Google: Nexus One is Too Old for Ice Cream

Those of you wondering whether or not the original Nexus phone would be getting Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich can rest not-so-easy with the answer Google’s Hugo Barra reportedly given The Telegraph. The Nexus One is apparently too old to receive the upgrade.

We’d imagine the CPU and GPU alongside limited internal memory are Google’s main cause of concern considering Ice Cream Sandwich requires a bit more juice than Eclair, Froyo or Gingerbread. Not all hope is lost, of course – we know the development community will put forth their best efforts to bring it over and have it run smoothly. And who knows, perhaps it’ll inspire Google to do the same. As it stands, only the Nexus S and Prime are getting Ice Cream Sandwich. [via Android Central]

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TAGS: Nexus One

  • Khalid.H

    That kills any hopes for older phones like the G1 and my GW620 :(

    • Ilan Cortes


    • AGWednesday

      1. Root.
      3. ???
      4. [Do I even have to say it?]

      • Khalid.H

        Sure it’ll “run” on those phones, but can they handle it? Will they be as usable as the currently available gingerbread ports? etc.

      • DYNK

        it will run obviously. but it won’t perform. So what’s the point?

      • RitishOemraw

        This news makes it official….I wil root my N1……ICS shall be mine!

    • Alek Tritt

      If you had hopes that the G1 was going to get an official update then you have other things to worry about.

      • Khalid.H

        Did I even mention “official update”? Sure the community will have it on those phones, but they’ll be nowhere as usable as gingerbread/froyo/eclair/cupcake are on those phones.

    • No_Nickname90

      They’ll probably be an emulated ICS ROM for the older phones that don’t get the update. Like a Home Screen Replacement. That’s probably all you can get. :(

  • Cipher Zero

    Betcha my paycheck it’ll have an “unofficial” port of ICS via the dev community. I’ve lost track of how many phones “weren’t powerful enough, too old, insufficient clock speed, etc.” and other numerous excuses, only to have a dev come out with a ROM or add-on that does exactly what the OEM/carrier said it couldn’t do. I remember when Froyo “required” a 1GHz processor – to not only have that debunked, but also installed on sub-1GHz devices, i.e. the OG Droid by VZW/Moto themselves .

    • R U

      Froyo (and Gingerbread for that matter) has never “required” a 1GHz CPU.

      Even Google said so.

      • Cipher Zero

        Absolutely, I recall reading and hearing about rumors that the OEMs or carriers stated that x phone wasn’t powerful enough for y upgrade. As you said, Google straightened out the rumors. In this case, it’s coming from Google themselves. However, I’ll bet real money that the N1 will have ICS roms from the dev community. How good they are, only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see cyanogen 9 on the nexus one.

  • Domenico Casillo

    I think the only issue is with the GPU and maybe with the Internal Memory (since ICS change the way Android manage internal memory).
    In ICS we have the HW acceleration but, at this point, i think that it’s not yet fully optimized and it requires a fresh GPU to run at decent framerate.
    I think the Nexus One’s CPU is still a great piece of HW :) (Nexus S is still a single core CPU)

  • NB

    The iPhone 3GS, released in 2009, got iOS 5. This is ridiculous.

    • Guest

      Yeah because that’s the exact same thing…

    • Ilan Cortes

      shows how much apple has been improving on specs

      • TongueDar

        It shows how minor of an upgrade iOS 5 is over iOS 4 and even 3.x.

    • MarcusDW

      Minus a bunch of features. iOS is fragmented. (my iPad 1 is feeling the burn)

    • thistimearound

      Tell you what. If that’s the dumb ass route you want to go down… Google can release ICS for the OG Nexus sans all of the key features except for swipe away notifications. That’s basically the same percentage of iOS 5 that the 3GS received: next to nothing.

      • DYNK

        hahaha + 1

      • Roberto Cruz

        Yeah that’s right but what about the other big “non-key” features like security, os updates and the updates to old apps, integration services etc. Sorry but the Nexus One was relased last year (yes in 2010) and now is obsolete. Is this is the life span on the Android phones? And before you throw the crap that I’m a Apple fanboy, on the contrary I’m an Android, iPhone and WP7 user that enjoy the pros and cons of each one.

        • J Dub

          1/5/10 is hardly a 2010 phone. That date is well before any tradeshow that would have had actual 2010 phones. The Nexus One is considered a 2009 phone.

        • JBrowne1012

          Nexus s was released last year nexus one was released late 2009

          • Travis Mason-Bushman

            Um, wrong. The Nexus One was released in January 2010. The date it was “showed off” at a tradeshow is irrelevant.

    • Loren Tholcke

      Because iOS has changed so much since 2009. So far they have included android notification and siri….oh wait, no it didn’t.

    • Nizzzy

      and it lags like shit ya. Apple even got sued for it.

  • Zargh

    It’s more likely the 512MB ROM that’s the issue, since ICS is way bigger than Gingerbread and the N1 is already struggles with free space (if it’s not running an unofficial SD-card symlink hack).

    • cherubdawg

      Please tell me more about this symlink hack you’re talking about, I’m sick and tired of having no free space on my N1.

      • Xavier Sythe


  • MarcusDW

    That’s a shame. Looks like most 2010 model Androids have a high risk of getting left behind then.

  • selonmoi

    I suspect it’s actually internal storage that’s to blame. Bumping up against the storage limit was always an issue, and I’m sure the OS just keeps growing.

    That said, the Nexus One received two major updates, which is as many as any iPhone, and it ran great with both. In fact, the performance improved with both Froyo and Gingerbread.

    • AGWednesday

      And this is the main reason why I’m getting the Galaxy Nexus.

    • Lucian Armasu

      That’s probably the #1 reason. And you can thank HTC for that. They were the ones to put such low internal storage in their phones for years. They couldn’t even put Gingerbread with Sense in the Desire, so I wouldn’t be surprised if ICS doesn’t fit in there either.

      • dazweeja

        I’m not really sure the entire blame could be placed on HTC. Google co-designed this phone, so they had plenty of opportunity to change the specs if they thought it was inadequate.

        • William_Morris

          I would also think that one would consider the fact that the N1 wasn’t meant to have a life-cycle beyond two years?

          I’m not trying to disrespect that wonderful device, but it very well may have been that Google AND hTC intended the phone to receive the support it had for as long as it did and nothing more.

          I bet the barriers were set that way because they were optimizing what they could as they could while presenting a package that would be priced competitively. Pushing any more technological advancements on it could possibly have left it out of the reach of most consumer hands (you know… like asking twice as much money as was originally asked for the N1?)

          Just my opinion. Great phone though, sucks that it’s not gonna get any newer updates.

    • feztheforeigner

      Was it not announced that any phone capable of running Gingerbread would be theoretically capable of running IceCream Sandwich? This being a Nexus in addition to that has me a little confused at the point of Nexus phones?…

  • Nate Davidson

    GPU intensive is my theory, as the Adreno 200 is a weakish GPU.

  • B2L

    What’s the surprise here? After nearly two years since it’s release, you shouldn’t expect it to be updated.

    • Roberto Cruz

      Didn’t this phone was release last year? Now it’s obsolete..

      • dario sucic

        It was released in January 2010, now it’s almost 2012.

        edit: Dat English.

  • JiMMaRu

    let them release the source , then they can argue with cyanogenMod team :D

  • R U

    Too old is a laugh, it’s not any less powerful than the Nexus S really, it just has a crap digitizer and lacks internal storage. I bet it can run ICS as well as it runs anything else.

    • SimplicityPrevails

      “it’s not any less powerful than the Nexus S really”

      Please do some more research on the internals of these phones before stating such things. The Nexus One is much less powerful the Nexus S, especially in the GPU department. Denying this is blind love.

    • JBrowne1012

      Then do a full working port of it to prove it

  • calvin

    Do I need say that they said that about mytouch 3g back in the day……but my g2x will getting one way or another

    • Danny Rodriguez

      i hope the g2x will be getting it.

      • Michael Williams

        From Xda…after LG pushed out that halfbaked 2.3.4 and with Nvidia dragging its feet with releasing the Source for their cores…doubt it.

      • WickedToby741

        There should be no reason the G2X wouldn’t get it. It has up to date specs and I would think it would be rather easy to get ICS running on it because of ICS sharing a lot in common with Honeycomb which ran almost exclusively on Tegra 2, which the G2X also has. I imagine that ICS and Tegra 2 will get along quite nicely.

  • Sgs Captivate

    Thats HORRIBLE!!! Those people that shelled out 600$ to buy it STRAIGHT from GOOGLE will be UPSET! To them I say….XDA is your best friend

    • WickedToby741

      … but porting ICS to the N1 might be their worst nightmare. Google is leaving the N1 out in the cold for a reason. ICS probably can’t run well on the N1 for various reasons.

  • Jmaxku

    I have no problem with this (Google) as a Nexus One owner. I will have a problem if the Galaxy Nexus isn’t relased to AT&T sometime before the New Year. Make it happen AT&T!

  • DanWazz

    That sounds like a challenge to me.

    • Darren Thornton

      Actually, it’s just a clever, well-written headline…

  • david brand

    what all of you “root it” “xda will solve” or “port from the dev” guys are forgetting is that even tho itll be a workable ROM itll be a stripped down version of ICS. It would be the same as buying a 69 mustang but itll have no engine…stop clinging to your precious Nexus One and get a new phone, cheapos. Who knows, maybe someday internal memory will be able to be swapped out as easily as an SD card, or maybe our phone memory will be on the net(i refuse to use the word”cloud”, sue me) but seriously, a ROM is a ROM…..itll look like ICS but not perform like ICS, get a Galaxy Nexus on contract… one told you to buy a $600 phone now did they?

    • selonmoi

      Possibly the most obnoxious post I’ve seen on Phandroid? If it makes someone happy to squeeze all the life out of their Nexus One, why shouldn’t they?

      • david brand

        how is this the “most obnoxious post” …..the most obnoxious part of the post was the “cheapos” part…..if thats what i guess u find obnoxious….. its my opinion, get over it . to hang onto a 2 yr old phone and get more and more watered down ROMs is sad and pathetic…..yes now that was “obnoxious” The phone is sexy, yes, but its also outdated….sorry if i hurt anyones feelings……geeeeez

    • Dean Politis

      I actually paid $570 for my N1 (including sales tax), but with T-Mobile’s Even More Plus plan, I saved over $20 a month. Over two years, I saved over $480 on my cell phone bill. That means I really only paid $90 as compared to the $185 I would have paid if I got it subsidized on contract.

      Am I disappointed I won’t get that ICS goodness on my N1, but I have never been disappointed in my N1. It was a phone ahead of its time. Neither the Nexus S nor the Galaxy Nexus were as groundbreaking as the N1.

    • reverend_house

      The Adreno 200 GPU in the Nexus One will handle graphical acceleration with ease. Unofficial versions of ICS – as long as they get the GPU working and enable a form of data to EXT – will run beautifully.

      • david brand

        my god u people rationalize everything….. its not ICS… the watered down version will run beautifully….but it will still be watered down.

    • JBrowne1012

      In what way is this equivalent to having a 69 stang without an engine? A nexus one is still functional in everyway possible why not try and get the best out of it? Sure some parts could be stripped as not all features such as NFC aren’t all compatible but its still ics

      • david brand

        if that helps you sleep at night, fine….. its not ICS, it just looks like it.

        if i have to explain metaphors then explaining it further will not help you…… ill make it simple for you……mustang body, model T engine… got it ? its a great phone, and i wish i coulda hung onto my G1 till the end of time, but i realized it was time to upgrade. it just so happened that the G2 was coming out , so i upgraded….anyone else see the parallels ??

        • MHPhan

          Still using the G2? Soon there will be no more new ROM for the G2 but there will be updates for the Nexus 1.

    • Chris Chavez

      Nexus One is still the sexiest phone to date. I’d hang on to it as long as possible if I could =)

      • david brand

        yes Chris, but even you would get the full ICS experience than keep the N1 out of nostalgia or sexyness……i wouldnt want a cheap coat of paint, id want primer, and paint….if that makes sense.

    • No_Nickname90

      I actually got my Nexus One for about $200 thank you.

      And if they bought the phone at the full price, how does that make them cheap? They paid $600 plus contract payments compared to $200 and contract payments. You’re more “cheap” to go on a contract just to get the phone at a lower price.

      • david brand

        im saying their “cheapos” because NOW they wont dish out money for a new phone when 2 yrs ago they spent that money…. ill take my 2 yr contract every time, no shame.

        • No_Nickname90

          IKR!? When I’m eligible for a cheaper phone. LoL!!

  • lolobabes

    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 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.

    • WickedToby741

      Its likely the hardware can’t handle it. Space is limited, it runs a dated processor, and it probably just generally wouldn’t perform well. The specs are old, hence saying its too old.

      • Nizzzy

        a 1ghz single core is hardly ‘dated’. You shouldn’t need a dual core to run an OS. At least not one that is properly optimized.

        • zorxd

          CPU isn’t the problem. Neither is the RAM.

          ROM space, and/or GPU might be however.

    • SavageJeep

      Why do you deserve anything? The N1 is about 2 years old and aging quickly. I have a D1 and am not expecting anything as far as official updates. The development community will most likely bring some updates but join the EOL club. Be grateful for the support you had for over the stated 18 months. Time to upgrade~

    • wakkoman

      LOL you will never get that from Google. They’re notorious for abandoning and moving on to something else.

  • Christopher Ward

    I have a crappy Droid Eris running CM7 Gingerbread. It has a lot of stuff stripped out of it like live wallpapers and some of the Dev tools that full CM7 gets, but it runs well/ better battery life than Froyo. It was originally running 548 Mhz I think, but the governors and overclocking help like they should with the Nexus One. The official updates with this thing stopped at 2.1 so just root your phone! CM9 should have some overclocking for this thing and you’ll get your Ice Cream Sandwich. You should already be rooted with this thing considering it’s a Dev phone.

  • Travis Red

    What is a Nexus Prime?

    • babadush

      Galaxy Nexus

  • Nudo

    yeah i’m pretty sure we’ve passed the “guaranteed 18 months of updates”. Strange enough, even my Nexus S is starting to feel old. what the heck is going on?

  • UniqueNate

    Its to many animations and graphics to push around.

  • Theo Bogdan Constantin

    So this means that the original Disare wouldn’t be capable of running ICS too and this phone its 1 and a half year old. :( Let’s hope they will realease the AOSP version sooner to get some tasty ICS by flashing a new ROM xD

  • Brandon V. Fletcher

    still has hope for my G2!

  • J Dub

    Just like the OG Droid was not supposed to get Gingerbread? I finally have a build that runs good enough to keep. The dev community will find a way.

  • Dsparil

    I have an Epic 4G which is equivalent to the Nexus S, and I highly doubt that Samsung will support us Original Galaxy S owners.

    If I’m lucky, the dev community will be able to get my phone working with Cyanogen mod with wifi radios and everything.

  • Dsparil

    I have an Epic 4G which is equivalent to the Nexus S, and I highly doubt that Samsung will support us Original Galaxy S owners.

    If I’m lucky, the dev community will be able to get my phone working with Cyanogen mod with wifi radios and everything.

  • adi19956

    well I’m getting it on my HTC Legend for sure

  • PhazeNine


  • afwafawfw

    So let me see, a 2.5 year old 600 MHz iPhone 3GS get the latest OS. But a 1.5 year old 1 GHz Nexus One doesn’t get the latest OS.


  • cwalker30

    I consider the nexus 1 2009 also. A phone ahead of it’s time. But it fin2 be 2012. It’s da American Way.

  • cwalker30

    @ travis mason LOL. Man look the phone was made back in 09! Regardless of the shit you talking about. The phone was good, top notch, ahead of it’s time. But it’s OVER. As far as technology goes for it. Damn mydude face the facts. How long do you think it was going to last with it’s specs? Move on, once again it’s the american way.:):)

  • Christopher Groff

    I’m sure if anyone can do it, Cyanogen can.