SBP Blog

Android 4.0: the Google delight

Dec 21, 2011 by Oana

Android Ice Cream Sandwich mobile OSMore than a Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Gingerbread and Honeycomb, and more than a tasty name, Android Ice Cream Sandwich (v 4.0.) is the OS that wants to merge the smartphone market and the tablet market under one roof. In fact, Android 4.0. merges the features of Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) with the functionalities of Android 3.2 (Honeycomb), plus it adds up a new set of updates. So no more applications that are only compatible with one device, now Android 4.0. provides developers and users an unique platform for both smartphones and tablets.

Also, as the company has mentioned, Android 4.0. is here to: "Enchant me, Simplify My Life, and Make Me Awesome." - I have to admit, this sounds pretty good.

Released on October 19, together with Galaxy Nexus smartphone, Ice Cream Sandwich proves to be worthy of its dual name: enhanced user interface, better speed and performance, plus a set of new functionalities that aim the multi-touch use (not to worry - the buttons on your smartphone will continue to function once the update takes place). Among the most noticeable functionalities/updates you'll find:

The notification bar and menu styles have been improved
- you can now re-size widgets
- virtual buttons and system bars take the place of hard buttons (Home, menu, etc.)
- on the lock screen you can also find a camera button

Enhanced navigation and organization
- for navigation there is available swiping left-right
- the home screen can be customized
- apps can be organized into folders (just by using drag-drop)
- a favorite tray can be filled with favorite shortcuts, folders and other items just by dragging (Note: this is available for smartphones and other small screen devices)

Improved camera functionalities
- extra photo editing tool are available: red eye removal, cropping, etc.
- you can use the zoom-in functionality while recording
- you can share pictures with 3rd party applications
- native panorama functionality is now available

Keyboard updates
- version 4.0. comes with an enhanced spellchecker, a new set of dictionaries, better word suggestion and error correction

Additional features
- face unlock is available for unlocking your device
- animated dragging and dropping are available for cut/copy/paste funcitonality
- quick answer functionality allows you to send a template text in response, when you are too busy to answer a phone call

Meant to be a friendly OS, Android 4.0. features basic functionalities in order to be accessible and easy to navigate. However, this has also a downside: it limits the usage of native applications.

Speaking of apps, at least in theory, the same application could be used comfortably on both smartphone and tablet. For users this means paying once for the same app, while for developers this means less implementation and fewer updates needed. I'm really looking forward to test this functionality and see what challenges it poses.

Far from being a perfect OS, Android ICS is one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use operating systems, and if it continues to team up with the right hardware devices, then success is guaranteed.

For sure, next year, more HTC and Motorola devices will benefit from the ICS upgrade, or will be released with Android 4.0. OS incorporated.

Update: Since October, 2011, other two versions were released: v.4.0.2 (November, 2011) and v.4.0.3 (December, 2011), which brought a series of bug fixes and some enhancements to existing functionalities.

Other articles:

Android 3.0 Honeycomb: ready to conquer the tablet market
Can Ubuntu OS for smartphones threaten the Android market share? - Part 1
Can Ubuntu OS for smartphones threaten the Android market share? - Part 2

Tags: Google 


Dan commented on 1/17/2012 7:06:22 AM

The face unlock feature is one feature that makes me wanna buy an Android ICS phone.
Also i've saw the Android 4 in action and the new design is awsome

itoctopus commented on 1/25/2012 5:02:37 PM

Hi Oana,

I just wish that Google has chosen another name than Ice Cream Sandwich for the new Android. It makes me nauseous.

Oana commented on 1/26/2012 2:36:30 PM

Hi itoctopus,

I'm sorry to hear that! I think it's nice that Google is keeping the “tasty name” tradition for Android OS versions. Also, more than a “tasty name”, this is a pretty ingenious brand strategy.

Hope you feel better! :)


Oana commented on 1/26/2012 2:39:07 PM

Re: software outsourcing company

Thank you! I really enjoyed writing it.

Oana commented on 1/26/2012 2:47:02 PM

Hi Dan,

I agree: Android 4.0. has a nice user interface and pretty cool features. I'm looking forward to your new post! :)

Dan commented on 2/6/2012 4:26:52 PM

Re: Harry

To learn how to upgrade your smartphone / tablet to Android 4.0, you can check out this post:

swert56 commented on 4/11/2012 10:52:27 AM

I'm searching for an updated list of all the smartphone and tablet devices they intend to update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Oana commented on 5/8/2012 7:45:09 AM

Hi swert56,

Hope this helps:

- Galaxy Tab 10.1 / 7.7 / 7.0 Plus / 8.9
- Acer Iconia Tab A500 / A100 /A200
- Asus Eee Pad Transformer /Transformer Prime / Padfone
Asus EEE Pad Slider SL101
- HTC Flyer / Jetstream
- Lenevo Think Pad
- Motorola Xoom
- Toshiba Thrive 10.1 / 7
- Sony Tablet S / P

- Google Nexus S
- HTC DROID Incredible 2 / Amaze 4G / Desire S / Desire HD / EVO 3D / EVO Design 4G / Incredible S / Sensation / Sensation XL / Sensation 4G / Sensation XE / Raider / Rezound / Rhyme / Thunderbolt / Vivid
- LG Prada Phone / Optimus 2x / Optimus LTE / Optimus SOL / My Touch Q / Eclise / Optimus 3D / Optimus Black / Optimus Big / Optimus Q2 / Optimus EX / Razr
- Motorola Droid Bionic / Droid Razr
- Samsung Galaxy Note / Galaxy S2 / S2 LTE / Galaxy R
- Sony Xperia Arc S / Neo V / Ray / Arc / Play / Neo / Mini / Mini Pro / Pro / Active / Ericsson Live with walkman / Xperia S / Xperia P / Xperia U / Xperia Sola

Dan commented on 7/3/2012 6:11:08 AM

Hi Oana,
You should write something about Android Jelly Beans

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