Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus The First Android Ice Cream Sandwich Phone
Google’s next iteration of its mobile operating system has officially been dubbed Android 4.0 and it will be available for the first time on Samsung’s new Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
The two companies lifted the curtain on the OS affectionately known as Ice Cream Sandwich and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone that will be the first to run it in Hong Kong late Tuesday evening (promotional video below). Google said Android 4.0 would be immediately available to developers. Samsung will begin shipping the Galaxy Nexus worldwide in November.
Here’s a breakdown of what’s new with Android 4.0:
The Taiwanese smartphone and tablet maker said the new Android OS (the first that Google has designed for both smartphones and tablets) will arrive on eight devices in 2012: ,Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation XE, Evo 3D, Evo Design 4G.
Could Ice Cream Sandwich arrive for more HTC smartphones and maybe even a tablet or two? That’d be a big maybe, the company said.
“We’re continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich,” HTC said on Facebook.
HTC answered this question by announcing on Monday on its page that it will release eight devices in 2012 with the Android Ice Cream already installed. HTC identified the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and HTC Sensation XE, as well as the HTC Rezound, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G and HTC Amaze 4G that will receive the upgrade.
HTC had announced earlier that the new Beats Audio-integrated Rezound will come Ice Cream Sandwich-ready, meaning the phone won’t ship with Ice Cream Sandwich but will be ready for an early 2012 update.
“We’re continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich,” HTC wrote in its page. Buyers should also be aware that their carriers could have different release dates for an Ice Cream Sandwich update than the phone manufacturer.
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Other Android phones are also confirming the Ice Cream Sandwich update for their smartphones. Motorola has confirmed through a tweet that its Droid Razr, Droid Bionic and Xoom tablets will get the Ice Cream Sandwich six weeks after the ICS six weeks after Google makes it public.
Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Nexus will both get the Ice Cream Sandwich update. In fact Galaxy Nexus will debut the new Android OS when it debuts sometime in November.
Ericsson has confirmed on its Netherlands Divisions Facebook page that its 2011 Xperia smartphone lineup will get the Ice Cream Sandwich, but there is no news when that will happen. LG has also confirmed that it will update its Optimus 2X smartphone to an Ice Cream Sandwich OS.
“LG is currently in the process of planning the ICS OS update for the LG Optimus 2X as well as other LG high-end smartphones. Detailed information on the ICS OS update schedule for specific models will be announced, once the ICS OS is publicly released by Google. Please stay tuned for more updates from LG,” LG wrote in its official Facebook page.
Introducing Android Beam. Ice Cream Sandwich leverages near-field communications (NFC) tech to enable you to share contacts, maps, apps, websites, directions, and YouTube videos with other smartphone owners simply by holding two Android 4.0 phones close to each other.
The power of speech. Siri isn’t the only game in town. You’ll be able to speak into the Galaxy Nexus and other Android 4.0 smartphones ASUS 70-N8G4B1001 battery and type emails, SMS messages, and more with your voice with the text immediately appearing on the screen in front of you.
A keyboard boost. Google says it’s built a more accurate keyboard with Ice Cream Sandwich, while improving error correction and the cut, copy, and paste facility, and adding an in-line spell checker to the OS.
A “total Android makeover.” Google says the look and feel of Android 4.0 was inspired by big, bold magazine design, with layouts that use big pictures that “suck you into the content” rather than blocks of tests and ugly lists. The OS, which is geared towards both smartphones and tablets, eliminates hardware buttons in favor of adaptable software buttons. Some ways that the new-look Android gives users a smoother ride include notifications that add pictures of the people you’re communicating with, more intuitive folder management that allows widgets and folders to be resized easily, and dragged and dropped where needed, and a new homepage icon that accesses recently used apps.
A new lockscreen. Ice Cream Sandwich is ditching passwords for facial recognition technology to unlock phones. Unfortunately for Google, this particular feature failed badly during Tuesday’s Hong Kong demo. The new Face Unlock feature did manage to lock out a non-owner of the demo phone, but somewhat comically, it wouldn’t let the legitimate owner in either.
Google has done a couple of other things with its lockscreen and homepage with Android 4.0. You can now swipe a locked phone directly to the camera function and begin taking pictures from your smartphone immediately. Android 4.0 also features some pretty cool screensaver art for the homepage and a new San Serif typeface built just for Ice Cream Sandwich called Roboto.
Speaking of the camera Just as Apple offers quicker photo snapping on the new iPhone 4S, Google’s upped the ante with Android 4.0 to provide ASUS 70-NDA1B1000 battery shutterbugs with “insanely fast” multiple shot-taking capabilities. And Ice Cream Sandwich has got a slick new photo editor chock-full of “hipster filters,” according to the search giant.
Earlier this month, we brought you our on the 5th, as it was revealed at Apple’s Let’s Talk iPhone event in Cupertino, California. While Apple did come up with a solid operating system with new features, most of those ‘new’ features were playing catch-up with Android, Cydia tweaks and functionality already possible with third-party apps. From what we have just seen in Ice Cream Sandwich, it seems Apple will now have a LOT more to catch up with. See for yourself in the complete video coverage of the event. Note that it is nearly an hour long video so if you just want to get down to the details, read on for our full review.