Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich

Google has revealed a fair amount about the new version of Android, known as Ice Cream Sandwich. The Sandwich moniker is used since Google see the new OS as “one OS everywhere”, or a single version of Android running across all their phones and tablets. Will this unifying system be as tasty as it sounds?

In terms of release date, it looks as though some Android devices shipped before Christmas will run this OS, with some sources suggesting it could arrive as early as October. The new version is rumoured to be known as Android 2.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is a little mystifying since it brings together Android 2.3 and Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Wouldn’t Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich make more logical sense?

Google Android's LogoThe Ice Cream interface will bring together all the fancy features from 3.0 Honeycomb, which was designed purely for tablets and larger screen devices. This includes an updated app launcher, holographic user interface, interactive new home-screen widgets and a multi-tasking panel. Leaked shots give a positive impression of the homepage look and feel, which has a great feeling of depth and Minority Report-style futurism. This ties in with Google’s statement that the new OS is their “most ambitious release to date”.

But the Ice Cream Sandwich is about more than the UI, and will bring all the previously tablet-only Android 3.1 features to mobile phones. In real terms, this suggests compatible Android tablets and smart phones will be able to act as hubs and inputs for connecting mice, keyboards and game controllers.

There is also a 3D “headtracking” feature utilising the front-mounted camera. This determines who is speaking and focuses on them during a video call. This detection technology is apparently a key feature in the OS, and it will be interesting to see how developers can further enhance this novelty.

Google intends to make the Ice Cream OS fully open source in an attempt to make things more consistent between devices. When it becomes fully established it will doubtless prove an exciting time for Android affiliates and early adopters. In terms of reputation, Android provides the leading mobile phones; find out more on these models on the Phones4U website.