Sony Xperia S gets Ice Cream Sandwich at last

The Sony Xperia S is finally getting its mitts on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Here's what's new...

The Sony Xperia S is finally getting its mitts on Ice Cream Sandwich , bringing a dose of up-to-date Android to Sony's flagship mobile.

Sony writes on its blog that the latest software will be winging its way to Sony smart phones today, though it will take several weeks for the update to arrive on every phone.

If you can't wait to see what the new software will look like, Sony's made a demo video, which I've embedded below. Sony's also putting together a list of Xperia S devices by sales item number, so you can check if the update is available for your phone yet.

The update introduces new music, photo and video apps, called 'Walkman', 'Album' and 'Movies', along with interface tweaks that arrive with Ice Cream Sandwich.

That includes a new lock screen that lets you drag down a notification bar from the top of the screen, displaying texts, upcoming events and the like. Ice Cream Sandwich also brings the ability to control your data usage, tracking how much Internet you're consuming and setting limits to prevent your Xperia S from guzzling more than it should.

Face Unlock gets you into your phone using your phizzog, and you can get to the camera app from the lock screen by swiping to the left, or holding the camera button down for a moment.

Tabs come to the browser, and a new button lets you force websites to go to the desktop version rather than a mobile version.

Welcome additions all, though it's daft that Xperia S owners had to wait so long to get their hands on the latest version of Android. Then again, Sony has praised Android's older Gingerbread software, saying that it's " not a bad idea to stay ," rather than upgrading to Ice Cream Sandwich.

It briefly looked like Ice Cream Sandwich would arrive on the Xperia S back in May, but Sony said that estimate was an error, caused by a support staffer mixing up his Xperias.

The Xperia S itself offers a high-res screen and a decent camera, but the design feels a tad clunky. Check out our video review below, and let me know if you've seen the Android update popping up on your Xperia S.

Are you a fan of Sony's mobiles? How do you think they rate against Samsung's Galaxy smart phones? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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