Google is rolling out Android 4.0.4 software upgrades to several devices: the GSM Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S handsets as well as Motorola's Wi-Fi Xoom tablet will all see the software delivered over the air. Other devices will see it soon but that's not comforting.
Google is in the process of rolling out Android 4.0.4, the latest version of its mobile platform, to several devices. The GSM models of the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S handsets as well as Motorola’s Wi-Fi Xoom tablet will all see the software delivered over the air as a result. Google says it will “be rolling it out to more devices in the coming weeks.”
For Galaxy Nexus owners, the update is marginal because these devices have been running Android 4.0 since they launched. Faster screen rotation and and improved camera interface are likely the only noticeable changes. But for those that own a Nexus S phone or Xoom tablet, this will be the first taste of the software known as Ice Cream Sandwich. My own use of Android 4.0 on both phones and tablets shows a more intuitive and refined interface that is a vast improvement over the prior version of Android.
One other quick note: I purchased an unlocked Galaxy Nexus overseas and use it in the U.S. on both T-Mobile’s and AT&T’s HSPA+ networks. This model is getting the update, but Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus with LTE is not part of this update wave. It’s more likely that Verizon itself will provide an Android update for two reasons: Carriers typically offer updates for the devices they sell and because there’s CDMA-specific bits in the software.
This is where the vast array of hardware running Google’s software rears its ugly head. The same devices on different networks can have different software, user interfaces, apps and features. Because I tend to buy Nexus devices or install my own custom ROMs — I’ve been running Android 4.0.4 for weeks already — I’m generally not impacted.