Introduction to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and some of its great features

Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.o is certainly going to change the face of Android phones in the coming days. The Operating System that can be used in both tablets and smart phones, is being touted as the best thing to have happened to mobile phone industry.

So far just a single smart phone has been launched with this OS, but other smart phones including Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S2, Motorola Droid Bionic and many others are going to get the update pretty soon. ASUS Transformer Prime will be the first tablet to get it. We already know how huge is the demand for ASUS Transformer Prime. It is the tablet that got the biggest preorders when it comes to Android tablets. So far Google had different OS for tablets and smart phones. Android tablets used 3.0 Honeycomb for tablets and 2.3 Gingerbread for smartphones. But now it has a unified OS.

Google’s Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the only smart phone to have got the Ice Cream Sandwich pre-installed. Experts are unanimous that ICS is the most refined Android version ever. It comes with a redesigned user interface, face lock system and a unified identity – both for tablets and smartphones.

Everyone is rather excited about the new OS from Google. Emily Price while writing in USA Today says, “Ice Cream Sandwich is a big deal, and it differs from every Android operating system before it. Ice Cream Sandwich blends parts of Gingerbread and parts of Honeycomb into a single version of Android that can be used on both tablets and smartphones”.

One important aspect of the new operating system is that ICS has brought up native screenshot capabilities to the Android platform. A user doesn’t really need to install third party add-ons on his or her smartphone to make it capture screenshots. The screenshot capturing feature comes preloaded with the software. Meanwhile the work of taking screenshots on an Ice Scream Sandwich device is as simple as taking a photo from the smart phone. You are just supposed to press on the Volume Down + Power buttons to capture what is on your screen then. The image will be stored in .png format in your image gallery, which you can later use for other purposes.

Facial recognition is an important aspect of Android Sandwich. Android 4.0 introduces a completely new approach to securing a device, making each person’s device even more personal — Face Unlock is a new screen-lock option that lets users unlock their devices with their faces. It takes advantage of the device front-facing camera and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to register a face during setup and then to recognize it again when unlocking the device. Users just hold their devices in front of their faces to unlock, or use a backup PIN or pattern.

A reviewer while writing about Face unlock says, “It is yet another revolutionary feature of Android 4.0. Users can now lock their ICS devices with the much appreciated facial recognition system. The ultra security feature helps you secure up your device and valuable data inside it. The device can only be unlocked once you appear in front of it. The intriguing facial recognition feature has been implemented well on the Ice Cream Sandwich”.

Another important aspect of the OS is that it is very useful for visually impaired people as well. Several new features greatly enhance the accessibility of Android 4.0 for blind or visually impaired users. Most important is a new explore-by-touch mode that lets users navigate without having to see the screen. Touching the screen once triggers audible feedback that identifies the UI component below; a second touch in the same component activates it with a full touch event. The new mode is especially important to support users on new devices that use virtual buttons in the System Bar, rather than dedicated hardware buttons or trackballs. It is going to help the users a lot.

Another important feature of ICS is a feature called RocketLauncher, or Android Dreams. It allows users access to the apps of an Android device from its screen saver. For immediate access to apps, you just have to tap on an icon on screen saver. All apps in your device zoom past screen saver, thus making it so easy to launch them without going to home screen.

Yet one more useful feature of Ice Cream Sandwich is Android Beam. It is a truly great app that makes sharing across two NFC-enabled devices a child’s play. Android Beam allows people instantly exchange favorite apps, contacts, music, videos — almost anything. It’s incredibly simple and convenient to use — there’s no menu to open, application to launch, or pairing needed. Just touch one Android-powered phone to another, then tap to send.

You can also view the presentation on Android 4.0 OS by clicking the following link.

An Introduction to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)

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