Sony’s released a beta version of Ice Cream Sandwich for the Xperia family Phones. It’s allowing eager-beaver Android fans to get a scoop of Android 4.0 ahead of the official release. Sony Ericsson is currently rolling out the upgrade to Gingerbread 2.3.4 across its entire 2011 Xperia smartphone. This software upgrade will be available through a phased roll out in select markets. Beyond Gingerbread 2.3.4, we plan to upgrade our 2011 Xperia smartphone portfolio to the next Android platform made available to us. The transition from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0, however, always seems to have been stalled due problems ever since it was released five months back and most of the manufacturers are yet to launch ICS on their existing devices. ICS, which builds on the things people love most about Android, such as easy multitasking, rich notifications, customizable home screens, resizable widgets and deep interactivity, is a simple, beautiful and useful OS that adds powerful new ways of communicating and sharing. Sony has detailed the updates a little more,
Today Sony’s offering up more details about exactly when each of its 2011 (and 2012) Xperia handsets will be getting the latest version of Android. The manufacturer had previously promised updates during Q1, but with just two days of the current quarter remaining, it should come as no surprise that things haven taken a little longer than anticipated. The first Sony devices to get ICS will be the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray, starting mid-April. Next up it’s the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Pro, Xperia Active and SE Live with Walkman, which will get ICS from “the end of May/early June. If you’ve just bought a brand new Xperia S, though, you’ll be in for a much longer wait. Sony’s new European flagship isn’t expected to get ICS until late Q2. As we said in our review, the Xperia S is a phone which sorely needs that ICS update, and early adopters will no doubt be frustrated to find themselves at the back of the line. Sony also revealed that for 2011 Xperia phones, ICS will be an optional upgrade rather (through the PC Companion app) than a automatic over-the-air update. This is similar to the strategy adopted by Sony Ericsson with the Xperia X10′s Gingerbread update. Writing on its Developer World Blog, Sony explains that ICS may actually degrade performance for some users due to increased memory use, and changes to the way SQL databases are handled, so it’s not forcing the update on anyone in an OTA.