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Android Ice Cream Sandwich: what will Google treat us with on October 18th?

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Android Ice Cream Sandwich: what will Google treat us with on October 18th?
Android Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is probably the biggest update to happen to Android for its three-year lifespan since the launch of the first phone on the platform, introducing many elements from Honeycomb and bringing phone and tablets together into a single unified platform. Google calls it their “most ambitious release to date.” The search giant and Samsung were expected to announce it back on October 11th, but they postponed their CTIA event to allow more time after the passing of Apple’s chief executive and industry visionary Steve Jobs. 

Now, however, things are settled for October 18th at the AsiaD: AllThings Digital conference. Samsung promises the event to be BIG as it will most probably present us the Nexus Prime, but it’s Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich that will end up on many Androids after that and could be even more important. We’ll - of course - have a live blog on October 18th starting at 7:00 pm PST | 10:00 pm EST, so prepare for a nice geeky evening on Tuesday. 

In the meantime, though, a lot of information, screenshots and videos have surfaced, so here’s what we expect from and know about Ice Cream Sandwich:

Looks

1. Tron-ified. Android Ice Cream Sandwich will bring a big redesign. Cold colors and neon highlights, all coming from a parallel futuristic Tron-esque world. Or from the land of Honeycomb tablets, that is. The similarity is striking. If you ever thought Android looked somewhat like iOS, this redesign will make it hard to trace the matches. Actually, given the numerous lawsuits against Android from all sides, Google might have decided to make a leap to more distinct visuals and thus protect its platform from design patent claims.

2. Minimalistic icons in the menus. The set of icons has also changed and now we have a beautifully simplified set of black and white icons in the menus following the less-is-more design principle.

3. (Nearly) Ubiquitous navigational buttons, straight from Honeycomb. If you thought, buttonless applied to Ice Cream Sandwich, you’d better redefine buttonless because the three virtual navigational buttons will be with you nearly everywhere in ICS. When they become irrelevant such as in the camera application, they will simply dim out, but - judging from a leaked video of allegedly the Nexus Prime - the space on the screen reserved for them will remain as a black unused spot.

4. Visual multitasking. It’s a new way to multitask, kind of. New for handsets, but it has been directly copied from Honeycomb, so some of you have already seen it. What’s good about it is that it’s visual - it shows the state of the app where you left it. What’s bad about it is that it takes a lot of space, so you can only see about three apps on the screen without the need to scroll around.




Features

The biggest deal about ICS is its ambition to bring an end to fragmentation and become a single stop for both tablets and smartphones. Google promises to release the source code, so we can expect an eruption of ICS tablets and smartphones from all kinds of sources (China, hello!).

Google also promises regular updates and unification of its update policy, but it will also introduce previously Honeycomb-only features to phones and one of the most anticipated ones is USB hub. This basically allows you to connect peripheral devices such as keyboards and mice, greatly boosting productivity. 

New APIs will be released to devs, and Google has already given some details about how programmers should rework their apps in preparation for ICS. Finally, we have some fancy new features like face recognition in the works.

When it comes to the apps, we’ve already seen that Google Music has been reworked, signalling that some other apps of what we call the Google suite of apps (Maps, Gmail, Latitude, etc.).



Got your expectations pumped about Android Ice Cream Sandwich? What is it exactly about the platform that you think will make it or break it? Let us know in the comments below.

48 Comments
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posted on 17 Oct 2011, 07:28 4

1. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


can't wait to get my hands on one..

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:34 3

8. PotDragon (banned) (Posts: 214; Member since: 22 Jul 2011)


Me either!

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 11:53 5

29. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


I am SOOO excited for ice cream sandwich. I have been waiting for months for Google's next update. Android just keeps getting better and better. This is AWESOME!!!

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 12:50 3

31. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


sarcasm?

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 13:55 1

34. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


best mobile OS right?

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 16:31

43. wakingup (Posts: 51; Member since: 13 Aug 2011)


get ready for THE best OS out there!

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 15:44

38. Yeeee (Posts: 190; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


I was about to automatically thumb down your comment until i read it. Are u being sarcastic?

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 18:01

44. roldefol (Posts: 2859; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Of course he is. But sarcasm isn't funny without irony, which his statement utterly lacks.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 07:31 2

2. protozeloz (Posts: 5372; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


I hope we see hardware acceleration, we might see something related with android @ home and support for multiple cores (not just two cores), Google usually leaves most camera tweaking and media to manufacturers but according to some leaks of the gallery (here:http://www.androidpolice.com/2011/10/15/exclusive-the-ice-cream-sandwich-gallery-is-likely-getting-a-built-in-photo-editor-weve-got-the-feature-list/) we might see more controls to manage pictures and hopefully a better camera

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 15:29

37. Phullofphil (Posts: 800; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


I love android am kinda cited for icream as much as the nexus I wish the moto razor came with ics but any way everything sounds great but two main things I want better. First is the keyboard. Apple has always had I think by far the best typing experience. Well unless you are used too swype stuff. The next and most important thing I want is battery life on 4g phones. One thing I notice about the iPhone (I am passing on the 4s for prime or razor) does better than android and it could be that android is mor open and this is my fault but when I put my iPhone to sleep it will have almost the same amount of power as when I turned it off. My droid x and bionic drain quite a lot. But overall battery life. iPhone included. Wether it's new battery, hardware or software tech I would like that to be in proved on. But with the specs of the nexus prime I am guessing it's a blood sucker and you will need another battery.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 07:31 3

3. whowantsice (unregistered)


I hope that they introduce hardware acceleration so everything is more fluid and we can get more out of single core phones

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:24

4. Alantef (Posts: 279; Member since: 14 Sep 2011)


Google TV?

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:28

5. Orpheus (unregistered)


Let me ask a stupid question....I'm looking to buy new phone and am making the jump from Apple to Android. How do the Android updates work? Should I wait for the ICS phones to get on the market before buying a new phone, or can I buy a SGS2 now and receive an ICS update in the near future?

Thanks for the help, and feel free to ridicule my stupidity.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:39 1

9. protozeloz (Posts: 5372; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


if you want the latest updates you get the "Nexus" branded phones the Galaxy Nexus Will be out soon on all caries and will update first than anything else, The Galaxy S2 updates the fastest when its not carrier branded otherwise you might need to wait for sprint Verizon at&t or T-mobile to update witch sometimes is a pain. Google is said to be working on making updates roll faster on other android devices (hopefully we can see that with ICS)

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:46 4

12. DMan (unregistered)


That is not a stupid question. It depends on what kind of user you are.

If you like to tweak things a lot, are familiar with tech stuff and can manage yourself by reading step by steps and guides, you don't have anything to worry about updates since XDA Developers will frequently update you with the latest versions of android, long before the official updates.

If you are the kind of user that don't like to mess too much with your phone, only likes official updates and is satisfied with your phone out-of-the-box, than you better wait for the Nexus Prime, so you can get ICS by default.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:33 2

7. protozeloz (Posts: 5372; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Troll

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 11:52

28. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Proto, that's not very nice. We should not call each other names. We must be mature here.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:39 6

10. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


Miz, you know why this is moderated. Just a reminder - please, be nice.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 11:51 1

27. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


oh YES! You are so right, I should definitely follow PA's single standards. I will definitely be nice from now on. You are all so awesome. PA, without you, I couldn't get any info on cellphones.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 12:11 2

30. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


You will not be able to post comments for a few days. Please make sure not to use another account, so you won't get permanent ban.

posted on 18 Oct 2011, 00:27

49. Sniggly (Posts: 6811; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Miz does have another account, actually. It's named AwesomeMiz. Several months ago I caught him posting on it (he posted as The_Miz, then responded to a comment I left for him as AwesomeMiz, then switched back). Just thought I'd let you know.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:53 3

14. anirudhshirsat97 (Posts: 383; Member since: 24 May 2011)


Even phonearena team is. Getting annoyed at you, lol..

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 09:00

15. protozeloz (Posts: 5372; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


hopefully this will apply to all the trolls regardless

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 09:09 5

17. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


We are working on it.

We will soon publish the official written rules and will start limiting (and banning) users who don't play nice.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 09:19

19. protozeloz (Posts: 5372; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Thank you, This will sure make this site better

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 10:01

21. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


thank you. i come here for my phone info and to ask people questions when needed. i dont come here for people to be rude to me.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 11:15

26. Fallout09 (Posts: 413; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Trolls are the best part of my day. I like to see the witty jabs at the others persons OS/phone of choice.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 15:48

39. Phullofphil (Posts: 800; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


You know what miz I have an iPhone and and android I like them both. The main thing if I stayed with one kind I would get bored of it. I am really even thinking about windows phone when it catches up hardware wise. And feature wise. Kinda weird that windows 6.5 could do more than almost any one of these platforms if you were smart enough to use it right. If it wasn't for the screens they had . Any way the reason I thi k your not really worth chatting with is its like if we talked about foot ball and all you did is talk about idk let's say pits burg and nothing else and if I brought up something good about Detroit lions or something in the game you put it down and only talk about pitsburg and compare everything to them. While pitsburg is really great football I really like football as a sport and like every part of it and can even admit troy polimato is really great even though I don't like pitsburg. That is you in a big nutshell. Chained to the iPhone while a lot of people like my self have love for the technology and see the good in both. Actually all of them palm and windows phone and blackberry. That was long but confusing but what I thi k about your coments everywhere. You have nothing really important to say. It's all either someone else's idea or it's childish. I have been watching your coments.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:42

11. totokkewel (unregistered)


i'll be excited if its as smooth & stable & bug-free as wp7 or ios... am still keeping android though 'coz i browse quite a bit and android is the only smartphone that would auto-fit/auto-flow web text when you pinch-zoom in...

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 08:50 1

13. ayephoner (Posts: 836; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


iOS does this too.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 09:30

20. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


yeah it does, i got the 3GS with iOS5 and Inspire 4G. But my Inspire 4G does it better than my iPhone.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 09:09

16. roldefol (Posts: 2859; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Has PA gotten moderation-happy? Just recently we see trolls like Miz getting moderated right out. What happened to all that talk of flamewars being good for site traffic?

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 09:12 9

18. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 238; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)


Hey, we will do what is needed to make this place better. This includes moderation of all: trolls, offtopic posts, offensive posts and flame wars. We will also limit users who don't respect the rules by not allowing them to post and by banning them.

To help us - report all posts that are not suitable for the forums.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 13:36

33. willardcw4 (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Oct 2011)


How did this get a thumbs down?! =*(

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 15:00 1

36. roldefol (Posts: 2859; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Maybe someone thinks moderation is suppression of free speech. Of course, since our comments become the property of PhoneArena, we have no right to complain.

Or maybe the trolls are just feeling oppressed.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 21:59

46. protozeloz (Posts: 5372; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Yes people has freedom of speech and freedom to think what's good for them, but when our doing affect other people or causes disturbance when order must be placed in order to make things better for everyone. People must understand that. Its like saying you are free to travel anywhere within the USA yet you can't do it over the speed limit because of the danger you represent, same occurs with forums blogs and sites, it's why they need moderation. People shouldn't be annoying others. Some of us really love a firered conversation. But when all you do is post the same**** over and over you have no interest in debate and you should be banned

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 16:31

42. maxican16 (Posts: 363; Member since: 29 Sep 2011)


A solid reason to visit this site more frequently. Thank you for realizing there was an issue, and then fixing it!

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 10:06

22. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)


cant wait for the nexus prime and amoled hd and ICS...not too long to go now,have a feeling ICS will be better than expected

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 10:35

23. Tmachaveli (Posts: 425; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


thats great p.a keep up the good work

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 10:35

24. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


I got a question here, what does pentile means? i've read some bad things about it here in PA but it doesnt really give me some straight info on what it is.. i've read that the Nexus Prime comes with it? and what's the difference between other screens?

sorry about this guys, i could've googled it but here at work, all sites are blocked other than work-related but for some reason phonearena.com is working.. =)

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 13:03 1

32. roldefol (Posts: 2859; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


I'm in the same boat with web filters. News is blocked, but PhoneArena isn't... go figure.

In a nutshell (if the complexities of display tech can be put in a nutshell):

A normal LCD panel has three sub-pixels per pixel (red,green,blue = RGB). To save energy or fit more pixels in a screen, the PenTile matrix uses two sub-pixels per pixel instead. In the Prime and Galaxy S Super AMOLED screens, it alternates between RG and BG pixels in a checkerboard pattern instead of stripes of RGB. This can show up as jagged defects on lower-resolution PenTile screens as the checkerboard pattern becomes visible.

On WVGA (800x480) or qHD (960x540) screens in the 4-4.3" range defects are visible, making text fuzzy. On the Prime, since the screen resolution is so high (1280x720), the pixels and subpixels will be so small that you probably won't notice them.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 14:00

35. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


wow thanks for info.. now i know =)

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 15:54

40. Phullofphil (Posts: 800; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


Yeah I didn't think about that that way. I am more concerned with battery life. I hope they didn't make a phone this awesome just to have a super short battery life

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 18:07

45. roldefol (Posts: 2859; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


There's more to it when it comes to AMOLED - something about the blue subpixel needing to be bigger than the green one because it's dimmer, and green being the most noticeable color to the human eye. And using current printing tech, Samsung cannot make the subpixels small enough yet to do RBG stripes at more than 210 ppi.

Motorola has also been using PenTile for qHD screens, except it's an RG/BW(white) checkerboard instead. That design is purely for energy savings, but I think the screen quality takes a serious nosedive.

posted on 17 Oct 2011, 16:30

41. Stuntman (Posts: 711; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


There is one feature that I really want and that is to be able to calibrate the auto-brightness setting on my phone. The autobrightness is just right when I'm outside in the sun, but it is too bright indoors and way, way too bright in darkness. I just use a brightness widget to toggle between three brightness settings of my choosing. It would be nice to be able to assign my personal brightness settings based on the light meter reading on the phone.

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