Along with the Galaxy Nexus, Google also announced the next major version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. This new version of Android includes lots of new features, and also comes with a redesigned UI.
Android 4.0 carries over the same blue Tron like style as found on Android 3.o Honeycomb. However, it has been toned down to make it more pleasing.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich comes with ROBOTO, a font tailor made for Ice Cream Sandwich and Galaxy Nexus. The UI has a new magazine like style to it, and comes with subtle animations all over.
Ice Cream Sandwich and Galaxy Nexus also come with virtual buttons, instead of the typical 3 or 4 buttons layout found on all other Android phones. The virtual buttons rotate as the phone is rotated the phone, and even automatically hides itself when playing back video. The multi-tasking UI has also been revamped, and looks similar to the UI found in Honeycomb. Unlike the previous versions of Android, users can simply swipe an app to remove/stop it right from the multi-tasking UI in ICS. The swipe gesture is also being used throughout Android 4.0, and even across system apps.
Google has also revamped notifications in Android 4.0, and users can now dismiss individual notifications via just a simple swipe. The notification bar is now directly accessible from the lock screen as well. The notification bar also comes with a new music player control. The keyboard has also been revamped, and is now much better at suggesting you words. Ice Cream Sandwich also includes Facial recognition, which unlocks your phone upon detecting your lovely face.
The new web browser allows easy switching between multiple tabs, and also comes with an option to change the user agent. Users can also sync their Chrome bookmarks, and can also save a page for offline reading as well.
Other goodies of Ice Cream Sandwich include Folders, re sizable widgets, new scrollable widgets for GMail, Youtube and many other apps, a new launcher, and the ability to take screenshots, inline text editing, improved and consistent copy and paste functionality. The new GMail app comes with a revamped UI, and much more importantly comes with offline search capability. All other core Google apps have also been updated with a new UI and features.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich also comes with a data usage monitor, which monitors your data usage. It can also warn you when a user is nearing his monthly data usage, and will even allow users to kill mobile data access to individual apps.
The new lock screen on the phone allows instant access to the camera app, which now comes with a revamped UI. The camera app also has touch-focus, face detection, panorama mode and an improved share menu. The new camera app also has continuous focus, zoom while recording, and a time lapse feature.
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich also includes a new photo and video editing features. Both these features are available inside the Gallery app, which has a new magazine like style to it.
Google has also revamped the Contacts app, which required a much needed update. The Contacts app has been renamed to Peoples app, and comes with a brand new and bright UI. The new Peoples app shows all the relevant info about a contact, including his social network updates and pictures. The new call screen now shows a high screen resolution of the contact, and it looks sexy! The Phone app has also been updated with a Magazine like UI, and also supports visual voicemail along with support for fast-forwarding the voicemail in real-time.
With ICS, Google is also introducing Android Beam which allows users to share information among different Android phones using NFC. Users can simply share a web page or a Maps location and much more by simply tapping the two devices together.
On the developer front, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich comes with a bunch of new APIs for developers to take advantage of. The new SDK is now also available for download.