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A few hours in, some quick, inane thoughts on the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich

After what seemed like eons, I finally got a Galaxy Nexus in my hand, and I can safely say that this is a most triumphant marriage of hardware and software!

To be honest, I actually haven’t done a lot with the phone, and apart from reaching for the Menu button in the first few minutes, I feel completely at home. Everything looks a little different, and in some cases, more than a little different, but in every case, as of now anyway, it’s for the better.

I’ll save the screenshot walkthrough for another time, but I’ve got some of the new Gmail app over on Android niceties.

The screen / The phone

I was a little weary of the gigantic nature of this screen, but it sits surprisingly comfortably, even in my miniature hands, and is super light. The display just pops, and I’ve been staring at it non-stop for the last 3 hours in admiration.

Ice Cream Sandwich

I love the virtual, on-screen buttons! They appear when need be, and emit a satisfying glow when touched. Speaking of satisfying glow, the pulsating notification when the screen is locked is something I’m happy to see back on an Android phone!

The new Gmail app is a pleasure to use, particularly the simple swiping between older and newer emails.

I keep dragging the notification bar up and down, because it looks so darn good. The swipe-to-remove gesture works a treat in managing notifications, keeping the ones you want up there, and clearing the rest.

The lockscreen, with its beckoning, expanding arcs to either unlock the phone or move to the camera looks great.

Being able to hold, drag and uninstall an application directly from the app drawer is full of win.

Resizable widgets combined with the new Google Calendar widget means I can say farewell to Calendr, and get more out of the widget.

The home screens turning into a subtle grid to allow you to assess your screen real estate when placing apps or widgets is handy.

The entire Google Calendar interface has changed completely, and pinch-zooming in and out to change the view of a day is very nifty.

All the apps I used work seamlessly on Ice Cream Sandwich, so I haven’t run into any compatibility issues as of yet.

Lots of lovely little UI transitions spread across Ice Cream Sandwich!

EVERYTHING IS BUTTERY SMOOTH.

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