Google Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”

Google’s Androidis now the most popular smartphone platform, according to The Nielsen Company. This mobile operating system is one step ahead of Apple’s iOS and Research In Motion’s BlackBerry OS, and it is constantly evolving. Recently, Google released the tablet-only Android 3.0, 3.1, and 3.2 Honeycomb as well as the 2.3 Gingerbread for smartphones, and they’re already planning to introduce a new version of this software later this year. On May 10, 2011, the company announced that the Android 4.0, which is nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich, is going to the market in Q4 2011. It looks like Christmas this year is going to be a super sweet one for tech enthusiasts all over the world!

Hot news about this latest version of the Android mobile platform has been spreading like wildfire all over the internet since its announcement in May. Google said that they wanted an operating system that runs everywhere, and hence the Android 4.0 was developed. The Ice Cream Sandwich is a combination of the Gingerbread and the Honeycomb, and you can expect to see it on phones, tablets, as well as computers. As we all know, the Gingerbread improves the soft keyboard and copy/paste features, refines the user interface, and also supports the Near Field Communication technology. On the other hand, the Honeycomb supports multicore processors and graphics hardware acceleration, and introduces new user interface features. The first tablet equipped with the 3.0 Honeycomb is the Motorola Xoom tab which was released in February 2011.

Tech enthusiasts can expect to see the Android 4.0 OS on the upcoming Google Nexus 3 smartphone. The China-based telecommunications company Huawei also claimed that their latest handset, the Glory, will be upgradable to Ice Cream Sandwich once it is available. Besides the Android 4.0, the Google Nexus 3 is also predicted to feature a 720p HD screen, 1080p HD video capture capability, 1GB of RAM, a 5 MP back camera, and ultra slim body. This smartphone is speculated to come with a dual-core 1.2GHz OMAP, 1.5GHz OMAP, Qualcomm Snapdragon, or a quad-core Kal-El processor.

Now the question is, what can the Android Ice Cream Sandwich do? This operating system enables user to connect other devices such as USB mouse or Xbox controller for Android games thanks to the Android Open Accessory program. It will also have multitasking tool and system manager so that you won’t run out of memory on your mobile gadget. Last but not least, the facial recognition capability will keep your device secure.

Android’s latest version, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), has been out just over a month now. Since this version will be available on mobile phones as well as tablets, the market has seen a lot of great devices that are ready to take advantage of the new features that are available in 4.0. Many of these updates are simply upgrades to some of the already existing features in the operating system. This article talks about what these new features are all about.

New Typeface

The old font, “Droid Sans” is out and a new font, “Roboto” is in. Roboto is a typeface designed for the small, high-resolution screens that mobile phone and tablet users have and brings a slick, updated feel to the interface.


In ICS, the dictionary and spell-checking have been updated for better error correction and word suggestion. They have tried to improve the identification of double-typed characters, missing spaces and skipped letters. Word suggestion will now only show three words at a time in the suggestion strip. Spell-checker is probably the best improvement in this group since it will now underline misspelled words and suggest replacement words. You can also add words to the dictionary if it is not recognized.


Taking screenshots is often an important feature for some users and now you do not need to tamper with your Android device or install third-party apps in order to take them. You can now take a screenshot by holding down the volume down key and the power button. This will capture the screen and put it in your photos.

Voice Commands

Android 4.0 now has the capability to receive voice commands. You can use the talk-to-text feature to give your phone commands or dictate text messages.

Updated Camera

While previous versions of Android’s camera were lacking, there have been some great improvements with 4.0 that were gained with some help from Samsung. The camera was also the area where the most upgrades are happening. ICS devices will now have 1080p video, the shutter lag has been removed, easier photo and video sharing, tap-to-focus, face detection, photo filters, and a photo-stitching panorama mode that allows you to move the camera to take one continuous picture.

Many of these features have been long-awaited by Android fans. There is even various photo editing tools to clean up your pictures and easier ways to share with Google+, text message, Bluetooth, Email and Picasa.

Better Browser

The standard browser is the new Chrome mobile Web browser that syncs bookmarks with other versions of Chrome that you have on your desktop or laptop as well as other mobile/tablet devices. The browser can now save pages for offline reading which is great when you are on the road and unsure of your signal availability. Chrome mobile has been updated greatly for speed and now has the capability to open up to 16 tabs for your multi-tasking pleasure.

Android Bump

Sharing information with other Android devices has become a lot easier with a secure Near Field Communication (NFC) app called Android Bump. Based on the NDEF Push technology, this application will allow two Android devices to share websites, maps, contacts, applications and play games together.

Copy and Paste

Copy and paste functionality got a re-vamp and is much easier to use. You can now move around whole blocks of text.

This update only shows how committed Google is to making Android the top mobile operating system. As you can see, there are many great new features in Ice Cream Sandwich that make it a top contender in the mobile and tablet market. This also shows that we can expect many more great new things from Android in the future.


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