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.
|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.|
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.
Some of the most impressive features unveiled at tonight's Ice Cream Sandwich Announcement surrounded the home screen and multitasking. This time around, Google has packed an absurd amount of awesomeness into Android, and while the home screen is just the beginning, there's a lot going on that's worth discussing.
First up, we have resizable widgets - a feature many users adore from Honeycomb. Finally, users can resize widgets using Android's default launcher, making the possibilities for well-designed home screens endless.
One of Android's new features that was stressed pretty heavily on stage tonight was Roboto, a system font created specifically for Ice Cream Sandwich, which, in all honesty, looks a lot better than the system fonts we've seen before.
At first I questioned why it was necessary to spend so much time discussing a simple type face (one without even a hint of a serif), but when I thought about it, it made sense - most of the things we do on Android devices involve letters and numbers in some way, and why not make those characters aesthetically pleasing?
Late last week, Device Frame Generator made its debut in the Android Asset Studio, thanks to Roman Nurik. Mere moments after the unveiling of the Galaxy Prime at an event held by Google and Samsung, DFG has been updated to include a Galaxy Nexus template.
Developers can now create stunning, high-res images for their apps in mere seconds, framing their screenshots with the latest and greatest Android hardware. If you can't wait to check out how your app looks on a Galaxy Nexus, head over to the Asset Studio and give it a whirl!
So it's over - we've just finished watching one of the best Android presentations to date, and there's a lot to talk about. One of the primary topics on my mind right now is Ice Cream Sandwich, but more important than that is the device which will first bring it to our hands.
At tonight's announcement, Samsung officially unveiled the Galaxy Nexus, the first Ice Cream Sandwich device ever, set to hit the market "in November."
The presentation didn't give us any clearer picture of who exactly will be getting this device first, though the presentation pointed to LTE and HSPA capabilities, but it was made clear that the Galaxy Nexus will see a worldwide distribution, including the USA, Europe and Asia initially, and expanding globally at an unspecified date.
Just in time for tonight's big announcement from Google and Samsung, a video has been discovered that appears to be promotional material for NVIDIA's fabled Tegra 3 processor, formerly known as Kal-El.
Whether this video and the ICS/Nexus announcement are related is yet to be seen, but we do know that ASUS CEO Johny Chan is supposed to appear at tonight's event in Hong Kong, and that ASUS is supposedly including the Tegra 3 in their Transformer 2 tablet.
Pretty much the first thing that gets done to a new Android device when it hits the market is benchmarking. The Android community seems to be obsessed with benchmarking their devices over and over, and comparing the results to other devices. Personally I've always found this practice to be a curiosity at best, mainly because apps such as Quadrant give somewhat nebulous scores, which are hard to compare objectively, and offer little in the way of exact measurements.
It looks like Samsung, on its webpage for the Galaxy Player 50, has ripped off the iPhone's Maps app, altering a screenshot ever so slightly for use in a web graphic of the 50. For reference, here's the original screenshot vs. Samsung's image:
The intentions here are unclear, but one can assume that this was no mistake - the red pushpins are a dead giveaway for the iPhone screenshot, and it's unlikely that this screenshot would be haphazardly tossed into a web graphic due to laziness, when it's so obviously ripped from an app featured on a device made by Apple, the consumer tech giant with whom Samsung has been so famously battling in the recent past.