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Android will be bigger in 2012

by Kristen Nicole

It looks like 2012 will be another eventful year for Android. Now that the latest OS version, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has hit the market, several device makers are expected to release ICS handsets for a ready consumer market. LG is the latest to reveal its plans around ICS, kicking into high hear during the second quarter of next year. Among the first phones to get the upgrade are the Optimus 2X, which made waves as the world’s first dual-core smartphone earlier this year, and the Optimus LTE. Others in the Optimus lineup, including the 3D, Black and Big, will also receive the ICS update by Q3 of next year.

It seems like a long time to wait for ICS, but the roll out of Android’s latest edition has been a slow one. Fragmentation remains an issue with Android’s OS, and could continue to cause hiccups in 2012. PC Magazine highlights some of Android’s key developments throughout 2011, with fragmentation tripping up Honeycomb’s tablet capabilities and stalling Android’s rise in the tablet market. While Gingerbread is the top OS across Android smartphones, it’s ICS consumers want, and as usual, Android’s gotten ahead of itself when it comes to new product hype and the reality of mass access.

For new and “old” Android users

Nevertheless, many existing Android users, as well as newbies that received Android devices over the holiday weekend, will have to work with what they’ve got. ZDnet has a few suggestions on how to clean up your Android device and make it good as new, citing the end of the year as a prime opportunity to reset your phone. And whether you have an “older” Android or a new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a few tips on preserving your device’s battery life never hurt.

If you’re looking for ways to get acquainted with your Android device as a first-time user, LA Times offers a few steps for getting started. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up your Google account, which centralizes your contacts and other important information, backing it up in the cloud (this is helpful in the event that your Android device crashes during a 10-hour road trip and need to wipe your phone data in the process of resetting the device, ahem). You’ll also want to put a few apps on your device, which is the fun part. See here and here for choices for best apps and games for new Android devices.