Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich features & screenshots
10th May 2011 | 00:00
We already got a feel of Google’s approach to NFC with the Nexus S, and now Android 4.0 sees the introduction of Android Beam which allows users to share information between Android tablets and smartphones using NFC. So you’ll be able to swap directions, YouTube videos, websites and contact info a bit like you did with Bump. Except we hope with more success this time around...
Re-designed to help you keep on top of all your different agendas, the new Calendar enables other apps to add events and reminders, while you'll also be able to manage multiple calendars and colour code to separate work from your social life.
Contacts are no longer just contacts, as users details from social networking are integrated along with profile photo displays.
The visual voicemail inbox will integrate messages, transcriptions and other audio files into the phone app that will let you playback and forward through your messages right from the app.
We’ve seen fingerprint and voice recognition in action before, so now Google has decided to push things forward by enabling you to unlock your Android device with your face. It could just be the best way to keep people from infiltrating your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
New Gmail features
The Google email client has been refined to include offline search, a two-line preview, a new action bar and the ability to swipe left or right on your Android tablet or smartphone to move between Gmail conversations.
New camera features
A feature rumoured to be included prior to the official announcement, Android 4.0 sees the introduction of a built-in photo editor. Other snapping additions include time lapse settings, zoom while recording but perhaps best of all, the new panorama camera feature that pulls together separate photos to produce a wide format shots. Once you’ve taken your photos, you’ll also be able to view them in a new-look gallery section that breaks snaps down by person and locations.
New look UI
Built from the ground up and optimized for tablet devices, the best of Honeycomb will be available to Android phone users as well. There are the familiar horizontal homescreens which can be swiped across and filled with apps and widgets, with the addition of some neat graphics which have clearly taken cues from Honeycombs 3D-effect UI.
Android 4.0 seeks to improve your smartphone and tablet navigation by introducing new gestures to make interactions with your Android Ice Cream Sandwich device more engaging and interesting.
Game controller support
As reported since Android 4.0 was unveiled, Google confirmed to T3 that USb support for game controllers will work for both tablets and smartphones. In the case of the Galaxy Nexus, this will be possible via a USB adaptor which will connect via its microUSB port.
Once you've opened an app, the Action Bar will give you the option to interact with the app. So if you've got GMail open, the Action Bar will give you the option to compose a message, reply etc.
In the case of the Galaxy Nexus, there are no soft keys which are instead replaced with the System Bar which change depending on which way you hold the handset.
Here's a look at what the slick new Android Market will look like on an Android 4.0 device, which coincides nicely with the recent arrival of movie rentals addig more content you'll be able to get your hands on.
Swipe to dismiss
You can rid of individual notifications, apps from the Recent Apps list and browser tabs simply by a simple finger swipe across the screen
Typing out texts and emails will also have a new look and feel with typeface optimized for high resolution screens which should improve visibility and readability.
Taking care of all your social networking needs, the updated People app will be pull in all status updates, photos, videos which should also include all your Google+ activity. You remember Google+ right?
Improved text input
The new soft keyboard featured in Android 4.0 should make texting and browsing faster and more accurate. More dictionaries have been added to enhance the word suggestion database as well.
Now Android users can take a snap of their screen and store them locally. Once it's stored in Gallery, you'll be able to edit and share the screen shot
Android 4.0 tablets: 1080p HD video
Android 4.0 helps harness the HD capabilities of Android tablets like the Transformer Prime, delivering Full 1080p output for your videos and films.
Android 4.0 tablets: Action Bar
Once you've opened an app, the Action Bar will give you the option to interact with the app. So if you've got GMail client open, the Action Bar will give you the option to compose a message, reply, search and so on.
Android 4.0: Browser
Browsing has been refined adding new features like being able to simply choose between mobile and desktop versions of websites and save content for offline viewing, which we will move onto next...
Android 4.0 tablets: Camera Unlock
If you want to jump straight into taking snaps on your tablet you can now go straight to Camera mode simply by swiping left on the Unlock screen.
Android 4.0 tablets: Data Usage
Located in Settings, you can now keep an eye on how much data your tablet is eating up and at the same time see which apps are currently sapping the most power at which point you can swiftly close them down.
Android 4.0 tablets: Homescreen Folders
One of the more necessary features added is the introduction of Homescreen Folders which allows you to simply drag apps onto one another to create folders.
Android 4.0 tablets: Live Widgets
Courtesy of Ice Cream Sandwich you can now add widgets that you can interact with on the homescreen and can be re-sized to give you more flexibility for your workspace.
Android 4.0 tablets: Gallery
The Gallery has been given a makeover with a new slick mosaic/tiled design that lets you swipe through all your images and video in one place.
Android 4.0 tablets: Save for offline viewing
For those with Wi-Fi only Android tablets, Ice Cream Sandwich will now allow you to save web content to view later, which can be found alongside the bookmarks and history tabs.
Android 4.0 tablets: Panorama mode
Another new feature added to the camera ranks is the new Panorama mode which let's you capture great scenic shots. The tab has been added to the stills and video camera mode at the bottom of the tablet.
Android 4.0 tablets: Panoramic photos
We tried out the Panorama photo mode, which involves slowly panning your tablet across the scene. You can check out one our efforts above.
Android 4.0 tablets: Recent Apps
You can now keep a better track of all the applications you are running at the same time and close them simply by opening up the Recent Apps tab on the task bar and swiping to the right to close them down. It's as simple as that, but definitely a nice new feature.
Android 4.0 tablets: Live video effects
One of the notable new features is the ability to add effects (think Fatbooth for iOS) like adding a big mouth or big eyes or to whoever you are filming, which will be displayed as you begin filming.
Android 4.0 tablets: Widgets
You can now scroll through your widgets from the app launcher which allows you to see all available widgets in one place just like your apps, so you can proceed to spread across your five homescreens.