Android 4 “Ice Cream Sandwich” is a version of the Android mobile phone operating system that was announced on October 19, 2011. This update brought Honeycomb features to smartphones and added new features including facial recognition unlock, network data usage monitoring and control, unified social networking contacts, photography enhancements, offline email searching, app folders, and information sharing using NFC. The first Android 4 phones were released in late 2011.
- Folders for storing multiple applications
- Automated recognition of mobile network settings (no need to manually enter APNs)
- Swipe to remove applications from “Recent applications” list
- Menus implemented via soft key “3 vertical dots”, replaces previous menu key
- Face recognition to unlock phone
- Data usage monitor with ability to set data plan limits and alerts
- Supports Google Chrome browser (beta version)
- Add an direct dial or direct SMS icon via Direct dial and Direct message widgets (previously possible using Anycut app).
- Near Field Communications (NFC) between local devices – for sharing apps, urls, videos, contacts (like the older Palm Pilot infrared “beaming”)
- Screenshots – Press “volume down” and “Power” keys at the same time and hold for 2 seconds
- Quick responses – 4 messages that you can customise to send to a caller when you reject their call.
- Apps favourites tray – can be customised with your most frequently used apps – and folders.
- Image editor
- Recent applications soft key provied (bottom right) which replaces “long press” of previous home key
- Menus in
- Setup available via notifications display
- Widgets now also display via App tray when “Applications” soft key (six dots with circle around it) is pressed. Long press on Widget will drop it onto the home screen. Replaces long press on desktop.
- Several core applications upgraded, including Gmail, Calendar, Google talk, Browser, Keyboard
Use on tablet devices
- Android 4 has been designed for use on tablet devices as well as mobile phones.
- As of April 2012, very few mainstream brands of tablets running Android 4 are available.
- Future upgrades to Android 4.x for some Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy 7.7 and the Acer Iconia A500 have been announced.
- No flash support as of April 2012
- Limited USB mass storage
- Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich review, Pocket-lint
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich review, Engadget
- 10 neat tricks and tips for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, Gottabemobile
- Six Awesome, Lesser-Known Features in Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich”, Lifehacker