Android upgrade for Google Nexus S ‘in weeks’
Google has confirmed that it will update the existing Nexus S handset to new Ice Cream Sandwich Android software in the next few weeks, but has also said that its original Nexus One is ‘too old’ for the upgrade.
Google’s Hugo Barra confirmed that the latest version of Android will be delivered as a free upgrade to the existing Nexus S handset “within weeks”. He said the search giant was aiming to get the software to owners of the previous flagship phone shortly after the release of the new Galaxy Nexus handset next month, well in time for Christmas.
Owners of the first official Google phone, the Nexus One, will not be getting the upgrade, however. Barra said the hardware was simply too old to run the new operating system.
Google launched the Nexus One, which was made by HTC, in January 2010, and closed the phone’s support forum on 1 November last year. Some fans, however, had hoped that aspects of the latest version of the Android software would still be compatible with the phone.
Barra also responded to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s attacks on Android phones. He had said that users “needed a computer science degree” to use Android.
Barra retorted that “Android, especially this new version 4.0, is an incredibly intuitive platform – the best one we’ve ever built. There are power user features, but there is no need for an instruction manual or a computer science degree”, he said.
Barra added that criticisms in some reviews about slowness of the operating system were based on one faulty device at the launch event in Hong Kong. Barra said the new Galaxy Nexus offered 60 frames per second and was “buttersilk smooth”.
“The operating system is thought through with the needs of the next three years in mind; it’s a wholesale revamp of the way people interact with the phone,” he said. “It’s something we’ve designed for the masses; it continues to cater for power users really well but the entry level users will be able to use it really well too and make the phone their own.”