Sony tablets to get Android 4.0 updates soon; Samsung beats another Apple ban

by Kristen Nicole

I spy... Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich headed to Sony tablets this spring. Citing sources close to the matter, The Verge reports that Sony plans to upgrade its two Android-powered tablets, the S and P, to run ICS relatively soon. This spring is also when Sony is expected to deliver an update to its Xperia smartphone line as well. The Verge goes on to note that Sony will be adding some “really cool unique bits” on top of the default Android 4.0 offering, though details are elusive.

Any Android device running ICS is the talk of the town, namely because they’re still so far and few between. Google pushed out the newest version of Android nearly two months ago, and now we’re just waiting for the manufacturers to catch up. The gap has given Apple a window of opportunity, leaping ahead with updated software and services on the iPhone 4S. This was reiterated at Verizon, which had a ho-hum fourth quarter at the end of 2011, but saw significantly more iPhone sales than Android, making up 52 percent of Verizon’s total smartphone sales for the quarter.

One area Apple’s not winning is in the court room. The iPad maker’s been denied its latest appeal to have Samsung’s Android-powered Galaxy tablets banned in the Netherlands. This is just one of several regions Apple’s sued Samsung for patent infringement in an ongoing legal tussle that’s brought wins and losses on both ends. It’s another boost for Android, as Samsung’s one of the most successful manufacturers pumping out Android-powered gadgets on a truly global scale.

Open sourcing the App Inventor

In other Android news, we see Google encouraging developer interest with its latest projects. Having given MIT the rights to their joint App Inventor software toolset, the two are now open sourcing the platform to incur more activity from developers. It’s now available to anyone who wants to use the software to create their own apps, jump-starting the app creation process and minimizing the coding skills needed to make the apps work. App Inventor offers up different chunks of code for various features you can add to your app, put in a format that should be easier to use. The open source project is one of many platform offerings that have cropped up in the past two years in order to simplify the app creation process.