Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), the most recent update to Google’s popular mobile OS, continues to create ripples in tech world. Debuted on Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the ICS looks like the most refined Android version ever, as Google has shown off. A redesigned user interface, face lock system and a unified identity – both for tablets and smartphones – are some of much discussed features of the Ice Cream Sandwich. The new Android update is to appear on many more products in a few months. All present key Android phones and tablets including Galaxy S II, Droid RAZR, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Eee Pad Transformer Prime will get the software soon. Besides, many more smartphones and tablets are to come up with the Android update. At this juncture, we'll talk about some points that Android 4.0 highlights.
Native screenshot capabilities
Where’s it different: The Ice Scream Sandwich update has brought up native screenshot capabilities to the Android platform. Now you don’t need to install third party add-ons on your Android phone or tablet to make it capture screenshots. The screenshot capturing feature comes preloaded with the software.
How to use: The process of taking screenshots on an Ice Scream Sandwich device is quite simple. You are just supposed to press on the Volume Down + Power buttons to capture what is on your screen then. The image will be stored in .png format in your image gallery, which you can later use for other purposes.
Unification between tablets and smartphones
Where’s it different: Android 4.0 is the first unified version of the mobile OS from Google. In reply to Apple iOS, Google has designed its latest Android version as a unified platform – both for tablets and smartphones. Till now, we used Android 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets and 2.3 Gingerbread for smartphones. Well, Android 4.0 features an interface for both the slates and phones.
How to use: The Ice Cream Sandwich can be run on both tablets and smartphones. This way, Android has become a hot rival to the iOS, which has been a unified OS – for both iPhones and iPads.
Where’s it different: It is yet another revolutionary feature of Android 4.0. Users can now lock their ICS devices with the much appreciated facial recognition system. The ultra security feature helps you secure up your device and valuable data inside it. The device can only be unlocked once you appear in front of it. The intriguing facial recognition feature has been implemented well on the Ice Cream Sandwich.
How to use: The facial recognition system works on every Android 4.0 device. Front facing camera of the gadget takes a sample image of you for the advanced locking system. While unlocking the device, you have to turn your face up to the device, thus it can match your face with the stored image. The Android product unlocks only when it identifies your face. Otherwise, you will have to use a PIN or Android’s pattern-tracing screen to unlock the device.
Where’s it different: It is a feature to let you access the apps of an Android device from its screen saver. RocketLauncher, also called, Android Dreams shows the icons of all apps in your phone or tablet on its screen saver. Thus, you can launch apps directly from it.
How to use: For immediate access to apps, you just have to tap on an icon on screen saver. All apps in your device zoom past screen saver, thus making it so easy to launch them without going to home screen.
Disable Apps in Android 4.0
Where’s it different: It is an option to disable native Google Search bar on your device’s home screen. Those users who don’t use the search bar often find it an obstruction on their home screen. So this Android 4.0 feature helps you disable it simply.
How to use: It is so easy to disable Google Search bar from your device’s home screen now. The Disable Apps lets you edit the apps you wish to hide from your home screen.
Android Beam for NFC-based sharing
Where’s it different: Android Beam is a feature to transfer data between two NFC devices. You can now transfer data between your ICS device and another Android device with NFC capability quite brilliantly. It is a cool feature that you can use to transfer data like music files, videos, contacts, web pages, links and many others between the devices.
How to use: Android Beam works quite smoothly. You don’t want to open a menu and application for data transfer. You are just requested to touch an NFC device with your Android 4.0 device to transfer data instantly.