Google has unveiled its latest version of Android known as Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0. The first in a line of new Android operating systems which will see phones and tablets use the same software.
Unveiled alongside the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus the OS has tons of new features and a completely revamped appearance, taken design cues both from Honeycomb and Gingerbread with a few extras thrown in as well.
Android Ice Cream Sandwich Features:
The first thing many people will encounter is the lock screen, and with Ice Cream Sandwich Google have taken a new approach to unlocking phones, by using the front-facing camera ICE is able to use facial-recognition to determine if the person using the phone is the owner and then unlock it.
Once inside there are the familiar horizontal homescreens which can be swiped across and filled with apps and widgets, however there's the addition of some neat graphics which have clearly taken cues from Honeycombs 3D-effect UI. This is continued when you try to add apps and widgets, bringing up a similar grid in which you can place them and in some cases resize them using multi-touch.
Elsewhere you'll find new additions such as a completely new browser which offers tabbed browsing, there's also a new Gmail app which allows truly offline use and will no doubt take full advantage of the improved voice features which includes search and dictation.
A integrated task manager has finally been included letting you kill off all those pesky apps that are sucking the precious battery from your beloved device, this will also help kill of all the software that you get sent by the networks, a feature that Google was keen to highlight and something that users will no doubt take delight in using.
Android 4.0 ICS:
Finally on the camera side of things we have a completely redesigned application, with built-in image-editing a feature that was leaked earlier this week. There are many many more features to Ice Cream Sandwich and these are just a taster, expect a full feature on what you can look forward to from Google's latest OS shortly.
What do you think, is Android Ice Cream Sandwich a new step forward for Google, or is it just cosmetic in its changes? Let us know what you think in the comments box below...
Android Ice Cream Sandwich video