The latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0, or simply Android ICS introduces a bunch of new features never seen before in its prior iterations. The Galaxy Nexus is the first smartphone with Android 4.0 but manufacturers of smartphones have announced Android 4.0 update for some of their existing devices. Android 4.0 ICS has a brand new look although it does maintain some resemblance to Android Honeycomb, it would be available for tablets as well as smartphones.
So, are you curious to know what extra Ice-cream sandwich has got to offer?
- New User Interface: Android ICS’s base has been designed taking a clue from Honeycomb. ICS sports a sleek, smart futuristic design that more closely lines up the phone and tablet OSes. Android 4.0 also has a multitasking icon that calls up your recently used apps, and eliminates the need for physical keys, as it features adaptable software buttons.
- Android Beam: This new feature in ICS allows its users to share almost anything between their devise based on NFC (Near Field Communication). This is much secured and moreover it can be used by simply tapping two Android 4.0 powered phones together, much like iOS’s Bump It app. You can exchange Web pages, contacts, media or even applications.
- Face Unlock: One of the most aspirational features of Android Ice Cream Sandwich is new Face Unlock feature, which allows users to unlock their handsets just by looking into the front-facing camera. Dont worry if you don’t want this feature, you can still use the old code and pattern form of locking your phone.
- Contacts and Sharing: Android ICS’s “People” streamlines the way that contacts are displayed. The phone’s owner has their own profile, and people’s contact details are sourced from Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc, plus any other custom info that you’d like to manually add. Users can define favourite contacts, and individual people can be placed on the homescreen or in folders for quick access. This data is displayed on cards (similar to Windows Phone 7.5′s tiles) that are updated when the contact updates his or her social networking information.
- Data Management: Android ICS comes with a stock app that lets you monitor network activity and view a specific app’s data usage. You can now exercise down your data usage over a certain period of time, including the ability to see which apps are the biggest data squealers and the ability to limit data usage to a certain threshold. So another powerful feature for which you dont need an app now.
- New Web browser: The new version Android ICS comes with a brand new Chrome mobile Web browser. Ice Cream Sandwich includes Chrome sync which keeps bookmarks synced between your handset and desktop browsers, a “full site” button which let users switch between desktop and mobile views, tabs, a new Incognito tab,it can save pages for offline reading and it can open upto 16 tabs at the same time. Pretty impressive, isnt it?
- Integrated tablet and smartphone API: Android 4.0 ICS will work on tablets as well as smartphones, unlike Android Honeycomb, making it simple for developers to create one application and have it work on various devices. This will surely improve the number applications on Android tablets.
- Font System: Android ICS comes with a new font system known as Roboto which is specially designed for high resolution screens and brings a magazine-like feel to the whole interface.
- Enhanced Camera Power: The new eye catching features that the camera includes an image rotator that spins the photo based on where your eyes are looking, built-in face detection, panorama and time lapse modes. So it has many inbuild features to offer in new camera capabilities.
- Voice To Speech: While this is not as cool as Siri on iPhone, unlike other versions of Android which support voice commands, Android 4.0′s voice input seems much smarter this time around, as it’s more accurate, much faster and even accounts for pauses.
- Simple Screenshots: Android finally lets you take screenshots without requiring users to install apps or root their smartphones. Hold down the power button and the volume down button to snap a screenshot.
- Flexible Widget Management: Ice Cream Sandwich gives you widget flexibility by letting you select the size of displayed information on the home screens. They also now occupy their own separate space in the app drawer.
- Gmail Enhancement: Gmail now supports two-line previews, and sports a new context-sensitive action bar at the bottom of the screen. Gesture support allows you to swipe left and right between emails.
- Folders Enhancement: Users can drag apps and contacts on top of each other create re-arrange able folders, just like in iOS.
- Notifications: Massive change in this feature. The contents are much more customizable. Music controls have been integrated, and notifications are also easily dismissed with a quick swipe left or right.
[Article View] : 2548