After many months of anticipation, Google has finally launched the next version of Android at a press event in Hong Kong. Google also launched its flagship phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The event was previously postponed, from October 11th, out of respect for the death of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs.
The launch for Android 4.0, or ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, brings a unified OS for the different versions of Android that are available for smart phones and tablets. Google’s last major update to the OS was in January, with the launch of Android 3.0 honeycomb. Android 4.0 brings together a host of new features that allow for more user interaction and integration.
With a new redesigned user interface that will accommodate more finger friendliness, and a new ‘People app’ that allows deeper integration with Google+, Google’s new Android OS looks set to compete with other mobile operating systems. It’s built in applications have seen a number of improvements and a complete redesign to accommodate a better touch based experience. For example, the camera application gives Android users more interaction and options for taking photos, and editing them as well.
Other notable features include the new Face Unlock, which allows users to unlock their phone using facial recognition technology. This feature would protect a phone from being unlocked by a stranger. Another new feature is Android beam, which employs near field technology to allow Android 4.0 powered phones to share information by pairing them together.
The OS was demonstrated on a new Google branded Nexus smart phone built by Samsung, dubbed the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The new Galaxy Nexus smart phone, which comes with a 4.65 inch Super AMOLED display, supports 720p HD with a 1280 x 720 display, has a 1.2GHz dual core processor, a 1.3 Mega pixel camera for video calls as well as a 5 mega pixel camera that supports 1080p HD video, and has an LED flash.