Today at the Google / Samsung Event in Hong Kong, they just released details on the new Samsung wonder phone (Galaxy Nexus) with it’s very sweet Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. After watching the event through a live broadcast at www.youtube.com/android, I was greatly impressed with the redesign of the Android native apps as well as it use of NFC (Near-Field Communications) technology. Below are some of my favorite changes / additions, that I believe that will make this OS a success.
Many of the native apps like Gmail and Contacts have been redesigned for simplicity. One of my favorites are the Calender app. I currently use the Calender Application on my phone religiously and I have to say it is a little clunky and no very pleasant to look at; however with the new design and added functionality, I could seem myself using the new calender instead of a third-party application. They have added pinch and zoom to the calender allowing you expand and collapse the contents of that current day as well as enhancing readability.
In addition to the redesign of apps they also put there work into improving Widget functionality. Now all widgets will be accessed easily through the app drawer under the widgets tab (which also allows you to see a preview widgets before you place it on the screen) making it easier to select widgets. Another added feature to Widget, which I feel will greatly improve the use of Widgets is the ability to resize any Widget. I don’t know about you but I feel some widgets are to big and the abilty to control thier size with a simple flick of the fingertips is a greatly welcomed improvement.
Last but not least is the revamped notification bar. Now you can view your notification bar from the lock screen, which allows you to access you notifications bar with out having unlock your phone first. I know some of you will say that it is not secure, which is true, I’m sure their is an option to turn it off.
Overall, I am really excited to see this OS in action. The SDK for ICS is available today (which I am currently downloading) and can’t wait to see what apps developers will create with this new OS. I hope my phone (Galaxy S II) gets an update to 4.0 soon, if not I may have to learn to make one myself :p