Ice Cream Sandwich is the biggest update yet for Android. It significantly redesigns the user interface, moving the emphasis away from buttons and menus and more toward gestures, making the system more fluid and easier to use in the process. It also has hardware benefits, running faster than Gingerbread as well as combining the user experience on both phones and tablets.

Samsung Galaxy ICS updates

First seen on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus there are offiicial updates confirmed for a number of handsets from 2011. At the time of writing the Google Nexus S was the only phone to have received the update, but the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note were both scheduled to receive it in the first quarter of the year, with the latest rumours putting the SGS2 update as rolling out from 1 March., the update is available now in some parts of the world, and from 19 March in the UK.

The company has not finalised plans for other models, although had previously stated there would be no updates for the original Galaxy S or Galaxy Tab due to memory limitations.

LG ICS updates

LG has announced updates for the Optimus LTE, Prada phone, Optimus 2X and a few others for Q2, with the Optimus 3D and Optimus Black among devices that will receive it in Q3.

Xperia ICS updates

Sony Ericsson, now in the process of rebranding itself as Sony, has committed itself to updates for all of last year’s Xperia handsets. These will begin at the end of March with the Xperia Arc S and Ray among the recipients. From May Xperias Arc, Play, Neo, Mini and Mini Pro, Pro and Active, as well as the Live with Walkman will form the second wave of ICS rollouts. The newly announced Xperia S will also be updated in Q2.

Motorola ICS updates

The Razr and Xoom Wi-Fi only version (in Europe) will be the only devices to get ICS in Q2, while the newer Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition will get it in Q3.  The Atrix and Xoom Wi-Fi + 3G version will get an update, but information on the timing has not been announced, and a decision has not yet been made on the Motoluxe and Pro+ handsets.

HTC ICS updates

HTC, meanwhile, will initially roll out ICS updates for the Sensation and Sensation XE from March, followed ‘soon thereafter’ by the Sensation XL. HTC has also confirmed there will be updates for the HTC EVO 3D, HTC Incredible S, HTC Desire S and HTC Desire HD later this year. UPDATE: The full list has now been confirmed.

Tablets

On the tablet front Ice Cream Sandwich updates will be more forthcoming, perhaps due to the relative lack of customisation each manufacturer adds to these products. The Asus Transformer and Transformer Prime, the Motorola Xoom and Xoom 2, along with tablets from Acer, Huawei, Toshiba, Sony and Archos (the G9 range) will all be updated, and mostly within the first quarter of the year. Samsung Galaxy Tabs 10.1, 8.9 and 7.7 will also get it, but a schedule for that has not been announced.

Check back for further information on ICS updates as we receive it.

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