Sony have done the decent thing (at last) and have started rolling out an Xperia ICS update for their 2011 Xperia range of handsets. This means that the owners of these handsets will no longer have to use the old Gingerbread operating system, and will instead be able to look forward to using the brand spanking new Ice Cream Sandwich system. This of course means a lot for the owners of the Xperia handsets, but what does it all look like deep down beneath the surface? Will it make a real difference to these phones and how they work, or will the update be nothing more than a whimper?
Xperia ICS UpdateThree handsets (Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Ray) in the Xperia range will be receiving the ICS update first, and this of course has already caused some controversy. Sony has spent time on their blog discussing the issue, and there is a nice and very handy spreadsheet that details the handsets that will be able to receive the update. Not exactly light reading, and not great reading if your Xperia is not on the list.
To get the Android Xperia ICS update users will have to connect their phone to PC Companion and Bridge for Mac software. This is of course good for security, but it would have been nice if Sony was to alert handset users to its availability and provide if via WiFi , like it often does with other smartphones.
Installing Ice Cream Sandwich
Sony are not going to provide any assistance at all when it comes to installing the Xperia ICS update, so that means you are on your own! Fortunately we have done some searching and discovered that the the good people over at the Xperia Blog have put together a quick update guide for Xperia Arc owners.
Here’s what they said:
We have been getting emails all weekend asking for a tutorial on how to install the official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update to the Xperia arc. We therefore thought we’d knock up a quick guide to take you through the process.
What will Xperia Owners Get With ICS
Ice cream Sandwich generally rocks, and anyone who is using it right now can see massive differences between this particular operating system and the Gingerbread one that came before it. Not least is the big difference between the browser on Gingerbread and the browser on Ice Cream Sandwich. It is much faster on the new beast, and a lot smoother. You get quicker rendering of web pages, and a general feel that you are zipping around the Internet like you’re on fire. Great stuff, and a real boost to anyone who has the Xperia with Gingerbread.
ICS Fun gimmicks
There are lots of tricks on Ice Cream Sandwich that make it one of the more exciting operating systems out there. One of the best gimmicky (but useful) type tricks is the option to answer unwanted calls with a text message. This means that whenever someone calls, and you see their ID, if you do not want to talk to them you can just flick on a text message reply. It is instantaneous and generally sends a message like ‘can’t talk now’, or ‘I’ll call you later’. Sounds cool, right?
You also get face unlock, which means that you can literally unlock your phone with the camera verifying your face. On top of that you get a ton of app storage space, as well as the ability to store your apps in folders too. We know the app folder thing has been around for a while, but Ice Cream Sandwich allows you to get a clearer view of the apps you have.
On top of all of that you get even better camera software than was already available on the Gingerbread system. Xperia owners won’t know what hit them, and it is long overdue. Well-done Sony.
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