Home > Google > Android 4.1 Jelly Bean confirmed Android 4.1 Jelly Bean confirmed Thom Holwerda 2012-06-21 Google 38 Comments Through the Google Play Store, the next version of Android has been confirmed: Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. I’m hoping for just a single new feature: something to address the update mess. I don’t care how, as long as they do something. About The Author Thom Holwerda Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda 38 Comments 2012-06-21 8:11 pm vivainio My educated guess is, if the OEM has done the required homework (hw + custom sw adaptation) for ICS, jumping to Jelly Bean will be a breeze. Maybe some OEM’s have decided to skip ICS altogether in anticipation of Jelly Bean? Judging by how much ICS sucks (at least on my Iconia A500), that would make sense. 2012-06-21 8:15 pm anevilyak Maybe some OEM’s have decided to skip ICS altogether in anticipation of Jelly Bean? Judging by how much ICS sucks (at least on my Iconia A500), that would make sense. Sounds more likely to be an OEM customization problem, it’s solid as a rock on my Galaxy Nexus. 2012-06-21 8:26 pm Thom Holwerda Same here – and I’m on CM9 on my SII which is supposedly alpha. 2012-06-22 8:50 am XenonXZ CM9 is cool, but I had issues with Wifi Tethering on my SII, using CM7 RC3 these days. Edited 2012-06-22 08:51 UTC 2012-06-21 8:51 pm pandronic Asus Transformer user here. ICS made my tablet a piece of garbage. I have random restarts and sleep of death all the time, plus lots of flickering in some apps. It’s an aknowledged issue and Asus is cranking updates every month to solve the issue. Till now, no luck. 2012-06-21 9:55 pm Gusar Hmm, a friend of mine has told me everyone he knows that has updated to ICS has problems. While that may have been an exaggeration, there do seem to be real issues with ICS, or at least with the stuff OEMs are putting out. I’m sticking with CM7 on my Defy, even though CM9 is available. CM7 does what I want and works without issues, so why mess with it. 2012-06-21 10:20 pm Ringheims Auto My Nexus S has random restarts after upgraded to ICS, as well as dramatically reduced battery life. This is the official update, no custom ROM. 2012-06-22 12:08 am WereCatf Hmm, a friend of mine has told me everyone he knows that has updated to ICS has problems. While that may have been an exaggeration, there do seem to be real issues with ICS, or at least with the stuff OEMs are putting out. My Acer Iconia Tab A500 has some issues related to ICS, like e.g. GMail application keeps on crashing, but then again, I am using a custom ROM and the issues are probably related to that. On the other hand, my Samsung Galaxy Note is rock-solid, I haven’t had any issues whatsoever and what’s more the ICS-update fixed several really bad issues I had. 2012-06-22 7:21 am pandronic For lots of TF101 users, ICS was without problems, still for some unlucky ones, myself included, it’s been nothing but pain. There are countless hardware revisions of the same product, apparently each with its own quirks. There are hundreds and hundreds of pages on XDA with reports about Transformer problems. No one, not even Asus managed to track all the problems. Here’s the official thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1556914 (just 300 pages :p) I think this will conclude my Android adventure. I’ve paid close to 500 euros for this piece of crap. My advice … just get a Windows/Linux laptop. 2012-06-22 9:25 am Gusar My advice … just get a Windows/Linux laptop. Amen. I have a netbook. My next portable-device-that-isn’t-a-phone will be… a netbook. Running a full-fledged Linux distro, the same one as on my desktop, with the same full-fledged applications and everything. Android is ok on the phone. On everything else, I want a full OS. 2012-06-22 9:56 am pandronic Android is ok on the phone. On everything else, I want a full OS. I’m still thinking about that … I’ve also got a Samsung Galaxy S and the whole update fiasco was just awful. Not to mention the crap that is Touchwiz and the uninstallable applications, the phone comes with. Custom ROMs are not much better … one didn’t have bluetooth, CM7 was going through my battery like a fat kid goes through candy, back to stock now, but data doesn’t work and I’m too tired to install a new ROM. You can only read so many 500 page threads on XDA. I think I’ll go with a Windows Phone 8 device next year. 2012-06-21 10:39 pm Nelson Agreed. ICS ROM for Transformer sucks. Honeycomb did too. 2012-06-22 7:12 am pandronic Not to the same extent it didn’t. Oh, how I long for Honeycomb. 2012-06-22 6:58 am Bink The recent CM9 on my TOUCHPAD is extremely solid (but it does use the battery excessively). 2012-06-21 9:54 pm Flatland_Spider More likely the OEMs didn’t feel like putting in the time and effort to get 4.0 ready for their devices. Andorid 4.0 on my wife’s recently purchased Galaxy Nexus is very nice. 2012-06-21 9:58 pm Flatland_Spider something to address the update mess. The Nexus line is the thing that addresses the update mess, for the most part. http://www.google.com/nexus/ 2012-06-21 11:54 pm Elv13 My NEXUS one is officially stuck with 2.3 while 4.0.3 actually run -faster- and use no more resources than 2.3 (well, a little bit more storage space). If the NEXUS line is only going to get “1” update per device before end of life while Apple give 3+, I consider that a mess. 2012-06-22 12:26 pm anevilyak The reason the N1 didn’t get ICS is lack of available storage space. ICS is quite a bit bigger than Gingerbread was. 2012-06-21 10:19 pm galvanash Your asking for a technical solution to what is a political problem. Google can’t make their OEMs stop being stupid by releasing a new Android version. OEMs continue to feel the need to do their mostly pointless customization of both hardware and software. As long as that is true we will just have to wait for them to validate a new versions (which takes months), wait for them to finish their tinkering (which takes months), and then wait some more to go through the process of fixing all their bugs (which takes more months). It is just the nature of the beast. The OEMs could easily fix this themselves – but Google can’t do it for them. The need to realize that product differentiation should not be their only goal – they are just as responsible for the health of their platform as Google is and if everyone plays odd man out you get this mess we have now. 2012-06-22 5:17 am dsmogor I think the carrier validation argument is bs. WP7 devices somehow pushed the updates around the same time around the world, no carrier validations stopped it. Edited 2012-06-22 05:29 UTC 2012-06-22 6:12 am galvanash I think the carrier validation argument is bs. WP7 devices somehow pushed the updates around the same time around the world, no carrier validations stopped it. Here is why: 1. Sheer number of devices. Number of unique WP7 devices: 25? (Not sure but it certainly isn’t much higher) Number of unique Android devices: 120+ And the Android number is only large manufacturers who play by the rules, i.e. Samsung, Moto, HTC, LG, Sony, Acer, Asus, etc. If you include all the tiny manufacturers its easily 200. 2. The extent of distinct hardware Microsoft supports in absolutely minuscule compared to Android. Almost all WP7 hardware is virtually identical. 3. Microsoft allows no significant modifications to WP7, with the exception of adding hubs. No kernel modifications allowed at all. No replacing system apps. Nothing. Nada. 4. 5 years of hardware to deal with. Microsoft only has 2 years worth. 5. Tablets. WP7 doesn’t support Tablets at all. I’m not trying to pick on Microsoft… Good for them, they have better control of their platform. But the reality is they make their OEMs play by different rules and the scope of their problem is much, much smaller. Pointing at Microsoft and saying “they can do it, why can’t Google” just ain’t fair. 2012-06-22 5:18 am dsmogor They couldn’t care less about platform health, if Android dies they will switch to something else, with added bonus of tempting their users to upgrade. 2012-06-22 6:15 am moondevil Having worked in the telecommunications area for a few years I can only confirm this. It is all about selling more device units, not OS upgrades. Still they could then charge for the upgrades, but that would be the device manufacturers doing, not the operators. And the operators can care less for what you have as mobile, as long as you can generate enough revenue for them. OS upgrades are not revenue on most mobile operators eyes. They never liked what Apple did to them, and that is one reason why the sales channels do not push WP7 phones, as WP7 has a similar model. 2012-06-22 6:31 am galvanash It is all about selling more device units, not OS upgrades. Oh, I agree with that whole-heartedly. But refraining from releasing upgrades isn’t the same thing as “switching to something else”. There isn’t anything else… 2012-06-22 6:27 am galvanash They couldn’t care less about platform health, if Android dies they will switch to something else, with added bonus of tempting their users to upgrade. Ha! What exactly would they switch to? The only real option to Android is Windows Phone and… well that’s it really. You really think Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Sony want to hitch their carts to Microsoft? Sure, most of them made Windows Phone devices initially, but half of them have been sued or extorted by Microsoft since – and now with Microkia being the golden child and the recent announcement of the Surface Tablet… Being a Microsoft OEM isn’t looking like such a hot idea anymore in the mobile space. Google doesn’t dangle carrots in from of their OEMs and then kick them in the nuts… 2012-06-24 5:00 pm dsmogor Not that I doesn’t agree with you that it sucks. But the fact is OEMS are not in platform curating business. That’s in fact a huge distraction and pita for them. They were much happier pushing premium feature phones that added just one or two features every generation. 2012-06-21 11:14 pm John Blink For me it is simply pinch to zoom with text wrapping. It simply doesn’t work for me and I noticed on the xda forums it has occurred to others too. I guess I would also like a better mail app that connects to exchange. Any suggestions? Thom: I have an s2 too, does pinch to zoom with text wrapping work with the custom rom your using? 2012-06-22 12:13 am WereCatf For me it is simply pinch to zoom with text wrapping. It simply doesn’t work for me and I noticed on the xda forums it has occurred to others too. Could I offer you a work-around: I have used Opera on my mobile devices for years now and one thing that I personally really love about it is how you can just double-tap on something to have it zoom in and wrap the content to fit in the zoomed-in view, perhaps it would be worth atleast checking out? Of course, it does not fix any other browsers and thus if you do not like Opera I really have nothing else to offer. Here is the link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.opera.browser 2012-06-22 5:25 am John Blink I have used it before but can’t get comfortable with it, like I did with dolphin mini. 2012-06-22 12:16 am Thom Holwerda What application? 2012-06-22 5:24 am John Blink The default web browser and also dolphin mini. Can’t do pinch to zoom. dolphin mini must inherit something from the default browser. 2012-06-22 5:47 am Thom Holwerda I don’t understand what you mean. I pinch, it zooms. What’s the problem? 2012-06-22 11:08 am John Blink It zooms for me too. It is just that the text goes beyond the screen. So I have to scroll horizontally to read. When I had Gingerbread I didn’t have this issue. 2012-06-22 3:14 pm mfaudzinr I had myriads of problems after I upgraded to ICS from Android 2.3 on my Samsung Galaxy Note. However after doing a factory reset, everything went smoothly except the battery runs like water. Max 12 hours, after that I’d have to recharge again. But then again I have everything turned on (Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth) so I guess not too bad. So I do suggest make a backup of your data then make a factory reset. It’ll do away with most of the problems, I do find – with a dash of luck. 2012-06-22 6:41 pm boxy TL;DR – I’m an ICS fan. I had heard people were getting better battery life (stock battery, 1500mAh) with ICS, so I wanted to try it out. My first ICS experience was deck’s pre-alphas. My battery went from 12 hours idle (max) to a day and a half. I think the original kernel had wakelock issues that prevented it from properly idling. Anyway, I used this ICS ROM for 5 months even though anything involving location (including Navigation and Maps) would immediately reboot the phone. The extra battery life was well worth it. Recently I switched to an unoffical CM9 and it blows everything else out of the water. Here’s the specs: Model number: PC36100 Android version: 4.0.4 Baseband version: 2.15.00.11.19 Kernel version: 188.8.131.52-evervolv-acies-ics+drew@master #1 CyanogenMod version: 9.0.0-RC0-supersonic-UNOFFICIAL Build date: Wed May 30 16:17:49 MST 2012 Build number: cm_supersonic-userdebug 4.0.4 IMM761 eng.jmz.20120530.161735 test-keys With this ROM, I still get at least 1.5 days idle battery, though in reality, it’s closer to 2 days. The kernel also has hardware accelerated graphics, so the Chrome browser finally works. Also, the ROM has been rock solid so far (used it for a few weeks). All-in-all, I love ICS. The only thing I miss is 4g (WiMax) connectivity. I’m not sure we’ll ever get that on the Evo because of binary blob drivers, but you never know – I didn’t think we’d get hardware accelerated graphics, either. When the ICS source was released, I immediately wanted to know if my then-18-month-old phone had good enough hardware to run it. Well, it turns out that if you actually utilize the damn hardware (aka have proper drivers), and you don’t have a shit-ton of manufacturer pre-installed crapware, ICS runs like a dream, even on now 2-year-old hardware. * rant This REALLY opened my eyes to just how terrible the combination of manufacturer-customized-Android plus shitty drivers can be. The cynic in me thinks that manufacturers produce sub-par Android experiences in order to lure users into a perpetual 2 year upgrade cycle. To me, it would make a lot more sense to keep your customers happy with proper hardware support than to put out barely “working” phones and call it a day. The best solution would be for hardware manufacturers to provide a combination of full technical specifications as well as open source drivers for the hardware they make. Individually, hardware specs or open source drivers would be great. Together, they would be fantastic. Don’t even get me started on the ethical issues (energy inefficiencies, tech waste, monetary waste, etc) of the 2 year upgrade cycle. * end rant For these reasons, my next phone will be the one with the most open hardware. Thanks to the effort of the custom ROM community, though, I won’t need another phone for a long, long time. 2012-06-22 10:56 pm kurkosdr “My Nexus S has random restarts after upgraded to ICS, as well as dramatically reduced battery life.This is the official update, no custom ROM.” Meet the Linux kernel disease. Where the driver model (“ABI”) gets changed every now and then, and upgrades never go smoothly (or drivers must be rewritten every damn time). Sure, Google forked the Linux kernel in later versions, but Android has inherited the disease. Everytime someone blames OEMs and carriers as the major cause of Android’s upgrade problems, I point out the upgrade problems of the Nexus S, and tell them how OEMs and carriers are supposed to care, if Google can’t or doesn’t care. Hurts me to say it (I am an Android fan), but Android has made me appreciate the effort Microsoft has put into defining kernel architectures, so the driver model is kept stable for 6 years at least. Oh, and not releasing “major” versions every 6 months. 2012-06-24 8:57 am -pekr- There are few things, which I really don’t like about ICS, and I REALLY wonder, how those could pass via any UI usability expert, or am I just alone with finding following things kind of annoying? 1) They have removed the context menu button. I have HTC Sense, and I use it often. My brother recently bought HTC One X, and I am constantly looking for the button, which would get me into settings. Now – how usefull is the task-switcher button? To swipe away apps? Why would any user care to close apps? Nice effect, showing thru review, but that’s just all – and we have dedicated button for that function? Big fail #1 2) Settings – so missing the dedicated button, they came up with the solution to “three dots menu” – and they moved it to the top of the screen. WTF? With larget phone, there is zero chance you can navigate your phone by one hand – big fail #2 3) Totally screwed up notification screen – quick settings screen offers you stuff like airplane mode, but it does NOT offer you to turn-on the wifi at one click – you are brought to another screen to turn wi-fi on/off – so big fail #3. Thanks goes to the author of the Widgetsoid, without it, this thing was really annoying daily experience. So much for all the experts Google can pay to have basic stuff done right … 2012-06-25 2:07 am Bill Shooter of Bul That’s not pure ICS. Thats HTC’s mods to ICS.