Google finally ends support for android 4

Google unwrapped its new Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system at an event in Hong Kong this week. The OS is a massive sầu step forward for Android, bringing a revamped design and staggering number of fresh features inlớn the platform.

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So what exactly is new with Ice Cream Sandwich, và what"ll it mean for you? Here are answers to lớn all of your most pressing questions.

NEW: Android 4.0 nâng cấp list: Is your device getting Ice Cream Sandwich?

What looks different in Android Ice Cream Sandwich?

So much has changed with Ice Cream Sandwich, it"s hard to lớn know where khổng lồ begin. The first thing you"ll notice with ICS is its completely reimagined design, especially compared with Gingerbread và other past phone-centric versions of the platform.

Ice Cream Sandwich is an evolution of the holographic interface introduced with the Honeycomb tablet OS earlier this year. It has a far more sleek and polished look, all the way down to lớn a brvà new phông created specifically for the software (Google calls it "Roboto").

With ICS, Google is trying to lớn give sầu Android users a more intuitive sầu và consistent experience. Gone are the hidden và layered menus of commands; instead, an on-screen "action bar" presents you with contextual options relevant to the specific process you"re performing.

The need for physical buttons lượt thích the trang chủ, bachồng, and menu keys is completely eliminated, as a matter of fact; Ice Cream Sandwich, like Honeycomb, places these functions on-screen, rotating them to lớn fit any way you hold your device và displaying them only when they"re needed. That"s why the new Galaxy Nexus flagship phone has no physical buttons; presumably, most future ICS phones will follow that trover.

What"ll happen on phones that vì have sầu physical buttons, then? Will Ice Cream Sandwich work on those types of devices?

Yep -- only instead of getting the on-screen navigation buttons, you"ll use your phone"s physical buttons in the same way you vì now. The menu key will load any contextual on-screen menus, and long-pressing the trang chính key will load the multitasking tool, just like it has in past Android releases.

So what"s the trang chính screen lượt thích in Ice Cream Sandwich? Can I still phối it up the way I want?

Absolutely -- the ICS trang chủ screen is really just an improved version of the trang chủ screen you have on your phone now. It still provides an open, customizable space that you can fill with any number and any combination of apps, shortcuts, and widgets. There are, however, a few noteworthy changes:

First, for phones, the doông chồng at the bottom of the screen -- called the "favorites tray" -- now features four icons in addition to lớn a links to your tiện ích drawer. You can change the four icons khổng lồ point to any apps or shortcuts you want.

Second, widgets are now a whole new game. Ice Cream Sandwich introduces support for scrollable, interactive widgets, like we saw with Honeycomb -- meaning you can scroll through your inbox right from your trang chủ screen or flip through the lachạy thử news stories without having khổng lồ ever open an app. Widgets in Ice Cream Sandwich are also resizable, so you can make them as large or as small as you want. All of the included system widgets are completely redesigned to reflect those changes and the new graphical look.


Speaking of widgets, the way in which you customize your trang chính screens is all new in Ice Cream Sandwich. Apps & widgets now live sầu together in one centralized customization tool; you can drag và drop any nhà cửa from that tool directly onkhổng lồ any trang chính screen panel. It"s a simpler, easier, and much more intuitive thiết lập.

Finally, folders are worth mentioning: With Ice Cream Sandwich, you can create folders simply by dragging one app on top of another. Function aside, folders have sầu a new và improved look as well, making the feature even more appealing than it was in past releases.

I heard notifications are different now. What"s up with that?

For tablet users, notifications will be similar khổng lồ how they are with Honeycomb: They"ll appear in the bottom system bar as icons with pop-up messages.

For phone users, notifications will continue to exist in a pull-down bar at the top of the screen -- but they"ll have a new look and some new functions as well. For example, with Ice Cream Sandwich, you can dismiss any individual icon by swiping it left or right. You can also perform advanced functions like controlling music playbachồng right from the notifications panel -- no third-buổi tiệc nhỏ widgets required.

How does multitasking change with Ice Cream Sandwich?

Ice Cream Sandwich carries over the multitasking tool introduced with Honeycomb, which is a significant change for phone users in particular. With ICS, you tap a new multitasking button from anywhere in the system -- it"s one of those virtual buttons that appears on the bottom your screen -- và that causes a new Recent Apps bar to appear. The Recent Apps bar shows you thumbnails of all your recently used applications; you can scroll through it & tap any ứng dụng lớn jump directly lớn it. You can also dismiss any ứng dụng from that list by swiping left or right on it (see the consistency with that gesture?).

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Are system apps lượt thích Gmail different in Ice Cream Sandwich?

Why, they most certainly are; the new look of Ice Cream Sandwich carries through khổng lồ all parts of the platsize, including apps lượt thích Gmail. Those apps have sầu on-screen menus instead of button-hidden commands & also support functions like the left-and-right swipe for navigation. In Gmail, you also gain expanded message preview, the ability lớn select và manage multiple emails at once, & offline tìm kiếm capability.

The Calendar ứng dụng gets a major makeover, too, with a much more appealing kiến thiết và the addition of pinch-to-zoom functionality so you can hone in on specific dates or events. At a glance, it looks a bit lượt thích the excellent third-party Business Calendar tiện ích, which has been one of my must-have sầu add-ons for ages.

Another system ứng dụng refresh worth noting is that of Contacts, which is now known simply as "People." The People app puts a much more visual spin on the text-based Contacts of yore, showing you large, high-resolution photos of your various acquaintances và automatically compiling their social network connections into a single, centralized protệp tin. Google describes it as a "live window into lớn your social world."

If you use Google Voice, voicemails are even compiled within your friends" People profiles -- và, in a subtle but nice new twist, you can now speed up or slow down voictin nhắn playbaông xã to lớn help with the slow- (or fast-) talkers in your life.

How"s about that browser? Can I sync bookmarks? And is it Chrome?

The Ice Cream Sandwich browser isn"t actually Chrome (not yet, at least -- that might one day change), but it does have sầu a lot of new Chrome-lượt thích features.

The ICS browser supports up to 16 tabs with live, thumbnail-based pđánh giá that let you toggle aước ao your open pages. You can scroll through the tabs và swipe any of them left or right lớn cđại bại it right there.

The browser does offer automated syncing with your Chrome desktop bookmarks. It also has incognilớn mode -- not that you need that, of course -- & an option to lớn switch quickly between the desktop và di động view of any website you"re viewing. Another cool new feature is the ability khổng lồ save sầu any page for later offline viewing, right within the main browser tiện ích itself.

In terms of performance, Google says its new ICS browser has "dramatically improved page rendering performance," with V8 benchmarks nearly 550 percent higher và SunSpider benchmarks nearly 70 percent higher than the Gingerbread browser when compared a Galaxy Nexus phone.

Translated out of geek-speak: This thing"s freakin" fast.

Is the Ice Cream Sandwich Camera ứng dụng anything special?

Google"s actually made some pretty impressive improvements with the Camera ứng dụng in the Android Ice Cream Sandwich release. In addition khổng lồ a new look and redesigned settings section, the Camera ứng dụng now features "zero shutter lag" -- meaning you can take one pholớn after another in rapid succession -- as well as a suite of built-in photo-editing tools. You can also now capture full-resolution snapshots while you"re recording đoạn phim.

Oh yeah -- & then there"s the new panoramic phokhổng lồ feature. You can pan your camera across a wide area, & the system will automatically stitch it all together inkhổng lồ one gigantic panoramic image.

What"s all this face recognition mumbo-jumbo I keep hearing about?

Android Ice Cream Sandwich has an option lớn secure your phone with your face. In short, you take a snapshot of your face -- then, anytime you want to lớn unlock your phone, you look into it and it recognizes you. You can also use a PIN or pattern code as a backup.

What are some other neat new bells và whistles in Ice Cream Sandwich?

Geez, you sure have a lot of questions, don"t you? I kid, I kid. Ice Cream Sandwich is loaded with interesting new stuff. Take a deep are some highlights:

Native support for one-touch screenshotsA new keyboard with better accuracy, responsiveness, & error correction, as well as a new inline spell checkerImproved cut & paste functionalityImproved voice input đầu vào that shows you text as you go instead of in one big chunk at the endA new data usage tracking tool that lets you monitor data usage by tiện ích & warn you -- or even cut you off -- when you hit a certain predefined levelA redesigned Gallery with a new "magazine-style" layout for your photos và multiple methods of organizationA "quick response" system that lets you reject an incoming gọi và instantly skết thúc a canned message to lớn the caller explaining why you aren"t availableA revamped system settings thực đơn with better organization và fewer layers to lớn find the options you needAn improved và easier to lớn find Download ManagerNew, more "digital-sounding" audio effects throughout the systemThe option to disable any preinstalled tiện ích & get it out of your life (hallelujah!)Support for full data encryption on both phones và tabletsNew loông chồng screen actions that let you jump to lớn specific tasks or apps straight from your loông chồng screenA new "Android Beam" sharing system that allows you to pass along Web pages, maps, apps, or practically any other kind of data from one phone to another simply by touching the devices together

You can read about these features in much more detail in my story:

Android Ice Cream Sandwich: 10 reasons khổng lồ be excited

Okay -- so Ice Cream Sandwich works on both phones and tablets, right?

Yessiree Bob: From here on out with Android, it"s one OS for everything. Ice Cream Sandwich looks a little different on a tablet compared lớn a phone, of course, but it"ll have the same basic feel và the same exact method of operation.

Will my phone/tablet get Ice Cream Sandwich?

Well, it took you long enough khổng lồ ask! That, of course, is the million-dollar question -- và slowly but surely, we"re starting to lớn get some answers.

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For the full scope of Android 4.0 upgrades và where your phone or tablet stands, cliông chồng over to lớn my massive evolving database:

Android 4.0 tăng cấp list: Is your device getting Ice Cream Sandwich?

JR Raphael writes about smartphones & other tasty technology. You can find hyên ổn on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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