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12/5/2011
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Google Employees Get Ice Cream Sandwich

Google "dogfoods" Android 4.0 on staffers' Samsung Nexus S phones to expand prerelease testing.

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Google employee Adel Saoud, an Adsense policy applications and signals developer, revealed via Google+ that his Samsung Nexus S received Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Friday.

"Just got Ice-cream Sandwich update on my Nexus S and it's looking great," wrote Saoud on his Google+ page (since pulled). The update was delivered over the air, according to Saoud.

"It's an early [build] for Google employees so we test it further so it's even more awesome when you guys get it," Saoud added. Google likes to call this internal testing "dogfooding," a reference to eating its own dogfood.

Given how turbulent the update process has been for many Android device owners (think Gingerbread), the more Google is able to internally test and refine Android 4.0 and its update process before attempting to push it out publicly, the better.

[ Add-ons and tools make Android smartphones more vulnerable to attack, say researchers. See Android Bloatware's Dark Side Emerges. ]

For the moment, Google has not indicated when it (or its carrier and handset partners) will start making the update available to the masses. A number of handset makers have committed to updating portions of their device lineups to Android 4.0 in early 2012. It's likely January will be the earliest anyone other than Galaxy Nexus owners will see a build of Ice Cream Sandwich on their smartphones.

Impatient for Ice Cream Sandwich? If you're the tinkering type, CyanogenMod and XDA Developers have ports that will install Android 4.0 on the Samsung Nexus S.

Verizon Wireless is slated to release the Galaxy Nexus in the United States in the coming weeks. Verizon has been coy about the timing, however. We know that it is imminent, and will include Long Term Evolution 4G. But if you can't wait that long to buy a new phone, you should at least be sure to pick one that is slated to receive Android 4.0.

Here's a list of which phones will receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich..

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