Google has started to push out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for the Samsung Nexus S smartphone. The new software is designed for the GSM/UMTS versions of the phone and over the next few weeks users should receive notifications that an over-the-air update is available.
But you don’t necessarily have to wait.
The folks at xda-developers have found the official OTA update package and posted instructions for downloading it and installing on your phone manually.
Basically all you need to do is download the 128MB file from Google’s servers to your phone, rename the file as update.zip, reboot into recovery mode and apply the update from an SD card.
Since this is an official release and not a custom ROM, you don’t even need a custom recovery such as ClockworkMod to do this.
Android 4.0 brings a new look and feel to the Nexus S and other devices. It also includes a number of new features including:
- Improved voice recognition
- Ability to sync your browser bookmarks with Google Chrome on your desktop, as well as an Incognito browser mode
- New Gmail user interface, plus ability to search 30 days of messages even when you’re offline
- Pinch-to-zoom in Google Calendar
- New camera features including support for panoramic photos and basic photo editing
- Contact app has been replaced with a People app which offers social stream updates
Google has also put together a few tips for Nexus S users upgrading from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0. The guide explains some of the differences between the two operating systems and how to perform the same actions using the new user interface.