Quite easily, the Android platform is garnering immense popularity across the world. There was a time when the Blackberry was seen everywhere. A lot of people now understand that while the RIM interface might provide the exclusivity of BBM, there is nothing more to it. The Android platform however, was not an instant hit – especially in India. It grew steadily but now has a lot of purists in the market can do anything to vouch for it.
The last version on the phone was Gingerbread 2.3 and the one on the tablet was Honeycomb 3.0. Now, Honeycomb is specially created only for the tablet and has a lot of suitable features for the tablet that the phone does not have or might not need. Google is breaking the version nomenclature and jumping directly to Android 4.0, Ice-cream Sandwich, where the phone and tablet versions will be brought together.
There are a lot of noteworthy features in this version of Android. Ice-Cream Sandwich has firstly hit the right spot by bringing out features that help in easy multi-tasking. That is what a lot of us look for in phones. Home screens look better and are more customizable. You can even resize the widgets and experiment with a lot of new themes. There is a Recent Apps button that lets users navigate between various tasks using the System Bar. The list consists of various thumbnails and just gently tapping an icon will lead you to the app of your choice.
It is sometimes a pain when one has to unlock the screen each time before performing even the most menial of actions. Android 4.0 has a better lock screen service where users can avail the camera facility and view notifications without unlocking their screen first. One of the best features is face unlock. The phone can unlock itself by just looking at the user’s face. This is something like the fingerprint option that a lot of phones and options use but this is just so much cooler! Even the media folder has been made more attractive by letting users see HD album art and by having easily manageable music tracks.
Dismissing notifications usually involves reading them at least once. On this platform however, just a simple swipe of your finger is enough to dismiss individual notifications, apps from the Recent Apps list and even browser tabs. One more aspect is that multiple browsers are now easier to handle because the user interface is even friendlier.
This platform even offers a new voice input engine that provides sort of a continuous microphone usage experience. For instance, users can speak for a prolonged time and dictate long sentences. They can even pause for intervals if needed to create a punctuation mark whenever needed! The softer keyboard on Android 4.0 makes text input faster and more accurate. Word suggestions have been improved and the suggestion strip shows only three words at a time to avoid confusion and mistakes. To fix words that have been misspelled, the Androird 4.0 spellchecker locates and underlines errors. Apart from this, it also suggests replacement words.
Lastly, this variety of new features has been designed to enhance the accessibility of Android 4.0 for all users. Sharing is much easier with new and improved features such as Live Effects which is similar to Photobooth on Macs.
HTC, Samsung and even LG have stated that their top-of-the-line phone will get an Android 4.0 update. Whether it is for users of developers, the Android 4.0 Ice-Cream Sandwich is sure going to be a force to reckon with and change a lot of rules of the smartphone game.