Sony Xperia Mini gets Ice Cream Sandwich

Sony is still rolling out the latest Android update to its back catalog of Sony Ericsson handsets.

Of course, the Sony Ericsson brand dissolved after Sony decided to break away and turn it into its own proprietary mobile company. But it doesn’t want to set its legacy customers out to dry.

So it’s still working hard on bringing Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, to those devices.

The latest Ice Cream Sandwich recipient is the Xperia Mini. It’s currently available through Sony’s PC Companion software for those who need to have it now, although over-the-air updates should be down the pike for those who don’t want to take the effort to connect their phone to their computer.

Ice Cream Sandwich is one of the biggest updates to Android yet, and includes such features as scanning your face to unlock the phone, a much more robust speech-to-text software program, and an entire platform of data sharing that focuses on Near Field Communication (NFC).

Several other manufacturers have pledged support for the new update, and a bunch of phones currently running an older version of Android.

Ice Cream Sandwich is now powering a decent amount of active Android devices, despite having a slow initial rollout in the early part of the year.

Google sees Android 4.0 as a big reset button on the mobile platform, since it has much stricter hardware guidelines that it hopes will help prevent fragmentation in the future.

Of course, the announcement last week of Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, sort of quashes those hopes.