ICS

Since a few phones and tablets have been upgraded to (or shipped with) Ice Cream Sandwich, now is a good time to ask those who are using it what they think. We know, most devices don't have it yet (don't worry, you'll get to express your displeasure as well) but it's pinging the website enough to get a fair idea from enough folks to see how El Goog did with the latest version.

I bounce back and forth between devices with ICS and one or two without it. I'm probably in a unique position where I can really tell what's better (to me, anyway) and what's not after close inspection, but first impressions matter as well. Even if your first trip into Androidland has you running ICS, don't be afraid to vote! My vote? I really like it. Other than no persistent menu button (which I'm going to have to deal with on my own terms -- it ain't coming back) I think everything else is either a great improvement, or the beginnings of one. Some of it took some time to get used to, mainly the people app and the phone app, but it's starting to feel like old hat and I'm digging it.

But I know what I think. It's time to find out what you think -- tell us in tonight's poll!

 

 

Reader comments

Late-night poll: Your opinion of Ice Cream Sandwich

60 Comments

This is the first I've heard of this. I thought 4.0.4 made the GNEX alot better? But this is still not an official Verizon OS update, right?

I've been running the leaked 4.0.4 for about a month now, and I have never seen this bug happen.

Its not a major step forward in the UI if you ask me.

Loss of the Menu button in dedicated button-space (whether real buttons or soft buttons) is a step backwards. Nothing gained here.

Kind of like removing the enter key on the keyboard just to save a little space, forcing every app to include a button to do the same thing.

Please Admin delete all this messages except the first one. chrome froze and hit enter many times soooo sorry.

I have it on my Asus Transformer Prime (4.0.3), Huawei Ideos X5 (4.0.4) and Samsung Galaxy S2 (4.0.3). It is beautiful how Android scales up to tablet from phone.

I really love ICS but I can't fully use it until the updated RIL for Mecha is released but what I have used of it so far is amazing way better than Gingerbread!

Here's my honest opinion. I had a GN for about 2 weeks, and I found myself finding different things about ICS that I really liked. It was very intuitive, and sometimes almost knew what I wanted to do when I started doing the task. Having a Maxx now, I don't find myself saying "man I really need ICS on my phone. I will love it when it comes, but there is just not that much stand out features that makes me say that I cant live without it. I guess I just got wrapped up in the hype, and didn't really see a lot of differences in the 2.3.6 GB build, and ICS.

I switched from the iPhone to an AT&T Galaxy Note and have grown very frustrated with the amount of time it is taking for ICS to arrive on my device. Without bringing up a whole fragmentation debate it would be great if Google was able to ship more dev devices to more carriers. If a dev phone was available for AT&T I would have purchased it 1st but I will own the decision I made.

I have 2 dev phones on at&t. What you do is get the hottest most expensive phone and resell it and buy what you want.

Loving AOKP ICS on my USCC Samsung Mesmerize. Why wait when theres all these awesome devs out there bringing ICS to phones like mine that wont see any official ICS love from Samsung.

I have a droid x2 (or soon will) and I'm still waiting for Verizon or Motorola to update the droid x2 to ICS but it will be a long time before that happens. Come on Verizon and Motorola update the older droid phones to ICS.

I was really hating my SGS1. I was having a lot of problems with it, and no combination of stock software or custom roms made it perform how I felt it should. ICS breathed fresh life into my phone that let me make it through the last 3 months, and should hold me over for the next three months till I can get an SGS3 or One X.

Coming from the Captivate and going to the HTC Vivid with ICS it is like night and day. So smooth no lagging. I really enjoy all the improvements to the OS.

I voted "never" and I have an Evo 3D. And don't tell me about all those broken, half finished roms I could install.

isn't every android version like that? the beginning of something good? the way ICS works is that it tries to eliminate lags by either delaying opening up an application or shortening the scroll length. for example, on GB you can scroll through your contacts all the way down with one flick, on ICS you can't. in other words, ICS is not all better than GB, there's a give and take

I'm an android dev, and can tell you you are wrong, or at least not all right. Perhaps each list item in the contacts app is larger? Besides, the way android works, scrolling a list is a lot less intensive than scrolling something that isn't repeating.

Besides, I haven't noticed any difference in scroll length in my own app when run on GB or ICS.

I have the Droid Charge and I use Go Launcher, a lot of things about ICS I can do using Go Launcher
like drag one app over another app to make a folder, drag n drop apps to the bottom of the screen.
All sorts of things can be done using Go Launcher that are similar to ICS.

AOKP ICS on my GN = Best experience ever! Can't wait to get a 7" ICS tablet. I played with the new iPad today. Ewwww lol. It is not a tablet OS. I did not like it. ICS FTMFW!

I need an opinion....... Please... I have the thunderbolt right now &I can get an upgrade which I am doing.. Which phone do I get.. Nexus, Resound or Razor Max? This is a temp upgrade till I get my upgrade in November.. My mother in law is on my plan so I get her upgrade.. :-)

Having had all of the phones, here is a very honest opinion. I had a LOT of issues with my Nexus, but thats not to say everybody is having the issues. The only thing better about the Rezound and Nexus over the Maxx is the screens. Not saying the Maxx is a horrible screen, but its definitely noticeable when they are side by side. That being said, each phone does the same exact thing, none of them do something magical that the other wont do. For me, I have the best signal strength and connectivity with the Maxx, and the battery life makes it the best of the 3 in my opinion. The build quality of the Maxx is better in my opinion also. Im sure there are people that will try and trump up the Nexus, saying its bootloader is unlocked and this and that, but bottom line is that unless you are a developer this really doesnt mean a whole lot if your a normal phone user. If I had to choose between the 3 phones you listed, it would be Maxx all day long and twice on Sunday.

I doubt my phone MT4G will ever get it. So what I did was order a Asian cheapo tablet to test it out on. No one around me has it for me to test it out. Booooo

I love ICS, I'm running it on my Sensation and it's a huge improvement on Gingerbread. What I don't like, however, is the barrage of Nexus fanboys that have come out of the woodwork with it. Give it a rest guys, custom skins are not sent by Satan to cripple our phones.

Droid X user, have tried a few alpha builds that were fun while it lasted. Unfortunately I doubt any ICS work for the DX will ever get out of alpha =(

When I had the GNEX pure ICS was one of the few good things about the phone(along with the screen). Hopefully it will work just as well on my Rezound.

I wish there was a Meh option

Personally , I don't mind having it , but yet I won't die if I didn't have it
I think ICS is over hyped , sure it brings fixes & new features to mobile devices , but almost all of these "New Features" already exists as a part of Sense , MotoBlur , TouchWiz , Sony UXP NXT & Optimus UI

I'm not as blown away by it as some people were when it first became available, but I really do like it. With stock ICS, I have little desire to unlock and root my phone. I do have some qualms with it though, like the slow rotation speed, laggy keyboard, and I still don't know why the folks over at Google haven't added the power control widgets to the notification bar. Seriously, do it Google. Overall, I'm very satisfied with ICS, but am I bit miffed with the LTE version has yet to receive its update to 4.0.4.

The Galaxy Nexus is my first Android phone, and I came over from BlackBerry. There are a few things that really bother me, one... no syncing of Facebook contacts, of which I had to install an app which really seems to screw up my contacts, and calendar. I don't want everyone I have on Facebook to have a birthday entry in my calendar... but I can't seem to find a way to adjust any settings in the app, because the app doesn't appear in the app drawer system.

The lack of speed dial, and lack of conference call ability is enough that had I realized the pain before the purchase, I would still have my BlackBerry. I came from the BB Storm/Storm2 so it's not a keyboard / touch transition that's an issue. It's a loss of functionality. I had my BB synced with Google services and a manageable contact list, and not my contact list on my GNexus is *way* too large, and seemingly impossible to change.

Overall navigation and use of the phone is great. I use my Nexus far more than I did my BB for non e-mail/text/phone functions as the BB just didn't do non core functions well.

A couple of things:

1.) To fix the birthday issue you need to go into "Accounts & Sync" in the settings menu. Assuming you are using HaxSync, you can select it here and then click Preferences. In both Contact and Calender Settings you can choose to sync Phone Contacts only.

2.) To fix your contact list, click on the people app and then select the action bar. If you click "Contacts to Display", you'll have a variety of different options available. By playing around in here, you should be able to make your contact list much smaller.

For speed dial you can go to your widgets section hold the direct dial option drop on home screen and then select your contact. Or push the star next to their name in their contact info. This will put a big picture under you contacts (3rd tab on dialer) that you can click and call.

I have no idea on conference calling, I've never even tried 3 way calling

I loaded the ICS leak to my GNote and I very much like it. What is keeping me from loving it are 2-3-4 times a day freezes. Gingerbread 2.3.6 on the GNote was buttery smooth don't ever remember the phone freezing prior to the ICS update. They get this fixed in the final release and I wouldn't look back.

I'm waiting for it on my Galaxy Tab 10.1, as for my continuum that was just a bad choice in Androids. I've read my fair share of info on ICS and I'm not sure how much I'm going to benefit from it's nuances, but on the whole I'm excited because I was told I'm supposed to be.

It looks pretty but needs the hardware to back it up. On my transformer prime it ran flawlessly. It was quick and responsive. The OS and hardware seemed to compliment each other.

On my Nexus S it is slower and less responsive. Everything takes a littler longer to do vs gingerbread. You can tell the phone has to work harder. I have tried all sorts of roms, even the stock, and the results are the same. If you don't have the hardware you aren't missing anything. ICS was not meant for phones with specs similar to the Nexus S and it is apparent when you start using it.

I was getting very upset that Google was taking forever to get ICS out on the Nexus S but now that it is out I realize why they took so long to release it.

Once you get past the honeymoon phase of a brand new OS and if you aren't part of the "Google does no wrong" crowd you start to see the flaws. I have since returned to gingerbread where I will remain until I get a new phone.

I agree with your assessment of ICS on the Nexus S. There is some annoying lag at times but livable, at least for me, as I like the added features. I currently run the Apex Launcher.

The test will be to see if I can beat my GB uptime of 132 days on ICS.

Could not wait for a Nexus and jumped at the chance when vzw finally got one. I dont miss the menu button, although overflow is in diff places it is often prevalent enough to find quickly once you are used to it. There are things I miss from Sense like support for certain video types. But, I find myself lost when I try to use my gf's DINC. Overall I am very happy with ICS and wish more phones would update so everyone w/o a GNEX can experience it with manufacturer skins.

I love ICS on my Nexus.Running DT's rom on it.
I stil have my dinc as a second phone takes a little getting use to it again ,,after using the nexus awhile ha .

My main Android devices: Samsung Captivate Glide and Toshiba Thrive are still waiting for ICS. :( My beater phone, Sharp FX Plus, is still waiting for.. Gingerbread LOL!

I don't think there's going to be a huge difference UI-wise on the tablet, because I don't think the ICS UI is that different from Honeycomb. I do need ICS on my tablet though because I really depend on accessibility and as more apps get optimized for tablets, you can't zoom them in with Honeycomb's Zoom/Stretch feature to get larger fonts. :( As for my phone, I'm in less of a rush to see ICS because TouchWiz is quite usable and Talkback gets along nicely with the hardware keyboard.

I loved it when I got my Galaxy Nexis on launch day, and I love it even more now that I'm running AOKP.

Using it on a non AOSP device the SGSII. I feel it's an improvement, but not a huge improvement, a lot of the work they did was on the UI and manufacturer skins override a lot of that, the real features that stand out to me is just native bandwidth meter and the new multitasking menu which I like a lot, I own the SGS2 and the thunderbolt which is still on gingerbread and after I've used it for awhile on my SGS2, I'm no longer anxiously awaiting ICS on my thunderbolt, I'll upgrade when it comes but it's not essential, which is something anyone who has a non aosp device should realize before shouting for their upgrade to ICS, other than being able to run chrome your experience is going to stay pretty much the same.

The only exception is if you love the apex or nova launchers, they are nice but I'm not currently running it because the best ICS rom for the SGS2 includes Touchwiz and running launchers on top of touchwiz tends to get laggy imo.

Not sure how to respond. I am waiting for the update to come to my devise, but that'll never happen. I can, however, install a few flavors of ICS by the way of a few great (or so I hear) ROMS. So I could have it today, but I'm quite happy with GB for the moment.

I actually have my phone's ROM themed out to look like its running ICS running ADW EX with the ICS theme and the Roboto font so I do like the aesthetics, but what else am I really missing? Sure, I would like to swipe away notifications and I want to try the Chrome browser, but beyond that I'm not aware of what I'm missing? Ignorance is bliss?

Runs fine on inspire 4g - happy with the Collective's Redemption custom rom which can be found on XDA site.

Ice cream sandwich is special nothing beats this stock experience of ICS. Extra flash and features being offered by HTC/MOTO/LG/SAMSUNG are not needed all that does is open the door to bugs. Stock rolls.

I'm not loving it, especially the on-screen buttons that annoy the crap out of me. I also don't like the push to get rid of the menu button. It feels like I'm losing choice in a system that is supposed to be about it. :( Let me keep my four capacitive buttons (Home, Menu, Back, and Search)!

I flashed it on my phone about a week ago and I'm loving it so far! Couple bugs that should be worked out soon I hope, but they don't ruin the experience by any means.

I loved it so much I sold my Evo 3D for $260.00 on ebay due to not having a working camera on ICS. Bought a like new Nexus S 4g from Gazelle for $125.00 off eBay and loving how many REALLY GOOD ICS roms are out there for it.

Been rocking ICS on my Evo 4G thanks to preludedrew on twitter and kush deck...only thing missing is 4G other than that Android 4.0 ICS is the best smartphone OS on the planet. More people need to experience it. Samsung, HTC, Sony, & every other OEM needs to start pushing out them updates.

The GUI is more professional looking and makes for a better user experience for those apps that take advantage of it and for the parts of the OS that were a less desirable user experience. However that is all I can see that is improved. I'm still not fond of the way multitasking is handled and a number of apps still act like the old palmOS days of saved states. Which when you left an app it didn't continue to work in the background while you worked with another app. In these cases with android when I go back to an app I hit the home button with to switch to another app; the app I had left acts as if I had closed it instead and I have to take steps I already did to arrive back to where I was when I exited the app. This was the main problem that plagued the palmOS apps. And has me question the authenticity of true multitasking android is supposed to have. I have learned to live with this shortcoming since otherwise android is a great OS. When it comes to multitasking using my webOS touchpad and windows 7 pro netbook are my go to devices. A number of multitasking scenarios I avoid on android due to the previously mentioned shortcoming.