This week, on Oct. 18, Google and fellow tech giant, Samsung, held a press conference to announce the new iteration to Google’s Android Operating System. Android Ice Cream Sandwich, also known as Android 4.0, brings a slew of new features to the current Android OS as well as introduces a new interface combining aspects of the old system with a new, more user friendly home screen.
Earlier this year, Google released its “Honeycomb” operating system for Android tablets. This design had a strong influence in the new Ice Cream Sandwich design. More “command buttons” are now on the main screen, allowing users to access their favorite apps more easily.
It also incorporates multitasking, allowing users to easily switch between apps just by swiping their fingers right or left. In just one swipe, you can switch from sending a text to checking your Facebook news feed.
Another major change is in the camera system. Google spent a lot of time enhancing the camera application to compete with fully featured digital cameras. Pictures can now be easily edited for red eye and glare with just one click. It also now features “zero shutter lag” which allows for pictures to be taken one after another without any lag between shots. The video camera now supports up to 1080p resolution video capture and has image stability so that your video isn’t shaky even if your hands are.
Android phones with front facing cameras will now recognize you and unlock automatically so that you don’t need to “slide to unlock” your phone. This, paired with voice control, will allow users to carry out basic tasks without even touching the screen.
Google+, Google’s new social network, will also be incorporated directly into the phone, allowing users to connect with friends right from the built-in Google+ app.
Since not all current Android phones have the hardware to utilize all of these features, Google and Samsung teamed up to create the most advanced Android phone to date: the Google Galaxy Nexus.
Combining the sleek design of the Samsung Galaxy line of phones with the new features of Ice Cream Sandwich, this is by far the most fully featured Android phone ever.
The Galaxy Nexus carries a 4.65-inch super active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, or AMOLED, screen, a built in 5MP panoramic camera and 4G network capabilities. It will also have a dual core 1Ghz processor and 1GB RAM to make the phone extra powerful. For the time being, it will be the only phone to have the Ice Cream Sandwich OS but many newer android phones will be receiving the update soon.
So far, the Galaxy Nexus is only headed to Verizon, but there are rumors that it will come to other networks soon as well.
Keep an eye open for the software update in the coming months on Android phones. There is currently no release date for the Galaxy Nexus, but it’s expected to show up in store within the next few weeks.