Google and Samsung have finally unveiled the much awaited Galaxy Nexus handset along with the next major version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Ice Cream Sandwich is the biggest release of Android until date, and brings tons of new features on-board.
Here are the top 10 features in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich -:
10. Facial Recognition – With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has finally put the front-facing camera in most of the new Android phones to some use. Until now, apart from video calling, the front-facing camera was of not much use. With Ice Cream Sandwich, Android users can use their front-facing camera to unlock their phone using facial recognition. Cool! Ain’ it?
9. Improved Web Browser – Google had not updated the browser on Android since it last announced Android 2.2 FroYo. Now, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich features an improved web browser, which is better than its predecessor in every way. It has a new UI, a much needed Tab bar and thankfully, it now syncs all your Google Chrome bookmarks. The new browser also supports offline web page reading and the ability to change the user agent to Desktop.
8. New Magazine Style UI – With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google aims at killing all the UI inconsistencies found in the Android ecosystem across apps and Android versions once and for all. The new Magazine style like UI looks gorgeous and is also utterly useful. The new UI is aided by a swipe gesture, which works throughout the OS and apps now.
7. Android Beam – This new feature from Google allows Android users to quickly share apps, maps location, web pages and much more between them by simply tapping their handsets. Android Beam uses the NFC technology found inside the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S to achieve this. Developers can also take advantage of this feature to create more interesting apps.
6. Peoples App – Google finally updated the Contacts app, which was in dire need of an update. The new Contacts app has been renamed to ‘Peoples’ and comes with a bright new UI, which looks downright sexy. The new app also features tight integration with social networking apps, and shows all their status update right in once place. The Phone app, along with the calling screen has also been updated. The calling screen now shows a high-resolution picture of the dialer, which looks beautiful.
5. Action Bar – Google has carried over the Action Bar found in Honeycomb over to Ice Cream Sandwich as well. The Action Bar is consistent across all core apps, and offer users access to the most important and used functions at just the press of a virtual button. The Action Bar is either displayed at the bottom or the top of the screen. Going forward, expect all Android apps to come with incorporate an Action Bar. The Action Bar will help developers in creating apps with a more consistent UI.
4. Improved Lock screen – Google has revamped the lock screen on Ice Cream Sandwich with some much need features. The new lock screen now enables quick access to the camera app, and also allows direct access to the notification bar.
3. Improved camera app – Like the Contacts app, Google had not updated the Camera app on Android since Android 2.0. With ICS, the camera app has got some major updates including a new revamped UI, touch focus, zero-shutter lag and an improved Share menu.
2. Data monitor – As simple as the feature may sound like, it is one of the most useful features in Ice Cream Sandwich. The Data Monitor app is inbuilt into the OS, and provides detailed information about the data usage of each app. It also allows us to set a threshold data limit, beyond which the data connection will automatically be disconnected. Users can also revoke mobile data access to an individual app running in the background, until and unless it’s accessed directly.
1. Updated Core Apps – Android as an OS is tightly integrated with Google’s services, which majority of people use on a daily basis. The strong integration with Google’s services is one of the pros of Android, In Ice Cream Sandwich; Google updated all of its core apps like GMail, Calendar and Google Maps, along with widgets.
The new GMail app has refreshed UI and is now capable of offline searching for the last 30 days. All the new apps also come with a new scrollable and resizable widget as well, including GMail (Finally!). Considering how important a role Google’s apps like Maps and GMail play in enhancing our Android experience, it is undoubtedly the number 1 change in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Don’t agree with our top 10 features in Ice Cream Sandwich? Drop in a comment and let us know what according to you the top 10 changes in Ice Cream Sandwich are.