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Samsung's Mobile President: The Galaxy Nexus Was Designed With Patents In Mind

It seems that these days, Samsung must constantly be on alert for new entries in the ever-growing list of patent disputes with Apple. Sensing this, Samsung's Mobile President, Shin Jong-kyun (who we heard from at last night's presentation) took a moment to stress the fact that the Galaxy Nexus was designed with patents in mind - specifically, it was designed to avoid trouble with Apple. While it is a rectangular device with a touch screen, not much else seems to put it in danger.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - The Dialer And People App: Yep, It's Still A Phone

While we use our devices for everything from watching movies to browsing the net and checking social networks, let's not overlook the fact that, at their core, they're still called smartphones. As such, the dialer and contact app -- now called People -- in Ice Cream Sandwich have both received a major overhaul.

2011-10-19 13h38_27 2011-10-19 13h39_07 2011-10-19 13h39_40

The People is, of course, based on the current Contacts app, but it has been totally redesigned to be more intuitive, easier to use, and provide all the information about your contacts in one centralized location.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - Android Beam Proves That NFC Isn't Just For Credit Card Payments

Everyone has been making a big deal about NFC lately - which phones have it, where it can be used, etc. Until last night's announcement, many (including myself) didn't see much on the horizon except a fun way to pay for things using your phone. That perception has changed, however, thanks to Android Beam.

Beam utilizes NFC technology to quickly, seamlessly transfer data from one device to another. As demonstrated last night, one has only to touch the two devices together to send just about anything from web pages, to photos, to apps.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - Android's New Camera Packs A Serious Punch, Offering Sophisticated Still And Video Options

One of the features I'm most excited about in Ice Cream Sandwich is the camera. The new camera app really raises the bar, bringing a heap of improvements, as well as plenty of features we haven't seen before.

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of ICS' camera is that it has zero shutter lag. That's right - zero. Photos are taken as soon as you hit the shutter button. In last night's demo we got a glimpse of how powerful this is, as the presenter snapped off several images back to back with no wait time in between.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - Data Usage Shows You Which Apps Are Munching All Your Bandwidth

Let's face it -- no one likes tiered data plans. Still, it is something that most of us have to deal with, and I've never met anyone who wants to suffer the result of going over their allotted bandwidth. Fortunately, Google is offering a nice, proactive solution (not to be confused with the face cream that gets rid of acne, that's something else entirely) to help users avoid connection speed slowdowns or, even worse, surprise overage fees.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - The New Calendar App Lets You Cram Your Day More Full Than Ever Before

We've already looked at a veritable buttload (yes, that's an official unit of measurement) of features from ICS, but we're not finished yet. Next on the list of things that Google made better in Android 4.0 is an app that nearly everyone is familiar with: the Calendar.

2011-10-19 12h13_02 2011-10-19 12h13_17

Don't get me wrong, the existing Calendar app works pretty well -- it covers all the basics. You can schedule and view appointments, check out an overview of your week or month...

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - Gmail Gets A Facelift

Gmail, probably the most used app on my Evo 4G, will be getting a major facelift with the introduction of Ice Cream Sandwich, bringing it into line with - and, in some ways, surpassing - its Honeycomb counterpart.

First of all, Gmail for Ice Cream Sandwich features an "action bar" at the bottom of the screen, much like Honeycomb's action bar, which allows users to create messages, search, sync, and more with just one touch.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - New Browser (No, It Isn't Chrome) Includes Tabs, Desktop Mode, And More

Leading up to last night's Ice Cream Sandwich announcement, there were rumblings that perhaps Chrome would make its Android debut with the latest iteration of Google's mobile OS. Unfortunately, those rumors turned out to be false, but the new browser that Google has cooked up looks pretty awesome, and packs in a lot of notable features.

First off, the browser has been redesigned. Personally, I think it looks (and functions) much better than its Gingerbread counterpart.

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CyanogenMod 7 For HP TouchPad Updated To Alpha 2, Brings Various Bug Fixes And Improvements

Just six days after The CyanogenMod (CM) team released the first alpha build for the TouchPad, they're back with alpha 2. Despite being bumped up a version, it's still an alpha, meaning there are many things that can (and likely will) go wrong. Still, it looks like they've made quite a few improvements with the update:

Changelog:
(AKA things we hope we fixed)

* Plugging headphones in should now shut off speaker volume
* Battery drain issues have been (partially) addressed
* More apps now available in market (thanks to Flemmard)
* Temporarily removed suspect fsck_msdos to fix random folder deletion on media/sdcard.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Feature Closer Look - Create Ad-Hoc Wireless Networks With Wi-Fi Direct

Although it wasn't announced alongside the plethora of other features during the Ice Cream Sandwich event, Wi-Fi Direct may prove to be one of the more important and revolutionary features of the new OS. In the old days Bluetooth was the standard method of device to device data transfer, but now with Ice Cream Sandwich we are given Wi-Fi Direct and Android Beam. The latter uses NFC to transfer links, media, and other data, while the former is an interesting implementation of the wireless standard which creates ad-hoc networks between compatible devices.

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