As the Temperature drops…Android to release Ice Cream Sandwich
On the heals of the iOS5 launch this week, Google announced the major upgrade and convergence of its mobile operating system Android to the Ice Cream Sandwich on October 19 with the launch of the Samsung Nexus Prime in Hong Kong. Now the masters of upping the ante at Samsung have again hit a home run in the development a Super Phone but I wanted to take a look at the OS that will power the device.
So with the 4.0 version of Android goodness less than a week away from official release, what can we expect? Well the Ice Cream Sandwich release will be the first connection of the Tablet goodness that was part of the Honeycomb releases and taking that to the Smartphone realm. Having played with a few of the newer tablets…this is a very good thing! The interface is slick and very intuitive but the 4.0 release is more than just an update to the User Interface…lets take a peak at the Features.
1. New developer API
This is absolutely good news in that there will be a single development stack for both Tablets and Phones making it easier than ever to build a custom app for the Android but will also ensure a common framework that is easier to build across the different hardware platforms that are being supported by Ice Cream Sandwich
2. Music in the cloud
The much anticipated Google Cloud Music Storage and Music store is coming…and coming soon for all. Now this is currently in beta for our friends South of the border…it will mean that you will be able to share your playlists across all Android devices…this would be great as we have 4 Android devices in this house and well it is a pain plugging each one in and doing a manual push of music to each device. It will mean create the playlist for the three of us and then it will update when we login…beauty!
3 Movies on the go
Not only is Google going head to head with Apple in the music front…get ready for this but how about a NetFlix style movie rental for on your Tablet or SmartPhone. HD movies for just $4.99 USD and it is yours for 30 days…sweet!
4. Android meets Kinect/Wii/etc
3D displays are becoming more and more common but now Android is taking things one step further so that developers can build apps that can track movement and detect the position of a person’s head, nose and eyes. Imagine the potential of data input and commands that use facial gestures in real time. Using Facial Recognition for phone locking, and for that matter the cool 3D models that could be built on a mobile device!
5. One OS for all
As has been mentioned, Android 4.0 will bring tablets and phones closer together there is also an even bigger plan to converge the future of Google TV and other connected devices into the singular User Interface…imagine…learn once and know how to interact across all your devices. Hmm…lesson learned…chew on that Apple
6. NFC sharing
What is NFC Sharing…well that is a topic for a future post but Near Field Communication is the latest in an digital convergence battle that allows mobile devices to share with each other as soon as the get close to each other. Now thinking beyond just the concept of “Hey John, I found this great website, check it out” but even deeper into the business realm and the focus on data transmission and syncing. The promise of Unified Communications is fast approaching.
Now the update is not earth shattering but for me, I held of on rooting my new phone until the Ice Cream Sandwich was out of Beta…project this weekend…tinker and build a new phone from the ground up. Oh how I love the world of Open Source…my device but unlimited choices.
I stumbled across an interesting thing that Google does at its headquarters and that is the placement of Android Version Statues on its front lawn. Check out the delivery of the ICS statue!
Well another day comes to a triumphant start. The good news for anyone that cares is that it would appear that my little health scare last week may not be all that serious but to be on the safe side I will be heading off for a CT Scan to make sure that I don’t have an Alien Baby trying to jump out of my Meat Sack. This is a good thing but a the same time…I have a bit of a twinge of fear as I am not a fan of doctors…they rarely have good news!