Google has confirmed that the Nexus S smartphone will get an upgrade to Android 4.0, “Ice Cream Sandwich” (ICS) – but said the older Nexus One is too old to run the new software.
Hugo Barra, Google’s product management director for Android, told a press briefing that the Nexus S update should arrive shortly after the launch of the Galaxy Nexus, the new Samsung-built Android flagship handset, in November.
The Nexus One will not be able to run ICS due to outdated hardware, according to Barra. The HTC-built Nexus One was originally released in January 2010.
Google carried out extensive user-testing and used this to “rethink the face of Android”, Barra reportedly said.
“Ice Cream Sandwich is the first step in rethinking Android for the next two to three years, and it’s the biggest release we’ve done in terms of [new] code,” he said, according to a report by Techradar.
Barra also took the time to respond to recent criticism by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer that Android needed a “computer science degree” to operate.
The platform is “incredibly intuitive” despite the presence of “power user features”, Barra said.
He said that a faulty device at the launch event in Hong Kong had resulted in reports of slowness, but in fact the new OS is “buttersilk smooth”.
ICS’ new features include data counters, multi-tasking, a new contacts system and security enhancements such as address space layout randomisation.
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