Wednesday 19 October 2011

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich officially announced.

The wait is finally over! Just about an hour ago, Google unveiled their long awaited update for Android. Ice Cream Sandwich is now official and will hit retail stores along with the Google Nexus in early November. Android 4.0 brings with it a completely revamped design that we’ve caught a glimpse of in the previous leaked footage of the Nexus. This is not merely a cosmetic overhaul though, there are plenty of new features and enhancements as well which we’ll cover briefly now.

Some of the highlights include features like Android Beam, an NFC-based information sharing system. This will work with a range of apps and services like YouTube videos, Maps, Contacts, WebPages or links to apps in the Martketplace. The next big change is the new revamped camera interface and gallery features. The camera is a lot faster in snapping pictures and shots can be taken almost immediately due to zero shutter lag. You can even access the gallery directly from the lockscreen. Other standard features include continuous auto-focus, automatic face detection, touch-to-focus with exposure lock and a sweep panorama. The gallery app now lets you crop and edit the picture as well. Moreover, you can sort the images based on location and by person (if you’ve tagged them). In the video department, we have full 1080p recording, continuous autofocus, zoom while recording and create time lapse videos from your phone.

The third big new feature is Face Unlock, which as the name suggests, lets you unlock your phone using, well, your face. This isn’t exactly a ground breaking feature but it’s a first for Google. Finally, the fourth change is the new ‘Roboto’ font which will be common for tablets as well as mobile phones. Here’s a brief list of some of the main highlights:

1.> Ability to kill apps running in the background
2.> Swipe left or right for switching Gmail conversations
3.> Folder now feature drag-and-drop style just like iOS
4.> Customizable launcher
5.> Virtual buttons in the UI instead of capacitive ones
6.> Improved error correction on the keyboard
7.> Improved voice integration
8.> Web browser now supports up to 16 tabs
9.> Built-in photo editor
10.> New gallery layout
11.> Android Beam
12.> ‘Roboto’ font
13.> Face Unlock
14.> Improved copy and paste
15.> Reworked error correction on the keyboard
16.> Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
17.> New visual voicemail functionality let’s you speed up or slow down messages

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