The Nexus S is finally getting its ICS upgrade, and it comes directly with the Android 4.0.4 version, no less. Some would say it's about time Google provided them with the ICS upgrade. After all, this was the main promise of the Nexus phones, that they would be getting the latest update before everyone else got theirs. But the Nexus S users started feeling betrayed, when it's already been 4 months since the Android 4.0 source code landed, and yet they still couldn't get their ICS upgrade.
The problem I believe is that Android 4.0 is quite different than Android 2.2 and Android 2.3 before it, and as such, it will be a lot harder to upgrade from them. This is why Asus and Acer could update their Honeycomb devices a lot easier, because structurally, ICS and Honeycomb are mostly the same, but Gingerbread and ICS are not. So it seems that everyone will get their updates in a 4-6 month time frame from the release of ICS in the wild.
The good news is that the wait is well worth it, and according to XDA developers who have already put Android 4.0.4 on their Nexus S, the phone works much better now (although it's not perfect):
My first impression: Noticeably faster!
Going to cover everything in points:
1. The time lag between clicking & opening menu items is now negligible, just like Gingerbread.
2. The camera from lockscreen loads up faster.
3. The rotation animation is faster.
4. Battery bug is fixed!
5. 3D apps load up faster...
6. Overall a faster & better update by Google.
7. I think Ice Cream Sandwich was not finished until December, but now it feels a finished/polished product.
Whole UI is noticeably smoother
Launcher still lags
Kernel is updated, but the version is still old.
Old GB sounds
Update: The ROM is rootable, download this zip and flash in CWM to root.
The Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0.4 update will also start rolling out today over the air.