Verizon has always surprised us when it comes to Android updates. Whether they are incremental versions or big chunks of valuable content, Big Red always knows how to keep customers happy, with relatively timely updates and clear announcements of what’s to come.
Today, the largest carrier in the U.S. announced the official list of devices that will receive upgrades to Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich. The upgrade list contains twelve names (mostly LTE devices), and, amongst them, we spotted several exciting Motorola and HTC devices, while Samsung is represented by a smartphone and two tablets.
Since its arrival in December 2011, Android ICS made quite a stir in the tech world, but had little impact on the actual users. The massive revamp was introduced with Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, developed in close collaboration with Google, back in October.
The declared purpose (besides adding over 200 new features) of Ice Cream Sandwich was to unite the tablet and smartphone flavors of Android under one well-optimized flag. Google’s move towards unification was long overdue, with competing products like iOS and Windows Phone already taking steps in the same direction.
Months have passed and, as with all previous updates, carriers worldwide are experiencing delays in rolling out the newest flavor of Android to their devices. Even if six months have passed since Google unveiled Android 4.0, ICS still fails to make a truly significant impact on the market. The latest studies show that only 1.6% of all mobile devices run Ice Cream Sandwich, most of these devices belonging to the Nexus series. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Android smartphones and tablets is still running Gingerbread (2.3) or, even worse, Froyo (2.2).
Most carriers struggle to roll out Ice Cream Sandwich to users, or (who knows) even hold it back intentionally, to give customers a gentle nudge towards purchasing the Galaxy Nexus. This makes Verizon one of the firsts telcos to speak officially about the ICS update. Big Red just announced the official Android 4.0 line-up, and we can happily say that almost all big names are covered:
On the down side, Verizon failed to mention any dates whatsoever, meaning that we can’t even offer you a guess on when you’ll be able to enjoy ICS on your Verizon device.
By the looks of it, Verizon’s list is probably the final version, so don’t put your hopes too high if your device is not mentioned. Of course, for those who find themselves out of the official line-up, there’s always a dark side that you can join. CyanogenMod 9, anyone?