Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lenovo Ideapad K1 Ice Cream Sandwich update

Update: 3rd August:

I've put together an article explaining what's available now here.

Update: 30th July

Lenovo has finally released ICS:
  • The update does not include the Google Android app suite. Most importantly it lacks Google Play Store.
  • Lenovo is providing full source. They know the update isn't what they'd want it to be, and they're helping third party developers fix the issues by doing this.
  • Lenovo is highlighting a third party modification of the official release that does include the missing Google apps in their forums. This can be installed under Windows or GNU/Linux.

Original post follows:

I've written a few times about the K1 tablet, and I thought it worth updating the blog on the Ice Cream Sandwich situation with regard to that tablet.

Lenovo has said on several occasions, starting last year, that the K1 would be updated to ICS, and many buyers bought the tablet expecting that update. The K1 ships with Honeycomb, which is best described as a beta for ICS, rather than a finished, polished, version of Android.

The latest news is this. After promising an ICS for the middle of last month (June 2012), the update has stalled for a variety of reasons. According to a Lenovo customer service representative who's proven largely reliable on this, the situation is this:
  • Lenovo still intends to produce the update
  • Lenovo was apparently unaware that it wouldn't be able to bundle the critical Google tools (access to the Market/Google Play, etc) unless it obeyed certain restrictions, which weren't in the original plan. Because this is important, Lenovo is delaying the update until the issue is resolved.
  • The update will be "bare bones". This means Lenovo's customizations will not be bundled, and nor will the free apps. This might actually be a selling point for most Android users.
  • The update, as proposed, will require connecting the tablet to a PC running Windows. No method to update the tablet on a Mac, Ubuntu PC, or on its own, will be provided.
  • There is no ETA at this point.
In the mean time, unsupported third party ports of the alphas of CyanogenMod 9 are available. There are issues with the hardware support in this version of ICS, and it appears development has stalled because of the expectation that Lenovo is going to come out with an official ICS update "real soon now".


  1. Thanks for the update on the K1. The lack of attention to detail by Lenovo may offer insight into their product development and support generally. Or not. We'll find out eventually.

  2. Thanks for the update really appreciated..!!