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Google Unveils Ice Cream Sandwich

After much anticipation and speculation, the world finally gets to see Google's new operating system Ice Cream Sandwich. This is the first major launch from Google after it announced the acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Android 4.0, the latest update to the search giant's Android mobile platform, is designed to combine software used in tablets and smartphones.

The new operating system merges Android's tablet OS (version 3.0, aka Honeycomb) with the platform’s smartphone OS (version 2.3, aka Gingerbread). Ice Cream Sandwich is not an incremental update, but a complete OS makeover. Some of the changes that the new OS brings include the elimination of physical navigation buttons and creation of an entirely new font, 'Roboto' for user interface menus.

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Speaking on the launch at Google's press conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday morning, Android head honcho Andy Rubin shared, “We want to go beyond smart. We took all of the innovation that’s available at Google, and put it into developing this phone.”

Ice Cream Sandwich brings a host of improvements to Google’s proprietary applications, including incognito browsing and Chrome bookmark syncing on your mobile phone. It also brings along an improved Gmail app that boasts better auto-completion of e-mail body text, auto-programmed quick responses for when users are busy, and nested e-mail sub-folders for easier organisation.

Another striking feature of Ice Cream Sandwich is 'Android Beam'. It is a new feature for Near Field Communications (NFC) technology found in a handful of Android handsets. With this feature, the Galaxy Nexus smartphone users can share content between their phones, simply by tapping the devices together.

Google also debuted Face Unlock--an exciting OS feature for enhanced security. The new OS uses facial recognition technology to recognise whether a phone's owner is actually holding the phone. 


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