While tonight's event positively overloaded us with details about Ice Cream Sandwich, there were some features that didn't make the cut - Android engineer Dan Morrill has spilled the details on even more awesome features we can expect from the latest version of Android, posting a brief message about them on Google+. Unfortunately we don't have screen shots of these features, but we can discuss what information we do have, feature-by-feature.

Disabling Apps

One of the most impressive features that we didn't get to see tonight is the ability to completely disable apps. Essentially this spells an end to resource-hogging bloatware, since users can keep individual apps from ever running, opening tasks, or using resources. It even hides the app's launcher icon. This is a pretty clever move on Google's part, providing a nice response to user complaints surrounding carrier (and manufacturer) bloatware that, until now, users were stuck with, unless they decided to root their device.

Device Encryption

Another huge development for Ice Cream Sandwich is the ability to fully encrypt your phone's data. This feature was made available for tablets with the introduction of Honeycomb, but it looks like ICS will bring it to phones as well, though it isn't clear what cryptographic standards will be used. At any rate, this should be a relief to business users concerned about data security.

Other Tweaks

Morrill went on to discuss several other tweaks that we'll see with Ice Cream Sandwich, which just add that much more polish (and functionality) to the user experience.

The settings menu has been "seriously revamped," evidently enhancing the organization of each menu greatly. Besides that, Morrill explained that, in most cases, it takes fewer actions to find what you're looking for.

Additionally, the download manager has been redone, making it easier "to see and clear any downloads you might have." Finally, Morrill mentioned a new audio effects API, but didn't give up any further details.

While these unexpected features extend the list of awesome goodies we'll see with ICS even further, I have a feeling we still haven't quite found out all there is to know about Android's newest iteration.

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.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Carrier bloatware removal - check (I wonder if they'll have a way of disabling doing that).

    • Matt

      They disabled tethering.

    • http://www.theandroidsite.com Ben Marvin

      If the carriers can't disable that, they'll sure as hell try to hide it. Either way expect delays in ICS releases because of carriers.

      • L boogie

        I wouldn't be surprised at that move by carriers which is why Google needs to handle/ launch any/ all ICS updates.

        • Nocturnhabeo

          Aaaaannnndd getting ICS when it comes out for my Tbolt... or just getting a new phone... dunno though the specs look good not quite great which makes me sad

    • J

      AT&T was able to keep their phones from installing 3rd party apps, so I don't see why the carriers couldn't be able to insist that this has been removed (or at the very least hidden away very well)

  • L boogie

    More than likely, these issues would be addressed by the modding community such as Cyanogenmod 9, one of the reasons rooting was always fun to begin with. Either that or these issues would be dealt with in future ICS updates.

  • ebittman

    when do you think this update will hit the masses using phones currently, if ever?

    I heard that Google was working on defragmenting the many versions of their OS, maybe this will be it?

    • J

      If your thinking about what I think your thinking.... The agreement was that the manufactures would strive to push updates "in a timely manner" to all phones within 18months of the phone's launch. I don't believe any real definition of "timely manner" was ever established (or at least not leaked to the public).

      The Droid X (my phone) only has 3 more months, so hopefully we'll get included. Gingerbread was announced in Dec last year & didn't get to the DX until June, 6 months later... Hopefully maybe we'll have it cut down to 3 months?

  • Bianco

    i hope there's an indication of a low latency audio API. *crosses fingers*

  • RockingmyEvo3D

    No question I will purchase this device WHY because I have never had a pure google device nor a samsung device ever before. Yes I am a sprint fanboy and HTC fanboy and current own my beloved EVO 3D I will always be a sprint/htc fanboy. But I must have this and if it doesn't make it to sprint on day one then I will add this to my stable. Having both the HTC EVO 3D and GOOGLE GALAXY NEXUS is the finest way to end 2011. What a great world I live in. Yes I hate verizon but hate At&t more so I pick verizon the object here I can ignore all of that for some google love..

  • http://www.itoctopus.com itoctopus


    What do you mean by saying that Google is defragmenting their OS - do you mean that they want to create several versions for their OS (that's not good)? In any case can you provide us with a link?

    • Andre

      You're talking about fragmenting. Defragmenting means consolidating. Google means that people are now using anything from Android 1.6 - 2.3.7. They want to reduce this gap.

  • Dewind


    He said DE-fragmenting, meaning remove the current "fragmentation" of all the different android versions by unifying them all into ICS.

  • Equilni

    In an interview, Matias Duarte said you can uninstall any app including bloatware using ICS:


    "Matias tells me that starting with Android 4.0, users can uninstall any application they like, such as the native browser or email client — and that seems to go for carrier software as well."

    • Tabe

      He says that it "seems to go for carrier software as well", SEEMS.. Doesn't mean that carriers won't have a way of disabling/hiding the feature.

  • Jack

    They probably didn't cover disabling apps because they know that the disabling of apps will be disabled by the carrier.