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Sony Xperia P gets Android 4.0 ICS


Most of the 2012 Sony Xperia models, including the Xperia NXT series (Xperia S, Xperia P and Xperia U) shipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread based ROM. The company did say that all these devices will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich eventually, but it didn’t give the exact date as to when the update would take place.
Earlier this month, an update on Sony Mobile India’s Facebook page stated that Sony Xperia P’s software will be upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich between the 19th and 25th of August. Since the information was posted on Sony Mobile India’s facebook page, it was unclear whether the dates were specific to Indian market or applicable globally. Again, most of the Sony Xperia phones are sold unlocked and carrier lock is pretty much inexistent in India, so global rollout of Android 4.0 ICS for Xperia P was expected to follow shortly, but seems like the dates published on facebook page were wrong.

Sony has surprised us and it turns out that they had gotten their dates wrong and apparently the company has officially announced that the roll out of Android 4.0 ICS update for Sony Xperia P handset has begun starting from today. The rollout is estimated to continue for next few weeks, so don’t fear if you haven’t got an update notification yet.

Keeping in mind the track record of US carriers when it comes to rolling out firmware updates, users who have their devices locked to the carriers may have to wait a little longer before experiencing the goodness of Android 4.0. This delay is due to the fact that carriers actually test the firmware before releasing it to their customers.

“Today, we’re starting our Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 software upgrade for Xperia P, with the rollout continuing over the next few weeks in markets globally,” Sony said in a blog post, sticking to its promise of a release this month.

“All Xperia P users will get a notification when the upgrade is ready, but direct availability in the phone may vary across different markets and carriers.”

According to Japanese technology giant, below are the some of the features that the update will bring along with it:
• Extended standby mode, increasing standby time by up to four times (depending on user-profile and data consumption)
• New ways to experience your media with new media applications – “WALKMAN”, “Album” and “Movies”
• Lock screen with improved functionality
• Resizable widgets for improved personalization
• Improved control of your mobile data consumption
• Recent Apps button for a clear overview of your applications

It’s worth noting that most of the 2011 Xperia models have already received the Android 4.0 ICS update, and it’s the 2012 models that are remaining. Sony’s 2012 flagship phone, the Xperia S received the update back in July. The updates are progressing as planned, and the next batch of Xperia phones which will getting the update includes the Xperia U, Xperia Sola and the Xperia Go. The dates as to when these phones will be updated are not announced yet, but it would be reasonable to expect the announcement to be done some time in September.

The Xperia P Android 4.0 update won’t be available to download over-the-air (OTA), and users will instead need to download it using Sony’s PC Companion or Bridge for Mac software.

Xperia U, Xperia sola and Xperia go are next in the line, so we will be back with updates when that happens. It’s been quite a few months since Android 4.0 was released, and the update is taking happening now, so we’re not sure how long it will take for Sony to bring Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to these devices. Also, we have to note the fact that upgrade from Android 2.3 Gingerbread to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was a major one, so it takes more effort on the manufacturer’s part to bring this update to their devices, but the changes made in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as compared to Ice Cream Sandwich is relatively less, and hence the update to Jelly Bean might land quicker than you expect. Meanwhile, if you own a Xperia P, let us know how the update is treating you using the comment form below.

The official blog post can be read over here.

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