Earlier today we reported, with great skepticism, that Sony Ericsson would be bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to all of its Xperia devices. It looks like our doubts were dead on, as SE told Slashgear that "no such decision has been made."
Update: We knew it was too good to be true, and Sony Ericsson has released an official statement on the matter. Let's just say that Xperia devices may not be seeing ICS after all.
It seems Sony-Ericsson's PR arm has found its way straight to the heart of Android fanboys: by promising major OS updates. There really is no better feeling for an Android phone owner than knowing that, at some point, their phone will be getting the bump to the latest version of the Android operating system - and not left to die on the streets of software obsolescence.
At Google I/O this year, the newest version of Android was officially announced. Codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, it aims to bring Honeycomb features to phones, Gingerbread features to tablets, and everything in between. The official announcement left us without a firm release date -- only that it would be released in Q4 of this year.
At the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco today, though, Eric Schmidt let a bit more info slip:
Nope, Verizon still hasn't changed its mind about skipping the Galaxy S II, but if BGR's latest exclusive proves to be true, Android fans on Big Red needn't be disappointed. Indeed, the carrier is said to be launching the Samsung DROID Prime - likely a rebranded version of the long-rumored Nexus Prime - as early as this October.
The DROID Prime's primary claim to fame will, of course, be its operating system: BGR says it'll be the first Ice Cream Sandwich device on the market.
The wait has been long for those eager to find out more about Ice Cream Sandwich (i.e. everyone in the Android community), but it appears that the date is finally drawing near, as more and more details are starting to leak out. Last week we got our first look at the next version of Android, and today Electronic Times published some details on the first device that will run it - the Nexus Prime.
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:
What can we learn from these?
We're as skeptical of oddly-specific rumors as the next blog, but given the source, we feel it'd be negligent of us not to pass on this information to you. A couple weeks back, we reported on a BGR-exclusive story that leaked information about the next Google Nexus Android phone.
Now, "Prime" is rumored to be the device codename being tossed around at the Googleplex for the upcoming handset, but BGR's exclusive source has reason to believe that name will make it to end consumers.
I've been thinking about writing this editorial for some time now. And today, with the announcement of Panasonic's upcoming Toughbook Android tablet, I finally decided to go for it. The point this article is trying to make may not be abundantly clear in the title, so let me see if I can get it across as a question: Is it just me, or are there a suspiciously large number of companies in or planning to enter the Android tablet market?
Take this with a massive grain of salt, but BGR has just let loose an article detailing what they claim will be either the next Nexus phone or, if not a Nexus, simply the new Android reference handset. Far more exciting than that is what BGR's source has told them what kind of features the phone will be packing:
- A 720p "monster-sized" display - exact size unknown (also, goodbye qHD - nice knowing you)
- Dual-core processor @1.2 or 1.5GHz (either a TI OMAP 4460 or a ULP Qualcomm 28nm Krait Snapdragon)
- Android Ice Cream Sandwich (possibly dubbed Android 4.0)
- Software function buttons (ala Honeycomb - no more capacitive touch)
- 4G LTE (yes, yes, yes!)
- 1GB RAM
- 5MP rear camera w/1080p video, 1MP front camera
- Release around Thanksgiving
Unfortunately, several big questions remain unanswered.
It's that time of the month once again, Google has updated the platform version distribution charts for Android, and Gingerbread is finally gaining steam:
Gingerbread now makes up a whole 9.2% of the Android ecosystem, and the Gingerbread source has been publicly available for 6 months as of today. Froyo still dominates, at around 65%, with Éclair placing second. Pre-2.1 devices now account for less than 5% of the total, which really makes the whole 2-year device-life logic seem rather silly.