Google details Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, offers SDK

Google originally announced Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) back in May during the I/O conference, but the company never really gave out any detailed information regarding the operating system. Well, we finally get our hands on some tasty Ice Cream Sandwich details.

Some of the highlights of the new operating system include an NFC-enabled feature called Android Beam, offline search in Gmail, a new lock screen, and a cool new unlocking method called “Face Unlock,” which uses facial recognition to unlock a phone for better phone security.

So what’s new in Ice Cream Sandwich?

  • New UI with improved multitasking, notifications, and animations
  • Virtual navigation keys found at the bottom of the display
  • Resizable widgets
  • Redesigned lock screen
  • A new “Roboto” font that’ll be used throughout ICS
  • Face Unlock, which does exactly what it sounds by letting you unlock your phone with your face
  • Android Beam, which allows users to share web pages, apps, YouTube videos, and other information over NFC by tapping your phone with another device
  • Improved voice dictation
  • New "People" app to view photos of your friends and check their status updates on various social networks
  • Revised Camera app with continuous focus, zero shutter lag, face detection, and panorama mode
  • Revamped Gallery with new layout and built-in photo editor
  • Ability to take screenshots
  • Improved folders
  • Ability to monitor data usage

For a full list of whats new and for screenshots of the new operating system, check out the official Android 4.0 platform highlights.

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