With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google is looking to challenge and even surpass Apple’s new iOS 5. The OS sports a sleeker interface that’s designed to work on both phones and tablets–no hardware buttons here. There’s also Face Unlock for unlocking your phone just by staring at it, Android Beam for sharing info betweeen phones with a tap, and a new People app that combines contacts and social networking. You’ll also find a much-improved browser and a souped-up camera app.
These are just some of the highlights of Google’s deliciously innovative Ice Cream Sandwich. Here’s a quick tour of Android 4.0’s best new features.
The first major enhancement you'll notice when you switch on Ice Cream Sandwich is the improved user interface. The new UI completely forgoes the standard Android physical buttons (Home, Back, Search, Settings) in favor of three soft-touch keys for Back, Home, and Recent Apps located in the System Bar at the bottom of the screen.
Other UI enhancements include improved gesture-based navigation (a live demo showed how users could delete old message threads by swiping them off of the screen), a customizable favorites tray, and a new typeface dubbed Roboto. You'll also find some much-needed improvements to the stock Android keyboard, including a new spell-checker and a slicker word suggestion box.