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Google Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 Review


The detailed editorial review highlighting pros and cons of the Google Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 OS for Tablets and Smartphones.

Did you know Google Android OS is the fastest growing Mobile OS surpassing Apple iOS?.

Yesterday the internet giant Google unveiled the latest version of their Mobile OS Android 4.0 called Google Ice Cream Sandwich. This is the first universal operating system version of Android that is compatible to execute properly upon both Tablet Devices like Samsung Galaxy Tab as well as the Smart Phones like Samsung Google Nexus.

With the launch of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich it is expected that Google will enjoy market leadership in the Mobile OS industry. At RiseDream we have deliberately decided to provide an exclusive early review about the Google Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0.

First Glimpse:-

With the improved and friendly unified user interface along with some innovative features like easy multitasking, customizable home screen, improved notifications, face recognition etc, I would describe Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich combines the admirable features of preceding versions Android Gingerbread for Smart Phones and Android Honey Comb for Tablets along with some mouth watering new additions.

The first native Android Ice Cream Sandwich powered phone Samsung Google Nexus has no physical buttons rather is the first complete touch screen phone.

Although we can not review the entire Android Ice Cream Sandwich rather we have segregated various channels that provide a concise yet comprehensive review of Ice Cream Sandwich OS.

Channel 1

Display:-

The display capabilities have improved a lot in Google Ice Cream Sandwich when compared to the preceding versions like Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb.

The user interface provides easy navigation through buttons and gestures. The user’s of Google Ice Cream Sandwich on small screen devices can group their favorite apps, shortcuts or folders in the favorites tray visible from the home screen.

google android ice cream sandwich user interface

The Google Ice Cream Sandwich has focused more on the touch screen interface like the system bar remains visible at the bottom of the screen even if we launch Apps but it could be dimmed if the Apps are to viewed in full screen mode.

android 4.0 ice cream sandwich multitasking

Since its launch, Google Ice Cream Sandwich has gained notable accolades through one of its strengths “multitasking”. The user’s can quickly switch to various tasks by tapping the Recent Apps Button in the System Bar and choose the thumbnail from the list of active apps or tasks.

android 4 ice cream sandwich multitasking

The Home Screen supports the integration of content through fully customizable interactive live widgets that could be re-sized upon the discretion of the user. The possible widgets may be live social streams, live music players or live email inbox etc.

The Android Ice Cream Sandwich provides hassle free logical arrangement of Home Screen Apps and Folders by utilizing the drag and drop mechanism.

Overall the fonts have changed and the new typepad is included which is optimized to work on high resolution display screens. The end result of such tweak is a more polished and clean display that furnishes the user with a modern feel.

Verdict:-

The display features have improved to an extent that has triggered the need to upgrade preceding Android versions to Android 4.0 Google Ice Cream Sandwich. The easy navigation and polished display along with the option for customizing the home screen icons add some extra points in the favor of Ice Cream Sandwich.

Channel 2

Camera

Well no doubt the camera capabilities have improved in the Android Ice Cream Sandwich but still these features might enter into a head to head stiff competition with Apple iOS 5.

The much buzzed single motion panorama mode is existent in the google ice cream sandwich. For the user’s who are alien to panorama mode terminology this technology lets the user take the picture of a wide area by turning on the camera and then rotating it to capture the entire area needed for the image. The Ice Cream Sandwich will assemble the continuous imagery and produce the end result as a single image of the entire wide area.

android 4 ice cream sandwich camera

The features like Photo Gallery Widget that could be placed on the Home Screen to view pictures easily along with the quick sharing of Photo’s via Bluetooth, Message or Wi-Fi add some weight to the OS. The Gallery features a Photo Editor that could crop the image, remove red eyes or add effects to the image.

The user’s could take snapshots of what’s happening on their Android screen and store or share it as desired.

Verdict:-

I am afraid to say apart from Panorama View or Photo editor there is hardly a substantial newly added feature so the user’s have to consider the capacity of the hardware camera installed by their handset manufacturer to judge if it is worthwhile to upgrade.

Channel 3

Cloud Based Experience:-

Just like the predecessor versions the Google Ice Cream Sandwich has substantial support for cloud based services. The user’s can sync their apps, games and content on all their devices in addition to enjoying seamless cloud services.

The email app for Android has been improved to store pre composed messages for shooting an instant reply. The improved auto contact fill option makes it easier to find the desired email ID’s easily.

The web browsing experience has been improved with the presence of the latest version of Google chrome browser for the mobile devices. The user’s can now request the desktop version of websites instead of the dedicated mobile versions and download content for offline reading. The advanced page rendering has improved the surfing speed by the integration of WebKit core and V8 Crankshaft compilation engine.

Verdict:-

The improved page load speed and enhanced web browsing experience really lure me towards Google Ice Cream sandwich.

Channel 4

Handy Features:-

In addition to the features highlighted above the Ice Cream sandwich has something more powerful to offer. The variety of innovative features are listed below

Face Unlock:-

One of the highly anticipated features “Face Unlock” has finally landed in Google Android 4.0 Ice Cream sandwich territory.. The user’s can easily register their faces and then just hold the device in front of their face to automatically unlock it. This resembles the Apple iOS facial recognition feature but may prove to be a delight for Android geeks. Although Face Unlock may not be a feasible option in the early days as some issues might arise after change in facial expressions or face complexion after make up etc. Google Ice cream Sandwich also features a Backup pin option for securing the device.

Powerful Voice Input Engine

Android 4.0 is has a powerful voice input engine that works just like an open microphone allowing the user’s to dictate the text they want to be written in their desired language. The feasibility is offered where the user’s may speak for a prolonged time , take pauses at intervals and that’s not all, the grammatical mistakes will be automatically highlighted with a gray underline for the user to tap and correct them.

Quick response Incoming Calls

The Android 4.0 offers the user to quickly forward an already composed text message to the incoming caller when the incoming call can not be received. The user’s can choose to send a message by choosing options in the incoming call screen.

Control over Network data

For all those geeks who love surfing the internet but are constricted due to the data usage limit or bandwidth limit for their Internet connections.

android 4 ice cream sandwich data usage

Google Ice Cream Sandwich helps protect its user’s from running out of their data transfer capacity by allowing the implementation of warning limits after which the user will be warned about the excessive bandwidth consumption. The Settings App will showcase the colored charts showing the amount of data being used by various devices or in house apps. The exciting things remains the ability to control network usage by Apps in the background.

android 4 ice cream sandwich data usage charts

Visual Voicemail

Android Ice Cream Sandwich offers its user’s a visual voice mail inbox that removes the hassle of dialing a specific number according to the cellular carrier settings for listening to voice mail inbox. This newly introduced voice mail manages incoming messages, voice transcriptions and audio files received by the user.

Wi-Fi direct and Bluetooth HDP

The support for Wi-Fi direct lets the user’s to connect with devices in peer without having the need for an internet connectivity. Through third party apps the user’s can connect with compatible devices to take advantage of instant sharing of files, photos, other media, streaming video or audio from another devices or connecting to a printer. The Google Ice Cream Sandwich supports the Bluetooth hands free profile (HFP) 1.6.

Android beam NFC based sharing

The Android Beam is an innovative feature that enables sharing between two NFC enabled devices easily. Android Beam lets the user’s exchange their favorite apps, games, music video’s simply by touching one NFC enabled Phone to another and hitting the send button.

Verdict:-

After taking a look at the handy features being offered by Android i would say it creates a stiff competition of quality as a majority of the OS offer the same features with minute changes in interface.

Android 4.0 Google Ice Cream sandwich proves well with the Face Unlock feature, Android Beam and Wi-Fi direct. I loved to hear about the Data Usage control feature along with visual voice mail. I think the handy features offered by Google add value to the existing user experience so I would give “Well Done” to Google for their Ice cream Sandwich.

Overall verdict:-

If we take an overall overview then we may observe some features being lifted from Android Honeycomb OS and modified slightly to transform into better one’s. I could feel inspiration from the various OS already available in the market like after listening to connectivity with printers I am reminded of the Apple iOS 5 AirPlay feature that offers connectivity of iOS devices to printers.

Well influences are the part of the game at the end what matters is the quality and the way features are arranged. I think that a successful operating system should fulfill the three basic parameters Efficiency. Effectiveness and Economy. Although Google Android OS has proved to be effective and efficient in the past but let’s see what kind of response does Google receive for their beloved Ice Cream Sandwich.

All the features have not been described here so stay tuned to see more of the exciting updates waiting just to come across your curious mind.


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Abdul Rahman+ is a young enthusiastic student from Pakistan. Follow on Facebook, Digg, Twitter and Stumble Upon

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