Verizon expands Android Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade rollout


Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is updating the Motorola Droid Bionic to run Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich. The operator also pledged to upgrade the LG Lucid.

Motorola Droid Bionic Verizon - Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade

Verizon updates the Droid Bionic (pictured) to run Ice Cream Sandwich.

Verizon will begin pushing Android 4.0 to the Droid Bionic today. Subscribers can expect an over-the-air rollout delivered in phases. Verizon said Bionic owners can expect new features and usability improvements including Direct Access Lock, which enables users to more efficiently access commonly used functions like the camera, text messaging and keypads, as well as an Enhanced Notifications Window featuring a new swipe-to-dismiss functionality. The update additionally brings revamped versions of applications like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle, GoToMeeting, Blockbuster and Citrix Receiver.

Motorola first confirmed plans to update the Droid Bionic roughly a year ago, but the smartphone appeared to fall through the cracks. Last month, Motorola Vice President of Product Punit Soni promised Ice Cream Sandwich was still in the pipeline: "We have a plan for Bionic. I am currently solidifying things to ensure we can publish it, commit and follow up," Soni said. "I think [Bionic owners] have gotten a raw deal, and we could do way better. But you are one of the top few things I worry about when I look at upgrades."

The Verizon Wireless Website states Android Ice Cream Sandwich is "coming soon" to the LG Lucid, although an exact timetable is unknown. Documentation obtained by Android Community indicates the update will include support for the Verizon Remote Diagnostics Tool and a more stable version of Google's GTalk video chat.

Google's Android Developers dashboard reveals that 23.7 percent of Android devices run Ice Cream Sandwich. In contrast, Android Gingerbread, first released in late 2010, still powers 55.8 percent of devices.

For more:
- read this Verizon Wireless News Center post
- read this Android Community article

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