Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Find: First Look at the Highly Polished Android 4.0, "Ice Cream Sandwich"

Some metro creeps into android. Answer voice with text is cool.

First Look at the Highly Polished Android 4.0, "Ice Cream Sandwich" [Screenshot Tour]

First Look at the Highly Polished Android 4.0, "Ice Cream Sandwich"
Google just unveiled their new Nexus phone, the Galaxy Nexus, along with a preview of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, coming to phones next year. Here's a look at the creamy new update to the Android operating system.

Most of what's gone into Ice Cream Sandwich is polish, making Android slicker, easier to use, and (finally) more consistent across the board. It's mostly filled with small improvements and tweaks that Google rattled off pretty quickly, so we've listed our favorites here in bulleted form. This isn't a comprehensive list; this is just what Google demoed at today's event—so there's probably even more to come.

Basic Improvements to Android


Google's made a lot of improvements in the way Android looks and feels, from the home screen to the notification drawer to the keyboard, including:




  • First Look at the Highly Polished Android 4.0, "Ice Cream Sandwich"



  • A new stylish lock screen, complete with facial recognition features that let you unlock your phone with a front-facing camera, as well as the ability to launch right into the camera with one gesture



  • A bigger emphasis on consistency with the way gestures work. For example, in the app drawer, you now swipe left to right to see other pages of apps, more like the home screens.



  • Widgets are now stored on another tab in the app drawer, making them easier to add to your home screen. They're also resizable.



  • Folders are now easier to create and use. Just drag one app on top of another, iOS-style to create a folder. You can rearrange them in the folder the same way, and it's all very fluid.



  • Ice Cream Sandwich's dock is customizable, and you can even put folders into it for quick access to apps and contacts.



  • Screenshot taking is now built-in. You can snap one by pressing Volume down + Power. Finally.



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