Verizon targets 14 devices for Android Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) has vowed to update 14 smartphones and tablets to run Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0 mobile operating system, first introduced in November 2011 via Samsung's Galaxy Nexus.
Verizon Wireless devices slated to receive Android 4.0 this year include HTC's ThunderBolt, Droid Incredible 2, Rhyme and Rezound; Motorola's Xoom, Droid Bionic, Droid Razr and Razr Maxx, Droid 4, Droid Xyboard 8.2 and 10.1; Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 and 10.1; and LG's Spectrum. Verizon indicates that additional upgrade announcements are in the pipeline.
Nicknamed "Ice Cream Sandwich," Android 4.0 delivers the tablet-optimized innovations introduced in Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb update to all devices in an effort to reduce platform fragmentation. Google first confirmed Ice Cream Sandwich's forthcoming launch during its annual I/O developer conference in May 2011, promising that moving forward, the same version of Android will run across all devices, regardless of screen size.
Highlights of Android 4.0 include an evolved user interface making common actions more visible, enabling users to navigate using simplified, more intuitive gestures. A new typeface optimized for high-resolution screens touts enhanced readability and new animations and feedback support for more compelling interactions. Android 4.0 also touts new System Bar virtual buttons bringing instant navigation to Back, Home and Recent Apps, as well as more visual multitasking and more interactive notifications.
Android powered 50.9 percent of all smartphones sold in the fourth quarter of 2011, research firm Gartner reports. Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS was next at 23.8 percent.
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