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In just a few weeks, Samsung will start shipping Android 4.0, a.k.a. Ice Cream Sandwich over the air to Galaxy device owners.

“We know you have been waiting, and we’re thrilled today to announce that we’ll start serving Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to Galaxy Note and Galaxy S II in the first quarter of 2012,” wrote a Samsung representative on the company’s mobile division Facebook page.

The rollout will start with the company’s Galaxy S II, its latest high-powered smartphone, and the Galaxy Note, a stylus-enabled gadget that’s either a huge phone or a wee tablet — the jury’s still out.

Samsung also was the chosen manufacturer for the Android 4.0 lead device, the Galaxy Nexus. For that launch, Samsung got early access to Ice Cream Sandwich and a distinct time-to-market advantage.

Other Ice Cream Sandwich-upgradeable devices are set to include Samsgung’s Galaxy S II LTE, the Galaxy R (another Android smartphone), and the Galaxy Tab 10.1, 839, 7.7 and 7.0 Plus tablets.

With the upgrade, these tablets will be some of the first to run Ice Cream Sandwich; other models boasting the slick new OS have so far been sold out or available for preorder only.

Ice Cream Sandwich’s new features include a one-size-really-does-fit-all approach that makes the OS suitable for phones, tablets, TVs — just about any connected device, according to Google. Previously, Google had offered separate forks of the OS for different devices — the 2.X line was intended for smartphones, while the 3.X line (a.k.a. Honeycomb) was meant for tablets.

And in addition to all that delicious behind-the-scenes harmony, the OS brings consumers a flashy new interface with new colors, large images, and even a homebrewed typeface, the elegant humanist sans, Roboto.

Samsung is racing Sony to the finish line where Ice Cream Sandwich is concerned. The latter company announced last month it was bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to the entire Xperia line.


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