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Digging into Ice Cream Sandwich

Google and Samsung announced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tonight in Hong Kong. The latest version of Google's mobile operating system includes a ton of tasty new features. Here is a photo tour of some of the main highlights of Ice Cream Sandwich.

Google stressed again and again the "magazine-style" look of the Ice Cream Sandwich interface.

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Calendars

A new look to the calendar meets new capabilities. You can swipe to page through days and months and zoom in and out to drill down by days or hours.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET
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Beam it over

Android Beam is like Bump, an app we've seen for Android and iPhone, and also like a capability we saw with the HP TouchPad communicating with WebOS. Touch two Android 4.0 phones together to transfer things like contact details, maps, and even running apps (OK, well, you get the app or game page in the Android Market, but it's close.)

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Contact List

Google tears a page from Microsoft's book with a bold, new contact list and contact card style that reminds us very much of Windows Phone.

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Copy/paste

You'll recognize the copy/paste tags, but now you can drag and drop selected text to a new location.

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Camera app

Not only does the photo app get a new look, it also introduces panorama mode.

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Panorama in action

Here's the panorama tool in action, smoothly recording during the demo.

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Editing tools

Built-in editing tools live in the Gallery app and can do things like straighten your picture and reduce red eye.

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Facial unlocking

We're still unsure how we feel about this, but Ice Cream Sandwich can supposedly unlock your phone by recognizing your face. Except when it doesn't, as happened during the live demo. (De-nied!)

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Notifications

Google updated notifications, including the ability for you to nix them with a swipe gesture.

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People card

Let's take another look at this people card. Yep, looks like a Windows Phone clone to our eyes.

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Widgets

There's a whole mess of new things you can do with widgets, like resize them. This is something we also saw with the Samsung Galaxy S II.

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Screenshots!

Only geeky journalists like us could smile so widely at the mention of a long-overdue screenshot tool, and that's because we take so many. But sharing bugs and achievements with others is a great perk for anyone.

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Photo sharing

After taking the photo, press it to get instant sharing icons.

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Visual voicemail

Google has integrated visual voice mail playback into its phone app, including the ability to fast-forward through long-winded messages.

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Open apps

Look familiar? We really see Honeycomb's tablet influence in this view at open (and recently opened) apps.

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Folders

This time taking a page from Apple, Ice Cream Sandwich lets you build home page folders by dragging and dropping app icons on to one another. There are many more photos and hands-on impressions to come, so stick with CNET for all the Ice Cream Sandwich goodness.

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