typical "quarterly" guestimates we see manufacturers publish generally. Here's the list:
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC: To be determined (by the end of August)
HTC Amaze 4G: May-June
HTC Desire S: June-July
HTC Desire HD: July-August
HTC EVO 3D: June-July
HTC EVO 4G+: May-June
HTC EVO Design 4G: June-July
HTC Incredible S: June-July
HTC Sensation: March-June
HTC Sensation 4G: March-June
HTC Sensation XE: March-June
HTC Sensation XL: April-Jun
HTC Rezound: June-July
HTC Rhyme: June-July
HTC Thunderbolt: July-August
HTC Velocity 4G: March-June
HTC Vivid: March-June
A few notable absentees include the Inspire 4G (which is a Desire HD variant), EVO 4G, EVO Shift 4G, myTouch 4G, Status, and Wildfire S - though most of those weren't expected to get the update in the first place.
Evernote is a great little cross-platform service that lets you sync notes between devices and save them in the cloud. Using Evernote is so seamless for me, it's like outsourcing my memories to the internet. The app was nothing to sneeze at before, but it just got a big update to version 4.0 that brings a new look and a few features that fit in perfectly with Android 4.0.
There is a new home screen with big, friendly buttons to make a new text note, audio note, photo, or upload a file of any sort.
According to the WSJ, Google is in cahoots with up to five device manufacturers to provide early access to the next iteration of the Android OS (Jelly Bean, we assume) so it can have an entire "portfolio" of Nexus devices ready by Thanksgiving - that's late November for those without turkey day.
As far as I know, that means ASUS's entire line of Android tablets are now running Ice Cream Sandwich (though admittedly, there's only four of them), a track record I'm sure we'd all like to see other tablet manufacturers match (*cough* Samsung *cough*).
The update for devices running Gingerbread to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich have been erratic at best. Although Samsung has promised updates for its smartphones and tablets, the overall rollout has been quite unpredictable with different markets getting upgrades before others.
The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is, by most standards, the best Android tablet available for the price right now. That's what we thought when the tablet was available for $250. Today, though, on eBay's Daily Deals, the tablet is available for $219.99, or about $30 off. If you're in the market for a 7" tablet, the cost of an average night out at the movies is the difference between the Kindle Fire and this full Android 4.0 experience.
Pop quiz: How long does it take for a new version of Android to be widely adopted? A new version of Android comes out, AOSP updates, OEMs adapt it to a myriad of devices, and carriers test the updates. That process. How long does it take?
It's a tough question to answer, mostly because Google doesn't provide data like that. The official site shows a 6 month version history, and that's it.