O2 rolls out ICS Android update to Galaxy S II users

O2 has made an Android 'Ice Cream Sandwich' 4 upgrade available to customers who own Samsung Galaxy S II smartphones.Samsung has already rolled the update out to people with unlocked Galaxy S II phones, but those tied to operators have had to wait longer, while those carriers modify the software with their own branding and services.

O2 has made an Android 'Ice Cream Sandwich' 4 upgrade available to customers who own Samsung Galaxy S II smartphones.

Samsung has already rolled the update out to people with unlocked Galaxy S II phones, but those tied to operators have had to wait longer, while those carriers modify the software with their own branding and services.

O2 rolls out ICS Android update to Galaxy S II users

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S II handsets on O2. Image credit: CNET UK

O2 told ZDNet UK on Tuesday morning that it is now pushing the upgrade through the Kies updating system, making it the second of the UK operators to do so. Three released their version last week.

The upgrading of the Galaxy S II is significant because it is Samsung's flagship Android phone and highly popular.

Despite having been released last year, ICS still accounts for a very low proportion of the versions of Android that are in use. According to Google's own statistics, less than two percent of Android users have this latest iteration.

The less widely-used ICS is, the less impetus there is for developers to optimise their Android apps for it. At the same time, some recent apps, such as Google's own Chrome browser for Android, will only work on ICS.

This fragmentation of the Android platform could be resolved if manufacturers and operators speed up their rollout of the latest versions of Android. By way of contrast, Apple users reportedly get their iPhones and iPads upgraded to the latest versions of iOS much more quickly, making that platform an easier prospect for developers.