The bumped-up platform delivers an array of new features, the first of these being a redesigned interface. Described by Google as “refined, evolved” look, Android 4.0 makes common actions more visible and lets users navigate with “simple, intuitive gestures”.
There’s also the addition of resizeable widgets, and a bunch of iOS-style lock screen actions. There’s a brand-new typeface called “Roboto” which comes optimized for high-resolution screens too, alongside virtual buttons in the System Bar which let users navigate instantly to Back, Home, and Recent Apps.
“Ice Cream Sandwich brings an entirely new look and feel to Android.” said Google.
Multitasking and Notifications have also been given a boost. With ICS, users can now easily see recently used apps, and if you decide you’ve finished using an app, it can be instantly closed by ‘flicking’ away. As described by Google: “ On smaller-screen devices, notifications appear at the top of the screen, while on larger-screen devices they appear in the System Bar.”
One of the most exciting features of ICS is a brand-new function called Face Unlock, which uses the front-facing camera to recognise the owners face and then automatically unlock the phone. That’s not the only new camera smarts found in Android 4.0, as it also delivers much-needed improvements to Google’s camera UI, including; zero shutter lag, panorama mode, easier sharing and Instagram-esque filters.
The list of new features doesn’t end there. Google’s also unveiled People App at this morning’s event, which lets users browse friends, see their photo, and check their latest status updates. It also officially outed; improved text input and spell-check functionality, an improved web browser, WiFi Direct, and a new NFC sharing feature dubbed Android Beam.