Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - MOBILES - — NIDHI SIN­GAL

An­droid v4.0, or Ice­Cream Sand­wich, is the new buzz­word among mo­bile geeks. Even when we re­view phones, any­thing less than ICS seems so yes­ter­day now.

Un­like Ap­ple, which of­fers OS up­grade to all users across the world in one go, An­droid users have a long wait. Google an­nounced ICS last Oc­to­ber, but till date we only have a hand­ful of phones run­ning the lat­est OS. While HTC One X and One V come with ICS on­board, many new phones such as Sony Xpe­ria S, Sam­sung Gal­axy Ad­vance still run on the older An­droid v2.3. But thank­fully, com­pa­nies are now look­ing at up­grad­ing the phones. Sony re­cently made ICS avail­able for its Xpe­ria lineup launched in 2011.

So what does ICS bring to the ta­ble?

Un­til the launch of the Ice-Cream Sand­wich, there was a dif­fer­ent ver­sion of the op­er­at­ing sys­tem for smart­phones and tablets. But ICS brings to­gether the best of both worlds and will run on both.

The ICS in­ter­face looks sim­i­lar to the Hon­ey­comb (An­droid v3.0) OS for tablets. Google fo­cused on do­ing away with the touch buttons for home, back and menu and re­placed them with on­screen keys while show­ing the OS on the Gal­axy Nexus. But this doesn’t seem like a com­pul­sion as these keys are present on the HTC One X.

How­ever, the big­gest de­light is the en­hanced multi-task­ing as you can now launch a run­ning app with a touch or shut it with a sin­gle swipe. There is also an op­tion to re­size wid­gets and ac­cess cam­era with­out un­lock­ing the phone. As An­droid phones hog a lot of data, users can now track the data us­age from the set­tings it­self. An­droid 4.0 is fo­cused on im­prov­ing cam­era per­for­mance and comes with a redesigned gallery and a pow­er­ful photo ed­i­tor. An en­hanced brows­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, im­proved email with auto-com­ple­tion, Wi-Fi Di­rect for con­nect­ing to nearby peer de­vices and face un­lock are some of the other high­lights of the new ver­sion.

Over­all, ICS of­fers a bet­ter user in­ter­face while also en­hanc­ing the over­all per­for­mance of an An­droid smart­phone.

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