CyanogenMod is a pretty big deal in the Android modding world, and there's a good reason for that: it's fast, lean, well-featured, and supports a ton of devices that manufacturers have abandoned. When Android 4.0 was released, the CM team made it clear that CM9 (based on ICS) would be a long time in the making, as they were going to focus on doing everything properly and cleaning up the code.
Obviously, the good news is that in the past month, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0+) has moved up from 7.1% to 10.9% - and considering there are hundreds of millions of devices running Android, that seemingly meager 3.8% is actually quite a few devices.
MEIZU may have gotten its start as a maker of crappy knock-off electronics, but lately, the company has been making an impressive push into the mainstream. Take a look at the specs of the flagship MEIZU MX and you can see what I mean: 4" qHD screen, 8MP rear shooter, 1.4GHz dual-core CPU, and all the other usual goodies. The smaller (and 15 month old) M9 packs a punch too, with a 3.5" qHD screen, and 1GHZ CPU - also damn respectable for its time.
At this point, the list of HTC devices that will receive ICS isn't new - they initially announced most of them via Facebook on February 9, and expanded the list a little (again via Facebook) just over a week later. Now, the company has posted the list on the HTC Blog. While there are no surprises to be found, at least they're going super official with the announcement - and putting things in nice list form:
In early January, ARCHOS let everyone know that the update to Android 4.0 would be coming "in the near future" to all G9 tablets, and a week later we saw them demoing a said update at CES. The rep at CES said the update was scheduled to roll out in the first week of February - a target which the company obviously missed. Now they've taken to their Facebook page once again to apologize for the delay and announce that "they fully anticipate deploying the upgrade within the next two weeks."
While the "anticipate" in that sentence leaves the company some wiggle room, it's nice to see the PR-challenged little company who has a spotty past on Android devices at least try to address both shortcomings.
Back in the early days of Android, HTC's Sense UI really stood out as a much-needed step up in the UI department, compared both to stock Android and to competitors custom UIs. Like a hard-partying rock star, though, it just didn't age well; it went from sleek, helpful, and attractive, to bloated and borderline obtrusive. Sense 4.0 - which we spotted slapped atop of Ice Cream Sandwich - was definitely a step against that direction in some ways, but still offended some people - Cameron included.
Acer just revealed their newest budget smartphone, and unfortunately details are pretty light at the moment. What they have told us: it's going to ship with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), a 3.7" screen, 5MP rear shooter with LED flash, and NFC support. As you can see below, it will also ship in 3 colors: Sakura Pink, Alpine White, and Cat's-eye Black. Oh, and "the onscreen display style varies with the external color, making each smartphone a unique fashion statement."
No word on further hardware specs or when/where the phone will launch, but the phone will be displayed at the Acer Pod in the Google Android Booth at MWC - presumably they'll be sharing more details there.
A new beta update for Swype has begun rolling out and will hit tester's handsets over the next 72 hours. The big changes, if you couldn't tell by the title, are Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) support and the integration of Dragon GO! - unsurprising, since Swype was purchased by Nuance and Dragon Dictation support has been rolled in since December. Specifically, the update adds functionality to the "Dragon" key which allows users to dictate speech using the infamous engine, as well as launch the Dragon GO!
The Sensation is one of HTC's most popular handsets overseas, and despite being launched nearly a year ago (May 19,2011), the company just announced a new "Ice White" version. While there are no differences in hardware, the outside will obviously be white (à la Amaze 4G). More importantly, though: it will launch on March 1, and run Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) out of the gate.
That's a pretty big deal for two reasons: first, because as we discussed yesterday, Sense 4.0 (which HTC will slap over top of ICS) pretty much sucks.