That was a fun hour! Live-tweeting the Ice Cream Sandwich live stream, thanks to good ol’ YouTube!
Overall, there is a LOT more polish, everything works incredibly speedily, and the native UI looks and feels better in a million different ways. Stop putting your stupid skins over it, manufacturers; you can’t improve on this.
The Galaxy Nexus looks quite Nexus S-like. 4.65 inch super AMOLED WTFBBQ gorgeous screen, 1280×720 native resolution, 4G / LTE capable, and 3 virtual, on-screen (anchored at the bottom) buttons replacing the physical hardware ones.
Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0)
- Left and right swipe gestures across the OS acting as a discard mechanism
- Notifications looking better, accessible from the lock-screen, and individual ones removed via said gesture above
- Facial recognition unlock. Failed in the demo, and seems like novelty value to be honest. Could lead to a phone potentially being called racist!
- Browser gets a huge upgrade, and is officially Chrome now. Integration with your desktop Chrome browser, offline reading, and up to 16 tabs
- Gmail for Android was always impressive, but it’s looking even better. Offline search for the previous 30 days is a nice bonus
- The calendar gets a UI bump
- Native Google app widgets are resizable, and much more functional (especially Gmail)
- Crazy granular app data usage management within Settings, basically waving Onavo goodbye
- Super-fast photo capture via the improved camera, panorama mode, time lapse video support
- In-gallery photo editor with corrections and filters
- Sharing between apps was always deeply integrated with Intents, but is looking smoother
- The ‘People’ app looks like its borrowed from Windows Phone 7, and is an evolution of Contacts combined with a social stream that pulls in from a variety of sources
- Visual voicemail integrated nicely into the Phone app
- Android Beam. Simple NFC-based sharing of basically anything. Tap the phones together, tap the screen (whether you’re in an app or viewing a link in a browser or a photo) and boom, it’s done
- Voice typing. Forgot about the insta-dictation voice-to-text input.
- Deep Google+ integration
- Oh, and SCREENSHOTS. Natively. Finally. /facepalm
I’ll say it again. It’s a huge step up visually and functionally from Gingerbread, and I can’t wait to explore all the intricacies of the UI and the OS.
Only question I have is… WHEN CAN I GET IT IN AUSTRALIA?
Here’s the official Galaxy Nexus page for a rundown of the Ice Cream Sandwich features by Google.
Other edits made to the original post.
4 thoughts on “Initial thoughts on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and the Galaxy Nexus”
This is great summary on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).I missed out on being able to sit in live, but great turn around time on pushing it out.Cheers!
@Jordan Sim: Danke! Luckily I could pull most of it just from the tweets, but can’t wait to play with the damn thing! Check out http://www.google.com/nexus/ for a good look at the new features
Did they show any demos of this working on a tablet? It’s supposed to be for both form factors and interesting that I haven’t seen it yet – I think one’s supposed to come out soonAlso good summary. Essentially for me it’s more customisable across the board. Keyboard has supposedly had some improvements too
@Varun: Cheers. Some dude from ASUS showed the new version of their Transformer today, but no real demo of ICS running on it; before the end of the year, they say.Yeh, there’s so many little changes that should add up to make it a lot better overall. Was good to read this http://thisismynext.com/2011/10/18/exclusive-matias-duarte-ice-cream-sandwich-galaxy-nexus/