In October last year, Google officially announced Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich, aka ICS) and the first phone to run it, the Galaxy Nexus. It wasn’t long before HTC announced ICS would be coming to their advanced handsets as well, in “early 2012”. If you’re as anxious as I am to try out Ice Cream Sandwich on your EVO 3D, I’m pleased to tell you that some working builds have surfaced!
Update: JoelZ9614 has released an update to the CyanogenMod 9 Ice Cream Sandwich build for the EVO 3D.
Before I tell you more, please be aware these are beta builds, and not everything is working. The most notable features that are lacking that I’ve noticed are 4G, camera, and USB mass storage. If you can get by without those features, you can probably use one of these ROMs as your “daily driver”.
A brilliant Android developer/hacker that goes by the handle JoelZ9614 has posted two working builds of Ice Cream Sandwich for the EVO 3D, one that is an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) build, and another that is a CyanogenMod 9.0 build. If you’re not familiar with CyanogenMod, it is a widely used ROM that is based on AOSP but includes a number of enhancements and features designed to increase performance and reliability.
You can download the ROMs here:
As of today, the ICS-AOSP.zip file is the AOSP build and cm9-shooter-ota-joel-12812.zip file is the CyanogenMod 9.0 build. If you download CyanogenMod, you should be made aware that this particular Android ROM does not include any Google apps by default (or Google Accounts synchronization).
If you want Google apps & features on the CyanogenMod build (often referred to by CyanogenMod users/developers as GApps), do not download the CM9-GAPPS.zip file you see in the above file download site. There is a problem with this file and it does not work. For the proper GApps, download the file located at:
Please note that although data is working with these builds, you may encounter issues initially and your phone may indicate there is No Service. If this happens to you, just put the phone into airplane mode (hold the power button down for a few seconds), leave it in airplane mode for about 10 seconds, and then disable airplane mode. This should get 3G data working for you.
Another thing to note is that the CyanogenMod build I used does have some issues with the display, where the screen gets garbled from time-to-time. Usually a swipe of the status bar will clean things up. The AOSP build does not have the display issues I encountered with the CyanogenMod version.
Since you’re probably new to Ice Cream Sandwich, here’s a quick run-down of some things you may want to check out:
- Home Screen Folders: Just like iOS, you can drag and drop home screen icons on top of each other to create folders and group them together. To rename the folders, just open one and click at the bottom where it says Unnamed Folder, and you can type the name of the folder.
- Voice Keyboard: In Gingerbread, when you want to use the voice recognition keyboard, you have to submit pieces of it at a time, which is kind of a pain. In Ice Cream Sandwich, it now maintains an open connection to Google’s voice recognition servers, and behaves much more like a keyboard. You can just speak continuously, and you’ll see your speech appear in the text area as it is analyzed.
- Built-in WiFi Hotspot: You no longer need to use the WiFi Tether app, as it is built right into Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Advanced Notifications: In Gingerbread you can only clear all notifications, or click on them, which may result in launching an app. This is often an unnecessary step, as just seeing the notification might be enough for you. With Ice Cream Sandwich, you can just swipe to clear them.
- Better Task Switching: A long-press of the Home button will now show a long, scrollable list of recent applications. If you do not want to see a particular app in the recent apps list, just swipe it to clear it off the recent apps list.
- Customizable Favorites Tray: The last row of icons on your home screen is static, and is always displayed on all the home screens. You can customize it with any frequently used applications.
There are a lots of more cool new features in Android 4.0 you’ll want to check out for yourself.
You can rest assured progress will continue, and better builds will continue to be released. JoelZ9614 and others are working hard to make things better all the time. It seems he’s been posting new releases every 2-3 days or so. The main thread for the AOSP build is at the XDA Developers forum here:
His CyanogenMod build on RootzWiki forum here:
You may want to follow these threads as things continue to develop.