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02 Jun 12 June Android Stats: A Little More Ice Cream, Still A Lot Of Gingerbread

Google’s updated its developer website with the latest statistics for Android platform use. Spoiler: Android’s still a bit fragmented, with one-fifth of all devices sporting Android 2.2 (Froyo), which is nearly triple the number of devices running Android’s latest release, Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich).

On the plus side (for Google), adoption of the latest version of its mobile OS has grown since April. Google’s Developer “Platform Versions” site puts Ice Cream Sandwich use at approximately 4.9 percent of all recorded Android devices when stats were pulled for April of this year. Ice Cream Sandwich adoption is up to 7.1 percent as of June 1 – a modest gain, but a gain nevertheless.

Devices running the Gingerbread version of Android’s OS – that’s Android versions 2.3 to 2.3.7 – still make up the lion’s share of Android’s base. And this chunk isn’t slowing down: Sixty-five percent of all Android devices rocked Gingerbread as of Google’s June figures, up six-tenths of a percent from its April’s analysis.

A significant portion of Google’s Android base still runs Android 2.2, or Froyo – 19.1 percent, down nearly two percent from Google’s April figures. The more impressive figure is that nearly six percent of all recorded android devices sport a version of the OS that’s even older: Android 2.1, or Eclair, takes up 5.2 percent of Android’s recorded devices as of Google’s June 1 analysis. Nearly 1 percent of all Android devices run either Android 1.6 (Donut) or Android 1.5 (Cupcake) – time to throw out the legacy products, people.

Of course, the version numbers of Android’s operating system are just one part of the complicated picture that aspiring developers have to deal with when working with Android. The popular infographics from the makers of the OpenSignalMaps application illuminate the Android world to much greater detail.

In their analysis – which pulled in statistics from nearly 4,000 Android devices (there are likely much fewer actual Android devices, however, as a user’s custom ROMs can make a device appear to be a “new” piece of hardware when it really isn’t) – Gingerbread’s still the most-used of the Android versions. That hasn’t changed over the past year. However, back in April of 2011, the top two Android versions accounted for 90 percent of all devices on OpenSignalMaps’ analysis; that number’s now down to 75 percent as of April of this year.

OpenSignalMaps’ developers go into the fragmentation issue further, showing off all the different brands that have accessed the app as well as the different screen resolutions that aspiring developers have to keep in mind when designing on the Android platform – a lot more than iOS, for what it’s worth.

But does that mean that Android’s “fragmentation” is bad for the platform?

“We’ve collected signal data from 195 countries – the variety of Android devices and manufacturers has been crucial in allowing the OS to reach so many markets,” reads OpenSignalMaps’ blog post.

“One of the joys of developing for Android is you have no idea who’ll end up using your app.”

It’s a notion echoed by Google’s own Andy Rubin, vice president of Engineering, in an April 2011 blog post.

“We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ solution. The Android platform has already spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices – many of which were not originally contemplated when the platform was first created. What amazes me is that even though the quantity and breadth of Android products being built has grown tremendously, it’s clear that quality and consistency continue to be top priorities,” Rubin wrote.


For more tech tidbits from David Murphy, follow him on Facebook or Twitter (@thedavidmurphy).

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

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02 Jun 12 Android 4.0 finally on the way to Verizon’s Xoom and T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II

By (@jr_raphael) G+

Android 4.0 Verizon Xoom T-Mobile Galaxy S II

Android fans, rejoice: A couple of long overdue Android 4.0 upgrades are finally on their way into the world.

Ice Cream Sandwich will be available for Verizon’s 3G/4G Motorola Xoom starting next Monday, June 4, the carrier has officially announced. The upgrade will be sent over the air, meaning you’ll get a notification on your tablet when it becomes available to you. You can also manually check for the upgrade by going into the “System Updates” section of your Xoom’s “About Tablet” settings menu.

As a flagship “Google experience” device, the Xoom should have gotten Ice Cream Sandwich long ago. The problem, according to one Android engineer, is “operator approval” — in other words, carriers like Verizon taking far too long to review and then pull the trigger on Google’s OS updates.

(On a related note, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus may actually get its long-delayed Android 4.0.4 upgrade sometime soon, too. It’s an incremental upgrade, relatively speaking, but still one that should have hit months ago. (Thanks for that, Verizon.) Big Red posted support documents for the upgrade earlier this week, and some users have reported receiving it already.)

The other good news is for owners of T-Mobile’s Samsung Galaxy S II. The T-Mo GSII will taste Ice Cream Sandwich starting June 11, according to a tweet sent by T-Mobile USA’s official Twitter account today. The tweet says the upgrade will be delivered via Samsung’s Kies application — for whatever reason, non-Nexus Samsung phones rarely seem to enjoy the convenience and simplicity of over-the-air upgrades — and that more details would be announced soon.

Android Power TwitterRemember, you can find the latest upgrade status for any phone or tablet in my Android 4.0 upgrade list. It’s always kept up to date with the most current info available for all devices.  

SEE ALSO: Google’s grand Android plan: Finally, it all makes sense 

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on , Twitter, or Facebook.

Article copyright 2012 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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02 Jun 12 Android Phones: Which Companies Do the Best Job With Android Updates?

If there’s one thing to hate about Android, it’s the uncertainty about whether your phone will ever run the latest and greatest version of Google’s mobile OS.

Besides delivering new features, these updated versions of Android also bring security patches and bug fixes that can solve major problems in performance, call quality, and even battery life.

Since Android updates vary depending on mobile service carrier and phone model, we’ve put together a chart to help you keep track of which phones will (or won’t) be updated to the next major version of Android. To check for your phone’s status on the chart, see “Android Phone Updates: A Comprehensive Guide.”

The list focuses on phones now available and phones confirmed to be moving up to the next major version of the OS (currently, Android 4.0, code-named Ice Cream Sandwich). Android 4.0 is a huge step forward for the Android OS, and the update significantly changes how Android looks and feels. It includes updated versions of all of the core apps, such as Gmail and Maps, and the OS looks much slicker as well.

We’ll update the chart regularly, so we invite you to check in periodically to see whether your phone will be getting a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich or any of the future dessert-nicknamed updates such as Android Jelly Bean.

That accounts for the specific information in the chart–but what does the overall data tell us about how successful different carriers and phone manufacturers are at updating their phones with newer versions of Android?

Updates by Carrier

The data in our comprehensive chart indicates several trends. ATT and Verizon currently have the largest number of phones that either run Android Ice Cream Sandwich now or are scheduled to receive it (nine models each); next in line come Sprint (seven models) and Verizon (five).

If we look at how many phones are already on Ice Cream Sandwich, however, the rankings get shuffled quite a bit, with Sprint and T-Mobile tied at the top, and ATT and Verizon playing catch-up.

In fact, T-Mobile, the carrier that had the lowest percentage of expected Ice Cream Sandwich-friendly phones in the first chart turns out to have the highest percentage of phones running Android 4.0 now. Sprint follows close behind T-Mobile on this measure, with ATT coming in a distant third and Verizon an even more distant fourth. Most of Verizon’s lineup is scheduled for updating, but at the moment only one of its phones runs Ice Cream Sandwich.

Updates by Phone Manufacturer

The data for updates by manufacturer is striking, too. First, let’s look at the numbers for the top five Android phone makers, based on existing or planned upgrades to Android 4.0.

HTC has been good about promising updates, and 80 percent of HTC devices now available either have Ice Cream Sandwich or are slated to get it sometime this year.

Both Motorola and Samsung have issued timelines for future Android 4.0 updates; for various reasons, however, a few of these manufacturers’ current Android phones won’t be updated.

For instance, though Sony initially promised to update its entire line of 2011 Xperia phones to Android 4.0, the company subsequently announced that the Xperia Play and the Xperia Play 4G (on Verizon and ATT, respectively) would not be receive that update. Likewise, Motorola’s Droid 3 will never run anything higher than Android 2.3–even though the phone came out a little less than a year ago.

You may have noticed that the carrier data lists 30 existing or planned Android 4.0 phones while the manufacturer data lists 33 such phones. That’s because Samsung’s total includes three unlocked Ice Cream Sandwich models: the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy S II, and the Nexus S.

When we look at which manufacturers already have phones running Ice Cream Sandwich, we see little shifting in overall position.

Of the five major manufacturers of Android handsets, only two currently ship phones that run any version of the operating system higher than Android 2.3.

HTC has the largest number of phones currently running Ice Cream Sandwich; some of them shipped already running the OS, and others have been upgraded from Android 2.3. Samsung has three phones already on Android 4.0, but all of them are Nexus devices; the company’s Galaxy S II line hasn’t been updated since the phones launched back in the second half of 2011.

Motorola, like Sony, promised that most of its 2011 line of phones would receive Android 4.0 updates–but we’ve yet to see Ice Cream Sandwich running on any Motorola phone. With Motorola Mobility now part of Google, we hope that those updates will arrive sooner rather than later.

And the Winner Is…

HTC currently has the best track record for keeping its phones up-to-date. To strengthen the future likelihood that your Android phone will have the latest version of Android, according to our research, your best bet is to pick up an HTC phone on either T-Mobile or Sprint.

If neither of those carriers is available in your area, or if you’re looking for LTE/4G speeds, buying an HTC phone on ATT is your next-best option.

Though Verizon offers a lot of Android phones, most of the updates that the carrier has promised remain simply promises. That’s not to say that the phones Verizon offers are bad. But you may have to wait a bit longer for updates to reach your Android phone.

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31 May 12 Dear Android App Developers, Can We Quit With the Menu Button Already and …

You see that massive, ugly black bar across the bottom of my HTC One X? Yeah, that would be the menu button that Android app developers refuse to move away from even though the Android team announced back in January that the death of the menu button was happening.

What they were hoping to accomplish with this move was a more consistent experience on Ice Cream Sandwich devices because going forward, Android was moving away from dedicated hardware menu buttons. Instead of coding your app to use a dedicated hardware menu button, they recommended that you take advantage of the action overflow capabilities in Android 4.0, which is essentially a menu button that is added to the app rather than one that is tied to a navigation button. If you do not code your app to use action overflow and instead tie it to a navigation button, you get the experience I have captured above if no menu button exists. 

Here are a few examples of apps still using the menu button, one being a Google app. And these aren’t all of them either, Foursquare, Hootsuite, ESPN Scorecenter, Sonos, Amazon MP3, Huffington Post, LinkedIn, and so on all continue to use a dedicated menu button with their apps. The list is enormous, and as you can tell, we aren’t talking about some tiny one-man operation here. These are the big boys that are failing to follow Android guidelines.


How should it work and why this move? Well, Google got half way there in their Reader app. As you can see from the screenie below and above left, the top right corner includes a 3-dotted button that is the action overflow area. When pressed, you get additional options that you would normally find when pressing a menu button. It makes sense to use this approach since ICS was built for multiple screens, some of which do not have hardware navigation buttons at all. If you code your app to use action overflow and it is tablet and phone compatible, you get the same experience on both. If you code it to use a menu button, depending on the phone and tablet that a person has, you may have two totally different experiences, which could be confusing to your users.

The reason I bring this up today is because we are seeing more and more phones launch without dedicated hardware menu buttons. The entire HTC One series along with the Incredible 4G LTE and EVO 4G LTE all do not have dedicated menu buttons and will have to experience the evil black bar. It’s time that developers recognize this. Unfortunately, these companies all likely test their apps on a Galaxy Nexus which has the ability to add a menu button to the on-screen navigation area, so they probably think that nothing is wrong.

The end of this issue is no where near completion, but you may want to start asking your favorite app devs to code their apps correctly. As devices continue to launch without dedicated menu buttons, you will soon understand the pain that some of us are experiencing on a daily basis.


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31 May 12 Sony Announces Waterproof Android Phones, the Xperia Go and Arco S

Sony Xperia Go

Sony’s Xperia Go will launch as the Xperia Advance in the U.S., and run on Android Gingerbread. Photo: Sony

Finally, a couple of phones that can survive soda spills and even accidental drownings.

Sony announced two waterproof smartphones on Wednesday. They both run dual-core processors, but one of the new handsets will ship with an outdated version of Google’s Android operating system.

The Xperia Go and the Xperia Arco S are both set for release in the third quarter of this year, though Sony officials haven’t yet said how much the phones will sell for when they launch. The Xperia Go, which will be called the Xperia Advance in the U.S., will ship running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), though an upgrade to Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is promised.

The Xperia Arco S will ship with Sony’s skinned version of Android 4. The latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, debuted last November on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and six months later, top phone makers such as Motorola, HTC, LG and Sony are still struggling to offer software updates to consumers. The Xperia Go’s use of Gingerbread is simply the latest example of this.

The Go is aimed decidedly at the low-end of the smartphone market, with a 3.5-inch touchscreen sporting a 480×320 resolution. Inside, the Go will house a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 5MP rear camera. The Go will be sold in either black, white or yellow.

The Arco S is aimed toward the high-end, with a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, NFC connectivity, a 12MP rear camera and a 4.3-inch 720p display. The Arco S will be offered in black, white and pink. Both the Go and the Arco S feature scratch resistant screens and, impressively, the ability to track finger input even when covered in water — something most waterproof gadgets can’t do.

Sony Xperia Arco S

The Sony Xperia Arco S is waterproof. Photo: Sony

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30 May 12 Android 4.0.4 rolls out to Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET)

Galaxy Nexus owners are getting a taste of the latest flavor of Ice Cream Sandwich, aka
Android 4.0.4.

Verizon has already approved the latest Android update to start rolling out. The Verizon Web site indicates that the update is coming soon, though a fellow CNET reporter with a Verizon Galaxy Nexus confirmed that he has already received the update.

The 4G LTE Galaxy Nexus came equipped with Android 4.0 out of the box, so the new update brings it up the latest version, namely Android 4.0.4. A Verizon spokesman told CNET that the update also offers various enhancements for the phone.

A Verizon update page provides more information about the various enhancements and benefits along with instructions on how to update your phone.

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30 May 12 Android 4.0: Tracking Ice Cream Sandwich’s Availability on Smartphones

Last week HTC published a list of phones that will receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, along with approximate launch dates and a projected completion date of late August 2012. This is not a very encouraging prospect considering Google officially introduced ICS last October. Also because Android’s next major revision codenamed Jelly Bean will be close to release by then (slated for Q3/12).

But this is not an issue with HTC phones exclusively. In fact, Ice Cream Sandwich is more the exception rather than the rule on Android devices across the board. Theres a total of four smartphones shipping with the OS preloaded, just over a dozen with upgrades available, and more than 30 on the coming soon list (also: see a list of Android 4.0 ICS highlights).

Your choices here are limited to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which was released in December in partnership with Google and features an unskinned version of Android 4.0, and the HTC One lineup comprising the One S on T-Mobile, One X on ATT, and Evo 4G LTE on Sprint. These are soon to be joined by the Samsung Galaxy S III, which is expected to launch globally soon, including all four major carriers in the US.

These smartphones are already being upgraded to Android 4.0. If you own one of these and are still waiting for the update to come through, keep in mind that theyre being rolled out over a period of several weeks.





Galaxy S II (unlocked, Canada)


Xperia Ray


Sensation XE


Galaxy S II LTE (unlocked, Canada)


Xperia arc S


Sensation 4G (T-Mo, Bell, Virgin Ca.)


Galaxy Note (unlocked)
Xperia neo V


Vivid (ATT)


Nexus S 4G (Sprint)


Xperia arc


Velocity (Australia)


Nexus S (unlocked)


Xperia neo


Amaze 4G (T-Mobile)

Raider 4G (Bell Canada)

Not all phone manufacturers are offering specific details as to when each of their devices are getting upgraded to Android 4.0. Motorola is only listing them by quarter, while HTC recently provided a two-month release window, and Sony is being a little more specific with the next round of updates starting this week and continuing throughout June into the third quarter. Samsung is not giving out any dates whatsoever.

HTC notes that due to localization, testing, and partner approvals, updates do not roll out to all devices at the same time. For devices on a wide variety of carriers and in many countries, rollouts can take up to 45 days from the initial update to reach everyone. You can manually check for updates by going to SettingsAboutSoftware Updates if you are not prompted to update automatically.

The upgrade to Android 4.0 will include Sense 3.6, not Sense 4, since some aspects of Sense 4 require dedicated hardware, which is not available on all devices.

To date, the only Motorola device that has been upgraded to Android 4.0 is the WiFi-only XOOM (and only the versions in the US or Canada). The company outlined their 4-step updating process back in December and plans to start rolling out a few of those soon. Regarding the selection of phones that qualify for updates and the ones that dont, Motorola has this to say: Obviously we want the new release to improve our devices. If we determine that cant be donewell then, were not able to upgrade that particular device.

Samsung has been at the forefront of the move from 2.3 to 4.0, rolling Ice Cream Sandwich out to a number of unlocked devices, including the hugely popular Galaxy S II. Unfortunately, updates to branded devices tend to get held up in carrier-specific testing so a lot of users with subsidized phones are still waiting their turn. Making matters worst neither Samsung nor carriers are sharing a timeframe for the update.

Sony has been pretty forthcoming about its Ice Cream Sandwich rollout and so far theyve mostly kept true to their planned upgrade schedule. Just recently they started rolling out updates for two of their 2011 devices and more should follow throughout the week and over the next month. Notably, the Xperia Play will be the only Xperia phone from last years lineup not getting the update, as Sony cited stability and consistency issues.

Sony is rolling out Android 4.0.4 to its devices while remaining on kernel 2.6.32 technically, ICS should feature Kernel 3.0.X+. Its unclear if this will result in any issues or missing features. A developer for Sony Ericsson had previously said that it takes a lot of testing and validation to make a new kernel stable, so they decided to keep the tried and tested 2.6.32 kernel to release ICS as quickly as possible.

If theres one lesson to learn here is that you should buy a phone that makes you happy today, not one that promises new features with an update that may or may not appear. Granted, thats a valid advice for any consumer electronic purchase, but Android serves as the perfect example for it.

That said, its not unreasonable to want your one-year-old phone to be able to get the latest software update, especially when you know its technically capable of running it. There are many new features to be gained in the transition from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich. Here are a few of the most noteworthy:

  • UI Improvements: Android 4.0 is based on a new look and feel, the Holo theme, which offers a more consistent experience throughout the OS and makes it easier for users to find those common buttons and actions. Theres also a new Roboto font thats easier on the eye and has a more modern feel.

  • Multitasking, Widgets, and Folders: Theres a new Recent Apps button that lets users jump from one task to another, and a side-swiping gesture to get rid of apps youre no longer using. Users can also resize widgets to their liking and drag and drop icons on top of each other to create folders.

  • Contacts and sharing: ICS ditches the old Android 2.3 contact list for one that shows richer profile information, including large profile picture, phone numbers, addresses, and a button for connecting on integrated social networks. Theres also a new NFC peer-to-peer sharing feature that allows users with NFC-capable devices to share apps, contacts, music, videos by touching one phone to another.

  • Improved speed and full hardware acceleration: Tests have shown significant performance improvements in Android 4.0 when it comes to handling graphics and using the web browser.

  • Data usage manager: Android 4.0 allows users to monitor total data usage by network type and application, as well as set limits on those data-hungry apps so you dont incur in expensive overage fees.

  • Various other new features and enhancements: You can access the camera and notifications without unlocking your device first, theres a new face-unlock feature, Wi-Fi direct support to share files between compatible devices, improvements to the camera and video apps, and more.

Lastly, its also worth noting that the lack of timely updates exacerbates Androids fragmentation problem, which makes it that much harder for developers to QA apps. If youve ever wondered why you run into bugs and other unexplained behaviors on Android but not on iOS, well, fragmentation probably played a part on it.

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29 May 12 Sony won’t update the Xperia Play with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Sony condemns its gaming smartphone to the past to ensure a “stable” gaming experience.

Poor Xperia Play. We hardly knew ye. Sony’s PlayStation certified gaming smartphone, the Xperia Play, is barely 1-year-old and it’s already being sent to the graveyard of antique tech. It’s Google, the Android OS-making partner that Sony has hinged its smartphone gaming hopes and dreams on, that’s leaving the Xperia Play in the dust.

The company posted on its official Xperia blog on Friday that after much deliberation, the decision was made to not update the Xperia Play to be compatible with Android version 4.0, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich. While most 2011 Xperia models will receive Android update version 4.0.4, the Xperia Play will be left in the dust to maintain a smooth gaming experience.

“In regards to Xperia Play, after extensive in house testing with out developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone with Ice Cream Sandwich,” reads the statement, “This decision was also verified when received similar feedback from the developer community… Our priority has and always will be to provide the best possible user experience on Xperia smartphones.”

Sony patents uncovered at the end of April hinted that the original Xperia Play wasn’t long for this world anyway. These designs (pictured above) hinted at a successor the Sony’s Android phone that had not one but two sliding input pads. One included the familiar video game controller inputs seen on the current Xperia Play and a second slide out pad with a full keyboard for texting and other writing tools.

Expanded functionality would certainly go a long way in making the Xperia Play a more attractive device, both to video game enthusiasts and to the regular smartphone buyer. Provided the dual slide pad build wasn’t too fragile, the phone could be a serious hit.

 While some critics slammed the Xperia Play for mushy buttons and iffy touch controls as substitutes for analog sticks, design was never the phone’s big problem. The Xperia Play was a failure because it didn’t have the games to make it a major success. The selection of compatible PlayStation titles was too small, the selection of Android games didn’t take full advantage of the available inputs, and the PlayStation Suite development tools intended to make development for Xperia Play, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita seamless have yet to materialize.

The smartphone market is the last place Sony should be competing right now though. Fingers crossed that someone else, maybe HTC, sees merit in the Xperia Play’s unique design though. Worth revisiting.

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29 May 12 Motorola Android 4.0 ICS software demoed

It appears that Motorola is just about ready to bring on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for their Google mobile OS-toting line of smartphones starting with the DROID RAZR. This is evidenced by a set of videos showing off the software running on a faux display from the device with several upgrades that’ll make your old software look like a child in comparison. Each of these videos can be viewed below while the actual update will not be released until a later date.

This update has been long awaited by those DROID-loving folks who have been seeing this newest Android version popping up on the rest of the top-tier devices for some time now. What you’ll see here is Motorola’s version of Android 4.0, complete with their own set of icons, screen transitions, and applications, but with many of the Ice Cream Sandwich perks you know and love. This will be the basic build for Android 4.0 ICS that all Motorola devices will have (if they’re compatible) in the near future.

NOTE: Check out our Motorola DROID RAZR review if you don’t already own this hardcore piece of metal, plastic, and LTE.

Have a peek at three videos – the above being the main Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich interface walk-through, and below being the camera application.

Above again is the camera application demonstration while below will show you the brand new lock-screen, amongst the most interesting lockscreens yet produced in the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich environment.

This update will be coming to your device soon. Meanwhile have a peek at our recent history with the RAZR to see what else has been going on with your Motorola hero smartphone – stay thin!

[via Motorola]

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28 May 12 Sony Ericsson Xperia Play: Sony Axes Android 4.0 ICS Update

Sony Xperia Play(Photo: Sony)

Earlier this year, Sony announced that the Xperia lineup of android smartphones, released in 2011 and 2012, will get the latest taste of Ice Cream Sandwich. However, in a shocking announcement, Sony removed the PlayStation phone – Xperia Play – from Android 4.0 ICS update list.

In a blog post on Friday, Sony confirmed that the Android 4.0 ICS update for Xperia Play has been axed due to gaming stability issues. The manufacture said that Android 4.0 ICS is more powerful and resource intensive. As a result applications requires powerful CPU, more RAM and network bandwidth. Developers and testers faced a significant decline in performance when running graphic intensive games and so the ICS update for Xperia Play is not recommended.

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“In regards to Xperia PLAY, after extensive in-house testing with our developer teams and working with our partners, we have concluded that a consistent and stable experience, particularly with gaming, cannot be guaranteed for this smartphone on Ice Cream Sandwich – therefore, we will not make the Android 4.0 upgrade available for Xperia PLAY,” said Sony on its official Xperia product blog.

Sony cancelled the update after receiving negative feedback from testers and developers regarding the beta build of Android 4.0 ICS for unlocked Xperia Play, which was rolled out earlier as a test platform prior to official update release.

“This decision was also verified when we received similar feedback from the developer community; both experienced developers and advanced users, along with game content providers following our ICS beta ROM for unlocked Xperia PLAY smartphones,” said Sony, justifying the update cancellation for Xperia Play.

“Our priority has and always will be, to provide the best possible user experience on Xperia smartphones. In this instance the ICS upgrade would have compromised stability, where we look to ensure a quality gaming experience with games optimized and developed for Xperia PLAY.”

This is surely a bad news for Android gamers, especially for proud owners of the PlayStation smartphone. However, the company is not avoiding ICS update for other devices. Sony Xperia Ray, Xperia Arc S and Xperia Neo V just got ICS update last month.

On the other hand, ICS update for Xperia Arc, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will start rolling out next week. After it, the new NXT series smartphones – Xperia S, Xperia P and Xperia U – are next in the update list.

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