Sony's Android 4.0 Beta Out Now For Some 2011 Android Phones

By Gary Cutlack on at

Sony's developers have released an updated beta version of its forthcoming Android 4.0 upgrade, giving us a much better look at what's changing in the "Ice Cream Sandwich" version of the OS.

Looking much more complete than the previous alpha code, this updated version features plenty of Android 4.0 touches like the browser tabs, new notifications system and recent apps menu, plus many Sony software tweaks over the top. There's now a quick launch icon for the camera and music player controls on the lock screen, quick dialing support within the dialer and a drop-down a copy and paste menu for managing text.

It's still looking like a Sony skin, though, with its clunky Timescape app and widget proudly displayed on the Home screen and only a few Android 4.0 design cues making it through the process.

If you're feeling clever and have a lot of time to spare, this current beta code is available along with installation instructions over on Sony's Developer portal for those who own an Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V or Xperia Ray, but it's not completely finished code -- and some functionality is still missing.

If you don't fancy jeopardising your warranty, the full official release should hopefully arrive on some phones at the end of this month. [YouTube via Sony]