Google unwraps Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich"
As expected, Google has revealed the next major update to Android, version 4.0, code-named "Ice Cream Sandwich" (ICS), along with a new 'Nexus' device: the Galaxy Nexus. This major update to the mobile operating system includes new features from both the current phone version, 2.3.x "Gingerbread", and the tablet version, 3.x "Honeycomb", and will work on both large- and small-screen devices, although it was only been shown on the latest Nexus smartphone. An updated lock screen and apps view, Face Unlock, voice typing, the ability to take panorama pictures and Android Beam are among of the most notable changes.
Manufactured by Samsung, the Galaxy Nexus is the latest Nexus-series smartphone and the first device to run Android ICS. It will be a "Google Experience" device, meaning that it will ship with the standard Google Android interface, widgets and menus; non-experience devices like those from HTC or Motorola often include customisations, such as Sense or Motoblur, to the user interface or added apps.
The new smartphone has a 4.65-inch 720p (1,280 x 720) high-definition contour display, supports fast data connections (LTE or HSPA+) and has a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor. It also has camera improvements such as support for recording 1080p resolution videos, 1 GB of RAM, and 16 GB or 32 GB of built-in storage. The Galaxy Nexus will be available from a number of carriers, including NTT Docomo, US CDMA carrier Verizon and Three UK, in November. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.
While Google has released a new version of the Android SDK for Ice Cream Sandwich on its developer portal, source code for Android 4.0 has not been posted to the Android Open Source Project (ASOP) portal. In May, Google said that the source code for Android 3.x Honeycomb would not be released until after ICS arrived; it also has not been published. The company has yet to confirm if and when the source for 3.x and 4.x will be made public.
More details about the changes and new features in Ice Cream Sandwich are available in the feature "Android 4.0: New design, new features" from The H Open.
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