An internal testing Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the Samsung Nexus S 4G has been leaked out of Sprint, containing a new software modem, bootloader, and a 4.0.4 build.  Some are reporting this is the final version and we'll soon see an OTA for the NS4G, but that's speculation at this point.  We do know that this seems to run smoothly, with everything working including the Wimax radio.  It's build number IMM26, with a final kernel build and the ROM is signed with release keys which makes it pretty likely.

Of course the OTA for the Nexus S 4G can't come soon enough for many users, who have seen the 3G version of the Nexus S and the Motorola Xoom get their ICS builds pushed to them.  We have to remember that Sprint not only has more network testing involved in their version, but the addition of Google Voice integration and Google Wallet means their release cycle will be longer.  I'll go out on a limb and say Nexus S 4G users will see ICS released long before any other handset gets it, even if it's not imminent.  We've seen extremely stable builds of Android 4.0 for the NS4G for a while now, and you know the developers already have their hands dirty (trust me, they are all over it) using tonight's leaked files to make things even better.  If you're not the type who follows the manufacturers update path, hit your favorite ROM developer in a day or two.

If you're not the waiting type, visit the links below and try it on for size.  Heed the warnings, and if you hit any snags visit the forums and holler!

Source: XDA-Developers; via Android Central forums


Reader comments

Ice Cream Sandwich build (4.0.4) leaked for the Nexus S 4G, looks to be release quality


Better to wait, I'm running the NS 3g with ICS. Get ready
for email, browser, and many other crashes.

Don't know why you are having those issues. I've been running a hacked together IML74K ICS rom on my NS4G for over a month now with no issues at all. I imagine the official version will be even better.

That's because HTC has to do more work to get a new Sense on it. We'll get it when we get it, until then plenty of devs are making progress with ICS roms.

Awesome... Hopefully this is the big one and we can finally put all the complaints to bed about where is the NS4G official ICS update.

Android v4.0.4... LOL Gonna make them Galaxy Nexus owners M A D.. They are still rockin Android 4.0.2 :p

What I'd like to know? What the heck took so long?

I know about the initial Android 4.0 bugs & the holidays. Since ICS was launched for other Nexus S class devices? It's been 46 days. If there was a critical vulnerability for either 2.3.7 or 4.x up to now? Nexus owners would have been sitting ducks while Google & Sprint figured this out. I think this really calls in to question updates in a timely manner. It also questions how fast Google can fix its own dog food & the question of security updates in a timely manner.

For those of you saying that Nexus S 4G owners are complaining? No. Google & Sprint advertise this phone as having the latest OS builds. 46 days & counting doesn't quite equal up to that billing. If Google built this device, it shouldn't have taken this long. This was their baby. I'm simply raising questions & concerns about the platform that people honestly need to step back & think about.

Here here! This just goes to show Google's lack of commitment to legacy devices. Hell the original Nexus does not even get an update. When Google can not even address the fragmentation of their one device line (Nexus), you know there is a problem. With the combined elements of Samsung making shoddy phones with week radios, and Google giving horrible support, the NS4G will be my last Nexus phone for sure.

Why would you buy a Nexus device if you didn't have ROMs in mind? I think the obvious problem for NS4G owners is Sprint's odd network, and the Nexus 1 is easily upgradeable to ICS with a short trip to XDA or rootzwiki. Fragmented only of YOU choose to wait. And for those who would like to complain about manufacturer software upgrades, when was the last time your PC got an upgrade to the latest and greatest OS for free? Unless the software was awaiting release already when you purchased it, it didn't. Appreciate that Android is open source and these talented guys are able to give you most of the newest features on these Nexus devices without manufacturer or carrier interruption.

"Why would you buy a Nexus device"

Well let's see, maybe because Sprint and Google both advertised the NS4G as getting the latest OS updates. Just because there is a community that devote their free time to build great custom ROMS does not excuse Google from waiting 46 days to get anywhere near a new update that actually works. Not to mention if Google is so committed to supporting this community then why are they hindering it with exclusivity deals? Keeping a new device on one carrier for any amount of time limits the amount of people that will own that device. There fore limiting the community that is going to develop for it.

As for your statement about when my PC gets updates, that has nothing to do with a phone that was sold to me on the promise of having the latest OS version before all others.

Well the NS4G update wait really doesnt have anything to do with google (or them being lazy). Google is waiting on sprint, Sprint is being the lazy one. All because CDMA is proprietary.

You gripe about the Nexus One not getting ICS, but Google has already said why it won't be - ICS is too big to fit in the ROM space. I'm sure it will get community built ICS ROMs, but they'll probably be missing a feature or two.

Besides, the device is now two years old. Time to upgrade.

No it doesn't. Yet the community had working Roms within half a day after the sources were released a month ago. The question still remains what the hell has Google been doing?

one way or another - ICS should be officially available on all carriers by now - in one form or another - but it's not. if it was up to me i'd do a simultaneously launch of the Nexus on the Big US 3-4 every time. leave politics and exclusives out of the Nexus launch. leave that crap for the Droids and RAZRs etc. come on Rubin!

I suppose you'd convince all the carriers to invest in your unproven product somehow as well too, right? Its not as simple as "OK we made a phone, now you have to sell it." The facts are that "most" consumers aren't as concerned about the updates as the folks who read this site. They just want a phone that works, and most of the manufacturer skinned devices get the most advertising, work well and just sell better. Most people won't buy a phone like these at un-subsidized prices either. Personally I would rather be on a GSM carrier for the freedom to buy the unlocked euro phones that become available long before the US carriers vomit all over them. Too bad GSM coverage is horrible where I live. Either way, to get the carriers to carry and subsidize your product is a bigger deal than just producing one that will work on their network.

what? unproven product WTF?

my point is that having an official current Google Nexus (with ICS or whatever the latest OS) available on the Big 3-4 US carriers at launch is good for the Android ecosystem. it gives more Developers and customers the opportunity to be exposed to, use, buy for, and develop for the new OS and helps accelerate its adoption. when you limit the new OS update to one US carrier for a significant period of time (ie Verizon) it stagnates rather than accelerates the advancement of the ecosystem.

I'm in the UK (so 3G) with a Nexus S on T-Mobile.

Anyone know why I'm still waiting for ICS?

As I bought the phone to always have the latest Android version I did expect this month(s) ago.

I'd try a few different SIM cards. Vlad from TheVerge.com lives in london and has a Nexus S that was still on gingerbread. He came to Las Vegas for CES and said as soon as he put the local SIM in, it prompted him for the update.

Source: @vladsavov Tweet 1/9/12

Someone tell me what is the use of having a nexus phone if it doesn't get updates fast, most nexus line phones including nexus s and nexus galaxy are inferior to other Android phones when it comes to memory speed cameras so if nexus promises to deliver faster updates and it doesn't any other Android phone is superior by far, droid razor, galaxy s 2 htc rezound

It's about damn time we got something!!! We are treated like the red headed step children of the Nexus family just because of wallet, voice & wimax.

For these comments about buying a nexus to root it & install custom roms....maybe you do that, but not everyone does. And just because you don't root your phone does not mean you don't want the update just as badly!!! This having leaked means those users can now feel confident they will see some ics love in the coming weeks.

For the comment about the PC update: I got an update FREE OF CHARGE for my pc just about two weeks ago. I run ubuntu, and I constantly get update notifications. I expect the same from my android...and when you really boil it down, your android is not really a phone. It's more of a tablet pc with a phone app, am I correct?? :)

Now, let's discuss the issue at hand here...why is it taking them over a month and a half to release an update for us that was plainly already set & uploaded to their servers months ago. yes, I realize this update has got all the ICS goodness, like a sprint kernel, new btldr, radio & wimax....but that is no reason to take 6 weeks to just compile those things!! Everyone else had their carrier specific radios ready a month ago, so what's sprint's excuse?

On a side note: I get much better reception, and maybe even a little faster 4G now with the radio & wimax updates. Just FYI, in case anyone was wondering about that ;)