Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Android 4.0, a.k.a as Ice Cream Sandwich, is here

Ice Cream Sandwich. The most significant thing about the Google Galaxy Nexus launch was the operating system. Android 4.0, a.k.a as Ice Cream Sandwich is here.

The most noticeable thing about Ice Cream Sandwich is that it eliminate the four standard hardware  in favor of adaptable software buttons.  You next Android is likely to have a power button, volume rocker and a screen. That is it. 

Changes were as made to the font, optimizing it for HD displays, there is improved the keyboard, notifications are now more interactive and widgets will now be resizable. Speech to text has been improved.

The user interface is not also hardware accelerated, but you are not too likely to feel this. Since all phones these days already have a GPU, Google decide it was time to no longer support phone without one I guess.

There is a new option for unlock the phone. You can use Face Unlock which uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with nothing more than a smile. Also new is Android Beam, which uses near field communication (NFC) to instantly share webpages, YouTube videos, maps, directions and apps by simply tapping two phones together. There is also a Data management figure, which will give you information on data usage and even disable data at a preset cap. Really useful in this days of volume data caps.

There also improvements to the stock web browser which Google claims is significantly faster. What is clear is that it features a refined tab manager and has the  ability to sync your bookmarks with the Google Chrome browser on your desktop. The Gmail and Calendar  client were improve. You can can pinch and zoom in you Calendar.

Than there is the new People app, which combines high-resolution photos and updates from Google+ and other social services. The camera app now allows you to edit pictures and share them directly from your phone.

Like you we will wait for a full an comprehensive review, but this is what you probably want to know for now.

Is it coming to older phones? Yes, the Google Nexus S will be getting Ice Cream Sandwich. So other phone with similar or better specifications could be getting it too.

Are these features all really new. My phone already has those features. If you use a HTC phone with HTC sense, a lot of the features like the new People app and its social networking integration and the built in photo editor and direct sharing features on your phone are already part of HTC Sense. That is not the case for other phones.

I have a bad feeling since HTC UI is so deeply integrated into Android they may have have the hardest time porting their UI to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Lets wait for the major sites to review Ice Cream Sandwich and see how it fares. For now, this will have to do.

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