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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