Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich announcement round-up

For Google and Android fans around the world, today has been a big day, as Google teamed up with Samsung to announce the Galaxy Nexus and Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”. Many new features were shown off today at the event, including the Galaxy Nexus, so we have compiled a list of everything to know from the Google event in case you missed it or were asleep.

Galaxy Nexus

The Galaxy Nexus specifications were fully leaked an hour before they were unveiled at the event in Hong Kong. They include:

  • A 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED display
  • HSPA+ or LTE (depending on region)
  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor (TI OMAP 4460)
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 16 or 32 GB of internal storage
  • 5 MP rear camera with flash; 1.3 MP front camera
  • Full HD 1080p video recording at 30 FPS; zero shutter lag
  • Bluetooth 3.0 and dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • NFC and a barometer
  • 8.94mm thin; 135g light
  • 1,750 mAh battery

We also have a convenient comparison table between the Galaxy Nexus and the Galaxy S II, iPhone 4S and HTC Sensation. In most cases, the Galaxy Nexus is the victor.

The Galaxy Nexus will be available in the United States, parts of Europe and Asia starting in November; more regions to follow. You can register your interest in the device at Google's Nexus website.

Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”

Google announced a plethora of new features in Android 4.0, and while many improvements are visual, there are still core enhancements being made. Below we have listed some of these new features so you can quickly get an idea what Google has introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

  • Honeycomb-styled interface
  • New Roboto typeface used throughout the UI
  • New lockscreen featuring quick unlock to camera and notification pane access
  • Improvements to multitasking and the notification pane
  • Resizable widgets
  • Quick SMS responses when rejecting incoming calls
  • Improvements to text input, autocorrect and copy & paste
  • Real-time voice-to-text input
  • Full control over data usage, including usage notifications
  • New contacts app featuring better social integration and “Me” profile
  • More advanced Calendar and Gmail apps
  • Improved Gallery featuring a photo editor
  • Improved Camera app including panorama mode and easy sharing
  • Cloud connectivity with automatic Google Chrome bookmark sync
  • Offline access to emails (past 30 days by default) and web pages (when you save them)
  • Face unlock using facial recognition technology
  • Android Beam for NFC sharing of loads of content
  • Integrated visual voicemail and appropriate APIs
  • Integrated screenshots from hardware button combination
  • Support for high-density mobile displays such as the Galaxy Nexus’ 720p display
  • Many, many new APIs

For developers out there, the Android 4.0 SDK with all the improved and new APIs is now available from Google’s developer website.

The first device to be loaded with ICS is, obviously, the Galaxy Nexus, but the OS is also heading to the Nexus S at some point. It is unclear, however, if ICS will make its way to the older Google Nexus One. It is also unclear whether smartphone manufacturers will update their devices to ICS, or which devices will end up being updated. Hopefully carriers and manufacturers will announce their intentions soon.

Also, check out Google's ICS screenshots in the gallery below

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first of all i want to say i'm an iPhone fan since the 3G and a proud owner of an iPhone 4 (damn those 2 year contracts)
second of all i want to say that my only experience with Android was HTC Wildfire (the iPhone 3G was miles better) and a LG Optimus 2x (dual core stuff)

if i look back the HTC Wildfire is pretty ****ty but then again so is the iPhone 3G (man these things evolve fast).
Now the LG Optimus 2x (dual core at 1 Ghz) moves slower than the iPhone 4 (800 Mhz single core) it still has Android 2.2 ( no word until 2.3 is rolled out) the camera is 8MP but the picture quality is noway near the iPhones 5 MP, but it films at 1080p where the iPhone films at only 720p.
In other words what I want to say is that my experience with Android ain't that big, and it won't be bigger because I don't like Android (not the phones/hardware, the OS)
Look at this Samsung Nexus Prime bla bla bla so much marketing for a product that isn't the top dog in the Android pack. Samsung Galaxy S2 HD has better specs, better processor (1.2 Ghz vs 1.5 Ghz dual core), better camera( 5MP and 1.3MP vs 8MP and 2MP back|front , more space via microSD (16/32GB internal vs 16GB internal + up to 32GB via card slot) and it's even lighter (135g vs 130g) the only thing is the OS (Android 4 vs 2.3, but i think that the Galaxy S2 HD will get Android 4).

too bad for these phones great specs and quality, I still think they will be under the performance of iPhone 4s with all the benefits of better spec.
Android OS is the only thing to blame here !

edit:
the comparison of the Nexus Prime vs Galaxy S2 HD here's the gsmarena link:
http://www.gsmarena.com/compar...one1=4219&idPhone2=4198

next week the Nokia windows phones arrive.. the one I was fortunate to play with was flying... it will be an interesting end of the year..

Draje said,
This thing has a better resolution than my netbook....

mine too, hurts my fealings... mine even got 1 core and same amount of ram hehe

Closing apps is best left to Google (Android) it was said. They are pretty good at knowing when that's needed. This is what Engadget was "told".

That recent app thing is more just a app switcher, sliding them off the screen only removes them from that list but that doesn't mean closing them.

Same story we've been hearing since Froyo, and to some extent it may be true because of background threads, etc. However, being able to close the UI of an app and release those resources should be up to the user, not the OS.

True - that's a little bit too much of a power user way of thinking. The average person just wants to use the app when they need it and out the way when they don't. On the PC they are "trained" to click the X to close an application but that's becoming less and less true there too. On OS X it doesn't close and in some Windows apps it does the same too.

I don't really manually close apps on my phone (SGS2) and have no issues with that. Granted I don't have 50+ apps installed as well, the phone does what I need it to do with what's built in.

I can see the point for the average user not closing apps, because they tend to use a few apps most of the time and it improves performance. My only wish would be a convenient way to close the UI portion of the app, perhaps with a long-press in the quick app manager screen. I think that would be a good feature to implement.

The "lag" folks are complaining about happens due to two things: the phone's underlying file-system and carrier bloatware. Samsung loves to use RFS as its file structure, which is soooo inefficient. I run a custom rom (MIUI 1.10.17) which is based on MTD file structure and there is absolutely NO LAG!!! I have no doubt that ICS will perform just as smooth as my 2.3.5 MIUI once devs (Cyanogen) fix file system and remove bloat.

My $.02

The "lag" folks are complaining about happens due to two things: the phone's underlying file-system and carrier bloatware. Samsung loves to use RFS as its file structure, which is soooo inefficient. I run a custom rom (MIUI 1.10.17) which is based on MTD file structure and there is absolutely NO LAG!!! I have no doubt that ICS will perform just as smooth as my 2.3.5 MIUI once devs (Cyanogen) fix file system and remove bloat.

My $.02

The "lag" folks are complaining about happens due to two things: the phone's underlying file-system and carrier bloatware. Samsung loves to use RFS as its file structure, which is soooo inefficient. I run a custom rom (MIUI 1.10.17) which is based on MTD file structure and there is absolutely NO LAG!!! I have no doubt that ICS will perform just as smooth as my 2.3.5 MIUI once devs (Cyanogen) fix file system and remove bloat.

My $.02

DKAngel said,
its a shame my old legend will never see this =]

It wont see it because you dont want it to see it.

DKAngel said,
its a shame my old legend will never see this =]

It's a shame HTC stopped bringing out updates for the Legend only five months after its release.

.Neo said,

It's a shame HTC stopped bringing out updates for the Legend only five months after its release.

And it's for that reason I am put off HTC.
Shame, their Sense looks nice, the clock widget looks the best compared to all similar ones and the Peep app is pretty good.

Quick SMS responses when rejecting incoming calls

Cool. I've been suggesting that feature for years. I'd kind of hoped Microsoft would have taken my suggestion, but I'm glad someone saw it... lol Maybe it will become common place in mobile OS's now...

PyX said,
Why don't we have such a complete Data Consumption pane in iOS 5… It can't be too hard to do.

There is the 'Cellular Usage' page under Settings > General > Usage, but it's very very basic when compared to what Google has implemented. I wouldn't mind Apple copying this, seems like a very useful tool. I'm on Unlimited Data so it wouldn't really benefit me, but for those stuck on lower data allowances, this would be a welcome tool. Especially the option to set a limit.

bbfc_uk said,

There is the 'Cellular Usage' page under Settings > General > Usage, but it's very very basic when compared to what Google has implemented. I wouldn't mind Apple copying this, seems like a very useful tool. I'm on Unlimited Data so it wouldn't really benefit me, but for those stuck on lower data allowances, this would be a welcome tool. Especially the option to set a limit.


Aha, unlimited… :-( Well, that doesn't exist in Canada, we're way too underdeveloped.

I noticed the usage pane in Settings, but as you said, it's very basic. You even have to start it again by yourself at the end of each month. They really need to implement this, it's a no-brainer and should have been there since iOS1, back when all the countries in the world had a limit on data usage.

PyX said,
Why don't we have such a complete Data Consumption pane in iOS 5… It can't be too hard to do.

I don't get why it's absent in iOS and took so long for Android to implement it either. My 2006 Sony Ericsson K800i even had a data usage monitor build-in.

Simon- said,
So is this release Open Source like Gingerbread or is it Closed Source like Honeycomb?

It will be like Gingerbread.

lol, they didn't fix failed to allocate memory bug in emulator. and at the same time they set 1gb by default for android 4 tablet template...

The phone doesn't look that 'spectacular' and the UI of Android 4.0 is terrible and very inconsistent. But that is just my opinion.

bbfc_uk said,
The phone doesn't look that 'spectacular' and the UI of Android 4.0 is terrible and very inconsistent. But that is just my opinion.

I have to agree on the phone itself. The specs are great, but why, oh why, can't Samsung come up with a fresh design? I swear, nearly every Samsung phone I've ever seen (at least all of the candybar models) look nearly the same. Hell, even the Samsung Solstice that I keep around as a spare phone looks quite similar to this phone!

roadwarrior said,

I have to agree on the phone itself. The specs are great, but why, oh why, can't Samsung come up with a fresh design? I swear, nearly every Samsung phone I've ever seen (at least all of the candybar models) look nearly the same. Hell, even the Samsung Solstice that I keep around as a spare phone looks quite similar to this phone!

I think the design here is pretty good and they really shouldnt mess with it much. Besides, how much better can it really get?

este said,

I think the design here is pretty good and they really shouldnt mess with it much. Besides, how much better can it really get?

But people will soon get bored of 'samey' looking phones. This phone does not stand out to me.

bbfc_uk said,

But people will soon get bored of 'samey' looking phones. This phone does not stand out to me.


I guess you have a point there. With that said, this phone still looks better then 90% of the other phones out IMO.

este said,

I guess you have a point there. With that said, this phone still looks better then 90% of the other phones out IMO.

Not true... think of the iphone.

Why no change in the frigging camera.. I hate it you shoot square pictures on a widescreen device, just terrible......

Johrie said,
Why no change in the frigging camera.. I hate it you shoot square pictures on a widescreen device, just terrible......

There is a Widescreen Mode and Panorama mode.

I was quite excited for this but wow... A little lack luster. It feels like they are borrowing elements from iOS and Windows Phone 7. I was excited for a Siri similar product but nothing here and the facial recognition doesn't really give me good faith when it didn't even work during the demo.

Maybe it is better once it's on the devices or maybe I just hyped myself up too much. Time will tell when and if I get it on the SGS2... Which reminds me It would be nice to have an upgrade process similar to Apple or Microsoft devices for Android instead of having to **** around with roms and rooting the device.

The Stark said,
Wow. That is one ugly phone. And the OS looks like crap, too.

Envy is one of humans' great enemies.

htcz said,

Envy is one of humans' great enemies.

Interpreting criticism as jealousy is what 14 year old girls do. It's a defense mechanism resulting from shaky self-esteem, and if it's really the only rebuttal you can come up with, your cleverness sounds roughly on par with people who think every other country in the world is "just jealous" of America's freedoms.

Joshie said,

Interpreting criticism as jealousy is what 14 year old girls do. It's a defense mechanism resulting from shaky self-esteem, and if it's really the only rebuttal you can come up with, your cleverness sounds roughly on par with people who think every other country in the world is "just jealous" of America's freedoms.

Looks are subjective. Just like when I say WP7 looks like somebody vomited up a birthday cake in a bunch of boxes.

The Stark said,
Wow. That is one ugly phone. And the OS looks like crap, too.

wow your comments are just amazing. you explain everything in one line LOL

Joshie said,

Interpreting criticism as jealousy is what 14 year old girls do. It's a defense mechanism resulting from shaky self-esteem, and if it's really the only rebuttal you can come up with, your cleverness sounds roughly on par with people who think every other country in the world is "just jealous" of America's freedoms.

So if I see that Android, iOS, and WP7 all look like crap, Im jealous of what exactly?

I was just saying the truth and the truth hurts (at least it looks to have hurt you)

htcz said,

So if I see that Android, iOS, and WP7 all look like crap, Im jealous of what exactly?

I was just saying the truth and the truth hurts (at least it looks to have hurt you)


What? That doesn't even make sense. Did you read what I wrote, or did you just think you could smack the keys a few times and sound witty?

I never said that criticizing something means you're jealous, I *quite specifically*, in the very line YOU QUOTED, said that BELIEVING that (that criticism = jealousy) is what little girls do. What kind of first grade reading level do you have? Jeez, I swear it's like YouTube comments are infecting the rest of the internet...

htcz said,
Looks intresting. Any reports of when the source code is out?

According to Andy Rubin it will be out a few weeks after the phone is out. Looking like it will be early December.

OrangesOfCourse said,

According to Andy Rubin it will be out a few weeks after the phone is out. Looking like it will be early December.


Not to question you, but any source?

Im an android fan, but seriously that looks terrible! Will be interesting to see what the likes of HTC, Samsung etc come up with for their versions.

AdamLC said,
Im an android fan, but seriously that looks terrible! Will be interesting to see what the likes of HTC, Samsung etc come up with for their versions.

I'm hoping they don't add frame work and just make UI changes. That way the device can be easily upgraded. The thing with Sense and TouchWiz is that its not "Gingerbread" or "Ice Cream Sandwich". It's more like Android 2.3.X Basic with Sense/ TouchWiz or Android 4.X Basic with Sense/ TouchWiz.

Remember when Froyo (Android 2.2) had a Text Messaging Bug? Well TouchWiz and Sense phones didn't have this bug since they were not the stock apps of the Android OS.

Heavy customization of frameworks can either be good or bad depending on what kind of user you are. Fortunately for us Android Geeks, we know how to Root and install custom ROMs so we have freedom of choice. For everyone else, it doesn't matter. If you are aware of the "issues"but are not a geek to tamper with the ROM, then get a pure Google phone if that matters so much to you otherwise, get whatever phone suits your needs.

The whole interface looks like some random Linux geek's pet project he works on during his lunch hour at work. Honestly, if this doesn't change and Google won't take interface design more seriously I can't see myself going back to Android.

.Neo said,
The whole interface looks like some random Linux geek's pet project he works on during his lunch hour at work. Honestly, if this doesn't change and Google won't take interface design more seriously I can't see myself going back to Android.

Agreed, it looks dreadful and inconsistant.. fugly.

.Neo said,
The whole interface looks like some random Linux geek's pet project he works on during his lunch hour at work. Honestly, if this doesn't change and Google won't take interface design more seriously I can't see myself going back to Android.

I tend to agree, but this is the internet, and many people right here in this community strongly believe[d] Matrix themes/skins/visual styles are attractive and usable.

Taste is a weird thing like that.

.Neo said,
The whole interface looks like some random Linux geek's pet project he works on during his lunch hour at work. Honestly, if this doesn't change and Google won't take interface design more seriously I can't see myself going back to Android.

But that is your opinion. I love it. I can't go to WP7. It looks like some kindergarten project and the kids had to much birthday cake and vomited. But that's my opinion and others will disagree.

Like Joshie said, "Taste is a weird thing like that."

Thiefyo said,
galaxy s will get it not official but stock will work just fine:) root etc:P

Dear Internet,

In the hacking community, the term 'rooting' generally means giving the owner of a device what is referred to as 'superuser' access, or the ability to read-write parts of the file system that are usually locked down. 'Rooting' does not mean, nor has it ever meant, installing unsupported versions of the operating system. However, by allowing users to install new custom boot tools, flashing unsigned system images can become possible, depending on the availability of said images.

Simply achieving root is made possible on most handsets within a short window of time after release. Custom ROMs, however, are an entirely separate endeavor, one which doesn't always lead to complete success, and as such, one cannot guarantee to other handset owners that any and all versions of an operating system will eventually, inevitably become available simply because they have root.

Thanks, and have a great day. Love,

Reality

Joshie said,

Dear Internet,

In the hacking community, the term 'rooting' generally means giving the owner of a device what is referred to as 'superuser' access, or the ability to read-write parts of the file system that are usually locked down. 'Rooting' does not mean, nor has it ever meant, installing unsupported versions of the operating system. However, by allowing users to install new custom boot tools, flashing unsigned system images can become possible, depending on the availability of said images.

Simply achieving root is made possible on most handsets within a short window of time after release. Custom ROMs, however, are an entirely separate endeavor, one which doesn't always lead to complete success, and as such, one cannot guarantee to other handset owners that any and all versions of an operating system will eventually, inevitably become available simply because they have root.

Thanks, and have a great day. Love,

Reality

Dear "Reality",

He said root etc. That means root, plus some other stuff. You need root access to load a custom ROM (which is the "some other stuff"). I fail to see what your point is.

M4x1mus said,

Dear "Reality",

He said root etc. That means root, plus some other stuff. You need root access to load a custom ROM (which is the "some other stuff"). I fail to see what your point is.

Ya, it wasn't the best post for them to pick on, as the term wasn't truly conflated.

However it is sad evolution of terminology that the Android community has mixed 'gaining root access' with hacking a phone and loading custom software. I also feel and understand the annoyance the poster was pointing out.

A longer post I would go on about how the whole UNIX thinking that Linux has brought back to the 'geeks' of the younger generation that should have been left to die in the 80s.

I like my android phone and tablet, but please for the love of god implement multitasking in a way similar to webos, if it means buying webos so you can use that feature then so be it. The current "multitasking" from honeycomb just..... sucks. I know most of you probably have very little knowledge of webos so i doubt you understand, but trust me you are missing an amazing feature.

reidtheweed01 said,
I like my android phone and tablet, but please for the love of god implement multitasking in a way similar to webos, if it means buying webos so you can use that feature then so be it. The current "multitasking" from honeycomb just..... sucks. I know most of you probably have very little knowledge of webos so i doubt you understand, but trust me you are missing an amazing feature.

yes please explain how the webos (phone) multitasking is better

Somethin tells me Galaxy S will never see it, though if my carrier gets the prime ill upgrrade provided CM continues being developed(kinda seems like theyve slowed down plenty and with CM's main dev working for samsung..seems like itll be a while)

LauRoman said,

Which ones? I can't seem to find any.

contacts picture.. it has the 3 dots on the right at the bottom.. it also uses large tiles at the top

the browser as well because they seem to have simplified the top..

I dunno i just really dislike the UI because it does not have a standard design to it.. it feels like there are different colors and the grey in the backgound doesnt blend.. also the background is very distracting...

I love my WP7 and didnt realize how much the simplicity to their phones changed how I see these ones.. I used to think the android look was really cool in highschool but as a financial planner now it just does not feel professional enough to pull out infront of clients to show a few powerpoint slides.

Lachlan said,

contacts picture.. it has the 3 dots on the right at the bottom.. it also uses large tiles at the top

the browser as well because they seem to have simplified the top..

I dunno i just really dislike the UI because it does not have a standard design to it.. it feels like there are different colors and the grey in the backgound doesnt blend.. also the background is very distracting...

I love my WP7 and didnt realize how much the simplicity to their phones changed how I see these ones.. I used to think the android look was really cool in highschool but as a financial planner now it just does not feel professional enough to pull out infront of clients to show a few powerpoint slides.

So thats 2 screen that looks similar... and not even that similar. They havn't simplified the top of the browser, they've just added tabs. If anything it was simpler before.

Are you being serious about the background being distracting btw? Firstly, without it being a plain colour or a gradient you couldnt get much simpler and secondly, you can change it, like you have been able to since Android 1.0.

"That having been said, it unfortunately remains the case that Android isn't as swift and responsive as iOS or Windows Phone (or even MeeGo Harmattan on the N9). Or at least it wasn't on the demo phone we got a look at. The subtle, pervasive lag that has characterized the Android UI since it inception is still there, which is not a heartening thing to hear when you're talking about a super-powered dual-core device like the Galaxy Nexus."

Muhammad Farrukh said,
"That having been said, it unfortunately remains the case that Android isn't as swift and responsive as iOS or Windows Phone (or even MeeGo Harmattan on the N9). Or at least it wasn't on the demo phone we got a look at. The subtle, pervasive lag that has characterized the Android UI since it inception is still there, which is not a heartening thing to hear when you're talking about a super-powered dual-core device like the Galaxy Nexus."

looks like ICS is completely useless to me... ****ing google, figure it out.

rajputwarrior said,

looks like ICS is completely useless to me... ****ing google, figure it out.

Yes, please troll. We need to make this a HOT topic.

morrizz said,

Yes, please troll. We need to make this a HOT topic.

how is that trolling? my only beef with android is that the UI lags on my tablet. if this doesn't resolve that, this update is useless to me.

Muhammad Farrukh said,
"That having been said, it unfortunately remains the case that Android isn't as swift and responsive as iOS or Windows Phone (or even MeeGo Harmattan on the N9). Or at least it wasn't on the demo phone we got a look at. The subtle, pervasive lag that has characterized the Android UI since it inception is still there, which is not a heartening thing to hear when you're talking about a super-powered dual-core device like the Galaxy Nexus."

GPU rendering! They won't do it apparently because not all devices would be capable of it. They've also apparently tried it and it hasn't successfully worked with devices!

I've just been searching around casually but I think thats why it lags so much

Xxgreatestever said,

GPU rendering! They won't do it apparently because not all devices would be capable of it. They've also apparently tried it and it hasn't successfully worked with devices!

I've just been searching around casually but I think thats why it lags so much


well for sure. and thats why systems with higher minimum requirements make all the difference..

Xxgreatestever said,

GPU rendering! They won't do it apparently because not all devices would be capable of it. They've also apparently tried it and it hasn't successfully worked with devices!

I've just been searching around casually but I think thats why it lags so much


Honeycomb is already GPU accelerated and it still lags like crazy! so the problem is obviously not that, maybe the UI rendering isn't that well optimised? I dunno. I have to admit the lag really is a big problem, both my HTC Desire and Acer Iconia Tab often lag really bad. I love Android in general but must admit I do get frustrated when a simple task is made complex just because the UI doesn't respond like it should. That is my 2 cents.

Xerxes said,

Honeycomb is already GPU accelerated and it still lags like crazy! so the problem is obviously not that, maybe the UI rendering isn't that well optimised? I dunno. I have to admit the lag really is a big problem, both my HTC Desire and Acer Iconia Tab often lag really bad. I love Android in general but must admit I do get frustrated when a simple task is made complex just because the UI doesn't respond like it should. That is my 2 cents.

Muhammad Farrukh said,

Thats not trolling.
Thats truth


quoting some blog does not make it truth.
I have an android phone thats over a year old and has no noticeable lag.

Berserk87 said,


quoting some blog does not make it truth.

True but apparently, those guys know much more about phones than you and I do. And they know what they are talking about.

Berserk87 said,

I have an android phone thats over a year old and has no noticeable lag.

Now thats trolling

rajputwarrior said,

looks like ICS is completely useless to me... ****ing google, figure it out.


indeed another disappointment, like iOS5 and WP7.5

there is nothing really new in android 4. and ui is ugly. they promised something special after 2.2, but that just remained promises. i think a company of google's size could allow itself to hire some professional design studio... then why they are so parsimonious...

Muhammad Farrukh said,

True but apparently, those guys know much more about phones than you and I do. And they know what they are talking about.

Just because you agree with what they say doesn't make them an expert. It still is an opinion and the device hasn't even released to public yet.

coth said,

indeed another disappointment, like iOS5 and WP7.5

there is nothing really new in android 4. and ui is ugly. they promised something special after 2.2, but that just remained promises. i think a company of google's size could allow itself to hire some professional design studio... then why they are so parsimonious...

You are out of your mind. Nothing new in Android 4.0? They promise and they did it. Did you see announce of Android 4.0 and new Galaxy Nexus? There is tons od new features for both phone and OS. They did amazing job.

UI of Android 4.0 still look like Android but changes are huge. I have no idea what you are looking for. Childish shiny, fancy "overeverithing" skin? "professional studio"? You are very fanny, you make my day )

Muhammad Farrukh said,
"That having been said, it unfortunately remains the case that Android isn't as swift and responsive as iOS or Windows Phone (or even MeeGo Harmattan on the N9). Or at least it wasn't on the demo phone we got a look at. The subtle, pervasive lag that has characterized the Android UI since it inception is still there, which is not a heartening thing to hear when you're talking about a super-powered dual-core device like the Galaxy Nexus."

The problem with Android is that unlike iOS and Windows Phone, Android was built to go head to head with Windows Mobile and BlackBerry. Remember, Google didn't build Android themselves, they bought it off someone else. So unfortunately, the underlaying system is old and already outdated. Google have slowly been implementing GPU acceleration where Honeycomb got it which has been improved in 3.2 greatly. I am certain that HA has improved in ICS since there is a SDK notice that HA has been enabled as default for Applications.

From the video and it's not someone being super picky that it's not running at 120fps, the Android UI looked really smooth. This might come down to personal taste because while iOS has GPU acceleration from the start. It lags like hell on the original iPhones.

Muhammad Farrukh said,
"That having been said, it unfortunately remains the case that Android isn't as swift and responsive as iOS or Windows Phone (or even MeeGo Harmattan on the N9). Or at least it wasn't on the demo phone we got a look at. The subtle, pervasive lag that has characterized the Android UI since it inception is still there, which is not a heartening thing to hear when you're talking about a super-powered dual-core device like the Galaxy Nexus."

Haven't had a single bit of lag with my Epic 4G touch (Sprint SGS2). My Evo3D never had lag either. If you are talking about lower end Android devices its not really fair. Compare similar price points. As for the tablets, I have a Xoom and I don't have lag when I use a 3rd party launcher like ADW EX. So again I don't really know what the complaint is.

nubs said,

Haven't had a single bit of lag with my Epic 4G touch (Sprint SGS2). My Evo3D never had lag either. If you are talking about lower end Android devices its not really fair. Compare similar price points. As for the tablets, I have a Xoom and I don't have lag when I use a 3rd party launcher like ADW EX. So again I don't really know what the complaint is.

well your argument kinda goes out the window when you are using third party launchers/rom/kernels to make lag go away... you shouldn't have to hack and slash at an OS to make it run fast. It should be fast out of the box. I have a transformer, completely up to date, and it UI lags, sometimes it's smooth, most of the time it's not.

malirene said,

You are out of your mind. Nothing new in Android 4.0? They promise and they did it. Did you see announce of Android 4.0 and new Galaxy Nexus? There is tons od new features for both phone and OS. They did amazing job.

UI of Android 4.0 still look like Android but changes are huge. I have no idea what you are looking for. Childish shiny, fancy "overeverithing" skin? "professional studio"? You are very fanny, you make my day )


technically most of those features are insignificant. they do not worth of mentioning.

- new ugly, featureless launcher that is much worse than most on the market (go, qq, lg optimus, samsung touchwiz, htc sense, adw, launcher pro, spb shell etc). this is not the level that will prevent producers from installing their own much better software.
- new font that looks like outdated 10 years ago
most rest UI changes were actually made already in android 3. it did have phone ui. it's just simply wasn't polished well enough, so they decided not to use it. you can check it out in sdk.

- offline mail? yeah big deal for pop support
- button for making screenshots? yet another big deal
- Quick SMS responses (most producers have it out of box already)
- tiny improvements in callendar, gmail, camera etc
- photo editor? it's still worse than most popular in market

so only things to notre
- new voice features
- face unlock detection

so they failed to amaze. most changes in software bring google to the level much lower than small software studios that making much better software, that is already available on android market, and for free.

rajputwarrior said,

looks like ICS is completely useless to me... ****ing google, figure it out.

If Google was capable of figuring it out, it would have been in Android when it originally shipped.

Even WinMo devices from the early 00s had a base level of GPU acceleration.

Even Apple only 'kinda' gets it, as iOS is not fully accelerated, and OS X is far from truly GPU accelerated. Using 3D textures for the composer is not full GPU assisted rendering/acceleration.

Google doesn't have the engineers to implement what Android desperately needs. Google didn't have the technical team to build Android in the first place, buying the technology that was a 'concept' built on outdated technology.

(Seriously, an unoptimized JVM implementation sitting on a functionally reduced Linux kernel is something you would expect to see in a 'test lab' not a shipping product. Especially after a couple of years it is still unoptimized and still using the same 'duck tape like tricks' to make it work.)

(*Look at the memory manager, the upper level Dalvik handles it poorly and then passes generics to the Linux kernel, as they can't turn on the Linux kernel memory management functionality because Linux is not a modular OS and you get a ton of crap or virtually nothing.)

GPUs and Linux have a hard history with driver support and the what Linux is made that literally requires a 'serious' driver to bypass and implement their own kernel interface layer, like NVidia does on Linux, which is also why ATI and NVidia have been both the darlings and nightmares of the Linux community, as they didn't want to reveal their hard work via the GPL licensing.

And Android, has to have optimized and 'light' mobile kernel level GPU drivers, and then an interface layer for Dalvik as well for each GPU variation. This is hard to do when you don't have your own standard GPU interfaces layers that can built around.

Again, even in just pure GPU performance, people made fun of the Snapdragon Microsoft set as the minimum for WP7, but with the WinCE kernel drivers are tight and fast and through Mobile DirectX can shove pixels and triangles to the screen at amazing rates. (Even NT GPU drivers would be far lighter and faster than what we see used for OpenGL on Android devices.) - This is why the WP7 graphics numbers that WP7 is capable of changed what Qualcomm released on GPU performance, as their benchmarks were originally based on both their own light Linux and Android numbers. The originally published numbers for the Adreno GPU based on the Android/Pure Linux tests, varied from 5 to 10 times slower than WP7. (It doesn't help that OpenGL ES is slower than DirectX either.)

Apple is able to get respectable, but still behind WP7 'theoretical' numbers, is that that iOS does at least provide a real kernel interface layer for the GPU and Apple can fine tune the GPU driver interface a lot because they only have to work with a couple GPU technologies, instead of several dozen like Android.


Keep hoping, but unless Google hires the GPU engineers from Microsoft, or recreates a new OS that runs Android in a VM/subsystem, Android is going to be slow on existing devices, and even new devices will be spotty, as only pieces of the UI can be accelerated this late in the platform development. (Look at Apple enabling GPU assisted drawing very late in the OS X design cycle, 10.4, and even if the user enabled it, crashed a lot of Applications.)

Like I said above, if Google could have done all this, they wouldn't of had to buy Android in the first place.

thenetavenger said,

If Google was capable of figuring it out, it would have been in Android when it originally shipped.

Even WinMo devices from the early 00s had a base level of GPU acceleration.

Even Apple only 'kinda' gets it, as iOS is not fully accelerated, and OS X is far from truly GPU accelerated. Using 3D textures for the composer is not full GPU assisted rendering/acceleration.

Google doesn't have the engineers to implement what Android desperately needs. Google didn't have the technical team to build Android in the first place, buying the technology that was a 'concept' built on outdated technology.

(Seriously, an unoptimized JVM implementation sitting on a functionally reduced Linux kernel is something you would expect to see in a 'test lab' not a shipping product. Especially after a couple of years it is still unoptimized and still using the same 'duck tape like tricks' to make it work.)

(*Look at the memory manager, the upper level Dalvik handles it poorly and then passes generics to the Linux kernel, as they can't turn on the Linux kernel memory management functionality because Linux is not a modular OS and you get a ton of crap or virtually nothing.)

GPUs and Linux have a hard history with driver support and the what Linux is made that literally requires a 'serious' driver to bypass and implement their own kernel interface layer, like NVidia does on Linux, which is also why ATI and NVidia have been both the darlings and nightmares of the Linux community, as they didn't want to reveal their hard work via the GPL licensing.

And Android, has to have optimized and 'light' mobile kernel level GPU drivers, and then an interface layer for Dalvik as well for each GPU variation. This is hard to do when you don't have your own standard GPU interfaces layers that can built around.

Again, even in just pure GPU performance, people made fun of the Snapdragon Microsoft set as the minimum for WP7, but with the WinCE kernel drivers are tight and fast and through Mobile DirectX can shove pixels and triangles to the screen at amazing rates. (Even NT GPU drivers would be far lighter and faster than what we see used for OpenGL on Android devices.) - This is why the WP7 graphics numbers that WP7 is capable of changed what Qualcomm released on GPU performance, as their benchmarks were originally based on both their own light Linux and Android numbers. The originally published numbers for the Adreno GPU based on the Android/Pure Linux tests, varied from 5 to 10 times slower than WP7. (It doesn't help that OpenGL ES is slower than DirectX either.)

Apple is able to get respectable, but still behind WP7 'theoretical' numbers, is that that iOS does at least provide a real kernel interface layer for the GPU and Apple can fine tune the GPU driver interface a lot because they only have to work with a couple GPU technologies, instead of several dozen like Android.


Keep hoping, but unless Google hires the GPU engineers from Microsoft, or recreates a new OS that runs Android in a VM/subsystem, Android is going to be slow on existing devices, and even new devices will be spotty, as only pieces of the UI can be accelerated this late in the platform development. (Look at Apple enabling GPU assisted drawing very late in the OS X design cycle, 10.4, and even if the user enabled it, crashed a lot of Applications.)

Like I said above, if Google could have done all this, they wouldn't of had to buy Android in the first place.

unreal explanation. thanks for that.

thenetavenger said,

...

I have started to wonder whether you just like Microsoft so much or do you get paid for saying these?

thenetavenger said,

WALL OF TEXT

Thanks for the wall but it's discredited slightly by the fact that Android works perfectly well for lots of people without any form of hardware acceleration whatsoever... throw hardware acceleration into the mix and things can only get better/faster.

Google must know some really fancy "duct tape tricks" to get the OS to work PERFECTLY on my Galaxy S2.

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Thanks for the wall but it's discredited slightly by the fact that Android works perfectly well for lots of people without any form of hardware acceleration whatsoever... throw hardware acceleration into the mix and things can only get better/faster.

Google must know some really fancy "duct tape tricks" to get the OS to work PERFECTLY on my Galaxy S2.

yeah, keep throwing more cores on the CPU to make up for the OS...

rajputwarrior said,

yeah, keep throwing more cores on the CPU to make up for the OS...

I know, it's ridiculous...a whole TWO cores. If it didn't have so many cores it would run like crap!!

/s