Verizon delaying Ice Cream Sandwich rollout?

Posted by Mark Raby

Verizon is being accused of putting a barrier between carrier and customer when it comes to Android 4.0.

Motorola has just updated its schedule for devices that will be pushed to the newest version of the Google mobile operating system. A bunch of handsets will be able to upgrade in the second quarter.

That is, unless you're looking at a handset that's only available on Verizon. Those are listed as being the "Evaluation & Planning" phase, with Motorola promising "further details to follow."

Verizon has, to its credit, confirmed around 14 devices that will be upgraded. However, the exact timetable remains the biggest mystery. The carrier said upgrades will happen this year, but it's only March so that leaves a big open window.

Right now, Ice Cream Sandwich is installed on around 1% of Android device, which is comprised almost exclusively of those with Samsung's Galaxy Nexus phone, the first device to launch with the new OS out of the box.

Ice Cream Sandwich is one of the biggest updates to Android yet, and includes such features as scanning your face to unlock the phone, a much more robust speech-to-text software program, and an entire platform of data sharing that focuses on Near Field Communication (NFC).

NFC so far has been mostly focused on using your phone as a payment device in retail stores, but with Ice Cream Sandwich's Android Beam, it can also allow users to easily share contact information, Youtube videos, or website addresses simply by waving two phones next to each other.

Several other manufacturers have pledged support for the new update, and a bunch of phones currently running an older version of Android will be eligible to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich beginning in the coming months.

However, those that have tried to upgrade have met a bevy of roadblocks. The Nexus S upgrade process had to be halted after it caused some phones to crash and become inoperable.

The same thing happened when Asus began to roll out Ice Cream Sandwich updates to its Transformer Prime tablet. As a result, manufacturers are still optimistic about the number of devices they can upgrade but they have become dodgy about when users can expect them.