Since the release of Ice Cream Sandwich in October 2011, Android users have been eagerly anticipated the release of the new OS on their phones and tablets. Most new Android phones and tablets coming to market (such as the HTC One X, ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0) are powered by Ice Cream Sandwich, and carriers such as Verizon have finally announced that devices such as the Razr Maxx and HTC ThunderBolt will be receiving an over-the-air update to ICS later this year.
Thankfully, Android 4.0 was worth the wait. The new OS features a number of great features that improve multitasking, voice input, and other aspects of the user experience. Watch the video above or read on to see some of our favorite features of Android 4.0, as well as some bonus tips straight from the folks at Google.
Gone are the days of downloading a third-party task-switching app for your Android phone or tablet. Ice Cream Sandwich has a button for that built in.
If you’re in a meeting or driving a car, it can be inconvenient (or unsafe) to craft a text message letting someone know why you’ve dismissed their call. Thankfully, Ice Cream Sandwich provides a neat feature that allows users to quickly send a text message as a response to an incoming call.
Ice Cream Sandwich has brought the power of its voice input engine to every application that uses a keyboard and improved its accuracy to boot!
With the addition of homescreen folders, Android 4.0 has made it easier than ever to organize your apps and documents.
If you’re worried about racking up data overage charges, you’ll love the new feature in Ice Cream Sandwich that lets you keep a closer eye on your data usage.
Since Beam’s launch last year as part of Ice Cream Sandwich, numerous apps have begun to incorporate Ice Cream Sandwich’s NFC functionality, including Foursquare, Shazam, BBC and others. Just tap two Android Beam-enabled phones together and the phones will automatically swap data such as YouTube videos, contact information, and other nuggets of information.
We already highlighted ICS’s ability to efficiently multitask by swiping away unused apps, but – as the folks at Google pointed out – the swipe-to-close functionality extends to email and notifications as well.
Google Talk on Ice Cream Sandwich now supports face-distortion effects and custom backgrounds, making your video chat that much more lively.
Google is proud of the beta version of Chrome for Android, and rightfully so – the latest update of their browser offers a host of new functionality, including the option to quickly and easily download multiple files to your device; view the desktop version of websites with just two taps; and add bookmarks to your home screen. You can keep up with all the latest Chrome releases here.