Wow, Google just released the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich in this Google Groups post.
Expect all Gingerbread-capable devices be able to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich rapidly. The question is only how soon each ARM SoC can have it fully hardware accelerated? Who is doing that work of doing all the hardware optimizations? Who is eventually disabling or tuning down certain hardware accelerated advanced user interface features in the software if that hardware is not powerful enough or of lower performance?
As of course one can expect all the latest high-end Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 processors to support this soon, including all devices on the TI OMAP4, Samsung Exynos 4210, Qualcomm MSM8260/8660, Nvidia Tegra2 and Tegra3, St-Ericsson U8500/U9500 and more. Imagine how awesome it is going to be to see firmware updates upgrading all Tablets and Smartphones using following cheap SoCs to Ice Cream Sandwich:
– TI OMAP3630/3530/3430 ARM Cortex-A8
– Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8
– Freescale i.MX51/53 ARM Cortex-A8
– Marvell PXA618 Single Core
– Qualcomm 8255/8255T Single Core up to 1.5Ghz
– Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz
– Telechips 8803 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz
– AmLogic 8726 ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core 800Mhz
– NEC/Renesas EV2 ARM Cortex-A9 Dual Core 533Mhz
– Qualcomm MSM7227 ARM11
– Mediatek MTK6573 ARM11
– VIA 8710 ARM11
and more! Does anyone know how to get a confirmation from each of these ARM SoC providers to get an idea about how soon and if they expect to get full Ice Cream Sandwich support? Who is going to make that work, do each SoC provider, each device maker have to do all the work or is Google contributing a lot of those software optimizations already as part of the open source Android 4.0.1 code release?
How soon can we expect to find some awesome sub-$100 and sub-$200 fully capacitive, fully smooth Android phones, tablets running on the amazing Android 4.0.1? Can we expect them all now to be fully officially allowed to pre-load the full Google Marketplace, having the full Google-supported Tablet features, official tablet services pre-loaded, no questions asked? I expect Google’s new Ice Cream Sandwich Compatibility Definition Document to allow for every one of those SoCs full compatibility, even the cheapest, and not requiring any specific sensors, screen sizes, buttons, 3G features or other to get official Google Marketplace on those.
I expect that we may see Ice Cream Sandwich on all these SoC, even the ARM11 based ones, starting as soon as before the end of the year, or maybe in January or February of next year. I expect all cheap tablets and phones to run the latest Ice Cream Sandwich, all come with the official Google Marketplace legally pre-loaded, regardless of sensors present. I also expect either Android 4.0.1 or perhaps later coming Android 4.1, Android 4.2 to also provide full support for Set-top-boxes, Laptops, E-readers and more. That means, I expect this to provide a full Google TV experience on HDMI out. I expect this to provide a full Chrome browser when outputting a HD output and keyboard/mouse is detected. I expect this to provide the best ever user interface and applications platform for E-Ink and Pixel Qi based e-readers, powering a better reading experience.