Here’s something we never expected to see: the Aakash tablet (AKA the Ubislate) will be getting a software upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, according to Suneet Singh Tuli, the CEO of Canadian electronics manufacturer Datawind. Tuli says that after the slightly upgraded Aakash 2 launches in two to three weeks, users will get an Ice Cream Sandwich software upgrade six to eight weeks later. Tuli didn’t say if it would be delivered over-the-air or as a separate PC download, the latter of which would be difficult for many Indian students at which the device is aimed.
The original Aakash made headlines when the Indian government announced plans to purchase the low-powered Android tablets en masse, and subsidize their prices down to the equivalent of $35 for students and teachers. The Aakash 2 (Ubislate 7+) is a significant update, though hardware-wise it still compares with lower end Android smartphones. It’s equipped with a single-core 800mhz processor, though it keeps the 256MB of memory and 2GB of storage space. Plans continue for a dual-core version later this year, and there are already talks of trial programs in American schools in Philadelphia.
Datawind’s promise seems enthusiastic to say the least. The Aakash 2 doesn’t meet the recommended specifications for the much more strenuous Ice Cream Sandwich – not by a long shot. 256MB of RAM has been known to make Android 2.2 Froyo chug along, and even Google wouldn’t upgrade its Nexus One developer phone (1Ghz processor, 512MB of RAM) to the latest version of Android. Datawind can compile and distribute the update based on Android’s open-source code, but if they manage to actually install it on the low-end tablet, it’s hard to imagine that it would run well. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one.
[via PC World]