Top 10 Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Features You’ve Been Dying to See

by: Matthew SabatiniOctober 27, 2011

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is turning out to be the most advanced and most intuitive mobile operating system in the whole world. Take a look at our list of the top 10 most important improvements the new OS brings and which we are most excited to see on our devices.


The new phone and contact apps are something many people are looking forward to getting on their phone. The new update to the contact list gives users a better interface where they can easily navigate their contacts’ info and social networking information and updates.

Based off of the previews, the new interface definitely looks clean and crisp with way higher-resolution contact pictures. This was something that Matias Duarte was pushing during the release.

Another feature that users will probably use a lot is the quick response function. When you’re not available to answer a phone call or someone you don’t want to talk to gives you a call, you can now just swipe and send the caller a quick text to let the caller know that you don’t want to or can’t talk.

Face Recognition for Unlocking

There is not much to say here besides no more swiping to unlock your phone.

In addition, this will stop one of the patent war battles. Remember that Apple had patented the “swipe to unlock” feature.

Android Beam

Android has been the first to start using Near Field Communication technology. Android Beam allows you to share apps, URLs, videos, and songs just by tapping Android phones together. It’s essentially like the Bump app that Apple users have, but taken to a whole new level.

New Browser

The new Web browser in Android 4.0 is definitely an improvement and the new user interface should look like Chrome browser on your desktop.

Better Usage Data Management

Android 4.0 introduces a built-in app that will let you manage all your cellular and Wi-Fi data use. The new feature allows you to set up warnings and limits for yourself to avoid pesky overcharges.

More Camera Tools

After Apple introduced the ability to edit photos, there will be new photo editing tools for you to conveniently filter, crop, reduce red-eye, and more in Ice Cream Sandwich.

In addition, there is a new panorama mode that lets you simply pan left and right to create a “wide” still image.

Sleeker User Interface

Recently, Android has come under fire for its poor user interface. Now, the overall interface redesign is much more modern and sleek. The new interface takes advantage of all that Android has to offer and displays it in a way that makes everything easy and simple.

Speech Recognition

Google introduced voice controls back in 2008, way before Apple released Siri. However, Voice Actions do not offer the same “personal” experience that Siri does. Finally, a third-party app in the Android Market called Iris (“Siri” spelled backwards) was created and released in just 8 hours and boasts the same functionality as Siri.

Taking Screenshots

Hold down the Power and Volume Down buttons to snap a screenshot. Finally!


Android has an incredible advantage over iOS here. Google offers full navigation features that Apple completely lacks. In addition, Android users will never have to pay upwards of US$50 for a GPS device, because their phone is one.

Which of these new features in Android 4.0 have you been most eagerly waiting for?

  • BestMountain

    You forgot to mention one major improvement!!! ICS now fully supports RTL languages. This obstacle precluded many users in the middle east from getting android devices and made them opt for an iphone, which by the way supports these languages natively since 2008 if I am not mistaken.

  • MDSJ

    When is it going to come via OTA??? Im dying!

    • o.O

      Q2 – 2012 :P

  • Anonymous

    bump is or was available for android…both my husband and i had it on our droid incredible, and og droid respectively

  • this is super good!

  • Xiaomi

    that is so cool! hope Xiaomi could port it as soon as possible!

  • [email protected]

    Better UI = Catch Up to iOS 5

    Face Recognition Unlock = probably the only shit I’d be interested

    Android Beam = Who gives a s*it? Barely any store supports NFC today

    Chrome-like browsing = so what? what’s the big deal here? What do I really get?

    Better User Data Management = You mean in order to pseduo-counter the crappy battery life of Android phones the side effects of “true” multi-tasking and shitty OS?? I have unlimited data anyway. No need to cap it.

    More camera tools = who the f*ck edits pictures in the phone itself? That’s why Picasa in a desktop is for.

    Sleek User Interface = You mean in order to catch up to Apple’s UI. Keep trying. Will always have to catch up. That’s where Apple will always shine and overcast anyone.

    Speech Recognition = A f**king kid that after 8 hrs came up with a Siri-like thing? Ha!! It doesn’t even closely compare to Siri!! You’ll see.

    Taking Screenshot = Big Deal. I’ve had that with Apple iOS for years!

    Navigation = Who gives a shit? I have super high-res, satellite, GPS Navigation in my BMW. That’s what cars are for and most cars have navigation anyway. Plus it’s waaay safer and more convenient to use car’s navigation than the one offered in a crappy, small, phone screen. Another way to further reduce the already-crappy battery life of Android phones.

    • Anonymous

      really dude? stop being a fanboy. if you didn’t give a shit, you wouldn’t be browsing an Android tech blog. i will never understand the purpose of these childish rants. if you like iOS…..then you should probably just use iOS and stop worrying about what Android is doing. iOS may be great for you but it’s not for everyone. i personally like larger phones and the open ecosystem Android employs, allowing me to constantly customize it to my liking. you may enjoy Siri, which Android doesn’t offer (that Iris thing is crap and doesn’t seem to even closely replicate Siri). doesn’t mean iOS is bad because it doesn’t offer those things and vice versa. different people like different stuff, it’s not a hard concept to grasp.

      i’m not even going to take the time to respond to your opinion of each feature, from what you’ve said, it seems you don’t even understand some of them. go watch an OS tour video on YouTube (there are plenty out there) and then form an opinion. but honestly, if you still don’t like it after that, we really don’t want or need to hear about it.

    • what9000?

      “You mean in order to pseduo-counter the crappy battery life of Android phones the side effects of “true” multi-tasking and shitty OS??”

      U mad?

    • Aj

      Typical I-phone user response really.

    • Widdy

      You are not impressing anyone with your high-res, satellite, GPS Navigation in you imaginary BMW. I got that, and more, in my Abrams MBT…parked in my garage. Haha.
      You actually sound kind of jealous…I feel sorry for you.

    • Luvya

      What are you doing here anyway?

    • Wendy D

      i think you got some problem to really be check at the old are you ?cos i just want to make some simple diagnoses on you to know your state of condition when you writting this and like someone said your immaginary bmw.
      please and please go get a good night rest and stop smoking weed or needles if you know what i sound like an iphone clone.

    • Onegoodlooking

      Ultimately, you don’t need an android phone,, so why the f**K you bother to reply!!! or you just afraid the fact that Android will if not already kicked Apples IOS ass!!!

      Not everyone has a BMW with a GPS!!! & not everyone has an unlimited data plan!! so yeah, these feature means a lot to other ppl…

      BTW, I do edit the photos on the phone before I email them or MMS them!!! So, yeah, it’s another bad ass feature that i’d love to have in my phone!!…

      RTL.. come on,,, do you really think that all ppl in the states are like you!!! There are millions of educated ppl who needs it!! Be real!!!


    • Mizan A

      Hey dude, I have had an Iphone and now I have a android phone. Like most people I just to get the best out of the phone I have. Rant is stupid, silly and rather childish. Grow up and act your age and not your shoe size. If you don’t any thing to say to benefit users whether good or bad then put up and shut up. This is not a compare and comparison test. TWIT

    • nick

      Grow up kid! And more importantly, get a life. Go for a drive in your “fancy” fairy tale BMW instead of trash talking where you aren’t wanted.

  • Arorts

    Oh, I forgot one more.

    RTL (Right-to-Left) language = Ha! Are you f*cking kidding me? This is America. Unless you live in Middle-East you couldn’t care less about it.

    • Luvya

      you don’t f**** care, but millions of other people care. not EVERYTHING is america.

    • Guest

      I live in America and I care. Some people in this country – albeit very few – are educated and have studied multiple languages. About 50% of my daily life requires languages other than English, and until ICS Android’s ability to support this is severely lacking.

  • Robertjlausen

    Iris on my forthcoming galaxy note!

  • Poboxno24

    is samsung gonna bring android 4 for galaxy note ?

  • the most usefull for me is the face recognition to unlock this is huge it can prevent a lot of problems for me :) i <3 android

  • Ashwath Shetty

    For more information on the Ice Cream Sandwich 10 Best Features you can go through the below link:

  • Waiting

    I like all the stories and pre launch hype but the only real question for me is WHEN can I put ICS on my Samsung Note?????? Samsung/droid please just tell me WHEN ???????

  • Mizan A

    hey guys, where can i get this. I have a samsung galaxy s2.

  • Vercelli M

    Does anyone know if the ‘NFC’ or “ANDROID BEAM” will be implemented on the Galaxy S2 update or will there be a Hardware restriction?
    And some of those features like “SCREENSHOTS” and the ability to reject incoming calls with a preset message is not new, both these features are currently on the GINGERBREAD TouchWiz UI as i have pictured from my phone below by pressing the power and home buttons simultaneously

  • I have Android 4 Ice cream sandwich phone, please share links from where I can get all this applications.