The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first smartphone to come pre-installed with the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich operating system update. For users of Samsung’s Galaxy brand, the updated S3 phone will be released in a few weeks time whilst individual networks will decide when to launch the new OS to be downloaded onto existing Galaxy S2’s. Ice Cream Sandwich is the biggest update Google have made to their OS since Android was launched. The praise around the web has mostly been directed towards the streamlining of existing features and just how nice the new operating systems looks, with new fonts, colour schemes and more flexible displays for your widgets.
Designed especially for tablets
Works on tablets up to 10 inches
Provides holographic support
Was one of the first to provide good multi-tasking support
A Google search bar which is standard across the screens
Supports both tablets and smartphones
Better user interface with improved holographics and widgets
ICS offers better support for Google’s office tools (Gmail, Calendar, Chat, etc)
Calendar has a pinch-to-zoom function
Improved error correction when typing and revamped copy-paste functions
A recent apps function that allows for better multi-tasking
What Ice Cream Sandwich Didn’t Get Right
Some of the buggier new features include Face Unlock. The facial recognition software doesn’t actually work too well in practice. For example, in bright light your face will be picked up as overexposed by the camera and your features won’t be recognised. The feature has been described as “only 50-80% accurate”. Android Beam is another feature that has picked up unfavourable reviews. It supposedly lets you send data between two ICS devices using near-field communications however this doesn’t work uniformly from app to app.
What We Love About Ice Cream Sandwich
The new browser still isn’t ‘Chrome for Android’, but it does feature some useful additions such as a tabbed browsing experience. The new camera has also received positive attention for its ‘0 shutter’ fast response and its panorama feature. There’s also a data usage feature will allows you to track how much of your monthly data plan you have used.
Overall, Ice Cream Sandwich is being positively spoken of as one of the best OS experiences that Android has ever released. It’s described as a ‘polished’ version of what’s come before, integrating features and streamlining all the different areas of the OS. The possibilities of Ice Cream Sandwich probably won’t be truly appreciated until the next generation of phones and tablets arrive. We’re patiently waiting on the Samsung Galaxy S3. If you can’t wait that long for a new mobile, then check out some iPhone 4S deals
Robert Jefferson is an English writer who likes to write about the latest smartphone tech and is always looking out for the best iPhone 4S deals