Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) is expected to bring in an overly improved user experience not just through an improved overall interface but also through refinements in Google Apps, two previews of which have been recently leaked–one for the Google+ app, the other for Google Music.
In a nutshell, the updated apps reveal a more polished interface than previous versions. The refinements also make the apps interfaces more consistent with Google’s Web-based interface.
Google+ used to call its messaging system “Huddle,” which shortly became “Messenger” thereafter. With the leaked ICS Android Package (APK) for Google+ that Android Police rounded up, “Huddle” is being called “Chord” in the ICS version of the Google+ app.
The ICS Google+ app also now shows the notification bar on the top of the screen. Previously, the bar was at the bottom. This change results in wider-looking space at the bottom and a more organized way of updating notifications on your mobile.
On the main screen of the Google+ app, the old bottom part has been combined with the old upper portion of the screen. So, you can see your options up there all in one place now. It’s smoother in terms of UI, as generally overhauled.
The icons in the Photo albums are also now larger, making them easier to touch on smaller-screen Android phones.
All these UI improvements in the Google+ app are also being implemented for the Google Music app for ICS. Android Police was also able to extract the APK file for Google Music from a prototype handset running Ice Cream Sandwich.
Overall, the music experience has been improved now with Google Music 4.0.1, especially on the UI part. The Google Music app for ICS has a cleaner interface, more options, and better controls.
Few minor changes include saving space at the bottom, giving the interface a cleaner and sleeker look. A very important component added is the search button at the top-right of the screen, presumably to offset ICS’s lack of a physical Search button.
With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich nearing launch, along with the Nexus Prime, Google is undoubtedly making some final touch-ups to Android’s next major version. What other cool features do you want to see in ICS?