Google Tests Ice Cream Sandwich Update on Employees

Ready for a little Ice Cream Sandwich – that’s Android 4.0 – for your smartphone? Keep waiting, although you can now complement your patience with a little bit of hope. New reports from company employees indicate that Google has started to roll out Ice Cream Sandwich internally, testing the latest version of the mobile OS on Googlers’ Nexus S smartphones.

What does that mean for you? It doesn’t improve the schedule-slash-guessing-game of when Ice Cream Sandwich might receive its public release, but this “dogfooding,” as it’s called, is an important part of the process to reach that stage. The ultimate goal is to use a large group of testers to weed out bugs and other software quirks before Ice Cream Sandwich goes live.

So how did this all come to pass? On Google Plus, of course. Google employee Adel Saoud, an Adsense policy applications and signals developer (according to his Google Plus profile), shot off a message on the service this Friday: “Just got Ice-cream Sandwich update on my Nexus S it’s looking great :)”

“Yeah an OTA, but it’s an early one for Google employees so we test it further so it’s even more awesome when you guys get it,” Saoud added. “So sadly I can’t comment on it more at this time…”

For some strange reason, Saoud’s post no longer exists on his main user feed – likely deleted once he realized that he suddenly became the temporary voice for all things internal and Ice Cream Sandwich at Google. Android Police has published screenshots and caches to verify Saoud’s words.

Of course, if you’re feeling impatient, you can always go the third-party route with Ice Cream Sandwich. Check out the CyanogenMod 9 custom ROM for the Nexus S, which should bring the major features of the new mobile OS to your smartphone sans any deal-breaking bugs. That said, it’s still not a perfected version of the ROM – the final’s expected to come out next year – so downloader beware.

“Google did a great job with ICS and added some really awesome features which in some cases replace or deprecate functionality that we had in CM7, so we are reevaluating all of our customizations. A number of devices are already up and running with CM9, and the focus is currently on getting as many devices ready as we can,” reads a December 2 post on the official CyanogenMod blog.

“Our goal is to provide continued support to all CM7 devices back to the QSD8250 series of devices such as the Nexus One.”

For the top stories in tech, follow us on Twitter at @PCMag.

Article source:,2817,2397201,00.asp

Related Posts