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Nexus S updated to ICS over next month, you can get it now

Google is rolling out Android Ice Cream Sandwich for the Nexus S, but follow our handy guide to upgrade yours today.

The Nexus S is the first Android phone to get the upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich (though the HTC Sensation range and Samsung Galaxy S2 will follow). It's rolling out over the next month, but if you don't want to wait, we've got some tips on how to update yours right now.

In a statement, Google said, "We're rolling out Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, to GSM/UMTS Nexus S devices over the coming month, starting today. Enjoy the tasty update! Once you get the update, check out some tips and shortcuts for getting started at the Android 4.0 Help Center."

Previously the Nexus S ran Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Ice Cream Sandwich brings hundreds of new features, including the ability to unlock the handset using facial recognition, and resize apps on the home screen, as well as organise them in folders just like iOS.

If you haven't yet been offered the update, and don't want to wait, here's how to get yours today. Beware: this is quite technical and if you're at all wary of mucking about with your phone, we strongly advise you to wait for the over the air update.

  • First, backup your phone.
  • Head here (download link) and download the Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich update to your desktop computer.
  • Connect your Nexus S to your computer via USB and copy the to the root of your SD card (but don't put it in a folder, or it won't work).
  • Shut down your Nexus S and start it up again, holding the Volume Up button.
  • Navigate to Recovery mode using the volume buttons and press Power.
  • Remember to breathe.
  • You'll see an exclamation mark on the screen: press Power, then Volume Up.
  • Select to update from SD card, choose the package and press Power to confirm. Hey presto, it'll install. And you've got Ice Cream Sandwich running on a year-old phone.

So how does ICS run on the Nexus S? Give it a try and let us know either in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.