This month, Sony Mobile will start to deliver the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system to all owners of Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray devices.
The company officially confirmed plans on the matter, as well as on its intent to release the same update to Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman in late May / early June.
These devices are powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread at the moment, and the upgrade will provide users with a great deal of enhancements over that older OS version.
To make sure that users are aware of what is coming their way, Sony Mobile provided a series of details on this update in a recent blog post.
“When it comes to ICS, it’s a major upgrade
of Android, and there are a lot of things that have changed compared to the Gingerbread release. Some of these changes affect the performance and stability of the system, for example by using more CPU power and RAM,” the company explains
“We are now adapting ICS to run on our 2011 Xperia smartphones, which are all built on a Qualcomm platform with single core and 512 MB RAM.”
Sony also notes that the resource usage in ICS is sometimes heavier when compared to Android 2.3, but that they managed to find the right path to optimize the OS for use on Xperia devices.
Some of the main changes that users will experience when updating to ICS involve the UI, which features the Holo theme. “Over a thousand icons have been modified” to fit the new OS, Sony explains, adding that there are also new wallpapers and application backgrounds available for users.
The activity manager features a new UI, and there is also the new Face Unlock application that can provide handset protection through face recognition and which is included in ICS for all devices with a front camera.
Additionally, users will access more info on contacts through the contact list, including social networking updates. The calendar features new color coding, and there is also support for a new type of voicemail.
ICS also comes with graphics hardware acceleration turned on by default for all apps from API level 14, which enables a smoother UI, but results in more RAM being used.
And with 340MB of RAM out of 512MB being reserved for the Linux user space in Ice Cream Sandwich, heavy RAM usage might become a bit of a problem sometimes.
However, as said above, Sony
claims that they managed to address some of these shortcomings, and that the experience users will receive when upgrading to Android 4.0 will meet expectations.
“For instance, we have not only optimised the RAM management by making the RAM usage for internal apps as good as possible, but we will also introduce a Performance assistant at start up when running ICS,” the company notes.
“In this Performance assistant, you can enable and disable certain services that you might not want to run on your phone, in order to optimise the performance of your phone.”