We have already reported that Google has made Ice Cream Sandwich official minutes ago. In this post we will talk about all the major features that you are going to see in the ICS smartphones/tablets in the days to come.
New Refined UI:
Google has improved the UI in ICS a great deal. You will now be able to do stuff using better, simpler and intuitive gestures. Company has also included an all new typeface called Robota and it is optimized for high-resolution displays.
ICS is the second release overall and first release for phones that will support virtual software buttons in the System Bar. You will be able to navigate instantly to Back, Home, and Recent App using these buttons.
Multitasking has always been strength of Android and Google has tried to improve that even more with ICS. You will now find recent Apps button in ICS that will let you jump instantly from one task to another using the list in the System Bar. You will also be able to close app from this list by simply swiping them.
Other multitasking features:
- Jump to the camera or see notifications without unlocking.
- For incoming calls, you can respond instantly by text.
Ice Cream Sandwich also brings richer and interactive notifications, which will let you see incoming messages, play music tracks, and see real-time updates from apps, and much more.
Home screen folders and favorites tray:
Android 4.0 also supports new home screen folders that will help you in grouping apps and shortcuts just by dragging one onto another.
Phones home screen will now include a customizable favorites’ tray, in which you will be able to drag apps, shortcuts, folders, and other priority item. This tray is visible from all homescreens.
Resizable Widgets are now available on phones. Similar to Honeycomb, in ICS widgets let users check email, flip through a calendar, play music, check social streams, and do a lot more.
New lock screen actions: Jump directly to the camera for a picture or pull down the notifications window to check for messages. When listening to music, users can even manage music tracks and see album art.
Improved text input and spell-checking: The new virtual keyboard in Android 4.0 makes text input more accurate. Android 4.0 has added a new spell-checker that locates and underlines errors and suggests replacement words.
Control over data: With Android 4.0, you will be able to manage network data usage effectively. In the Settings app, colorful charts show the total data usage on each network type (mobile or Wi-Fi), as well as amount of data used by each running application.
People app: ICS introduced People app, a robust contacts apps. Thanks to the People app nowa contacts social groups, profiles, and contacts are all linked together and integrated for easy accessibility across an Android device. People app offers richer profile information, including a large profile picture, phone numbers, addresses and accounts, status updates, events, and a new button for connecting on integrated social networks.
Improved camera functions:
The ICS Camera app includes many new features including continuous focus, zero shutter lag exposure, and decreased shot-to-shot speed. It also comes with built-in face detection and a single-motion panorama mode. In this mode, the user starts an exposure and then slowly turns the Camera to encompass as wide a perspective as needed. The Camera assembles the full range of continuous imagery into a single panoramic photo.
You can now share directly from the camera app.
Photo Editor: The Gallery app now doubles up as a photo editor too. You will be able to crop and rotate pictures, set levels, remove red eyes, add effects, and do a lot of other stuff with the app.
Native Screenshot Capture: Now use Hardware buttons capture screenshot and store it locally.
Android Beam functionality takes sharing to an all new level. Using the NFC hardware in devices, Android Beam lets people to instantly exchange favorite apps, contacts, music, videos — almost anything with a single tap.
Last but not the least, ICS now comes with facial recognition and face unlock feature. Face Unlock is a new screen-lock option that lets users unlock their devices with their faces.
A screenshot tour of Ice Cream Sandwich: