Android users have been drooling over the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, said to launch in the next two months. But one man may have gotten a taste before everyone else, thanks to eBay.
An anonymous man says he ordered a Samsung Nexus S phone over eBay, only to find that it looked different than advertised. Upon opening the About screen, the man was shocked to find his device was running Google's highly-anticipated Android upgrade Ice Cream Sandwich.
The man filmed a two-minute video exploring the new operating system and handed it over to Engadget before the phone, he says, was remotely locked and wiped.
Upon first glance, Ice Cream Sandwich looks like it has influences from its previous iterations, Android Gingerbread and Android Honeycomb, but it still looks distinctly different. With four shortcuts on the bottom of the home screen, new menu interfaces and a Google-blue theme, Ice Cream Sandwich appears to be a big bump up from Honeycomb.
During the two-minute demonstration, the man explores Ice Cream Sandwich's new menus, the new camera user interface, and settings options. The camera has several different features, including settings for daylight, cloudy, or incandescent light, and scene modes for night, sunset, and party. The user never tests out any of these settings or filters.
One of the key differences in Ice Cream Sandwiches is the row of four shortcuts found on the bottom of the home screen. Clicking the Google Apps shortcut opens up a tray of featured services promised by Google, including applications for Google+, Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube. The default menu also features a calendar, photo gallery, and applications for videos, music, and books.
Multitasking is also back in Ice Cream Sandwich. On the bottom right corner of the phone is an arrow that, when pressed, launches a vertical column with all of the phone's applications, similar to the menu found in Android Honeycomb. Venturing in and out of the phone's applications, including settings, the text messenger, and the camera, is quick and intuitive.
Everything about Android Ice Cream Sandwich from the video, including the newfangled notification bar, app launcher, and app drawer, is consistent with screenshots of the operating system that leaked back in August. Yet, the operating system could still be a fake, even if the story about receiving the phone through eBay is true.
All of this could just be a custom ROM built to emulate the latest Google dessert, so we can't be a full hundred percent certain that it's authentic, says Engadget's Brad Molen.
What do you think? Was the man's phone really running Ice Cream Sandwich, or is this all some elaborate hoax? Head over to Engadget to watch the full video, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.