As I have previously stated, I’m a Google fan. So I’m pretty excited about the news regarding the new Ice Cream Sandwich OS, as well as the new Samsung Nexus phone. As I tweeted this morning, the poor iPhone 4S is going to be very jealous of this new offering for Android.
Let’s start with the OS. Ice Cream Sandwich comes with a brand new look and feel. It’s Gingerbread meets Honeycomb, with new extras thrown in. The new resolution is a whopping 1280 X 720, which just also happens to be the dimensions of the Galaxy Nexus. I won’t get into the fact that mobile phones are somehow getting bigger and will be tablets before we know it, however.
There’s also a a new Super AMOLED Plus Screen that should offer up high quality HD photos and video. The Nexus 4.65 inch screen has no physical buttons, which means you get more screen for the real estate.
The Nexus also has an NFC radio, which is believed to have something to do with mobile payments. It also comes with a barometer (?), gyroscopes, accelerometers and GPS, as would be expected. It’s also running on a 1.2 GHz dual processor and carries 1 GB of onboard RAM. Wow.
The camera is 5 MP on the rear cam and 1.3 MP for video calls. The app allows you to shoot panoramas and time-lapse videos, as well as apply filters to both photos and video.
Ice Cream Sandwich is also no slacker. All the native Android apps have been revamped and are now more intelligent. Gmail has been greatly improved with off-line reading/searching, swiping gestures and more intuitive addressing. The calendar now allows pinch-to-zoom. The new browser is now desktop class, offering a better browsing experience. There is also improved multi-tasking and the ability to actually close apps.
Ice Cream Sandwich also features a data usage app and even allows the ability to limit apps to certain data limits. You can even set an alarm when you reach your monthly data limit.
Most interesting, I think, is the “Explore By Touch” feature of ICS. This gives users audible feedback, so that when they’re not looking at the screen, they can still use the phone. It even reads web pages to users. Imagine the potential usability of a feature like this to someone who is visually impaired. Pretty awesome, right?
Although I’ve been perfectly happy with my little under-performing HTC Aria, I have to say I’m impressed with what Android phones can and will do. However, I am concerned that phones are becoming bigger, rather than smaller, and with little fingers like mine, I’m not sure a phone the size of Nexus would ever truly be comfortable to use.
But boy, does it sound cool!