Android Announces 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS
So the latest version of the Android OS (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) was unleashed upon us this morning alongside the unveiling of the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus smart phone.
The new version of Android seems to pack a lot of upgraded features, with some-such as folder management, voice activation, and taking screenshots-already appearing on handsets currently on the market, such as the iPhone 4. It was also announced that the home screen, phone apps and everything in-between has been replanned and redesigned, making Android more useful, simpler to use and visually appealing than ever before.
I won’t cover all of the features here, but I have 3 favourites which I like the sound of…
1). Face Unlock – Whilst I don’t lock my phone with a password (takes too long and sometime I forget it, especially after a few too many beers), I still think this feature is pretty neat. Face Unlock is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of unlocking your phone with a password, you guessed it, it unlocks by facial recognition. Simply hold the phone in front of you, it scans your face and BOOM, your phones unlocked. I am pretty intrigued at how good the phone’s facial recognition really is though. For example how well would it work with a set of twins? Is it that good to tell the difference between them ? If you’re a twin and have an android device running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 do let me know. However in the video below, I did noticed in the facial recognition demo, it didn’t work properly (fail ?)
2). Managing Data in Apps – Whilst this feature doesn’t have much use if your on an unlimited WiFi data plan. It certainly comes in handy if your not on an unlimited WiFi plan, or if your out and about in a 3G area using an app which uses data (lets use Google Maps as an example). Just say you have 1GB Data allowance with your phone provider, with this app you no longer need to worry about going over your 1GB limit and paying all those extra charges.
This feature allows users to see and control (either through alerts or cutting data off) their data usage. This can be accessed from the settings app which brings up a really nice-looking visual UI, containing colourful graphs and pie-charts that show the total data usage over each network type (3G or WiFi) – as well as the amount of data used by each individual application. Based on the users data plan, users can set limits on their data usage and can also apply hard limits on their data usage aswell (so you could set your data to turn off once it reaches the 950MB range – if your on a 1GB plan). I know I had something similar on my iPhone 4 but it was nowhere near as nice to look at, or as in-depth as the one included in ICS 4.0.
3). Android Beam – This is pretty sweet (check it out in the video! Beam is shown at the 52:40 mark in the video). Android Beam is a piece of NFC (Near Field Communication) technology that allows users to share: web-pages, photos, music files, videos with each other simply by tapping the phones together.
You should check out the full length (1 hour) ICS event video below, for a full in-depth look at the new 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich OS.
This video was recorded via a live stream from this morning’s event and will give you an insight into all the features you should expect to see in Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0. Bon appetit !
Talk on Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 begins at the 20:00 mark in the video all the way to the end