Ice Cream Sandwich has been confirmed for the majority of Sony Ericsson’s 2011 line-up, and naturally that includes the flagship for the latter part of the year, the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc S. With the update reaching the Netherlands a few weeks ago, we’ve finally got it here in the UK and on our handset so here’s a quick video walk through to show you just what’s new.
To get the update going, you’ll need to connect your phone to your PC and install the Sony software. The update process threw a host of warnings our way and it’s clear Sony aren’t entirely comfortable with the performance of their single-core line in the face of a newer more demanding version of Android, however we’re yet to experience any stumbling blocks since installing ICS earlier today and hooking it up to our Google account.
What’s different? If you pull down the notification bar, you’re presented by a settings shortcut as with stock ICS. In addition, any notifications you encounter can be swiped out of the way. Long press the home button and you’ll pull up the stock multi-tasking window once again accommodating a bit of swiping action.
Another visual reprise comes in the form of the widget viewer. Sony have now opted for a horizontal scrolling marquee not too dissimilar to the way Timescape is viewed. The selected widget is magnified at the widgets either side pan out of the screen.
Finally, the area that most surprised us was the performance assistant. Open it up and you’re given the option to turn on ANT+ and Facebook inside Xperia, two applications that have always been on by default. This is naturally to save on processing power and can be helped along by ICS’s disabling of pre-installed applications such as Lets Golf.
All in all, our first impressions of the update are positive. We would have liked to have seen it sooner, we’d like to see ICS on the Xperia NXT line pronto and we’re slightly concerned by Sony’s candidness surrounding adverse effects on performance. That said, we love ICS. The multi-tasking and swiping work a treat, being able to disable apps saves space in our apps drawer and reduces the chances of background processes sucking our phone dry. We’ll live with it for a few days and if anything alarming crops up will update this post, but if you’ve had any experiences with any of the other Sony Ericsson devices ICS update, feel free do drop us a comment and let us know how your new found confectionery is treating you.