Google halts Android Ice Cream Sandwich update for Nexus S

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has temporarily paused the Android 4.0 operating system update rolling out to Samsung Nexus S smartphones after consumers in multiple regions reported issues with the new software.

Google began pushing out the over-the-air update to GSM/UMTS Nexus S devices late last week--the Samsung smartphone is the first legacy unit to receive Android 4.0 (a.k.a. "Ice Cream Sandwich"), which formally launched last month on Samsung's new Galaxy Nexus. Consumers feedback indicates some Nexus S devices are successfully downloading the update but are unable to properly install it.

Google is now putting the update on hold: "If you received an update notification a little while ago but the update isn't currently available for your phone, this is likely the result of Google pausing the update in your area while we monitor feedback," Google community manager Paul Wilcox writes on the Google Mobile Help Forum. "The Android 4.0 update is continuing to roll out around the world so your phone will receive another update notification when it's available again in your region."

Android 4.0 delivers the tablet-optimized innovations introduced in Google's Android 3.0 Honeycomb update to all devices in an effort to reduce platform fragmentation. Google first confirmed Ice Cream Sandwich's forthcoming launch during its annual I/O developer conference in May. The company promised, at that time, that moving forward, the same version of Android will run across all devices, regardless of screen size.

Highlights of Android 4.0 include an evolved user interface making common actions more visible, enabling users to navigate using simplified, more intuitive gestures. A new typeface optimized for high-resolution screens touts enhanced readability and new animations and feedback support for more compelling interactions. Android 4.0 also touts new System Bar virtual buttons bringing instant navigation to Back, Home and Recent Apps, as well as more visual multitasking and more interactive notifications.

Android continues to extend its dominance in the U.S. mobile market and now powers 46.3 percent of all smartphones nationwide, up 4.4 percentage points since July 2011, digital research firm comScore reports. Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS follows at 28.1 percent.  

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