Sony has started rolling out Android v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for its Xperia Go, Xperia Sola and Xperia U smartphones. The rollout will continue over the next few weeks over markets globally.

According to a post on the Sony Xperia Product Blog, the software update, apart from the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, includes a few new features and functionality. The smartphones will get a new lock screen with improved functionality; extended standby mode, which Sony claims increases your device’s stand by time by up to four times; improved control over mobile data consumption; resizable widgets; a Recent Apps button for a clear overview of your applications; and an overhaul of the built-in media applications – Walkman, Album and Movies.

ICS is here for Xperia sola, go and U!

ICS is here for Xperia sola, go and U!

An interesting new feature that will come as part of the update for the Xperia sola will be a new ‘Glove Mode’. According to Sony, it’s an extension of the device’s floating touch display technology that makes it possible for you to use the Xperia sola even while wearing gloves.

Sony’s Developer World blog states that glove mode is enabled by default in the ICS upgrade for Xperia sola. “When you unlock the phone while wearing a glove (or with a bare finger in the air), you will enter glove mode and floating touch mode will be disabled. In this mode, both glove touch and normal touch usage will work, for example, if you take off the gloves. There is also a cursor ring shown where you press the screen with your glove, to help you understand where you are actually pressing the screen. To turn off glove mode, you simply lock the screen and then unlock it with your bare finger touching the screen,” says Andreas Sandblad, software architect at Sony and the inventor of glove mode.

Sony has already started the rollout, and from the middle of next week, you should be able to see software kits as they are released on the company’s support community. Users will get a notification as soon as the update is available, but the availability might vary depending on the region and carrier specifications. To check for the update manually, you can head to the phone’s About section in the Settings menu and select “Check for Updates”.

Sony had mentioned that the Xperia go and sola would be the next phones to receive the ICS updates when it released the ICS rollout for the Xperia P. There is no information yet about the status for any of the company’s smartphones receiving an update to Jelly Bean, though.

The company had managed to temporarily dishearten users of its 2011 Xperia phones when it stated that none of those smartphones would be receiving Jelly Bean, but quickly corrected itself. A Sony spokesperson posted an official statement on the company's official blog stating that it was an error on their part and the announcement wasn’t true. “We are actively investigating Android OS upgrades for all devices, but in the meantime, our Ice Cream Sandwich rollout for Xperia S and 2011 Xperia smartphones continues as planned,” the post read. This means that some phones from last year still have a chance of getting the Jelly Bean update but not all of them.

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