The “most ambitious release yet” – this is what Google Product Manager Hugo Barra said about the upcoming release of Android, officially dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich. He also pointed out that this update would aim to have one OS for all devices. As we’ve heard before, the new version of Android is bringing some features from Honeycomb over to phones.
While presenting Ice Cream Sandwich for the first time in the course of the first keynote at Google I/O 2011, Mike Claren of the Android engineering team said, “We want one OS that runs everywhere.” One of the first main points highlighted by Mike Claren on establishing this one OS is that Google would be taking the cutting-edge and “state of the art” features as built for Honeycomb, UI improvements particularly, and getting them to function across the whole platform, for all devices. This means that the new holographic UI, multitasking UI, launcher, richer widgets, advanced applications, etc. can soon be expected to work on both our phones and tablets!
Plus, this new version of Android won’t be having any hardware requirements which means it will be capable to work on older devices (somewhat).
Also, Claren emphasized that Google is seriously investing in its-so-called “Advanced App Framework.” Meaning to say, this would insulate developers from the variances from diverse number of devices that run Android. Google will be supplementing a new API to the framework so developers can benefit and gauge your user interfaces across all the various screen size and those devices sporting them. The Action Bar, just like the one you see in Honeycomb, will be having new components that will be able to reconfigure themselves to work with any space available to them.
Moreover, extra energy is going into development tools and Ice Cream Sandwich will be open source.
Well, here are some of the few new features of the Ice Cream Sandwich:
Head Recognition Software
This software can detect and recognize your head – not just your face – and not only where your head is, but also where you are looking. Cool! The technology runs on the GPU, which means that it will run at 500 frames per second. That’s really fast. The Head Recognition Software was tested by Anand Agarawata who displayed a white tablet with various objects on it showed on the screen of a Motorola XOOM tablet moving in accordance with his head.
Eyes, Nose, and Mouth Recognition Software
Anand also showed a button on the XOOM wherein it will be pressed for mouth, nose, and eyes, one by one, expanding each of them in turn straightaway, transferring the image to the screen just like looking a mirror.
Virtual Camera Operator
This application or software is able to detect a person talking in a video that the device it’s on then records and focuses that person. A demonstration was also done by Anand and Hugo Barra. They demonstrated this software by both speaking into the front-facing camera of the Motorla XOOM. When either of them spoke, the camera zoomed in on that person then back to the other when they spoke next.
What can you say about Ice Cream Sandwich?