Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Ice Cream Sandwich
Register Hardware have produced a succinct hands-on review of Android's latest (V4.0) release, AKA 'Ice Cream Sandwich' (ICS).
"In terms of design, ICS is a quantum leap forward over previous incarnations of Android. Taking inspiration from iOS and WinPho 7, the UI is now replete with visually pleasing animations that give the impression that the UI is alive to your touch."
"The menu button now migrates around the screen depending on context and app. Sometimes it appears in the app menu bar at the top, sometimes at the bottom and sometimes next to the running apps window in the system bar. Call me old fashioned but I like a menu button that stays in one place.
"The virtual keyboard may not look that different from the v2.3 Gingerbread implementation but it’s much easier to use and now has that same degree of uncanny accuracy the iOS keyboard is blessed with, complete with pop-up letters to tell you what you have hit."
"The new photo gallery not only looks better but it works faster. Much faster. Assuming your data connection is up to snuff, your Picasa gallery thumbnails appear as fast as they do from local storage. The system’s ability to see newly added media has also been improved."
"The Android web browser has also been given a good going over. It’s gained a bucket load of extra speed and, at long last, an option to render web pages in their desktop format by default. Pages can now also be saved for off-line reading directly from the browser menu."
"Navigate to the camera app and you move from the Gingerbread stone age to the Ice Cream Sandwich 21st century. The new interface is much improved and comes with a built-in panorama mode that works surprisingly well. Tap the screen while shooting a video and the camera takes a still capture."
"When it comes to wholly new features there are a couple of interesting additions to the Android playbook. Pride of place goes to Face Unlock which uses facial recognition to unlock the handset. Impressively, the system never failed to recognise me as the authorised user but equally was never fooled by anyone else’s fizog or even by a large picture of yours truly."
"With Ice Cream Sandwich Android moves its game on by the greatest degree yet. In terms of look and feel it’s now hard on the heels of iOS and well ahead of WinPho 7.5 and BlackBerry 7."