Android 4.0.3 to be "base version" for partners
Google has released version 4.0.3 of its open source mobile operating system, an incremental update to Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" (ICS). According to Xavier Ducrohet, Android SDK Tech Lead, Android 4.0.3 will be the "base version" of ICS and should be the version used by partners on phones and tablets as they upgrade their existing devices or launch new ones.
The new release includes various optimisations and bug fixes for phone and tablet devices, as well as a number of new APIs for developers; the new API level is 15. These include APIs for social stream data in contacts, calendar enhancements, additional camera capabilities, and refinements to accessibility. Minor improvements have also been made to graphics, spellchecking, graphics and Bluetooth.
At the same time, Google has announced that it has started rolling out an over-the-air (OTA) update for the GSM version of Nexus S smartphones. The update will upgrade Android on the Nexus S from version 2.3.x "Gingerbread" to the current 4.0.3 ICS release.
Users upgrading will notice some changes in the way that, for example, the home screens work; a page on the Android Support web site offers tips for Android 2.3 users upgrading to 4.0 ICS. A post on Android Central provides instructions for those early adopters who wish download the update as a zip file and manually update their Nexus S phones. There are reports though that the current early update will result in a blank recovery screen after the update is applied; the problem appears to be that, on versions of the Nexus S with an LCD screen, the backlight for the LCD is not turned on. The workaround is to use a flashlight to illuminate the screen.
More details about the 4.0.3 update can be found on the Android 4.0.3 Platform page and in the post on the Android Developers blog. Google Software Engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru has confirmed that the source code for Android 4.0.3 has already been pushed to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) web site, meaning that developers can now sync and download it.
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