Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fancy an Ice Cream Sandwich?

As Google unveils its latest edible operating system upgrade, Ice Cream Sandwich, we consider what this means to the consumer on the street?

What is clear is that the mobile battle has Apple squaring up the Andriod and it landscape will be very familiar to those who remember the early PC days when Mac squared up to Microsoft. Then the battle was really decided by the weight of manufacturers who sided with Microsoft and today one can see a similar pattern emerging.

Android handsets account for close to 50% smartphones shipped to retailers in August, compared to 19% for Apple devices and are being supplied by manufacturers such as HTC, LG, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. The new Amazon Fire will also work on a Android platform.

Ice Cream Sandwich or Android 4.0 was launched in partnership with Samsung and their Galaxy Nexus handset and a new Droid smartphone from their acquisition Motorola, the Droid RAZR. Meanwhile Samsung separately battle it out in the courts over copyright infringement accusations and counter-claims.

The changes we find very interesting in Android 4.0 include:
The ability for the system to recognise the owner’s and unlock the system. This obviously is far superior security than a code and unless taken by your twin makes theft a bit difficult. Mind you I you can’t have a serious haircut or apply loads of make-up girls!

The ability 4.0 users to use Android Beam feature to swap web content or links to apps by ‘kissing’ or simply touching their phones together.

Open voice input recognition which is continuously listening out for instructions. This could cause some interesting embarrassing moments and we think needs to carry a serious health warning

A cool new panoramic camera mode enables you to stitch together multiple snapshots to create a larger scene and includes a slider to help you align your multiple shots.

Google have also changed how you browse your contacts with a new People app, which combines high-resolution photos and updates from Google+ and other social services. This tighter integration between the device and O/S could make for some very interesting developments.

There are other more predicable features in Android 4.0:
• Devices have no physical buttons but equivalent on-screen icons.
• Apps and shortcuts can be grouped by dragging icons onto each other.
• Redesigned of the multi-tasking screen.
• Support of nested email subfolders

So what will the next upgrade be called? We have had Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread so why not Jammy Dogger?

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