Not bad the ICS features we introduced in yesterday’s post, aren’t they? Well, that was just the starter. We hope you left some room for dessert. Just guess what it is…
Communication and sharing
In this regard, the main feature is the new design of the phonebook which now is called “People”. The new scenery looks like a magazine: all social networks and communication channels available are fully integrated within contact tabs. Thus, we’ve gained a fast access to all social content from our friends. What’s more, our own contact profile is located at the top, over the letter A.
The voicemail is now accessible from the phonebook app. You can even play the last voicemail from the recent calls log. No need to do it from third apps.
Gmail has been also enhanced both appearance and performance. There’s a new smart toolbar that shows different options depending on what we’ve selected as the most important actions for us. The UI is even clearer and easier to use. What’s more, it includes, by default, offline searching.
Calendar’s app has been also adapted to the new ICS layout. You can “Pinch-to-zoom” to check your own tasks for a specific day. This way you can fully manage your schedule in an improved way.
Camera and Gallery
You probably heard rumours about this feature. Camera and gallery have deeply changed in this last Android version. Camera access is now faster and easier. Everything is more accessible. It brings by default filters and photo effects Instagram-like. What’s more, you can take panoramic pictures without downloading any additional third party app. And it does it amazingly because, instead of taking lots of pictures and crunch them all together, it uses a new technology. It “records” a video and then it generates the panoramic photo. And it really works.
Regarding video recorder, ICS provides a continuos auto-focus and zooming while recording. Snapshot while recording has been also integrated as well as time lapse mode. Important enhancements.
Gallery has been re-designed to adapt it to the ICS layout but, in addition, now is easier to create folders and to sort one by one, by album, date or even location. Android 4.0 comes with a built-in screenshot utility what was a well-known Android user’s demand.
Web surfing and connection
As well as the launcher (dock and app drawer), the default ICS browser came to compete with the most popular browser on the market. By now, website can be easily saved and there’s a incognito mode. Navigation is quite more intuitive and faster.
Regarding connection, ICS lands with built-in Wi-Fi Direct which is aim to unseat Bluetooth as the only method of device data transfer. Wi-Fi Direct and Android Beam allows to create ad-hoc networks between compatible devices. This way, users can connect to nearby devices over Wi-Fi no need of any tethering or root access. Compatible devices with Wi-Fi Direct is the only requirement. The evident advantage is that Wi-Fi direct is way faster than Bluetooth and works in a larger range.
Although there are still a lot of questions that deserve straightforward answers, e.g. screenshots without becoming root, how much intrusive G+ may be or what will happen to every 2.2 or lower current devices, what we know for sure is that Android not only isn’t losing heart, but stepping up indeed. If there was anyone left who still believed that Ice Cream Sandwich would be little more that an update able to fix just a bugs and make a superficial make-over, there it is a new breed between Gingerbread and Honeycomb that enhances, improves and at the same time will try to put to an end the black legend of Android fragmentation.
What do you think? Is it worth to sink our teeth into this delicious dessert? We’re looking forward it, the same way we’d like to hear your comments and prospects about this long awaited, much anticipated, Android 4.0.