Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

Summary: Android device owners are clamoring for information about when they can expect Android 4.0 to arrive. They should be wondering what flavor they will get if it does.

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TOPICS: Android, Google
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The unveiling of Android 4.0, the next big thing for the platform, has Android owners buzzing, and rightly so. The entire interface has been revamped and the system looks as slick as can be. I am looking forward to getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update for my Nexus S, and millions of Android owners are now clamoring to find out when they might expect ICS to roll out for them. In addition to the question of when (or if) a particular Android device will get the big update, there's also the standard issue with updates: will partners change core features in their update?

This has always been an issue with major Android updates. Handset makers and carriers are scrambling to make their offerings different from the Android crowd. This is commonly accomplished by altering the core user interface, and also by modifying apps like the web browser to make them different.

This means that even when a particular phone gets an Android 4.0 update, it will be different from that shown off recently by Google that has everyone excited. While a device update may not be wildly different from what we've seen from the platform creator, you can be assured it will deviate from it when it finally hits different devices.

You've probably seen this happen with past updates. A common scenario is you pick up a device running Gingerbread and notice immediately that the browser is different than that on your own device. Maybe the bookmarks are handled differently, or the page rendering is not quite the same. These are not deal-breakers by any means, but they indicate that the Android version running on different devices is not quite the same.

Hopefully partners won't mess around with Ice Cream Sandwich too much, but it's a safe bet that they will make it a little unique to stand out in the crowd. If you're lucky, the features changed won't be ones that caught your eye in the Google presentation of ICS.

You can avoid this customization of Ice Cream Sandwich by going with a Google Flagship phone. Google makes the partners agree to keep the full stock OS on these phones. This is why I own a Nexus S 4G, the current flagship phone from Google until the next is available (Galaxy Nexus). Google has already promised my phone will get ICS quickly, and I know I'll get just what has been shown off to the faithful.

Other Android phone owners will turn to the homebrew crowd to not only get ICS as early as possible but also to get a relatively stock version of it. This works well and many owners swear by custom ROMs, and rightly so.

It's says a lot about a platform when device owners who actually get a major update, may get one modified from the official release version. You may get Ice Cream Sandwich, but will yours have all the sprinkles found on the official version?

Image credit: Flickr user henofthewood

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Topics: Android, Google

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29 comments
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  • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

    Fugly bug 4.0 is coming .
    vivianvein
    • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

      @vivianvein It tookme about 12 months to really get into my HTC running android..I had to ween myself off of my iphone..Now its going to end up looking like an iphone? :)
      s_jarmin
  • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

    Okay, then answer this, "how are they going to mod the front end without th Code?"

    Google isn't on the hook to release the ICS code until Android 5 rolls out...

    If anything, some of these vendors will choose to take the code from Honeycomb (due out next month) and modify that but it is unlikely you will see major front end differences with ICS just like there weren't major differences with the Honeycomb stuff (mostly icons, themes and widgets but nothing underlying).
    slickjim
    • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

      @Peter Perry I thought Google released the SDK already?
      JamesKendrick
      • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

        @JamesKendrick the SDK is just for app developers. The Honeycomb SDK has also been released. The SDK contains an emulator of sorts which is how some people have shoehorned it onto devices like the Nook Color.<br><br>Programmers and OEMs need the source code to makes changes to the GUI. <br><br>@Peter Perry - From PC Magazine - "We plan to release the source for the recently-announced Ice Cream Sandwich soon, once it's available on devices," Google engineer Dan Morrill wrote in a Wednesday Google Groups post.

        I am crossing my fingers. I am a little surprised that Google didn't partner with anyone to make a tablet to release with ICS.
        redhaven
      • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

        @JamesKendrick
        LMFAO :D SDK != Source code
        FAILLLLLL
        vivianvein
      • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

        @JamesKendrick Not at all James, The SDk is the Software Dev Kit but that typically does not include the Source Code for the OS...

        Android's License Agreement is written in a way that Google is not required to release the code until the next version of the software is released...

        In the past they were generous and you saw where that got them, inconsistent front ends! With Honeycomb they were much more strict with those guidelines and with the exception of a few widgets, live wallpapers and themes the GUI was largely untouched.

        Crud, the kluge that was the SD Card hack was actually more of a kernel hack and not something that interfered with compatibility at all.
        slickjim
      • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

        @Redhaven "Once it is available on devices"

        In other words, after their products are released so that the front end is as uniform as can be across all ICS Devices.

        Any changes made after that will leave the manufacturer with Egg on their face and not Google or Android.
        slickjim
      • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

        @vivianvein FAIL! SDK = Software Developer Kit NOT source code.
        rowdyguy124
      • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

        @RowdyGuy124
        Actually, you said the same thing @vivianvein said.
        Careful when you fling the FAIL, everyone.
        nrfong
      • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

        @rowdyguy124
        != means not equal to
        = means equal to
        == means you are checking

        read carefully
        mdeans@...
    • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

      @Peter Perry The source code has been released that day. A programmer has already gotten ICS running on the Nexus S. ICS will also be in the next major version of Cyanogen and other custom ROMS.
      rowdyguy124
    • Who has Modded?

      @Peter Perry
      Who has modded core code for any release 2.x and up?
      As far as I have seen, only Samsung has done that.

      So until CC 4.0 is released, we as users are safe(?).......
      rhonin
  • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

    I'd rather see a list of all the Android phones that are or are not going to make ICS available... how to know?
    doh123
  • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

    I'd rather prefer handset makers do their own stuff. You see, you don't like your Nexus S because it is pure Android untouched. However, most stuff you see in ICS were already in Samsung Galaxy S II codes included in. Samsung did a great job on UI, so does HTC... Everyone of them has found their fans. As you said, it is flavour. Android is MERELY a skeleton for every phone, what makes them look good or bad is their outer body...
    AmediaN
    • True but....

      @AmediaN
      On my SGS2 it is not the Samsung adds I don't like it is the AT&T ones. Fortunately They are links to download and activate, not the actual programs themselves.....
      Those I can hide and live with.
      rhonin
  • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

    Give Android to Apple and they can show everyone how to market it and dominate the market with it. Apple must have spent days laughing when they realised they were competing with an ''Ice Cream Sandwich''.


    http://mobilereviewsx.com/mobile-reviews/
    mobilereviewsX
    • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

      @mobilereviewsX ... like a lot of comments on these fora, you ignore that joe public doesn't see nor is affected by anything like Android version naming.
      daboochmeister
    • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

      @mobilereviewsX FYI. Android already dominates the market and its market share keeps growing.
      mrxxxman
  • RE: Android 4.0 is coming, what flavor ice cream will you get?

    Google stated that the source would be released when devices were available. ICS has been ported to the Nexus S today.
    JamesKendrick