Samsung Galaxy S, Tab: No Android 4.0 for you

Samsung says two of its more popular Android devices won't be getting the latest version of the software due to hardware requirements.

Owners of Samsung's Galaxy S smartphone and the 7-inch Galaxy Tab won't be getting the latest and greatest version of Android.

In a blog posting on a Korean promotional site run by Samsung, the company noted that the two devices would not receive the update to Android 4.0, the most up to date version of Google's mobile operating system.

The reason for that, as The Verge explains, centers around Samsung's use of additional software features on those phones, including TouchWiz, widgets, video calling and carrier software pack-ins. These suck up hardware resources to the point of giving users a less than desirable Android experience, Samsung says.

Sure to make things a bit complicated is that the Galaxy S is a close sibling of Samsung's recently-released Galaxy Nexus --at least on paper. That phone ships with Android 4.0, known more readily as Ice Cream Sandwich.

Announced in October, Ice Cream Sandwich adds a number of new features to devices on the platform, the main one being the unification of the OS for both tablets and smartphones, as well as the addition of software-based buttons that replace the ones that have been physical buttons. As with other major releases of Android, it carries with it particular hardware requirements, leaving a number of older devices stuck on certain versions indefinitely.

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.


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