Quick look at Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
| by Roydon Cerejo
An OS goes a very long way in defining the success or failure of a phone, or any computing device for that matter. It’s a symbiotic relationship, as without good software, the hardware is useless and without good hardware, the software can’t really shine. For the past many years, we’ve all loved Symbian as an OS and at any given point, almost all of us have owned at least one S60-based smartphone. It wasn’t the fastest or the prettiest, but we had made our peace with it and conditioned our minds to accept that. It’s only till Apple launched the iOS that we realized there is a better and easier way to use our phones. Then came Android from Google, which was designed to give developers the freedom to go crazy with apps and manufacturers the leeway to customize the OS, the way they saw fit.
ICS is quite a departure from Gingerbread, as the layout for certain functions have been moved around a bit. If you’ve used a Honeycomb tablet, then you’ll feel a bit more at home, else it’ll take some getting used to. The first noticeable change is the lack of physical or capacitive buttons. Just like Honeycomb, the three navigation buttons are now a part of the display known as the System Bar and will always be present at the bottom, no matter what. This means you will lose a bit of screen space. Older phones with capacitive buttons that receive ICS will not have the System Bar, instead these functions will be mapped to the existing buttons. If the three buttons are only ‘Back’, ‘Home’ and ‘Recent Apps’, then you’re wondering how would I access the ‘Options’ menu? For that, we now have an ‘Action Bar’, denoted by three dots. This can be displayed at the top or at the bottom depending on the app. We didn’t really love this feature, as there’s no fixed place for options and it keeps changing from app to app. Once again, older phones benefit from having a fixed options button.
A fresh new look
Find recent apps easily
A new spin on stock apps
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