Sony to issue Ice Cream Sandwich to 2011 Xperia line soon

The handset maker outlines details for Android 4.0 updates for its growing Xperia roster.

So close you can hear the music from the truck.

Sony today announced that it plans to begin issuing Android 4.0 updates to its 2011 Xperia smartphones beginning in mid-April.

The first models expected to see Ice Cream Sandwich will be the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V, and Xperia Ray. These updates should take around four to six weeks to complete and will depend on the various markets and carriers.

Jumping ahead to May and early June, Sony expects to deploy Android 4.0 to the remaining models, including the Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, and Xperia Active. Sony's new Xperia S won't be upgraded until later this spring, but additional information is promised before long.

Sony advises users that the performance of some of their handsets may be adversely affected, as Android 4.0 tends to rely more on the hardware in some cases. According to Sony's blog, the update will be downloadable strictly through the PC Companion and Bridge for Mac apps and not over the air (3G/4G or Wi-Fi). What's more, consumers will not see any notifications or requests for updates, putting the responsibility in the hands of users.

Sony has taken a pretty transparent and developer-friendly approach over the last year and has begun giving early looks at upcoming software builds. Such is the case with the beta Ice Cream Sandwich ROM for the Xperia Play.

Developers or hackers who have already unlocked their "PlayStation Phone" are now able to test out the Android 4.0 build. As with all beta versions, the aim is to gauge feedback and to test for bugs, and this is no exception. Sony, for its part, wants to make sure that the Xperia Play has eaten its dinner and is ready for dessert.