You may have heard about Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich… as for me when I first saw the articles on the Internet I was attracted by the yummy picture, which reminded me of the chocolate marshmallow bear I used to eat when I was younger. So of course I clicked on the link and read the article.
Don’t be mislead… I will be talking about technologies here, not food. This was just an easy way to trick you into reading further.
What is Ice Cream Sandwich?
In Honk Kong, October 19th, Google and Samsung released the latest news about this new mobile platform. Android fans were lucky enough to see how this will look like: a still famously customizable desktop that however does not move the same way. According to many sources, the platform has been given a ton of thought concerning design and it really shows.
Basically, all the nice devices on Android 3.0 Honeycomb‘s interface (Honeycomb being the version used for tablets) will be brought to this newversion and merged Android’s phone OS. There’s a good reason why this new version is called “Sandwich”: it brings things together to make something new and better.
Android phone users will get the updated application launcher, holographic user interface, new homescreen widgets as well as the multi-tasking tool, including a system manager that handles open resources for you so that you will not be out of memory or be prompted to quit an application on the tablet.
Described by Google as its “most ambitious release to date”, this new tool has been devised in response to accusations that Android is becoming too fragmented and an alliance of networks and manufacturers who have vowed to provide more timely updates has been announced (which only goes for the US so far).
A lot of upgrades come with Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has signed up “founding parties” (composed of all the hardware manufacturers that create products using Android).
At Google, people explain that “New devices from partners will receive the latest Android updates for 18 months after first launch, if the hardware allows it. We think this is really great news for users, we think it’s excellent for developers and really great for the entire industry”. In other words that is a very good news for Google.
More great news: Ice Cream Sandwich gives you more control over your system. How? Simple, users can now uninstall any application they want, even if they are native to Android. Oh and apparently you will be able to unlock your phone with your face, thanks to facial recognition use.
Another pretty impressive feature : even blind people could actually use it thanks to a new “Explore-by-touch” mode, that enables users to navigate without necessarily seeing the screen.