Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich discussion - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-18, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich discussion

Google has announced Android 4.0. Here's some of the enhancements found in Ice Cream Sandwich:
Quote:
  • Virtual buttons in the UI, instead of taking up a capacitive screen
  • Widgets are in a new tab, listed in a similar list to apps
  • Folders are much easier to create, with a drag-and-drop style similar to iOS
  • A customizable launcher
  • New phone app with visual voicemail functionality that lets you speed up or slow down voicemail messages
  • Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar
  • Gmail has offline search, a two-line preview, and new action bar at the bottom
  • Swipe left or right to switch between Gmail conversations
  • Integrated screenshot capture by holding power and volume down buttons
  • Improved error correction on the keyboard
  • Ability to access apps directly from lock screen (similar to HTC Sense 3.x)
  • Improved copy and paste
  • Better voice integration
  • Face Unlock, a facial recognition service
  • New tabbed web browser, allowing up to 16 tabs
  • Browser now automatically syncs your Chrome bookmarks
  • Modern "Roboto" font
  • Data Usage section in settings lets you set warnings when you reach a certain amount of use and disabling data when you go over your limit
  • Ability to kill off apps that are using data in the background
  • Camera app: zero shutter lag, time lapse settings, zoom while recording
  • Built-in photo editor
  • New gallery layout, organized by location and person
  • Refreshed people app with social network integration, status updates and hi-res images
  • Android Beam, a NFC feature that lets you exchange websites, contact info, directions, YouTube, etc.
Source

And here are the platform highlights from Google themselves.

Total UI overhaul, and the data usage tracking and controls look awesome for those on limited data plans.

Last edited by TorontoColin; 2011-10-18 at 11:35 PM.
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post #2 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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No word yet on when it will be coming to the Nexus One and Nexus S. Hopefully around the same time as the Galaxy Nexus launch.
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post #3 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 07:08 AM
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I watched a bit of the presentation, and I have to say I was impressed. One thing they are focusing on more now are common gestures throughout all of Android. I think that's something that was missing....an almost Blackberry intuitive ease of use.

One thing that didn't come through on the presentation was the Roboto font, at least what I saw on Youtube.

And I didn't realize this before, but I guess this means our current phones can't be updated with ICS? The button layout is different.
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post #4 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Nope, the Nexus S will be updated, so it's definitely possible. On phones with hard or soft buttons built into the phone, it will simply use those rather than display soft buttons like on the Galaxy Nexus.
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post #5 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 08:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoColin View Post
No word yet on when it will be coming to the Nexus One and Nexus S. Hopefully around the same time as the Galaxy Nexus launch.
Quote:
The Galaxy Nexus will be the first smartphone to use the latest version of Google's Android operating system.Galaxy Nexus is expected to be available in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia in November.
"Galaxy Nexus sports a high-end camera with zero shutter lag, automatic focus, top notch low-light performance and a simple way to capture panoramic pictures. Shoot amazing photos or 1080p video, and then edit and share them directly from your phone," Andy Rubin added.

Source: http://opsys.cbronline.com/news/sams...andwich-191011
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post #6 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 01:52 PM
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Looks really impressive for phones but this article Why Ice Cream Sandwich Might Make Things Worse is part of what scares me about Android.

Hopefully most devices can be updated to ice cream sandwich quickly so app developers can create one version of an app that can work properly on both smartphones and tablets.

The average consumer should not have to worry about what version of Android they are running. They should be able to buy an app at the "Android" marketplace and have it work properly in any "android" device.
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post #7 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:33 PM
 
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Android developers have been able to make universal apps since Honeycomb was released, and the backward compatibility library made it easier too. The small number of Android 3.x device probably didn't make it a worthy thing to do. Now with Android 4.0, which can be put on a phone or tablet, that does increase the motivation to get a universal app going, assuming 4.0 actually makes it to existing customers and not just on new devices...

Too bad Google never did what they promised by splitting the core-OS from the UI, so that manufacturers/carriers delay the updates (or never release them) in order to add their customizations (Sense-UI and other bloatware)...
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post #8 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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That article is silly for several reasons.

For one, it IS the OEMs who aren't upgrading the phones. Google can't make them.

Two, any apps that won't work on your platform won't show up on the market on your device. If you can see it, it will work with your version of Android. If you have an Android 4.0 phone it will show all apps from Android 2.X. If you have an Android 2.X phone and there are apps that only run on 4.0, you just won't be able to see them. This is the same as it has always been.

Three, most Android Honeycomb apps simply resize themselves and adjust the layout to a larger screen size. This way they can adjust to 3.5 inch, 7 inch, or 10 inch screens without having to make different versions. They won't be marked as a tablet app because they're not tablet apps, specifically. Examples of this include Gmail, the Market itself, and the Engadget app. This was done in anticipation of ICS, so that apps work nicely across all device screen sizes and the user doesn't have to worry about it.

Tablet specific apps are almost exclusively apps that either are only available on larger screens (like Google Body) or the developer wants to make more money by selling the tablet version separately (like MLB At Bat or Slingplayer).
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post #9 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think they ever promised to do that, it was just a rumour.
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post #10 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 02:49 PM
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I thought ICS looked fantastic and revolutionary in the demos (even if the face lock one didn't work). Thought that last night's press conference seemed like a game changer. Especially compared to the lack luster 4s announcement two weeks ago.

OK, I'm really not trying to start a Apple vs. Android war here - I have both, but ICS seemed light years ahead of iOS5. I especially liked the data metering and the ability to cap just one app! That was pretty sweet

I thought that ICS was looking more like Windows Phone 7 actually and a little less like iOS. Still to me it seemed clear that they're now the leader in innovations and features now and it should be interesting to see what Apple counters with next summer. I'd expect some big changes for the iPhone 5 thanks to this.

I upgraded 4 devices to iOS5 without issue last week and not a single person noticed actually. Again, not trying to start a war here - just a statement of fact. Conversely there's no way someone would be jumping into ICS without noticing that things are radically different.

I kind of see some parallels to the Windows desktop OSs of recent years: Vista was a challenge and then Windows7 came along and was everything that Vista should have been. From first impressions it looks like the same thing here: Gingerbread was rushed and seems that way. Doesn't seem functionally complete. ICS seems to be the polished up expansion and everything that Gingerbread should have been and more.

I can't wait to see ICS on my devices!
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post #11 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 04:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoColin View Post
No word yet on when it will be coming to the Nexus One and Nexus S. Hopefully around the same time as the Galaxy Nexus launch.
Not sure how the face recognition function will work on a Nexus One, which doesn't have a front facing camera.
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post #12 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 05:00 PM
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Obviously not all devices would get all new features
Just like N1 didn't get NFC capability with GB.. no hardware to do so.

Overall, I'm impressed with what Google has come up with.
I'll be more impressed when I can see some of the new things on my N1

The instant panoramic photos function sounds awesome for the new Nexus.
Too bad (I suspect) no other (i.e. older) phone will have it due to hardware requirements.
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post #13 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-19, 07:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh View Post
Looks really impressive for phones but this article Why Ice Cream Sandwich Might Make Things Worse is part of what scares me about Android.
Oh wow, PC Mag article being pro Microsoft and Anti-linux based device.

What year is this again?

I can't wait for Ice Cream Sandwich on my Nexus S.
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post #14 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-20, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh View Post
The average consumer should not have to worry about what version of Android they are running. They should be able to buy an app at the "Android" marketplace and have it work properly in any "android" device.
By specifying the device you have in your Market settings, the market will tell you whether the app will work with it.

My concern is now that ICS is certainly on the horizon, Samsung and the carriers will not put out needed updates to the current offerings.

I have a 6 month old GT-I9000M (Galaxy S Vibrant) that is still running Froyo (2.2) because the only Gingerbread version available for this phone from Samsung/Bell is buggy.
If they don't release GB 2.3.4 or 2.3.5 for the phone, I have to wait and hope that I can get ICS at some point. Otherwise I'll have to go with a custom ROM.

For whatever reason, the GT-I9000M is one of the last phones to get updates.
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post #15 of 133 (permalink) Old 2011-10-20, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
By specifying the device you have in your Market settings, the market will tell you whether the app will work with it.
I understand that but I meant more generically. The 500,000 people activating Android devices everyday don't know all these things.

For example,

Consumer sees cool Android app on friends device and wants to buy it.
Consumer disappointed when he/she finds out their phone or tablet isn't the right flavour of Android.
Consumer angry when they can't update to ICS.

Possible Result: Consumer says "Android sucks, I am going to get an iPhone or WP7 or .."


I just think Google or ??? need to manage consumers expectations or there will be a world of hurt.
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