Hands-on with Ice Cream Sandwich

Google's latest operating system is nothing short of overwhelming, once you take in changes large and small. Debuting with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, we used the new built-in screenshots feature to walk you through some of the more prominent additions and enhancements. There are many more that you'll discover in these photos, and others that we've also explored in the full review.
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Hail to Honeycomb

Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS for short), splices Honeycomb with redesigned elements that are familiar to Android's smartphone users, like this navigation control to pull up most recently accessed programs. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Notification bar

Google's redesigned notification bar is gorgeous and sleek. You wouldn't know by looking at it, but you can use gestures to swipe away alerts when you're done. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Apps and widgets

The app tray resembles the old, with the exception of a few details, like the horizontal rather than vertical sliding, some graphical transitions, and the addition of a new content type to drag to the home screens: widgets. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Widgets

These widgets used to live in a hidden menu you got by long-pressing the home screens. This is a better home for them, but the layout looks cluttered. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Resizeable

Most widgets are resizable on all ICS phones. Press and hold to select them, then grab and drag the handles. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Now, big

Here's the same widget, enlarged. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

The road to Face Unlock

Using facial recognition software to unlock the phone is one of the most buzzed-about features in ICS. You access it from the Settings menu. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Unlock

Stick your face in front to set it up, and also to unlock. Yes, a photo will unlock it too, or your doppelganger, so other measures are better for your actual security from peeping eyes. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Backup

If your face fails you, you can select either a pin or traceable pattern as backup. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

PIN lock

Some companies' IT departments require a PIN, which will disable Face Unlock. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Call screen

It's new, it's pleasantly blocky, and it makes use of photos--if you've got 'em. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Incoming call

Here's what the screen looks like when someone calls. Drag the glowing icon to answer, hang up, or text the caller. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

More than calling

Tap a contact's image to quickly send messages, an e-mail, or launch a phone call. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Texting

Easily dial, attach things, or access the menu (the three dots) from the text composition screen. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Attach stuff

A closer look at some of the things you can now very effortlessly attach to a text. Similar context menus also apply to e-mail. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Sharing photos

Tap a pic after you've taken it to easily share in a ton of ways. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Editing tools

In the Gallery, tap again to crop, straighten, adjust color, and add effects. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Panorama

The new panorama mode is cool, but it isn't novel and we're not sure it needs to be called out as a mode. Still, it worked pretty well. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Panorama menu

Tap the "share" menu for more options. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Video mode

Videos work about the same way, but there are new "fun" features that add seriously wacky effects. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

E-mail

One of my favorite new Gmail features makes adding contacts to the address line much more interactive. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

E-mail menu

Add more to your e-mail through the new menu button. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Spell check

Google went all out safeguarding your grammar and spelling. Tap a word in the predictive text ticker to get more options if you don't see the one you want. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Word replacement

ICS will still replace words for you, but you can also tap an unknown word to correct a misspelling or add a word to the dictionary. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Easter egg time

Repeatedly press the Android version number in the settings for a reward--of sorts. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Data usage

Google has added an entire section to the Settings menu to help you monitor data usage. Before, you'd need a third-party app to track this level of detail. (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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Photo by: Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET / Caption by:

Android Beam

You'll use Beam, which relies on the radio frequency standard NFC, to share things like maps, contacts, and an app page in the Android Market (for instance, use Beam to "share" a game or app). NFC and Android Beam both need to be enabled. Find them in the Wi-Fi settings menu under "More".) (Read the full Samsung Galaxy Nexus review.)
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