So here's a novel idea: when a device reaches its end of life, manufacturers should provide users with a way to keep the flame burning. In a nutshell, that's what Lenovo has done with the Ideapad K1.

Here's the gist: the company is finished with this device. They no longer sell it, and it's clear that, past the most recent update (Android 3.2), they no longer plan to support it. So, they made a smart move: they built stock, unmodified Ice Cream Sandwich for the the K1, and released it to the public.


The once proud Lenovo Ideapad K1 tablet poses in its natural habitat.

Ideapad K1 owners are essentially taking the device's life into their own hands by flashing this, however, as there are no official support channels offering assistance past Android 3.2. That's not the only caveat, either: the Play Store isn't included with this build. While those both seems like pretty major downfalls (especially the latter), the gesture is still a noble one.

Basically, this enables power users to take their device back. It allows developers to have a fully working ICS base in which to start building upon. Thus, it can't be that difficult to add support for Google Apps (including the Play Store) to the device.

Best of all, Lenovo provided full instructions on how to flash this build from start to finish. Granted it will completely wipe the device, the jump from Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich is still definitely one worth making.

For more information, download, and installation instructions, go here.