Android 'Ice Cream Sandwich' ships minus some features

Google's latest build of Android, known by its codename of 'Ice Cream Sandwich,' may be in users' sweaty hands via the Galaxy Nexus - and other, less official, routes - buy it's proving a mixed bag for buyers, with several features missing at launch.

Android 4.0, as 'Ice Cream Sandwich' is more officially known, brings with it a unification of Google's tablet and smartphone development efforts, following a split between the two after the release of Android 3.0 'Honeycomb.'

The first version of Android to be released under an open-source licence since Android 2.3 'Gingerbread,' the software is already available for many existing in the form of unofficial ROM images - despite onerous build requirements - and can be seen in its more official guise on the recently release Galaxy Nexus hero-phone.

Sadly, buyers are finding that not everything is what it's cracked up to be.

Those who queued at Phones4U - the first company in the world to start selling the latest Nexus handset - have been disappointed to find that Adobe Flash Player, previously a staple of Android handsets and a major selling point over Apple's rival iPhone devices, is nowhere to be seen.

While Adobe itself has stated that it is to cease development on Adobe Flash Player for mobile devices in favour of its Air product and an eventual transition to HTML5 via Edge, the lack is believed to be temporary. Google has confirmed that, "as far as we know," Adobe will be releasing an ICS-compatible build onto the Android Market shortly.

The second issue is with visual voicemail, a handy - and, it must be said, iPhone-inspired, - feature for managing voicemail messages in a manner more in-keeping with the management of SMS, MMS and email messages.

According to SlashGear, the visual voicemail feature will be dependent on individual mobile networks creating their own applications around a central API provided by Google - something the advertising giant failed to make apparent when it was showing the functionality off at the launch of Android 4.0.

The result: buyers expecting to enjoy visual voicemail out of the box will be disappointed, while those on less proactive networks could be left waiting months for the feature to appear - assuming the network bothers to develop an app for it at all.