Earlier this month, Engadget got tipped from a source that Google will start rolling out the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Nexus S 4G. Last week, Google started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 update for quite a few of its devices including the Galaxy Nexus, Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi edition and the Nexus S. However, none of the Nexus S 4G users reported that they got the update on their handset.
Over the weekend, the folks over at BriefMobile managed to get their hands on the Android 4.0.4 update for the Nexus S 4G. The update includes new WiMAX radios, which supposedly improves the network reception and data transfer speed. Readers can also find a manual installation guide over at BriefMobile.
The Android 4.0.4 update brings with it quite a few changes, including performance and stability improvements, faster camera app and camera quality improvements, smoother animations, a new power menu, bug fixes and more. The whole change-log of the Android 4.0.4 update can be found here.
After more than a month of delay, Google finally pushed the Android 4.0.4 update to the Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus (GSM) and the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi variant. Along with this, the company also pushed the Android 4.0.4 to AOSP. The kernel sources are not yet pushed, but Android developer, JB, has promised to push it to AOSP as soon as possible. The factory images for Android 4.0.4 for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S also available for download. While there is no official change-log available for the Android 4.0.4 update, Jean states that there are more than a hundred minor fixes in this update.
I manually installed the Android 4.0.4 update on my Galaxy Nexus, and have noticed quite a few minor but welcome changes. Firstly, after installing the update the whole phone felt a lot snappier. The animations are also faster now, and the slow auto-rotation animation and the lag for the auto-rotation to kick-in have also been fixed.
According to the Galaxy Nexus users over at XDA forums, the update also improves the camera performance of the handset. Not only does the phone take better quality pictures with less noise, it focuses properly before capturing them. The update also contains a new radio, which improves the network reception depending on your location. One of the most importantchanges in the update is a much-improved auto-brightness. On Android 4.0.2/3, the auto-brightness extremely wonky! It would turn down the brightness to almost 0, and gave the whole screen a very blueish tint. Thankfully, this issue has been fixed in this update.
There are a lot of other bug fixes as well in the Android 4.0.4 update for the Galaxy Nexus like the multi-touch bug, keyboard bug, the Android OS battery drain bug and more.
Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (IMM76) update for the Wi-Fi variant of the XOOM in the United States. The new build of Android includes quite a few new enhancements, including stability improvements, faster auto rotation, better phone number recognition and much more.
Below is the full change-log of the update via Droid-Life -:
Quicker screen rotation
A new setting to choose whether the power button immediately locks the device or not
Microsoft Exchange improvements with additional EAS policies
Better phone number recognition
Camera and image quality improvements
The update is being rolled out via OTA and went live just a few mins ago, so users should expect the software update notification on their XOOM to pop-up sometime soon. Hopefully, Google will also release the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S, along with pushing it to AOSP.
An Android 4.0.4 build for the Nexus S 4G did leak last month, and it brought quite a few improvements, but since then the big-G has not shown any signs of releasing the final Android 4.0.4 build to the public.
Asus Transformer Prime owners, here is a surprise for you! Earlier today, Asus announced via its Facebook page that it would soon be releasing a new firmware update for the Prime with “awesome new features”. The company did not reveal much information as to what these awesome new features are, so it’s anybody’s guess at the moment.
The Asus Transformer Prime was released last year, and was the successor to the original Transformer. It was also the first tablet available to the public to use a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. However, soon after its launch the Prime was plagued with GPS and Wi-Fi issues which made a dent in its sale. The company however has since then released numerous software updates to improve the GPS performance of the device. The Prime was also among the first Android tablets to get updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, ahead of the Motorola XOOM.
Unlike other Android tablet makers, who simply release a tablet and then release either maintenance update or Android OS updates, it is nice to see Asus taking a different approach. No wonder the company is aiming to be the number 1 Android tablet maker!
I have been an Android user for more than two years now. Before jumping on the Android bandwagon, I was an un-impressed Nokia 5800 user running S60v5. Ever since I switched to an Android phone, I have absolutely love the apps and power of the OS. However, one area where I have always been disappointed with Android is the lack of a good Android twitter client.
Yes, there are MANY twitter clients available in the Google Play market including Plume, Tweetcaster, the official Twitter client, Twicca and many more. However, all of them look very clunky, unpolished compared to Gravity on Symbian or any of the iOS twitter client. Due to the lack of options, I have been using Twicca since the last year or so just because it is the best among the worst.
Thankfully, after the release of Ice Cream Sandwich with its new Holo UI, and developers looking to create beautiful Android apps, it looks like we might finally get a decent Android Twitter client. Carbon for webOS was one of the most popular apps available for that platform, and the same developers have been working hard on Carbon for Android. After the last couple of months in development, the developers have released a video of Carbon for Android in action on a Galaxy Nexus. Below is the video -:
After seeing the video above, I was left speechless. Whenever Carbon for Android hits the Google Play Market, it will be without a doubt the BEST Twitter client for the OS. The app has a stunning UI, makes use of the Holo theme, and is filled with animations as well. Whenever Carbon for Android hits the Play market, it will be available for download only for all the Ice Cream Sandwich running handsets. The developers will take a look at porting the app to older versions of Gingerbread after releasing the final version for ICS handsets.
If you are developing an Android app, or already have developed one, take the above app as an example. The developer has cried about the Android’s poor SDK tools on Twitter, but still wanted to make sure that his app delivers a polished Twitter experience and has managed to do that successfully!
Remember the Archos G9 Ice Cream Sandwich update? Well, apparently the update while adding many new features and enhancements, also introduced some new bugs. Post the update, Archos G9 users faced Wi-Fi connection issues on their tablet, with the tablet refusing to connect to any Wi-Fi network or disconnecting frequently.
There were other issues as well, like the HDMI output not working properly, VPN connection failing and the touch screen not responding to multi-touches properly. The battery life of the tablet was also affected, because of the device not going into suspend mode properly once Bluetooth was enabled. Thankfully, Archos has been quick to react to the complaints of its users, and has released a new firmware update for its tablets that fixes the above issues. Below is the full change-log of the update -:
Wi-Fi: fix slow throughput and disconnections happening on some access points
HDMI: solve no sound or no video output issue on some TVs
Bluetooth: make sure Bluetooth does not prevent device suspend
VPN: fix VPN connection failing
Touchscreen: avoid loss of first finger touch while tapping with second finger
The update is already live, and Archos G9 owners can download the update manually by going to Settings -> About and then selecting the Software Updates option.
Bad news Samsung Galaxy Note owners! Samsung has today officially announced that it won’t be updating the Note to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich until sometime in Q2. Samsung is however making up for the delay by including some ‘Premium Suite’ of apps along with pre-loading more applications that will be optimized to take advantage of the S-Pen on the Note.
“GALAXY Note continues to delight customers all over the world with its incredible versatility and unique user experience. With the Premium Suite upgrade, we wanted to add features that enrich users’ Note experience even more, including the great advantages of Android 4.0 and innovative applications for S Pen,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We are committed to providing extraordinary experiences for consumers, and we will continue to provide new features and upgrades to enrich our offering.”
The Premium Suite of apps include S Note, Shape Match and Formula Match applications. Along with this, the Galaxy Note will also come pre-loaded with the latest version of Angry Birds – Space – with exclusive access to 30 challenging ‘Danger Zone’ levels.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Note will include a new task switcher, Face Unlock, improved copy and paste, new and improved Google apps and much more. Hopefully, Samsung will also make the ICS update for the Note less TouchWIZ-y, unlike the ICS update for the Galaxy S2.
Few days ago, Engadget had reported that according to its “trusted sources”, Google would soon be resuming the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Nexus S in the coming weeks. While Google has not announced anything and neither has the update started rolling out to NS4G owners, a new ICS update rumor has popped up on the Internet. Mobile Pandaa.k.a @black_man_x tweeted today morning that Google will soon release a new build of Ice Cream Sandwich – Android 4.0.5 – in early April.
According to @black_man_x, this new build of ICS will fix the “audio reboot issue as well as data failing asleep” for GNex owners. While this news will be definitely appreciated by all Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners, it is quite a shame to see Google struggling with updates on a Nexus handset.
Frankly, the whole ICS rollout has been a complete mess. First, when Google announced the Galaxy Nexus, it did not mention as to when the handset will be available under Verizon’s network in the United States. The phone finally hit the States 1.5 months after its announcement, but was plagued with poor signal and data issues. Now, more than 4 months after its release, the Galaxy Nexus is still only available under Verizon’s network in the U.S, thus limiting its reach. Sprint did announce at CES that it will be releasing the Galaxy Nexus soon under its network, but more than 2 months have passed by since then without any update from either Google or Sprint.
Oh! and I am not even talking about the Nexus S, whose Ice Cream Sandwich update was stopped midway. In fact, some variants of the Nexus S like the I9020A and the Nexus S 4G are yet to receive the ICS update, more than 4 months after Google started rolling out the update.
Last week, Samsung started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy S2 in some regions of the world. Sammy’s version of Ice Cream Sandwich for the S2 barely brought any of the UI changes introduced by Google in Android 4.0, and things mostly looked similar to how Android 2.3 Gingerbread looked on the handset.
Thankfully, the CM team has already released the CM9 for the SGS2 since quite a few weeks ago. However, the ROM is in alpha and contains some bugs, including poor battery life and no video recording. This is because of the lack of Ice Cream Sandwich sources from Samsung. Nevertheless, just a few days after releasing the official ICS update, Samsung has also released the sources of the update.
What does this mean, you ask? This will help the developers in fixing, hopefully, all the bugs current present in AOSP Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs for the S2. It will also allow them to compile custom kernels with overclocking support, better performance and tweaked for battery life.
Most of the Android handset manufactures have already released their next-generation Android phone fully-loaded with a dual or quad-core processor, a massive screen, oodles of RAM and a stellar camera. However, the most anticipated Android handset of the year, the Samsung Galaxy S III, is yet to be unveiled by the Korean company.
Over the last few weeks, quite a few rumors about the S3 have popped up over the Internet, and all of them have been squashed by Samsung promptly. Now, in the last couple of days, two new alleged pictures of the Samsung Galaxy S III have surfaced on the Internet. Both the images were found on Reddit, and the person who leaked the second photo stated that his friend who worked at Samsung actually sent him that image.
Below are the two images I am talking about -:
The person who leaked the second image also states that the SGS3 will come with a 12MP camera, 2GB of RAM, a ceramic back, and an Exynos 4412 SoC that consists of a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor clocked anywhere between 1.5GHz to 1.8GHz and an ARM-Mali-T608GPU. The tipster also states that the handset will pack in a massive 2250mAh battery, and will provide users with an option to use either the stock Android launcher or the TouchWIZ launcher.
Frankly, both the images above look pretty much fake to me. In fact, the second image looks like a slightly bigger version of the Galaxy S II to me with the stock Android launcher. Eldar Murtazin, who has been pretty consistent with his facts about the SGS3, also said that both the above images are fake.
The world’s largest third part ROM, CyanogenMod, has posted an update about one of the most important change they are going to make in CM9, which is based on Ice Cream Sandwich. Starting with CyanogenMod 9, root access will not be enabled by default for apps and via ADB. However, there will be an option to enable root access for advanced users.
According to the blog post from the CM team, this move will make Android handsets and specially a user’s data much more safer. This will allow users to use apps like Google Wallet and Google Movies, which will otherwise not work if a user has root access on his handset. The CM team also states that shipping root enabled custom ROMs to more than 1,00,000+ Android devices was a gaping security hole. Basically, the main motive of the CM team behind this move is to make your Android handset much more secure than before. The team also thinks that the use of root access is pretty much limited on CyanogenMod ROMs.
This move from CM team also gives them the opportunity to partner with HTC, Samsung or any other Android handset maker, and ship phones with CM ROM pre-installed!
The ICS released schedule from HTC states that the Sensation, Sensation XE, Sensation XL and the Rezound should get the update by Q1 of 2012. While the company did not announce anything officially, it started rolling out the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Sensation a few days ago.
Now, the folks over at Android Police have got their hands on a new Ice Cream Sandwich firmware leak for the HTC Rezound. According to them, this is not the final leak but more of a RC firmware. Sadly, the update includes Sense 3.6 and not Sense 4.0, which might disappoint a lot of Rezound owners.
Below is the full change-log of the update -:
Features/Enhancements 1. Android OS 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
2. CMAS support added
3. IPv6 over eHRPD supported
4. UI updated to Sense 3.6
5. Caller Name ID app added
6. VMM/BUA plus updated
7. New storage UI (under settings menu)
1. Changing pin causes EULA to be displayed
2. Wrong time displayed in and around Phoenix, AZ
3. EAS message – “Client/Server Conversion Error”.
4. EAS message – “Exchange policies have changed”
5. EAS message – “Certificate Error”
6. Home screen partially blocked with black bar
7. Hotspot data stalls
8. Removed power mode settings (which forced device into CDMA only)
9. Group message not displaying originating MDN
10. Call button not disabled when using voice commands
11. People widget displaying two different birthdays
12. Verizon Location Agent removed – impacting battery life
13. SSO authentication fails for VCAST Tones
14. “To” field text deleted if device is rotated (in Compose or Forward Voicemail)
15. Google Talk app formatting
HTC Rezound owners can also install the update on their handset, if they have a locked bootloader. A step-by-step installation guide along with the download link can be found here.
Back in December, Google started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Nexus S, nearly 2 months after it had originally announced it. However, within a few days the big-G had to pull back the OTA update because of all the complaints of the Nexus S owners. The OTA update was not even made available for the Nexus S 4G or the AT&T’s I9020A variant of the handset.
The complaints of the Nexus S owners ranged from poor performance to random reboots and FC’s and pathetic battery life. The company pulled the OTA update without any official statement, and now more than 3 months have passed by, and yet the big-G has not started rolling out the OTA update again. What’s the point of a Nexus handset, if users have to wait for such a long time to receive the update? Disappointing Google!
Nevertheless, one of the sources of Engadget claims that Google is working hard on releasing the Ice Cream Sandwich OTA update within the “next few weeks”. Similar rumors have popped up previously as well, so Nexus S owners should not get their hopes too high.
CyanogenMod a.k.a CM is without a doubt the most popular third-party ROM for Android handsets out there. It does not matter if your are an Android noob, there is a strong possibility that you would have heard about CyanogenMod and/or CM7. Now that Ice Cream Sandwich is out, the CM team is working hard on bringing CM9 based on ICS for all the popular handsets out there.
However, since Ice Cream Sandwich includes a lot of low-level underlying changes, and more powerful hardware to run smoothly, it might be possible that your Android handset might not get CM9 after all.
Thankfully, the CM team has released a flow chart which shows whether your phone will get CM9 or not.
So, if you had any doubt whether your handset will get CM9 or not, you can refer to the chart above and clear your doubt. To make things easier, if your handset does not have a GPU, and/or has less than 512MB of RAM, there is no way your handset will get some CM9 love. If your handset already has an official alpha or beta build of CM9, then you and your Android handset are completely safe unless things go seriously wrong!
Motorola and Samsung has already announced their Android 4.0 update plans for smartphones and tablets. HTC has already started rolling out the Android 4.0 update for the Sensation and Sensation XE smartphones. However, the owners of HTC’s other popular smartphones were left in the dark. Now, HTC went ahead and released a complete list of smartphones, which will get the latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update. Check out the complete list after the break.
HTC DROID Incredible 2
HTC Amaze 4G
HTC Desire S
HTC Desire HD
HTC EVO 3D
HTC EVO Design 4G
HTC Incredible S
HTC Sensation XL
HTC Sensation 4G
HTC Sensation XE
HTC’s popular smartphones and tablet such as HTC Salsa, HTC Desire Z and HTC Flyer will not get the Android 4.0 update. HTC will roll out the Android 4.0 update for the HTC Sensation 4G and HTC Sensation XL in the next few weeks. It will take some time for all carriers in each country to get the update.
Darren Krape, Global Community Manager, HTC, said,
“As for timing, we’re in the early stages of rolling out Android 4.0 for the HTC Sensation and HTC Sensation XE and upgrades will be more widely available in the next few weeks. We are working closely with our carrier partners to nail down update schedules for our other smartphones and will have more to share very soon.”