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Confirmed ICS release dates for Sony Xperia 2011 models - and why you do not want to update

30 March 2012 by
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Technical details:
• Sony Xperia A
• Sony Xperia Acro S
• Sony Xperia Advance
• Sony Xperia C
• Sony Xperia E
• Sony Xperia E Dual
• Sony Xperia E1
• Sony Xperia E1 Dual
• Sony Xperia Ion LT28at
• Sony Xperia J
• Sony Xperia L
• Sony Xperia M2
• Sony Xperia Miro
• Sony Xperia Neo L
• Sony Xperia P
• Sony Xperia S
• Sony Xperia SL
• Sony Xperia Sola
• Sony Xperia SP
• Sony Xperia SX
• Sony Xperia T
• Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
• Sony Xperia Tipo
• Sony Xperia Tipo Dual
• Sony Xperia TL
• Sony Xperia TX
• Sony Xperia U
• Sony Xperia V
• Sony Xperia VL
• Sony Xperia X Performance
• Sony Xperia Z
• Sony Xperia Z Ultra
• Sony Xperia Z1
• Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
• Sony Xperia Z2
• Sony Xperia Z3
• Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
• Sony Xperia ZL
• Sony Xperia ZQ
• Sony Xperia ZR
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Active
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Neo V
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Play
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Pureness
• Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray
• Sony Ericsson Xperia X10
• Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini
• Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro
• Sony Ericsson Xperia X2
• Sony Ericsson Xperia X8

From the forum:
Sony Mobile has now set the release date for Android 4.0 for its Xperia smartphones. Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray will get the update in mid-April. Other Xperia handsets will get the update in end of May

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich soon ready for Sony Ericsson Xperia models

The three Sony Ericsson models Xperia Arc S, Neo V and Xperia Ray will receive the Ice update from mid-April. The rollout will continue over 4-6 weeks. The rest of the 2011 Xperia models will receive the Android 4.0 update from the end of May/early June. These models are: Xperia Active, Xperia Arc, Xperia Mini, Xperia Mini Pro, Xperia Neo, Xperia Play, Xperia Pro and finally Live with Walkman. The update will not be available over the air or Wi-Fi. This is a PC Companion/Bridge update only. Users will not even receive an availability notification via OTA. One of the reason for this limitation is that

UpdateRead the comments regarding this article from Sony Mobile 

You probably want to check for Ice Cream Sandwich availability every day from now on. But you might reconsider this after reading what Sony has to say about the update. In a developer blog posted today, Sony wrote some pro and cons about the ICS update for its older handsets.

Ice Cream Sandwich brings new user interface features
Android 4.0 introduces many nice features. The user interface has got a facelift and Sony has modified stock ICS to with some of the familiar Xperia look and feel. A new Recent Apps button lets users jump instantly from one task to another. The lack of memory on some of the Xperia models might reduce the usefulness of this feature. Some of the new features are:

  • widgets are resizable
  • new actions are added to the lock screen
  • new swipe actions are added
  • improved text input and spell-checking
  • better voice input engine
  • new controls added for managing network data
  • generic camera app is updated, but Sony will continue to use its own camera app
  • improved web browser
  • face unlock
  • ...much more

The Ice Cream Sandwich will use more memory
Most of the Xperia handsets has only 512 MB of memory which was something Sony Ericsson found out was sufficient when running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. ICS is targeted at phones having 1 GB of RAM. Out of the 512 MB RAM in the Xperia models, one-third is reserved for functions such as modem, camera, multimedia etc. 340 MB is reserved for the Linux user space where the activity manager and Home screen app are running. Some built-in Android apps also require more memory in ICS. The web browser for example uses 20-30 more MB in Android 4.0 ICS compared to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. When the system runs out of free memory (less than 40 MB free) it starts to close down running apps. The first thing to be shut down is hidden apps running in the background. The next is Services such as E-mail sync, then Backup, Home screen app, and then Perceptible processes such as Music played in the background. The thing is that when the user are finished with the memory hungry app and exit, some of these services must start-up for the device to work properly. Having little RAM available means background apps must be shut down often. The user experience will be worse when apps are loaded from storage instead of being loaded in RAM and brought to the foreground.

Full hardware acceleration
By default, all apps developed with API level 14 has hardware acceleration turned on. The graphics processing unit (GPU) is used to render graphics when hardware acceleration is enabled. That is fine, because that is what the GPU is for. The problem with hardware acceleration and the Xperia's is that extra graphic libraries needs to be loaded into memory which is limited to 512 MB. Sony has done some testing with some of their own apps and they saw that for example the Settings app used 1-2 MB RAM and took longer to load when hardware acceleration was enabled.

There seems to be many considerations user need to take before updating the Xperia handset to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. We doubt most people has the knowledge to make an insightful valuation of updating their with Ice Cream Sandwich so Sony needs to explain this thoroughly to Xperia owners.

We know that some consumers has bought Xperia handset because Sony has promised an Android 4.0 update in the future. With only 512 MB of RAM, it seems like those older Xperia models only meet the minimum Android 4.0 requirements. 

Are you one of these customers and will you update your Xperia smartphone to ICS after reading this article?

Updated – comment from the Sony Mobile Developer World team:

We we would like to clarify that above mentioned "e;challenges"e; have already been addressed by our SW engineering teams. For instance, we have not only optimised the RAM management by making the RAM usage for internal apps as good as possible, but we will also introduce a Performance assistant at start up when running ICS. In this Performance assistant, you can enable and disable certain services that you might not want to run on your phone, in order to optimise the performance of your phone. 

We have also worked with quite a few partners in regards to architecture optimisations for SQL handling. In addition, we have also optimised the hardware usage. And as a result of this article, a number of app developers have notified us that they are evaluating if HW optimisation will be needed or not for their apps.

The aim of this article was to share our knowledge regarding the different characteristics for ICS and Gingerbread in an open way, as we strive to have an open communication with the developer community. All in all, we would like to point out that it's our clear aim to deliver an as good ICS update as ever possible. As you might have seen on the Sony Xperia Product Blog, we're not far from releasing it now. Thanks for all the feedback!

source, Sony Blog about the ICS update




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idumbakumar7 years, 5 months ago
bit disappointing... anyway i ordered xperia S. but keeping my ARC. lets see how its going to be the ICS.
Shino037 years, 5 months ago
I don't mind if my android shuts down hidden apps but if the homescreen application and music player shut down that's an entirely different story.
3_nity7 years, 5 months ago
confused..... gingerbread or ice cream sandwich...
Bonovox7 years, 5 months ago
This is pants. Android OS is getting worse imo. What's going to happen on Android in future budget models with less ram?? Google are going to have to do what Microsoft done. Have certain restrictions on budget models to have a standard spec for it to run ICS and it's OS. Otherwise budget models will not run properly with lower ram

_________________
Material things don't matter,but Rock n Roll does!!!!

HTC Evo 3D
[ This Message was edited by: Bonovox on 2012-03-31 10:07 ]
daviep7 years, 5 months ago
updated both my galaxy s and s2.galaxy s only has gingerbread 2.3.6 with ics "value pack" due to being unable to run full ICS.now has updated icons,camera improvements,face unlock.
maybe the older xperias will get similar updates.
djin7 years, 5 months ago
I think sony should then update their 2011 models to jellybean, i think that will solve this problem. But /sony has habit of releasing phones with lower ram, why 512mb ram in 2011 when htc desire had more in 2010? Even their 2012 models have 512mb ram(U&Sola).
rickster2kuk7 years, 5 months ago
Maybe Android needs to take a leaf out of Apple's and MS's book, make the OS more streamlined and efficient, bit like MS did with Win 7, so I can run on most phones.
Tsepz_GP7 years, 5 months ago
What Google need to do is work with the OEMs, when they begin the next version they must with them from day one.
Mizzle7 years, 5 months ago
Sorry to say this, but it's utter BS.
Yes, Android does close activities and services when it's running low on memory. It's always done that, so it's nothing new compared to what you're already using.
Having said that ICS is not the reason why you don't want to upgrade. Sony's customizations, on the other hand, are. A vanilla version of ICS runs beautifully on a phone like the Xperia S, despite its 512 MB RAM limit. ICS is beautiful the way it is. Sony should just stop working on customizing the OS, and use it in all of its beauty.
Also - it's pretty ridiculous that Sony is blaming Google for bad performance when they're using several years old hardware.
[ This Message was edited by: Mizzle on 2012-03-31 18:07 ]
Tsepz_GP7 years, 5 months ago
+1 Mizzle.
A great example of a 512mb RAM phone running Android4.0 ICS beautifuly is the Google Nexus S which recently got the Android4.0.4 update. ICS isnt just built with thdm Galaxy Nexus in mind its built with the Nexus S in mind, with its 1GHz single core CPU and 512mb RAM.
Seems Sony are taking the easy way out here by 'passing the buck', im worried for the 2011 Xperia owners, does it mean after they get 4.0.3 Sony will drop without fixing bugs like they did to the X10 after updating it to 2.3.3.
TeknoBoi907 years, 5 months ago
in that case they could launch another Gingerbread update (e.g. 2.3.7 la Xperia NXT) with improved stability, refined system and all the minor bugs solved, at least one can decide to remain with GB but having the ultimate version... I think that it can't be that difficult
Bonovox7 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-03-31 19:35:28, Tsepz_GP wrote:
+1 Mizzle.
A great example of a 512mb RAM phone running Android4.0 ICS beautifuly is the Google Nexus S which recently got the Android4.0.4 update. ICS isnt just built with thdm Galaxy Nexus in mind its built with the Nexus S in mind, with its 1GHz single core CPU and 512mb RAM.
Seems Sony are taking the easy way out here by 'passing the buck', im worried for the 2011 Xperia owners, does it mean after they get 4.0.3 Sony will drop without fixing bugs like they did to the X10 after updating it to 2.3.3.

Yes,the Nexus S although buggy alot was very very smooth!!
mustafabay7 years, 5 months ago
So they make this claim about RAM and the only phones not with 512MB are the P,S and Ion.If the experience is that comprimized then why not at least give the new mid range phones 768MB if you want to differentiate with high end getting 1GB?
worf10007 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-03-31 19:03:00, Mizzle wrote:
Sorry to say this, but it's utter BS.
Yes, Android does close activities and services when it's running low on memory. It's always done that, so it's nothing new compared to what you're already using.
Having said that ICS is not the reason why you don't want to upgrade. Sony's customizations, on the other hand, are. A vanilla version of ICS runs beautifully on a phone like the Xperia S, despite its 512 MB RAM limit. ICS is beautiful the way it is. Sony should just stop working on customizing the OS, and use it in all of its beauty.
Also - it's pretty ridiculous that Sony is blaming Google for bad performance when they're using several years old hardware.
[ This Message was edited by: Mizzle on 2012-03-31 18:07 ]


That's your opinion. I like what Sony is doing.
All that fuss about a delay, what are you doing all those day playing phones?
Sony phones are the most balances from all android handset, so play with your Samsung and be happy with it
It's pretty ridiculous you blame Sony.
iksplusipsilon7 years, 5 months ago
When I read this, whole P990i saga flashed before my eyes again! Visit forum to view images Old habits die hard it seems...

@worf1000: Please, leave fanboy flaming for other sites, thnx! Visit forum to view images
[ This Message was edited by: theos on 2012-04-01 05:18 ]
Mizzle7 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-04-01 01:06:20, worf1000 wrote:

On 2012-03-31 19:03:00, Mizzle wrote:
Sorry to say this, but it's utter BS.
Yes, Android does close activities and services when it's running low on memory. It's always done that, so it's nothing new compared to what you're already using.
Having said that ICS is not the reason why you don't want to upgrade. Sony's customizations, on the other hand, are. A vanilla version of ICS runs beautifully on a phone like the Xperia S, despite its 512 MB RAM limit. ICS is beautiful the way it is. Sony should just stop working on customizing the OS, and use it in all of its beauty.
Also - it's pretty ridiculous that Sony is blaming Google for bad performance when they're using several years old hardware.
[ This Message was edited by: Mizzle on 2012-03-31 18:07 ]


That's your opinion. I like what Sony is doing.
All that fuss about a delay, what are you doing all those day playing phones?
Sony phones are the most balances from all android handset, so play with your Samsung and be happy with it
It's pretty ridiculous you blame Sony.

You're right. It is my opinion. And it's the right opinion.
ICS does work on devices with mediocre hardware (read: Sony phones), but all of Sony's customizations are making it a lot more heavy on resources and that's simply not necessary. Also, please cut the crap regarding "playing with my Samsung". I had an Xperia S before you could even get your hands on one.
Shino037 years, 5 months ago
I think this will all depend on the user. I think this Ice cream update will be fine for the non-extensive users. I mean, I only use a few widgets on my Galaxy ace and I also don't use any live wallpaper any more and my galaxy runs smoothly because of that. I also often close any running applications on the background which prevents lag on my phone.
I don't need all of these widgets..
Visit forum to view images
[ This Message was edited by: Shino03 on 2012-04-01 07:25 ]
etaab7 years, 5 months ago
This is why Sony will never compete with Samsung and HTC and will always be behind the times. Its a reminder of how it was with SE and now Sony alone are continuing the trend.
If i were a 2011 handset owner, i'd go down the other route of getting my own custom version of ICS from teams like Cyanogenmod when they get around to Android 4.
chunkybeats7 years, 5 months ago
im a neo v user and gingerbread is awesome but hearing this worries me. I think I will see how it goes with others if it's not good then im enjoying my phone because what I have noticed is ALL OEMs put bloatware on their roms. which on turn use up previous memory. If I root then surely ICS will run heaps smoother. As for the nexus s comment it's running touchwiz which in all the OEMs. is the hungriest for RAM usage! For me it's a wait and see approach.
Bonovox7 years, 5 months ago
I have an Arc S and even that in GB is slow at times. It's a great handset but still can slow down a bit even with not much running. This is cos I guess when I look qt running services there is too much crap running. I have to kill some of it to free up ram but later in it automatically starts up again. Stupid bloatware. Using a vanilla Android version is best imo. I have seen how smooth Nexus S is. HTC use alot of layers on its devices but their phones are not slow.
Indiandawg7 years, 5 months ago
Features used correctly can greatly make a difference using a phone. I don't believe in shutting down all the widgets and live wallpapers and etc just so that my phone runs a little faster and give up on all features that phone has to offer. If that was the case, I would buy simple Nokia phone!
darrenj17 years, 5 months ago
My homescreen shuts down as it stands now, when I use some apps such as dolphin browser, or games.
My question is, if I delete some of my apps and create more space, will that allocate more working RAM and therefore increase performance?
lolstebbo7 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-04-01 10:19:31, etaab wrote:
This is why Sony will never compete with Samsung and HTC and will always be behind the times. Its a reminder of how it was with SE and now Sony alone are continuing the trend.

I disagree. If you look at HTC's and Samsung's lists of phones that will be getting ICS, it's all their higher-end phones; on Samsung's end, I believe none of them are S2-based, whereas HTC's only upgrading three of their S2-based phones. Their unwillingness to update their S1 phones to ICS is indicative of either their unwillingness to spend the resources or the realities of ICS's performance (the reference phone itself is dual-core to begin with). Even though Sony's rollout may finish later than HTC's and Samsung's, at least people that bought their low-ends phones will still get the option of installing ICS, and at least they still provided constant updates on the development/certification process (I'd venture to guess that their biggest holdup is certification since they might be trying to get all phones certified for all regions simultaneously as opposed to the staggered roll-out HTC and Samsung are adopting).
adsada7 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-04-01 07:56:07, Mizzle wrote:

On 2012-04-01 01:06:20, worf1000 wrote:

On 2012-03-31 19:03:00, Mizzle wrote:
Sorry to say this, but it's utter BS.
Yes, Android does close activities and services when it's running low on memory. It's always done that, so it's nothing new compared to what you're already using.
Having said that ICS is not the reason why you don't want to upgrade. Sony's customizations, on the other hand, are. A vanilla version of ICS runs beautifully on a phone like the Xperia S, despite its 512 MB RAM limit. ICS is beautiful the way it is. Sony should just stop working on customizing the OS, and use it in all of its beauty.
Also - it's pretty ridiculous that Sony is blaming Google for bad performance when they're using several years old hardware.
[ This Message was edited by: Mizzle on 2012-03-31 18:07 ]


That's your opinion. I like what Sony is doing.
All that fuss about a delay, what are you doing all those day playing phones?
Sony phones are the most balances from all android handset, so play with your Samsung and be happy with it
It's pretty ridiculous you blame Sony.

You're right. It is my opinion. And it's the right opinion.
ICS does work on devices with mediocre hardware (read: Sony phones), but all of Sony's customizations are making it a lot more heavy on resources and that's simply not necessary. Also, please cut the crap regarding "playing with my Samsung". I had an Xperia S before you could even get your hands on one.

sony's customizations, are by far the lightest of any other main manufacturer. You cannot blame a phone manufacturer to want to make their Android experience unique to others. And to respond to your previous post, pretty sure the Xperia S had 1gb of RAM and although it is using an outdated processor (to say by several years is a far exaggeration btw) but other then that I see no outdated hardware, 12MP camera, HD screen and a whole new design...
[ This Message was edited by: adsada on 2012-04-02 17:20 ]
Mizzle7 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-04-02 18:18:52, adsada wrote:

On 2012-04-01 07:56:07, Mizzle wrote:

On 2012-04-01 01:06:20, worf1000 wrote:

On 2012-03-31 19:03:00, Mizzle wrote:
Sorry to say this, but it's utter BS.
Yes, Android does close activities and services when it's running low on memory. It's always done that, so it's nothing new compared to what you're already using.
Having said that ICS is not the reason why you don't want to upgrade. Sony's customizations, on the other hand, are. A vanilla version of ICS runs beautifully on a phone like the Xperia S, despite its 512 MB RAM limit. ICS is beautiful the way it is. Sony should just stop working on customizing the OS, and use it in all of its beauty.
Also - it's pretty ridiculous that Sony is blaming Google for bad performance when they're using several years old hardware.
[ This Message was edited by: Mizzle on 2012-03-31 18:07 ]


That's your opinion. I like what Sony is doing.
All that fuss about a delay, what are you doing all those day playing phones?
Sony phones are the most balances from all android handset, so play with your Samsung and be happy with it
It's pretty ridiculous you blame Sony.

You're right. It is my opinion. And it's the right opinion.
ICS does work on devices with mediocre hardware (read: Sony phones), but all of Sony's customizations are making it a lot more heavy on resources and that's simply not necessary. Also, please cut the crap regarding "playing with my Samsung". I had an Xperia S before you could even get your hands on one.

sony's customizations, are by far the lightest of any other main manufacturer. You cannot blame a phone manufacturer to want to make their Android experience unique to others. And to respond to your previous post, pretty sure the Xperia S had 1gb of RAM and although it is using an outdated processor (to say by several years is a far exaggeration btw) but other then that I see no outdated hardware, 12MP camera, HD screen and a whole new design...
[ This Message was edited by: adsada on 2012-04-02 17:20 ]


Who cares if their customizations are the lightest? They're incredibly memory heavy, and yes I can blame them for using memory heavy customizations when their phones have very little memory to begin with. And yes, the Xperia S has a gig of RAM, but that doesn't help any of the previous models that are left with 512 MB.
laffen7 years, 5 months ago
Updated article with comments from Sony Mobile. Thanks bono
[ This Message was edited by: laffen on 2012-04-03 01:04 ]
3_nity7 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-04-03 02:04:11, laffen wrote:
Updated article with comments from Sony Mobile. Thanks bono
[ This Message was edited by: laffen on 2012-04-03 01:04 ]


Awesome, Sony!
@laffen: thx for share a link.
Bonovox7 years, 5 months ago
So I wonder will this stop the silly restarting of apps?? Whenever I kill some apps in running services an hour later they are running again.
Tsepz_GP7 years, 5 months ago

On 2012-04-01 10:19:31, etaab wrote:
This is why Sony will never compete with Samsung and HTC and will always be behind the times. Its a reminder of how it was with SE and now Sony alone are continuing the trend.
If i were a 2011 handset owner, i'd go down the other route of getting my own custom version of ICS from teams like Cyanogenmod when they get around to Android 4.

+1
Even the Xperia X10 had just 384mb RAM whilest the Galaxy S had 512mb and Desire had 576mb, SE/Sony like to cut corners and in the long term it hurts them, thats why i moved to Samsung, since the X10 scenario i remember a part of me wishing i had waited for the Galaxy S which even today proves to be an excellent smartphone despite no ICS its the only early 2010 Android getting updates now and its GPU makes mince meat of what the 2011 SE's have, thats what i like about Samsung, they are always thinking way ahead, best believe the Galaxy S i9000 will probably be one of the 1st to get CM9 final release

Bono
I dont understand why exactly SE are doing that, in Android4.0 ICS when you go to Settings -Developer Options, there is an option already built-in to limit the amount of background processes.
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