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Monday, October 24, 2011

Ultimate Android 4.0 Update List: Which Tablets Will Get Ice Cream Sandwich?

We’ve already talked about which phones we believe are likely and unlikely to see an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but what about the current crop of Android tablets that are on the market? Which ones will be getting the boost up to Google’s latest and greatest piece of software?

While not as tricky of a question to answer as the phones were, the situation is still unclear for many Android tablet owners out there. Only a handful of tablets have been confirmed to be getting the bump up to Android 4.0 while the others remain in the dark.

So that means that we’re going to have to make some educated guesses.

Here goes.

Amazon Kindle Fire

Yes, we know. The Amazon Kindle Fire isn’t even out yet but that doesn’t mean that we can’t speculate about whether or not the Android tablet with the $199 price point will see Ice Cream Sandwich.

Amazon has essentially made Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread unrecognizable with the amount of tweaking it has done. As many of you with Android phones might know, UI’s, especially extensive ones, do not play nice with major Android updates.

It’s too soon to rule out an upgrade completely but we’d be fairly shocked to see Amazon take the Kindle Fire up to Android 4.0.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer

Just because Asus has another Eee Pad Transformer on the way doesn’t mean that the original hybrid tablet won’t see Android 4.0. In fact, Asus has confirmed that its Eee Pad Transformer will be one of, if not the first, Honeycomb tablet that will see the upgrade.

They haven’t offered up any sort of time frame for when owners should expect to see the update but if we had to guess, we’d think that it would roll out at some point in the weeks ahead.

At least you can rest easy knowing its coming, Transformer owners.

Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime

The Asus Eee Pad Transformer 2 aka Transformer Prime will almost assuredly have Android 4.0 on board when it launches sometime later this year. Asus has already put up a landing page for the device but an official announcement won’t come until November 9th.

We’ll be sure once that event rolls around.

Barnes and Noble Nook Color
Barnes and Noble hasn’t announced anything and the fact that it’s still officially sitting on Android 2.2 Froyo is a sign that the tablet probably won’t be making the jump to Android 4.0.

Until B&N says that it officially won’t get an upgrade, feel free to hold out hope. But the chances that the company rolls out the update are slim especially when it’s rumored to have a new tablet on the way to compete with the Kindle Fire.

HTC Flyer

Don’t get us wrong, the HTC Flyer is a great tablet but unfortunately, it’s still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and HTC hasn’t said when owners can expect an upgrade to Honeycomb let alone Ice Cream Sandwich.

The fact that it doesn’t have Android 3.0 yet doesn’t bode well for an upgrade so we’re going to say that this only has a miniscule chance of seeing the Android 4.0 update.

HTC has said that it will try and get as many devices as it possibly can up to Ice Cream Sandwich so the door isn’t closed just yet.

HTC Jetstream
AT&T’s 4G LTE enabled HTC Jetstream is an expensive tablet. Don’t believe us? It’s $699. On-contract. However, that doesn’t mean that AT&T and HTC won’t bring it up to speed with some Ice Cream Sandwich.

In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Jetstream as one of the first Android tablets to see Android 4.0.

Acer Iconia Tab A500 and A100
We fully expect both the Acer Iconia Tab A500 and the Iconia Tab A100 to see the Android 4.0 update. Like Asus, Acer has been pretty on point with getting software updates out to its hardware and we expect it to deviate from the norm when it comes to ICS for its Iconia Tab tablets.

And like Toshiba, Acer doesn’t have a bunch of phones to worry about either so it can focus on getting out a speedy and quality upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich.

No time table as of yet though.

LG G-Slate
The LG G-Slate is a great piece of hardware. It’s software is a different story though. An upgrade to Android 4.0 would do it wonders. However, we’re not sure how committed LG and T-Mobile are to the device given how mediocre it is so it’s possible that they will decide that resources are better spent elsewhere.

We wouldn’t count out Android 4.0 yet though but we also aren’t very confident that we’ll end up seeing it.

Motorola Xoom
Breathe easy, Xoom owners. Motorola has confirmed that its tablet will be seeing the Android 4.0 update at some point. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any specifics as to when it would see it.

There have been rumors that peg the Xoom as the first Honeycomb tablet that will see Ice Cream Sandwich but given Motorola’s track record, we get the feeling that Asus will beat it to the punch.

All Xoom tablets will likely see the update including the Wi-Fi, Verizon and Family Edition with the Verizon version seeing the new software come after the other two do.

Samsung Galaxy Tab
The original Samsung Galaxy Tab had a rough road to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and we just can’t see Samsung and the various carriers taking the time to get this aging tablet up to Android 4.0.

Not when the company has several other more prominent devices out on the market.

So, if you’re the proud owners of the original 7-inch slate, it’s probably best that you assume the worst. We get the feeling that there will likely be some sort of hack that arrives though so if you own one, hope isn’t just just yet.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9
Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 8.9 will likely see the Android 4.0 update. It currently has Honeycomb and it was released just a short time ago, both of which are key ingredients for a major Android update.

No word from Samsung on when we might see it though.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Both the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 4G LTE and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi will almost certainly get the upgrade to Android 4.0. Samsung needs to keep pace with Motorola’s Xoom and it can do so by upgrading these tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Wi-Fi model will see the update first and the 4G LTE model on Verizon will see it afterward per the usual way of doing things.

But like the Galaxy Tab 8.9, we’re still in the dark about when the tablet might see the software.

Toshiba Thrive
Like the T-Mobile G-Slate, the Toshiba Thrive is a middle of the road Honeycomb tablet. That’s to say, it has some nice things, but there is definitely better out there. Still, Toshiba is burdened with smartphones like LG and T-Mobile are so it’s probably going to be able to focus on getting Ice Cream Sandwich out to the Thrive which will only make this piece of hardware better.

And while there is a very good chance that we’ll see an upgrade, Toshiba hasn’t announced anything specific in regards to a release date.

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