Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich - Android 4.0

Google is quite popular in naming its OS’s quite playfully. After Cupcake (version 1.5),  Donut (version 1.6), Eclair (version 2.0), FroYo (version 2.2), Gingerbread (version 2.3) and Honeycomb (version 3.0/3.1), the latest addition is Android 4.0 which is been named “Ice Cream Sandwich”.
According to the information unveiled by Google at Google I/O Conference 2011, this OS will do something that none of the previously released OS has done. Being a cross-platform OS, Android 4.0 will unify phones and tablets under one platform. It will work with all devices like Smartphones, tablets, laptops, eReaders, Netbooks and even TVs without any compatibility issues.

The best part is that, software, games and app developers will have to create a single version for Android 4.0 and the products will perform perfectly on all devices that employ the OS regardless to the size, shape and functions of the device. Any app developed for Android 4.0 will work across a 3.5” Smartphone to a 10.1” tablet.
If Google is able to create something like this, it is obvious that developers will prefer Android OS to Apple iOS for their games and apps. They will have to develop just one app and it will run on all devices powered by Android 4.0 which would definitely fetch them a higher profit margin.
Android 4.0 is expected to have a few features of Honeycomb 3.1 along with other major features like 3D facial detection. This feature would also allow you to make facial modifications in real time. Developers would soon get the tools for creating phone apps for the Ice Cream Sandwich platform only.
The devices powered by Ice Cream Sandwich platform would have access to movie rental service which is lately announced in Android Market. Compatibility with various hardware accessories and accessibility to Google Music are also among the major features of Android 4.0. Users will be allowed to connect hardware devices such as keyboards, game controllers, mouse etc to SmartPhones as well.
With Android 4.0, users will get holographic user interface, new and interactive Home Screen widgets and an updated app launcher along with a multi-tasking panel. This Android version will get Honeycomb 3.1 features to SmartPhones so that users can enjoy tablet features on their phones itself.
Nothing much is been said about the hardware requirements to run this cross-platform OS or whether the existing handsets would get the Android 4.0 upgrade. However, Google has promised Android updates to new devices from partners including HTC, Verizon, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, AT&T, LG etc. for first 18 months, if the hardware is good enough to handle it.
Google would probably be making Ice Cream Sandwich an open source OS. Though the release date is not yet announced, Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich platform is most likely to be ready for release in Q4 2011. One can look forward to get this Android 4.0 OS on new Android devices which would be launched somewhere around Christmas this year or early next year.
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