Nugget 24 – Android Ice Cream Sandwich Features

Google Android
Google recently launched the latest version of Android, which is now available on the popular handset the Samsung Galaxy S2. This version of Android is code named as Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 or Android ICS. The latest update of Android has some new features and new looks which differentiates it from the previous version (Android Honeycomb).


Some of the more noticeable new features introduced in Android ICS include:


1. A new improved Camera:

The latest Android has added new camera features which include a new user interface along with improved image editing features. The camera speeds have been improved along with the video recording capability.  The Camera introduces a single-motion panorama mode. In this mode, you start an exposure and then slowly turn the Camera to encompass as wide a perspective as needed. The Camera assembles the full range of continuous imagery into a single panoramic photo. After taking a picture or video, you can quickly share it by email, text message, Bluetooth, social networks, and more, just by tapping the thumbnail in the camera controls.


2. Instant Voice:

The new voice input engine lets you dictate the text you want, for as long as you want, using the language you want. You can speak continuously for a prolonged time, even pausing for intervals if needed, and dictate punctuation to create correct sentences. As the voice input engine enters text, it underlines possible dictation errors in grey. After dictating, you can tap the underlined words to quickly replace them from a list of suggestions.


3. Screenshots:

Now you can use your Android phone to take screenshots any third party applications. The feature has now been inbuilt into the system so all you need to hold down the volume key and the power button to take a screenshot.


4. Resizable Widgets

Home screens in ICS are designed to be content-rich and customizable. You can do much more than add shortcuts — you can embed live application content directly through interactive widgets. Widgets let you check email, flip through a calendar, play music, check social streams, and more — right from the home screen, without having to launch apps. Widgets are resizable, so you can expand them to show more content or shrink them to save space.


5. Face Unlock

Face Unlock is a new screen-lock option that lets you unlock your device with your face. It takes advantage of the device front-facing camera and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to register a face during setup and then to recognize it again when unlocking the device. Just hold your device in front of your face to unlock, or use a backup PIN or pattern.


6. Control over network data

Mobile devices can make extensive use of network data for streaming content, synchronizing data, downloading apps, and more. To meet the needs of you with tiered or metered data plans, Android ICS adds new controls for managing network data usage. In the Settings app, colourful charts show the total data usage on each network type (mobile or Wi-Fi), as well as amount of data used by each running application. Based on your data plan, you can optionally set warning levels or hard limits on data usage or disable mobile data altogether. You can also manage the background data used by individual applications as needed.