New Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Features That Make Your Phone a Joy to Use

A complete and harmonious combination of two substances can create a full and beautiful result. In like manner, the natural sweetness of Android 3.0 Honeycomb and the crispy layers of Android 2.3 Gingerbread have resulted in a new, tastier treat for Android smartphones and Android tablets–Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Google has been aiming to unite the multiple Android versions into just one version so that one and only one Android runs on whatever device–be it an Android smartphone, Android tablet, Android portable media player, Android TV, Android watch, or wherever else the little green robot can make waves.

What glad tidings does Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) bring to its users? What better experiences can we expect from it? Read on to learn more about how the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is true to Google’s description: “the best Android we’ve ever made.”

Multi-tasking Button

Android 4.0 includes a virtual button that allows you to browse and instantly switch to recently used apps. The list displays thumbnail images of apps–instead of just icons–so you can see which parts of the apps are currently working in the background. And, if you want to throw away or discard an item on the list, flick the thumbnail to remove it from the list.

Instant Screenshots with Button Press

You’d like to share what is currently displayed on your screen with others in many instances. There are also times when you need to save a screenshot for later use. In previous versions of Android, you could take screenshots by installing apps for that purpose. Android 4.0 it’s a built-in feature. Holding the Power and Volume Down buttons together lets your Android smartphone capture screen images instantly.

Improved Notification Bar

There are several improvements that Google has made to the Notification Bar in Android 4.0. For instance, it can now be pulled down from the Lock Screen. Another is that you can discard items from the list of notifications by simply flicking an item to the right. This means you can remove items on the Notification Bar individually. In previous versions of Android, you either clear all notifications with one tap or leave all of them untouched.



The Notification Bar no longer shows a grid layout of recently used apps. Instead, in Ice Cream Sandwich, those apps are shown as a vertical-scrolling strip of app thumbnails. You can also directly control music playback right on the Notification Bar.

Improved Text and Voice Input

The stock keyboard in Android 4.0 has been given more love. It is now faster and more responsive compared to previous versions of Android. You can select suggested words or add new comments to the dictionary with one tap. The suggestion strip is more accurate now and includes an in-line spell checker. Copy-and-paste functionality has also been made easier. Just tap and hold down on the selected word and drag the handles to highlight the chosen words.

Then you can select “Copy and Paste” from the popup menu or drag the highlighted chunk of text to wherever you wish to insert it. Google has also incorporated voice-to-text input in Ice Cream Sandwich. Just speak, and the phone converts your spoken words into text. It’s a great way to easily and effortlessly “type” text. With Ice Cream Sandwich, voice input is more accurate and can translate expressions into symbols. It also accounts for pauses, so you don’t have to press anything while thinking of an appropriate response.

Face Unlock

Say goodbye to passwords, PIN codes, and patterns. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has personalized phone unlocking. With the new Face Unlock feature, an Android smartphone or Android tablet can now recognize the Face of its owner. Just by focusing your Face clearly on the secondary front-facing camera of your device, you can unlock your phone instantly. No typing is needed—no need to remember passwords. Just look into the camera and let the device recognize you.

Data Usage Monitoring

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich also includes a new graphical display of the data your Android phone is using. You can set warnings for exceeding data usage limits and how much background data each app can use. Users can have more control over their Android devices with this neat option in ICS. Android 4.0 also comes with improved apps, categorized into three: the core apps (i.e., Google mobile apps such as Android Browser, Gmail, and Calendar), Photos, and People.

Android Beam

Support for Near Field Communication (NFC) is baked into Android 4.0, and Google has made sure that Ice Cream Sandwich has a ready app to leverage the technology. Android Beam is the app revolutionizing how people share files and data. With NFC and Android Beam, one can simply send a file to another user by bringing two Android phones close and tapping the phones against each other. Any file can be shared this way–photos, documents, maps, apps, bookmarks, etc.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich surely packs a fresh look and exciting new features that will make your device perform better as a smartphone. With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich soon replacing the older versions of Android on recent Android smartphones, these new features will eventually start a new wave of more convenient and more efficient use of Android smartphones and Android tablets. Eager to know more about Android smartphones and Android tablets? Or, perhaps, you already own one and want to know what else that intelligent device can do to make your life a little bit short of paradise. Learn more about Android smartphones and read Android news at