Sony has been accused of being a little slow in the past when it comes to updating their phones, but it seems to have wasted little time moving its recently available tablets onto the latest Android operating system in Singapore.
Users of the Tablet S and Tablet P started getting their Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or Android 4.0 updates over the air on Thursday, as the Japanese electronics giant moved to keep pace with rivals such as Samsung and Asus.
The new updates bring a number of features, according to Sony.
Some of the new features users can enjoy include a panoramic camera mode, an updated gallery viewer with direct SD card access, browser enhancements and ‘Small Apps’ that allows a widget-like experience for a browser, calculator or remote control. Additional features include the ability to launch the camera from the lock screen.
The move to ICS means that developers can easily create apps that run on both tablets and phones. It also reduces some of the oft-criticised fragmentation for Google’s mobile operating system. Developers still have to cater for the many varying screen sizes, but at least the code base would be similar.
Asus and HTC have been two of the fastest to update their phones, at least in Singapore. Samsung, the Android flag bearer now, updated its Galaxy S II and Galaxy Note phones in recent weeks, but has been slow to offer Android 4.0 to its tablets like the Galaxy Tab 7.7.
Updates are increasingly an issue for many phone makers. If they spend time and money updating current phones, they feel they cannot “move on” and concentrate on the next big thing. Users may also be less keen to buy a new phone if their current one gets updated and include the features offered by a newer model.
However, ignoring users’ demands is detrimental as well, as Motorola and Sony realised with their earlier Android phones. It shows that a phone maker is not interested in updating its phones and discourages users, particularly the geeky ones, from buying one from them in future.