With news of Sony’s Tablet P receiving Ice Cream Sandwich and after the revelation that Google is back to selling their own devices, known Google Jean-Baptiste Queru took to Google+ to lay some of his thoughts out on the table.
He says Sony got the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich out so fast (even though they weren’t the fastest) because they contribute a lot of what they did with their tablets back to the Android Open Source Project. Since they already had a grasp on a lot of the things that make up the inner workings of Ice Cream Sandwich, they didn’t need as much testing as other manufacturers.
He says other tablet manufacturers take long because the framework differences going from Android 3.2 to 4.0 on tablets is more different than one would think. They say phones launched with Gingerbread take even longer because the difference is far greater — this, we already knew. What’s more interesting is that Queru was frustrated about some Nexus devices who either received Ice Cream Sandwich late, or haven’t received the latest versions yet.
With that, he’s ecstatic that Google’s back to selling devices of its own which allow them to better control the upgrade process. There has yet to be a Galaxy Nexus launched by a GSM carrier in America, so the illusion that the idea of a “true” Nexus phone being dead is far more overstated than it should be.
With CDMA carriers, proprietary network provisions, activation processes, and code most be taken into account, so the carriers control much of the testing and the OTA process. It’s alarming that less than 3% of known Android users are on Ice Cream Sandwich and we’re already talking about Jelly Bean (or whatever the final name may end up being).
More than anything, his thoughts let us know that this should be expected as the norm now. Even going from one sub-version of Ice Cream Sandwich to the next will take a month or two, and that’s just the way things have to be with the advent of custom skins and carrier testing. Read his full post at Google+.