Androids phones are fast becoming the most popular in the world, and for many new Android Phone fans keeping up to date with the latest updates and features can be impossible. Here is a quick update on the awesome new features including in Android 4.0 code named Ice Cream Sandwich.
Android 4.0 new features
Google looks to make its Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system a bit more user-friendly and sophisticated without giving up any flexibility or capability that contributed to the operating system’s geeky-tech reliability. There are a few important upgrades regarding the system, one of which is the cool new Roboto font. Other enhancements include the newly improved People app, the ability to use your face to unlock your phone, and multitasking has improved as well. We took this cutting-edge software out for a spin using the revolutionary Samsung Galaxy Nexus to give you a sense of Ice Cream Sandwich’s innovative and latest features.
The Recent Apps button is not only useful, but convenient as well. Stacked in a vertical fashion, it displays the thumbnails of open apps and allows you to scroll through easily and quickly to find what you’re looking for. Even handier, is the ability to close the screen by simply swiping off the app. This little trick is less complicated than how the iPhone works. On the iPhone, you must tap the home button twice, then press and hold the app’s icon to close it.
Say goodbye to front buttons
By incorporating a new System bar on the bottom of the screen, Ice Cream Sandwich eliminates the need for physical buttons – Home, Back, Search and Menu. While Ice Cream Sandwich reveals additional menu options within a separate Action Bar, there’s three permanent virtual buttons – Home, Back and Recent Apps. Its position varies on the app and contains a button for search. Although we are pleased that ICS offers added real estate regarding content, we miss however the ability to press and hold the button for search from any screen in order to open Google Voice Actions.
Widgets are resizable
You can view a Widgets tab as soon as you open the menu for Apps because Ice Cream Sandwich wants to place widgets in a more prominent position. And similar to your inbox or calendar, you can utilize widgets to scroll through content – in the same way as a Honeycomb tablet. Also, you can resize a widget by simply pressing and holding it down and then drag on one of the corners.
Advanced Face Unlock technology
Ice Cream Sandwich provides a ridiculously easy way to unlock your phone, just stare at it. Under settings, creating ‘Face Unlock’ is a breeze and works nearly every time. The key is to have a good amount of ambient light in order to succeed using the front-facing camera. You may have to enter a backup pin number a couple of times for it to identify your face. Remember, you can trick the operating system by holding a picture of yourself up to the device. Face Unlock should be used as a tool for convenience rather than security.
Use text to reply to calls
Can’t answer your phone right now? Android ICS allows you to easily disregard any incoming calls without being impolite. Simply swipe and view a list of canned text messages for you to tap. Selections include “I’ll call you right back” and “Can’t talk right now. What’s up?”, or create your own message on the run. Very handy feature.
Awesome camera app
Even though other Android phones provide this feature, we’re happy to note that Ice Cream Sandwich includes a standard Panorama mode along with its camera app. Simply pivot the phone to left and right and conveniently the software handles the rest. The Android operating system additionally includes strong editing abilities from cropping and auto-fix to a wide variety of special effects.
Contact list is restyled with People app
Ice Cream Sandwich’s new People app has more appeal than your regular address book, since it offers a huge profile together with integrating social networking. It was more than easy to swipe to the right at the same time as seeing a contact to view Twitter and Google+ updates from that particular person within a single stream. What a shame Google has not yet included Facebook.
Notifications are managed with ease
With just a swipe down the screen, Android phones allow you to view notifications and makes it incredibly simple for Ice Cream Sandwich to handle them, which is probably why Apple copied it. You have the option to get rid of notifications one-by-one merely by swiping them right off the screen, versus requiring to delete them simultaneously. Also, with just a tap, you can jump into settings straight from this menu.
Enhanced Web surfing
The latest web browser in Ice Cream Sandwich is much faster than the previous one, and it also allows you to open an amazing sixteen tabs at the same time. Additionally, you can sync your bookmarks from your account with Google Chrome. Sick of those cumbersome mobile versions you view for your favorite websites? Simply check the option for Request desktop site. Users can save particular Web pages to view with no connection for offline reading. Sadly, Flash support will not be enabled until later on in the year.
Innovative Beam feature
Although it will be some time for this feature to come into play, it’s a great concept. As long as your Ice Cream Sandwich phone contains a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip inside, it will be possible to communicate information to other smarthphones operating on the newest Android operating system simply by touching the two phones together. Android Beam allows you to share everything from apps to Web pages to YouTube videos to contacts. Once developers obtain Google’s code, Android beam will improve even more.