If you’ve wanted to stay on top of the mobile upgrade train (like our gerascophobic friend, Kelly), it’s been tough for Android owners. While anyone can build an Android phone with publicly available software, the incentive to keep those users upgraded to the newest version faces the point of diminishing returns quick. Google uses the Nexus line to show off its latest and greatest version of Android before it disseminates to the masses and then ensures that older models will be upgraded quickly when new versions arrive. However, while this year’s Nexus S will be getting the upgrade to Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich, born to this world by the new Galaxy Nexus – its predecessor will not. Nexus One owners are up in arms, but why?
Coming from a PC gaming background, it’s not hard to wrap my head around the notion that the gradual advancement of technology will eventually leave you behind if you don’t upgrade. Since you can’t snap more RAM or a new GPU into an old phone, it makes sense that eventually you’re just gonna hafta upgrade. In the case of the Nexus One, the HTC-manufactured phone and definity of the Nexus line, the hardware is just too old to handle ICS’s system requirements. With the flexibility of Android, it won’t be terribly long before someone gets an ICS ROM to run on the Nexus One, but I imagine it’s going to run like a dog.
The thing about Android is that if it isn’t designated to run on your device, there are genuine reasons why it can’t happen. This isn’t a superfluous add-on like Siri where Apple needs an arbitrary reason to get you to upgrade to their latest, slightly improved model, or Google forcing a new OS on old hardware that hinders the experience (like iOS 4 on an iPhone 3G).
Nexus One owners, you’ll be fine with Gingerbread until you get your new phone. My year-old Epic doesn’t even have Gingerbread and somehow I make it day to day, breathing.