Google and Samsung finally unveiled Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich last night, along with its hardware counterpart the Galaxy Nexus. Since the duo pulled a fast one and announced the new goodies in Hong Kong, news made its way State side at a rather awkward hour, meaning that you are likely waking up in a new era — the era of Android 4.0. If that’s the case, well then good morning and happy Ice Cream Sandwich day!
Alright, so now that you’re done celebrating, let’s talk business. I’m sure there’s one question on many of your minds right now: when will I get the ICS update? A couple handsets have already been promised Android 4.0, including the Samsung Nexus S and the freshly announced Droid RAZR. But all of you HTC phone owners out there also have an answer, albeit an incredibly vague one.
According to Pocket-Lint, HTC has made the following statement regarding updates to ICS on existing handsets:
We are excited about the latest update for Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, and are currently reviewing its features and functionality to determine our upgrade plans. Our goal for Android updates is to give every customer an improved user experience, which means balancing each phone’s unique hardware, HTC Sense experience and the Android kernel. While our goal is to upgrade as many of our recent devices as possible, we are committed to maintaining every phone’s performance and usability first. Please stay tuned for more updates on specific device upgrade plans.
In other words, “we have no idea how long it’s going to take us to lay Sense over Android 4.0, so bear with us.” You see, one of the great downfalls of Android, as well as one of its greatest strengths, is its openness. Because any handset maker in the world can use it, and customize it with its own UI, it takes that much longer to get the OS ready for each individual handset.
While some would say that HTC’s Sense interface is worth the wait, there’s a solid group of Android fans who much prefer the pure Google experience over any form of a custom UI, including MotoBlur and TouchWiz. Whether you’re from one school of thought or the other, prepare yourself for a wait. If the rate at which manufacturers released Gingerbread to existing handsets is any indication, ICS updates won’t be headed our way anytime soon.