Google Sheds Light on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Features
Oh how the times have changed. This time last year I would have been popping an uncontrollable boner over the announcement of Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich, but ever since I defected to the Apple camp my relationship with Google’s little green guy has soured. I used to, and still do appreciate the Android platform in some regards. I think it’s open source model appeals to many hardcore geeks, but at the same time it’s its biggest failure. With so many hands in the Android cookie jar it’s almost impossible for Google to control major OS upgrades amongst its many vendors. In fact, there’s still a large portion of Android enabled phones that are running the Froyo version of the OS, which is two versions old now! So the model to update Google’s massive base of Android devices has failed, which is one of the reasons I jumped ship for the more tightly controlled iOS platform.
Regardless of my personal thoughts on Android I still feel the 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) announcement to be EB worthy. Trust me folks I try my best to be fair and balanced when I report on technology, but sometimes I do end up acting like FOX News, so don’t take it personally if I poke fun at your smartphone of choice. Like I mentioned Google has announced the major feature set that will be available to Android 4.0 users, and some of them are pretty frickin cool, while others are meh. The one that I think is the coolest is the ability for users to login into their phones just by using their face. I mean that’s some serious bio-metric sh*t that has only been seen in the movies. For Android users I also think that the ability to FINALLY capture screenshots on an Android phone without rooting it will also be a nice addition.
Outside of these two new features most of the new 4.0 functionality revolves around screen and app management. Ice Cream Sandwich looks like a pretty tubular upgrade, but its success will all depend on how long it takes Google to force its partners to push the update out. If things are still ran the way they have been, then I’d tell most non-Google owned Android users to not hold their breath for this update, because it’ll probably take months if not years to get pushed down to your phone. For your sake I hope Google take a page out of Apple’s playbook and starts forcing its vendors to comply with the standards they set forth. If anyone gets a hand on Ice Cream Sandwich please let us know how much you love it, or heaven forbid hate it. You can see the full list of new features after the break, and there’s a short infomercial for it as well. You’ve been thankful that you get major OS updates in a timely manner now that you left Android…
Android 4.0 Feature List (Ice Cream Sandwich)
Courtesy of Android Tips
- Screens can now span the entire device. Home, Back, Menu and Search buttons are now soft buttons
- Swipe to the right to throw stuff away and delete them, ex: recently opened applications and notifications
- Zoomable calendar
- Take screenshot by holding power and volume down buttons
- Voicemail in call log. You can speed up or slow down voice mail too
- Sync people info, including HighRes pictures, from social networks
- Login using your face. Camera detects real faces to prevent logging in using a photograph
- Touch (or throw?) to beam webpages, contacts and directions using NFC
- New semi-circular HD optimized font: Roboto
- Pan your camera to capture single motion panoramic photos, no more stitching
- Edit photos after capture and stylize them using filters
- Type with your voice, no more translation waiting
- Reject an incoming call, but with a custom message
- Set a data usage restrictions and prevent overages on carriers with limits
- New GMail that lets you swipe through new messages
- Finally, swipe to throw and not long press everywhere.
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