It's been a rather wild ride for Samsung Galaxy S users regarding a possible update to Android 4.0. First, Samsung, issued a statement saying that they could not update their former flagship phone. After a community outcry, however, they responded with a different possibility - a "Value Pack" update, one that would include some key features from Ice Cream Sandwich (such as Face Unlock) but which would still be based on Gingerbread.
The stock ICS is browser is the best stock Android browser to date, there's no doubt about that. However, it's not perfect - it's actually missing one crucial setting: UA string switching. On the other side of the table, it brings a killer feature over from Honeycomb (found in settings > labs) called quick controls. Once enabled, the URL bar will disappear, giving you more screen real estate for browsing. To access the settings menu, address bar, tab bar, etc., a simple tap on either side of the screen will bring up a circular menu with all of the options right there.
After initially deciding it wouldn't update Galaxy S phones to Ice Cream Sandwich last week, Samsung has now (supposedly) given some semi-official lip-service to vocal Galaxy S and OG-Tab owners who have been clamoring for an official update to Ice Cream Sandwich. The English-speaking side of Samsung's media arm hasn't commented on the alleged statement as of yet.
According to a translation of the Korean source articles, Samsung has officially committed to "reviewing" the "possibility" of an Ice Cream Sandwich update for its Galaxy S phones, as well as the original Galaxy Tab.
You probably guessed this was coming - our Mega-Holiday Giveaway series just wouldn't be complete without a Galaxy Nexus (check out our just-published review). Today, we're giving away one Verizon Galaxy Nexus, courtesy of our friends at Texas Instruments, along with a pair of Klipsch S4A headphones (read our review here). (For our international readers: this particular contest is open to the US only (it's a US-only phone), but you may want to check back tomorrow.)
We've selected randomly from all the entries, and our winner is...
Everyone knows and loves Dropbox, and with build 188.8.131.52, its Android version is about to get even better. For now it's but a preview -- a "forum build," by official Dropbox terminology -- though we'd expect that to change soon, as in my experience it seems quite stable.
The main addition here is "optimization" for Android 4.0, presumably consisting mainly of performance tweaks. Additionally, the update features:
Samsung has finally made an official statement regarding its plans to upgrade current handsets to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android version 4.0), and the short list is indeed quite short:
Galaxy S II (including AT&T LTE version)
Tab 7.0 Plus
Updates will start with the Galaxy S II and Note in Q1 2012, but that time frame likely applies to world versions of the phone, so those with American carrier-branded versions of the GSII will probably be waiting a little longer.
Looks like the incremental updates for Android 4.0 are rolling along nicely at this point - the VZW Galaxy Nexus received the update to Android 4.0.2 yesterday, and now Google has announced version 4.0.3. As you may expect, it crushes many bugs that have been found in current builds, along with throwing some optimizations into the mix.
This update will also bring some new goodies to the table for developers in the form of new APIs:
Social stream API in Contacts provider: Applications that use social stream data such as status updates and check-ins can now sync that data with each of the user’s contacts, providing items in a stream along with photos for each.
Adobe promised that it would update Flash to support devices running Android 4.0 before the end of the year, and it has now made good on that promise - just in time for the U.S release of the Galaxy Nexus, no less.
Better grab it now, because this is likely to be the last major update that Flash for Android will ever see. Of course, Adobe will continue to push security updates to the app, but that will probably be the extent of it.
There must be something weird going on with manufacturers lately - first Huawei released an alpha build of ICS for the Honor, and now Sony Ericsson (soon to be just Sony) has released an ICS ROM for certain unlocked Xperia devices, including the Arc S, Neo V, and Ray.
Since it's an alpha ROM, it's not made for day-to-day use, as it is limited to just a few functions at the moment.
Although it wasn't among the select few HTC devices confirmed to be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich, we have reasons to believe that T-Mobile's myTouch 4G will indeed be receiving the update in early 2012, according to an HTC customer support representative. Here's the original message:
First I want to thank you for the amazing job you've done building and maintaining my phone. It's my favorite phone I've ever owned by far. I'm incredibly excited for android 4.0 (Ice cream sandwich) and am really hoping for the update to come to the T-mobile mytouch 4g. I absolutely love the phone and don't want to replace it with another. I'm emailing to request that the T-mobile mytouch 4g be put on the forefront of update candidates. Thank you again.