X

Unwrapping Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 (photos)

We get our first glimpse of Google's updated Android OS, version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and yes, it's tasty.

jessica-dolcourt-6462
jessica-dolcourt-6462
Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jessica Dolcourt
home-lg.png
1 of 17 Google

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.

ICS_calendarscroll.png
2 of 17 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.
beam-lg.png
3 of 17 Google

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.)
contact-faves-lg.png
4 of 17 Google

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.
ICS_copypaste.png
5 of 17 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Copy/paste

You'll recognize the copy/paste tags, but now you can drag and drop selected text to a new location.
camera-lg.png
6 of 17 Google

Camera app

Not only does the photo app get a new look, it also introduces panorama mode.
ICS_panorama.png
7 of 17 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Panorama in action

Here's the panorama tool in action, smoothly recording during the demo.
gallery-edit-lg_1.png
8 of 17 Google

Editing tools

Built-in editing tools live in the Gallery app and can do things like straighten your picture and reduce red eye.
face-unlock-lg.png
9 of 17 Google

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!)
ICS_notifications.png
10 of 17 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Notifications

Google updated notifications, including the ability for you to nix them with a swipe gesture.
contact-connect-lg.png
11 of 17 Google

People card

Let's take another look at this people card. Yep, looks like a Windows Phone clone to our eyes.
calendar-widget-lg.png
12 of 17 Google

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.
screenshot-lg.png
13 of 17 Google

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.
gallery-share-lg.png
14 of 17 Google

Photo sharing

After taking the photo, press it to get instant sharing icons.
ICS_visualvm.png
15 of 17 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Visual voicemail

Google has integrated visual voice mail playback into its phone app, including the ability to fast-forward through long-winded messages.
tasks-lg_1.png
16 of 17 Google

Open apps

Look familiar? We really see Honeycomb's tablet influence in this view at open (and recently opened) apps.
ICS_widgets.png
17 of 17 Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

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.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

17 Hidden iOS 17 Features and Settings on Your iPhone

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos