The Benefits of Android Ice Cream Sandwich

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It's been just over six months since Google unveiled Android 4.0 to the world. Dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich, this version of Android brings users a number of improvements across the board. The user interface, applications and stability of Android have all been improved in Ice Cream Sandwich. The result is a better device experience whether smartphone owners are using their device as a mobile broadband gateway or simply making a call.

The first benefit that users of Ice Cream Sandwich will open when they first use a device with the OS on it is the new lock screen. Gone are the iPhone-reminiscent sliders seen in Gingerbread and older versions. The Ice Cream Sandwich lock screen borrows the circular design that users first saw in Honeycomb, so now the experience is consistent across the board. The unlock method has also been improved. While users of Honeycomb could just drag an unlock icon to the edge of a circle to unlock their devices, the Ice Cream Sandwich unlock mechanism has shortcuts. For example, sliding to the left takes users straight to their device's camera.

Another refinement that device owners will appreciate is the new launcher. The old one was admittedly a little dated, and Google seemed determined to squash that issue in Ice Cream Sandwich. The launcher is very similar to what was seen in Honeycomb, but it brings a few added improvements. A dock that users can customize and a new app drawer that features the ability to add widgets are both included in Android 4.0. 

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Between these features and the others, Google has provided yet another benefit in Ice Cream Sandwich: style. As Google unveiled Ice Cream Sandwich, the leaders of the Android team spoke at length about their desire to improve the aesthetics of Android. This is apparent throughout the UI as well as apps. A new design philosophy is being employed that gives Android a look that is both sophisticated and futuristic. 

Redesigned menus and icons have gone a long way towards this, but some aspects at the core of Android have also changed to follow this philosophy. One that users of Ice Cream Sandwich will be sure to appreciate is Roboto, a custom font designed by Google for Android. Roboto is a geometric font that scales much better than the previous font used in Android. This means that throughout the entire Android experience the text that's displayed will be more legible than it was before. Roboto is specifically built for smartphone and tablet screens.

Other features have been packed into Ice Cream Sandwich that focus less on utility and more on small innovations. For instance, users can use the front-facing camera on a phone or tablet that runs Ice Cream Sandwich to unlock their device with facial recognition. Other noteworthy improvements include a revamped video editor and the ability to seamlessly take panorama photos.

As a whole, Ice Cream Sandwich is a collection of various improvements to the Android OS. Whether it was the camera app or general mobile broadband access, Google refined nearly every nook and cranny of Android to provide a user experience that is smooth and stylish. As such, Ice Cream Sandwich's biggest benefit to users is that it is the most significant improvement to Android since it landed in the hands of consumers. It has unified the Android experience between phones, tablets and personal media players. The days of running different operating systems based on different devices are over. Ice Cream Sandwich is making it easier for users to own and operate multiple devices.