The next Android operating system that is due and in fact is already released on selected tablets and phones is called the Android Ice Cream Sandwich. A lot of people will wonder if upgrading to the next level is worth the hassle. In this article, I will list the new features of the Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system is actually a combination of Gingerbread with HoneyComb. Honycomb OS is the Android system for tablets, but it takes takes a large surface area and thus has to be modified to be more suitable for smaller screens.
1. Facial Unlock
Heading towards a star trek concept, this new operating system allows you to unlock as long as your face is facing the front camera. While this feature looks awesome, it is reported that you can always unlock with just a photo of yourself. Perhaps, the ladies with heavy make up will find it a problem trying to unlock early in the morning. LOL.. You still can choose between the few types of unlock from the old Android.
2. Data monitoring
Although this is just a simple additional feature which can be easily tackled by installing apps from the Marketplace, it is able to provide a chart that details the amount of data that is being used by each individual app. If you find one app eating too much data, you can choose to uninstall the app and find better alternatives. You can even set a value so that when the data is maxed out, it will disable the data usuage totally for you. Even though this feature looks simple, it is still a nifty feature to have pre-installed.
3. Detailed storage system
Instead of showing just values of maxed and used space, it comes with a chart system that will differentiate between songs, movies and Apps. While Mac fan boys will instantly blast this as a copycat, well….. Who cares.
4. Offline Gmail
This is one great feature because it helps to save quite a lot of data wasted on going through the same mail if you only wanted to read it a second time. It will not allow you to search through the entire Gmail offlne, lets be realistic, at least it allows you to search the mails received for the last 30 days. The new Gmail allows you to swipe the screen to go to the next mail or back to the previous one.
5. Folders on the desktop
A very similar concept to the iPhone that allows you to sort and organize the apps on the desktop into folders. Looks like iPhone fan boys are gonna scream at Android for copying again.
6. Better browser
The new Android Ice Cream Sandwich comes with a more powerful browser that can handle complex pages and allow you to browse faster. The best part is that Flash support will be retained instead of removing it. 2 thumbs up for Android once again.
7. Built in screenshot app
Sounds redundant, but in previous Android versions, screenshot app will require root access. But now you can take screenshots by holding the Power and Volume Down button together.
8. Android Beam
I will call this the improved version of App sharing feature. In the past, you can click on share app with friend and all you do is send a link to your friend so that he can get it from the Android Market. But now, you can put the 2 devices together back to back and transfer contents such as browser pages, Youtube videos and contacts.
9. Multiple Desktop interface
Currently, you cannot switch from app to app directly with older versions of Android, you will need to close the app and start another. Even though the app may have the content remembered at the last point when you closed it. Now all apps will be opened in its own space and you can scroll between those “Desktop” spaces to switch between the apps that are opened. It looks like a modified version of the Windows 7 preview mode when the programs are launched at the taskbar.
These are some of the new features that are available in the new Ice Cream Sandwich. For those who are lucky enough to get an upgrade from the official source, congratulations. I recommend upgrading to the new Android. Be warned, use backup apps to backup at least your SMS and contacts as it will be a clean and total wipe of your device.