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What’s the Big Deal: Android Honeycomb Vs. Ice Cream Sandwich

Big changes ahead
February 10, 2012

Ever since the announcement and the release of the latest Android OS, people have been making a fuss to get their hands on an Android smartphone that runs on the OS. As Google announced that the first device to carry the latest OS was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, people started waiting for the phone to be released into the market. That’s why when news about delays broke out, people got agitated and all the more anxious to see what the fuss is all about.

Plus, it did not help that tech blogs endlessly talk about the latest OS, the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. They started guessing which manufacturer would carry the ICS next. By the time the Galaxy Nexus was released, several had already some idea on what the ICS would be like. In fact, we even posted an earlier blog to avoid judging the ICS until people have actually tested it. Not to mention, several devices are already lined up to carry the ICS pretty soon, so that wait won’t be too long.

If you’re one who wonders what makes ICS so special than its predecessor, Android Honeycomb, the biggest difference is that the latter is designed for tablets. In addition, the Honeycomb was released in February 2011; thus making it somewhat obsolete for the fast devices available today. Other than that, we have compiled a list of differences between the two tablets to give clarity as to what really makes ICS so special.

User Interface

Let’s clear this up: Android Honeycomb is only meant for tablets. This version provided a whole new UI for the electronic slates. Plus it featured holographic support as well as older widgets now fit the size of tablet screens. With regard to its level of uniqueness and perfect UI, the new version plays the field. Needless to say, ICS supports both smartphones and tablets. Moreover, ICS has a better UI with improved holographic effects, widgets, and app launcher. These updates make the ICS the better OS in this category.

Multitasking, System Apps, and Notifications

Honeycomb was the first to come up with advanced notifications as well as multitasking features. But with the upcoming rivalry presented by both Windows 8 and iOS 5, Google just had to come up with something. Thus, they designed ICS to have even more sophisticated features—enough to make their rivals jealous. Compared to Honeycomb, the new OS ensures a very smooth user experience on both smartphone and tablet devices. In addition, ICS has a fantastic multitasking feature along with new system apps. On ICS, Google has also revamped old staples such as Gmail, Google Voice, Google Calendar app, Contacts, and many more.

Other Noticeable Changes

In a nutshell, Android Honeycomb is a special OS for tablets. In fact, it did not do bad in sales—being present on the best tablets of 2011 including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and several others. As compared to its predecessor Android Gingerbread, Honeycomb featured a redesigned keyboard which enabled users to type faster and more accurately on big screens.

Apart from the keyboard, Honeycomb was also noted for its multiple browser tabbing, easy intuitive copy/paste interface, and quick access to camera options (zoom, exposure, and front-facing camera).

On the other hand, Android Ice Cream Sandwich also boasts of rich features that are impossible not to notice. For one thing, ICS features enhanced performance and speed for smartphones, tablets, and music players. The other features which ICS became famous for include improved error connection on keyboard, integrated screenshot capture, better voice integration feature, and a revamped copy/paste functionality. There is also an added automatic syncing of browser with bookmarks on Chrome.

Overall, we would say that even though Android Honeycomb is not dead, Google made sure that they can have a competitive OS compared to the upcoming Windows 8 and iOS 5. Preference on which OS to use still depends on the user. But in order to keep up with change, Google did a good thing by updating its OS.