The forthcoming update to Google mobile operating system Android 4.0, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich is creating waves in technology world. The software is slated to get official release late this month or early next month. But for a while, there have been extensive rumors over Ice Cream Sandwich on the web. Many features and capabilities of the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich are already revealed. It is sure there will be something new and different on Ice Cream Sandwich, which is to become the biggest Android update ever. Here we bring to you some important new and different features of Ice Cream Sandwich.
What’s new and different?
Unified Android version
Android 4.0 will be the first unified Android OS version. Both tablets and smartphones will run on the software. Until now we have been using Android 3.0 Honeycomb exclusively for tablets and Android 3.2 Gingerbread mainly for smartphones. By the end of the year, we will have Ice Cream Sandwich both for tablets and phones. It is the way Android can compete with Apple iOS and the imminent Microsoft Windows 8.
Update for smartphones after a long gap
Google is to float up the biggest update to its Android for smartphones after more than 18 months. After Android 2.1 Éclair, Google came up with a slightly modified Android 2.2 Froyo, and later Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The next major Android update was Honeycomb early this year, but it was only for tablets. Yes, we are to get the next major Android update for smartphones after more than a year.
A fresh user interface
Matias Duarte, former designer of HP WebOS is the man behind the user interface of Android 4.0. According to Mr. Duarte, customers did not love Android because they wanted an enhanced user interface. So that, he and team have brought a complete overhaul to Android so as to make it more advanced. New widgets, gestures, and icons are added with Ice Scream Sandwich to make it more user-friendly, Mr. Duarte says.
Home screen modifications
Android 4 is to come with some precious home screen enhancements. You will be able to resize widgets, create a folder by dragging one icon on another one, and you can tap a button on any screen to view recent apps, and so on. Many other enhancements will also be on Android 4.0.
You have an option to capture screen shots on Ice Cream Sandwich phones. Just hold down the power button and volume down button at a time to capture whatever on the screen. The images will go to the photo gallery of your device. It may be a minor feature, but it is for the first time on Android.
Instant Voice recognition
On the previous versions of Android and iOS 5, voice recognition feature shows the text after you finish talking. The message will move to the cloud only when you end the talk. But on Android 4, thanks to the Instant Voice, your voice will instantly appear on the screen as you speak to the phone.
New SDK to developers
As Android 4.0 is a new operating system – both for phones and tablets – Google has released a new API and framework for developers to design apps. Developers can now create apps for two screen sizes for Ice Cream Sandwich. Google along with Samsung, the manufacturer of the first Ice Cream Sandwich phone called, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, recently released the SDK for the software in a press meet in Hong Kong.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will obviously debut on the third generation Nexus phone, Samsung Galaxy Nexus. According to Google, the device will be up for sales next month. The new iteration of Google Nexus, so like its precursors, is lucky enough to debut the new version of Android. Google Nexus One in 2009 and Nexus S in the very next year respectively debuted Android 2.2 Froyo and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Thanks to many outstanding features, Ice Cream Sandwich is expected to become the attraction of technology world early next year. We can expect many hot products – both smartphones and tablets – on the software.