Official Ice Cream Sandwich for the Nexus One won't happen, Google says

Shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, but according to Google's Hugo Barra, as reported by The Telegraph, the Nexus One is just too darn old for an official update to Ice Cream Sandwich. It's a shame, because it's still a great daily driver. But this is that whole "legacy" thing we all have to come to terms with, and it's the reason why we put the Nexus One in our "Maybe, but doubtful" column for our ICS update predictions.

All that said: We completely expect someone to build a full ICS ROM for the Nexus One once the code drops, and SDK ports are already in the works.

Source: The Telegraph

More: Will my phone get Ice Cream Sandwich?

Phil Nickinson
  • What a bummer....
  • That will be the Nexus S at some point in time, also.
  • And? Every phone reaches "end-of-support" at some point.
  • FWIW, the iPhone 3GS is about 6 months older than the N1, and still got iOS 5. I'm hoping that the lack of RAM and older GPU won't prevent a decent build of CM8 from running on the N1.
  • the next version of cyanogenmod is CM9 as CM8 would have been honeycomb.
  • The 3GS might've got iOS5, but how much of an "improvement" is it from previous versions? Notifications? It's the same stale UI with improvements that have been in Android before Apple ever thought of it. They should've included the 2G while they were at it. ICS is a LEAP forward. If someone wants to move forward at crawling speed switch to Apple. Otherwise, shutup and UPGRADE!
  • Also Siri is only enabled on the new 4S. Just wait until the jailbroken iPhone 4 users (and maybe even 3GS users... that would be embarrassing) try it out on their phones to realize that disabling it was just a 4S marketing tactic. iPhone updates are often crippled for earlier devices, but it seems to be usually for performance reasons. Android can't afford to have yet ANOTHER level of "fragmentation" where core OS features may or may not be available! That said, this doesn't bode well for my Droid Incredible and other phones running on that older Snapdragon platform. While Android is open source (again), the hardware is not, and the drivers might need updating. Judging by some of the APIs available, I believe there are at least some required OpenGL ES 2.0 extensions missing from the current drivers. I'm hoping these are just the "optimized" or "available" paths and that the core UI can drop back to bare standard OpenGL ES2.0 + the minimum Android 2.3 extensions :(
  • word
  • the 3gs got a watered down version of ios 5
  • iPhone 3GS shipped with iOS3 on 6/19/09, updated to iOS4 on 6/21/10, updated to iOS5 on 10/12/11. Nexus One shipped with 2.1 Eclair on 1/5/10, updated to 2.2 Froyo on 5/22/10, updated to 2.3 Gingerbread on 2/23/11. So both phones received 2 OS updates past the original shipping OS. So I think both are pretty much on par in terms of updates. One could argue that the iPhone is almost 6 months older, but yet got the most recent OS update.
    I suppose the counter argument is that ICS is a larger upgrade compared to iOS5.
    Regardless, both devices received same number of updates.
  • iOS 5 is more of a side-grade, another minor update from Apple. No where as radical of an upgrade as ICS, which is a complete overhaul of the OS. And Apple always excludes features on older devices that are either too slow -- like putting a background on a 3G phone :\ -- or features they've allocate to only their latest and greatest. Anyways, as long as Google doesn't stop supporting my Nexus One, like Apple has some of my prior iOS devices, so in a sense that they'll fix bugs, I have no issues with this. But I don't have much anyways, since my phone is completely unlocked.
  • And it'll be the Nexus Galaxy at some point as well.
  • No news for Nexus S ETA?
  • dont you mean OTA? what is ETA? Eet The Air? o.0
  • I'd think ETA means Estimated time of Arrival OTA means Over the Air
  • -__- ... Estimated time of Arrival... Jeez.
  • Please say you're joking.
  • I would guess about a month after the Galaxy Nexus & ICS is released, but that is based on when they updated the Nexus One to Gingerbread after the Galaxy S was released.
  • I think Google already said "weeks after Nexus Galaxy ships"
  • Root time
  • So sad. Will be waiting for CM9
  • Wow the phone didn't even make it 2 full years! Bah on Google
  • Do you mean it suddenly stopped working the minute that Google made this announcement? I feel for you, man. I expect a phone to be a good usable device for 2 years. Was that not the case? I'd actually be more pissed if Google used less GPU acceleration in ICS just to maintain compatibility with the Nexus One.
  • Bummer, my Nexus One has been the best phone I have every had. And now with rooting it I am in love all over again...
  • The use of the terms "your mileage will vary" and "daily driver" to describe mobile phone usage is getting old. It's like the times sports announcers use basketball jargon to describe football plays.
  • Gut check!
  • 18 months.
  • One word: CM9. That is all...
  • Its a developer phone. Stick ICS on it anyway, DEVELOPERS. All phones get old. Its life.
  • And as a developer phone, it should represent the state of current/near-future devices as a reference platform for THE TIME WHEN IT IS RELEASED. When no other similarly spec'd handsets released around that time are getting it, what is the utility of having just that one at such a higher API level? What does that represent for a developer? As soon as my Galaxy Nexus is in hand, my daily-driver/dev Droid Incredible will be flashed back from CM7.1 to stock 2.3 as a better real-world testing device.
  • Take away - even Nexus phones only get about 12 - 18 months worth of updates.
  • :( Bummer. I was waiting to fix the screen on my N1 until I knew if it was getting ICS. I loved the N1--great form factor and the aluminum case was a great design choice. I would still be using the N1 if it hadn't had a bad experience with a concrete floor. Long live my Nexus S. (I guess "long live" means another 12 months :/ )
  • Probably just not enough onboard storage or ram. For some reason HTC has this thing about giving their smartphone designs feature-phone size memory. It's a bizarre blind-spot for a company who have some of the best designs in the business. -that and the so-so cameras.
  • Only 512MB of storage onboard; meaning only like 256MB for the system. I'm guessing it was/is getting a little tight. Guess my N1 is on 2.3.6 forever. (Unless a build of ICS runs OK. ICS looks like it might need a good GPU.)
  • /system partition is 145 MB, and as of GRK39F, there are 15 MB left... so it's most likely lack of space rather than anything else.
  • Thanks! I knew the system partition wasn't all that big; I didn't realize it was only 145MB, though. With only 15MB free, that would be a fair guess as to the reason there won't be an official ICS released.
  • Suits me, my N1 was going to become my "ROM" phone soon anyway :)
  • Google owes me and all N1 owners a clear cut reason, I didnt buy 2 N1 for me and my wife $550 each only to be told 1 and half yrs later thats its old so it may not be upgraded. WTF! If the hardware cant support it then so be it. But what they have said so far is just unacceptable. We deserve a difinitive and better explanation than N1 is too old!
  • Seriously. At least gives us a proper explanation.
  • Progress moves quickly. Anyone with a smart phone or computer knows that.
  • 1. Google owes you nothing. You purchased the phone outright, it's yours. Had you been leasing and paying Google for support, then you may demand an explanation. 2. See @spamlucal's reply just above. The N1 never was known for having a lot of onboard storage, and it would seem that there just wouldn't be enough room for ICS. I'm sure a custom ROM will be able to be squeezed on, but I'd imagine the new ICS image size is quite a bit bigger than GB.
  • Conversely, Google never told you that they wouldn't stop supporting the N1 after 18 months. Blame it on the community for getting your hopes up. Google owes you nothing.
  • Google doesn't owe you anything. Welcome to the wonderful world of technology. Things move at a fast pace which means anything you buy will be "too old" in a short amount of time. It was your choice to buy 2 N1's at $550 each, Google didn't make you do it.
  • I've had my phone since it launched in Canada. That's 18 months. And the phone is unsupportable. Meanwhile the iPhone 3GS launched in June 2009 and will be supported till at least June 2012. Times like these really make me question my commitment to Android. When Google can't get its specs down to ensure upgradability for two full years, how can they expect other OEMs to?
  • Surely you've seen the side by side photos of iOS from 2008 and iOS from 2011? If that's what you want, no one's stopping you from buying an Apple phone. But before you do jump ship, compare Doughnut or Eclair with Ice Cream Sandwich and make sure you won't be missing all the progress. If you're not sure, ask Siri... Google said 18 months of support for phones and they're leading by example. I too love my Nexus One, but it's time to move on IF you want all the new features. If you don't, stick with GB or buy an iPhone.
  • Not quite, compare eclair to gingerbread, because that is the official lifespan of the N1. It's not bad, but not a stellar difference either.
  • Exactly. There hasn't been much change really from Eclair to Gingerbread. It's just a lot of cleanup.
  • And Google did say that phones that could handle Gingerbread would get ICS. The only reason the N1 is probably not eligible is because Google and HTC were too cheap, initially, to put sufficient internal memory in the handset. That was a truly idiotic call.
  • iPhone 3GS shipped with iOS3 on 6/19/09, updated to iOS4 on 6/21/10, updated to iOS5 on 10/12/11. Nexus One shipped with 2.1 Eclair on 1/5/10, updated to 2.2 Froyo on 5/22/10, updated to 2.3 Gingerbread on 2/23/11. So both phones received 2 OS updates past the original shipping OS. So I think both are pretty much on par in terms of updates. One could argue that the iPhone is almost 6 months older, but yet got the most recent OS update.
    I suppose the counter argument is that ICS is a larger upgrade compared to iOS5.
    Regardless, both devices received same number of updates.
  • I agree if the 3gs got updates than the N1 should also. There's no skins so there should be no excuse.
  • Its called memory, read all the comments before ya why dont you
  • People get over it, N1 had a good 18 month run, ICS haven't been released yet and then the NS wont get it until a moth later, witch means that if the n1 was to get updated with would be a month after that = 20 months. 18 months is two years in tech time. YOU bought an unlocked phone to go to any carrier, meaning to save money. So you saved more then you would have on a contract (and those phone only have a 6 month life, if that). "But the 3gs", yes, the 3gs got ios5, but only a few feathers and they sill SELL the phone, Google no longer sell the N1, so why keep supporting it? Like Phil said, your phone still runs as smooth as it did yesterday. You can't have your cake and eat it too. My Vibrant wont get it officially, but I'm sure since the NS is getting it, there will be a ROM out there cause it's the same hardware.
  • Figured as much. My N1 has been one hell of a phone, I still use it every once in a while. Rooted running CYM 7.1, makes one fun device. I have the phone set up with ext 4 storage so running tons of apps was never a problem but a large OS like ICS I knew would be a big challenge. People complaining about Google not supporting the N1 should realize they don't have to update to ICS. The N1 is still a very cool phone running CYM 7.1. I think it is a better package then any other platform out there right now.
  • Google doesn't always keep their word though. They said we wouldn't have a second Nexus phone and then the Nexus S came and now the Galaxy Nexus. I still haven't lost hope. And if not there's always CyanogenMod.
  • no they said they wouldn't sell another nexus which they didn't the carriers and best buy sold the nexus s.
  • Technically, Google said there would be no Nexus Two.
  • And just like that I'm not getting a Galaxy Nexus even If I could get one for free. I may change my mind if Google still supports the Nexus One with updates. Back to Openmoko full time
  • Really? That really screws people with 3 year contracts in Canada. Your phone is completely unsupported for half of its lifetime. My brother has had an iPhone 3GS for about 2 years, and it still gets updates. I've had a Vibrant for a year, and it is already abandoned by Samsung. Damn android stinks. 10 year old windows XP computers are still getting updates from Microsoft, and Google can't bother to update their first Flagship device in what isn't even 2. Even RIM is better than that. My sister's Blackberry Bold got a massive update after she had it for 2 years.
  • Exactly. People who say "get over it" must be extremely wealthy to be able to afford new phones every 18 months. Here in Canada, most are stuck with 3 year contracts and are only eligibile for hardware upgrades after 2 years. And I don't give Google a pass on this. They wrote the damn specs but they couldn't identify the hardware requirements a mere 18 months ahead? I don't buy that for a second. And if this is the example Google is setting for the OEMs, guess what the likes of Sony, HTC, Samsung, etc. will do. I am willing to bet that you won't even see a fifth of the Android base on ICS before Jellybean comes out.
  • I know it ridiculous. I'm not buying a $50 dumb-phone. It's a $600 device. I expect support, and all other major phone providers give it. In another 2 years when my contract is up, Windows Phones and RIM's QNX phones are going to be fully evolved platforms. Windows 8 tablets will be out, and they sure as hell will be supported for years after just like Windows PCs. Apple will have an iPhone 5s or 6 (and will likely have updated the 4s to whatever new version of iOS is out). If my Vibrant doesn't even have an OFFICIAL icecream sandwich by then, chances of me staying with Android are slim to none. I'm not buying a phone so I can use it for a year and throw it away, and if that is Google's philosophy, I'm not coming back.
  • So do you want a dumb down ICS update? Cause that's what ios5 is to the 3gs. You're comparing apples to oranges (hehe), Apple only have 3 phones to worry about, all by them. Google have sammy and htc, maybe the OS is built for newer/next gen hardware. Maybe the memory is too large for the N1, or gpu. Another thing, why are people whining, it's an UNLOCKED DEVELOPER PHONE! As in, it's not locked, it can run any ROM, there will be ROMs out, YOU will get it! Did you forget what you bought? Oh, I wasn't thinking about Canada, I forgot that you all have 3 year chains, but this is still an unlocked phone, so how are you in a contract when that was the whole point of buying an unlock phone?
  • google could still should help out with a Nexus One ICS release
  • iPhone 3GS shipped with iOS3 on 6/19/09, updated to iOS4 on 6/21/10, updated to iOS5 on 10/12/11. Nexus One shipped with 2.1 Eclair on 1/5/10, updated to 2.2 Froyo on 5/22/10, updated to 2.3 Gingerbread on 2/23/11. So both phones received 2 OS updates past the original shipping OS. So I think both are pretty much on par in terms of updates. One could argue that the iPhone is almost 6 months older, but yet got the most recent OS update.
    I suppose the counter argument is that ICS is a larger upgrade compared to iOS5.
    Regardless, both devices received same number of updates.
  • "Number of updates" is hardly an indicator of long term support, which is the major problem here. Better representation would be time from release, to its final update. iPhone 3g released: July 11 2008. Final update 4.2.1 released November 22 2010. Total support time frame: about 2 years, 4 months Nexus One released January 5 2010. Final Update 2.3.6 September 24 2011. Total support time: about 1 year , 9 months. The Nexus Phones are supposed to be the "best supported" phones in Android, and it is abandoned half way through its 3 year life cycle. That doesn't leave much hope for other Android devices having any kind of long term support.
  • That's a good point, to measure time from release to final update. Can't argue there.
  • When the marketing folks coined the term "superphone" 2 years back, they probably didn't have this caveat in mind.
  • Wasn't part of the idea of ICS supposed to be about how it can be scaled down for different hardware and end fragmentation to an extent.
  • Chill Out, It's not like your phone will stop working. This is like saying I'm upset because my 4 year old laptop running Windows XP won't run Windows 7. It is only able to upgrade to 2 GB of ram, it is an old AMD Turian 1.6 GHz CPU with integrated graphics, etc. I say 4 year old because the pace of development in the mobile market is that much quicker than the PC market. I'm sure if it had the horsepower to run ICS then Google would not want to alienate developers by not upgrading it. The same thing has happened to early HTC phones (Eris?) that can't handle a new version of Sense. I have some Dumb phones that are still working just fine that haven't had any upgrades to their ROMs - they are backup phones. GET OVER IT!!!!
  • The partition map can be modified, and we are talking about a 2 year old phone sometime less for some people since a few carrier are still shipping it.. I fear google fan boy as much as apple fan boy now... People have the right to ask for upgrade, it's not because you can afford a new gadget each month that everybody is in the same position.à Personally I am happy with what I have and to be honest, I think I am not even interested into trying it on my phone, too much trouble for what it will improve on my nexus...
  • I'm not a Dev so excuse my ignorance on this matter. If the System is only portioned for 145 MB, there are 15 MB left. Is there a way to re-portion and add more MB to system, and less to whatever it is App storage or whatever. with cloud storage being what it is we could potentially make up the difference "through the cloud" thus making room for ICS. Just my thoughts.
  • I thought ICS was suppose to be able to be scaled down. FFS Google more fragmentation! Many lower end handsets will not get ICS officially now. The N1 can run ICS and should scaled down. Not happy! I'm over fragmentation!
  • Don't worry nexus one owners, Cyanogenmod will surely take care of you...
  • That's assuming they do release source code, which I DOUBT. They do not want the low end or hacked tablet to get the latest and greatest...
  • Google has already said that they plan to release source code for Ice Cream Sandwich.
  • Y'all need to get some other hobbies, what purpose are you serving fighting over this garbage. Lol. I love reading Android Central, no matter what the topic some techy know it all sparks a debate that only a higher up techy know it all cares to engage in. And because neither of them has anything more important to do, this will be the highlight of their day and they fight to the death over who is right until finally the gloves come off... that's right, they're bringing out the big guns... software release dates on 2 year old phones. That's the big home run swing. Must be great to be you, you proved something to everyone. Way to go. I think we all oughta call in sick tomorrow and spend some time rethinking our lives thanks to such enlightenment. The next time you have go that far to make a point, don't.
  • I have the N1, to be honest I do not care that much about this, after all this is an OS that will probably bring nothing new in term of feature on my phone. I am more interested to see it on my xoom since the current OS is not impressing me much but to be honest it's partly due to the numerous app that are still not ported correctly or lacking in feature. I have no need for a dual core phone, and I honestly can't justify spending another 600$ on a new new phone when the old one (the nexus 1) still perform and meet everything I may want to do with it... Next move for Google is probably going to find a way to make us pay again for the app on ICS so that they can take more of our cash... and off course, making us pay for a new phone fit into this plan pretty well :)
  • As a Nexus One owner, I don't understand all the complaining and uproar. We got the fastest and most numerous number of upgrades of any Android device. The specs and operating system have improved significantly since the N1 was released, and now that the N1 is reaching the end of its technological limits people are upset and totally forgetting how awesome their phones have been for the past year and a half? No one is forcing you to upgrade your phone. No one's phone is going to stop functioning the minute ICS is released. Why can't you allow your phones to age gracefully. Until ICS is released we still have the most up to date software of any Android phone and our phones are over 1.5 years old. How many other phones can say that? Why not stop and be glad you have the greatest OS available and the newest version available and just enjoy what you have?
  • there´s a petition to this on sign and share it guys, plz.