A concern that's been on the tip of the Android community's tongue lately is hardware acceleration. It's something we've been waiting for for a while now, and it looks like Ice Cream Sandwich will finally deliver.


Hardware acceleration allows for a buttery smooth user experience, better graphic performance, and better responsiveness within apps. The sheer volume of improvements coming in Ice Cream Sandwich is astonishing, and I have a feeling we haven't heard about all that ICS has to offer yet. For more info, check out Google's Android Developer page for Ice Cream Sandwich.

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Greyhame

    WOW!!! Great find, thanks for the awesome news! It's amazing how much they packed into ICS. I just cannot wait to see how this device stacks up in reviews and benchmarks. It's looking better and better.

  • Jeremy

    Finally. Honestly, I was going iPhone if they didn't smooth that shit out.

  • L boogie

    Now I'm ready to take big scoops of ICS with the nexus now and down the road, galaxy s 3d or lightning bolt or evo 4d or flyer 2 or transformer 2.

  • randy

    I think every android enthusiast has been waiting for this day. It better be lag free & buttery smooth to the touch.

  • http://www.thepixelpuse.com aj

    Amazing. This is what I've been waiting for. Can't wait!

  • http://lavadip.com HRJ

    I was disappointed that there is no word about open-sourcing it yet! It might have a lot of goodies, but it's a fail if ICS is not available on older phones, and soon.

    • Alex

      ICS will be completely open-source! I saw it on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxzucwjFEEs

      I forget which part of the video they say it is going to be open source, but it DEFINITELY is. :)

    • oldmanofskye

      It's been already confirmed the source code for ICS will be freely available. The thing is Honeycomb was not really ready for general release - it was a bit rushed (reason - tablets). Google seems to be back on track now, so expect source code soon.

  • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

    The iPhone has had hardware acceleration from day one, because OpenGL lives at the bottom of the iOS OS stack.

    However, in ICS, all current applications will have to have code changes and be recompiled and re-releaesed for hardware rendering to occur. So if people don't update their apps–even if they are running Ice Cream Sandwich–no hardware rendering will occur.

    Additionally, as this is a new feature, I imagine there will be kinks that need to be worked out over time. iOS and hence the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod touch do not have this disadvantage.

    • LarryVand

      ProfessorTom should stick to his 3G dial up iJUNK cause he certainly doesn't have a clue what he is talking about. Hardware acceleration existed on the OS level before Android 4.0 ICS. What ICS does is add hardware acceleartion to the UI level. So thanks for playing but ProfessorTom should stick with his 2 year contract 3G dial up iPhone4S while we are running circles around him with 4G LTE, Android 4.0 and NFC... the past is the 3G dial up iJUNK. Android is 4G, NFC for now and the future....

      • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

        That's a lot of hate for someone who wants to engage in a rational discussion.

        The point is, hardware acceleration occurs at every level of the iPhone and has done so since day one because of the architecture of the framework. Android is getting closer, but it has a long way to go.

        • Jmaxku

          Andy Rubin suggested that all it takes is a single line of code. App quality is a huge concern in Android. I hope developers make it their prerogative.

  • Onisad

    To follow-up on ProfessorTom, doesn't this page only mean that applications released with support of Android 4.0 and upwards will have HW acceleration enabled by default?
    I'm no developer by any means but I don't see it as an indication that native apps will be HW accelerated for sure. Not to mention, as he said, that all 3rd party apps will need to be updated to take this into account.

    • Jmaxku

      All native Google apps will have it as well as the browser.

  • skeeterflea

    HW acceleration at the application level exists in Android. Mostly for games. ICS will bring us HW acceleration at the UI level.

  • Vik

    Actually the HW acceleration they are just bringing is just for Applications. The Android UI will still be non-hardware accelerated as far as I can see, but the apps can take advantage of it now.

    • Jmaxku

      I believe the stock browser is too.