HTC names 'first wave' of Ice Cream Sandwich phones

The Taiwanese manufacturer is the latest to say which of its devices will get upgrades to Android 4.0, following similar announcements from Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, LG and Asus
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

HTC has become the latest Android device manufacturer to announce which of its products will be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, version 4.0 of Google's operating system.

Ice Cream Sandwich is the first version of Android optimised to run on both smartphones and tablets. The resulting hardware requirements have meant some devices will not get the upgrade. However, on Monday HTC said seven of its smartphones will be taken up to Android 4.0 in the new year.

The OS upgrade will be available "in early 2012" for the Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation XE, Rezound, Evo 3D, Evo Design 4G and Amaze 4G, according to a note on the Taiwanese manufacturer's UK Facebook page.

The company described the seven as "the first wave of HTC phones that will receive upgrades", so there is a possibility that others will also get the bump up to the new version of Android. There is as yet no word on whether HTC tablets such as the Flyer will get it.

"We're continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich," the device maker said.

In addition to acting as a bridge between Android phones and tablets, Ice Cream Sandwich includes several major new features and improvements. These include the ability to share links and apps by tapping two phones together, a new Gmail app, a heavily revamped Android browser and a general updating of the operating system's look.

HTC's Rezound, Evo Design 4G and Amaze 4G are all phones for the US market, as is the Vivid. US operator AT&T has said the Vivid will be upgraded to Android 4.0, although HTC itself has not confirmed this. Unlike the Nexus S, for example, which runs stock Android and therefore gets an easy upgrade, HTC has to work the modifications in Ice Cream Sandwich into its proprietary Sense interface.

Beyond HTC, the LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket is being upgraded, according to AT&T. Together with the Nexus S and the upcoming Galaxy Nexus, that will make three Samsung phones moving to or being released with Ice Cream Sandwich.

Sony Ericsson said on 19 October, via its Dutch Facebook page, that its entire Xperia 2011 range will be moved to Android 4.0. Motorola's new Razr Android phone will also get the upgrade, as will its Xoom, Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition tablets. In addition, Motorola said on 19 October that its 4G-friendly Droid Bionic will run on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Asus has pledge the upgrade will appear on its Padfone, Transformer Prime and Eee Pad Transformer devices. LG said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that the Optimus 2X will be upgraded, along with "other LG high-end smartphones".

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