Google first announced the existence of an upcoming Honeycomb and Gingerbread combo-flavored OS, the Ice Cream Sandwich at a Google I/O event in May. The latest buzz around the next rendition of Android comes via Android Police and RootzWiki, who have received screenshots of the upcoming Android OS, the Ice Cream Sandwich.
The screenshots showcase the elements of Ice Cream Sandwich running on Nexus S. The emerging details from the screenshots reveal that Ice Cream Sandwich will have a revamped notification bar, a new application drawer and blue themed skin. Other salient features include a camera with in-built panorama mode, a re-themed Gmail and a rejigged app launcher and drawer.
The changes are primarily UI related. It is also reported that the Nexus Prime will be the first to receive the Ice cream Sandwich update.
Ice Cream Sandwich combines the features of Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The new OS UI's look and feel is expected to be based on Honeycomb's UI. The merging of the two operating systems is an attempt by Google to address the fragmentation issue that Android faces.
In June, Boy Genius Reports had stated that an Ice Cream Sandwich-based pure Google Android phone, the Nexus 4G, will be released during Thanksgiving. The Nexus 4G is touted to sport a 1.2GHz or 1.5GHz chip, possibly a Krait-based Snapdragon chip and a "monster-sized" screen. It was further reported that Nexus 4G will have a 5MP rear-facing and 1MP front-facing cameras. The 5MP camera is surmised to be an advanced 5 MP sensor delivering superior low-light performance.
Ice Cream Sandwich is also touted to usher in features like flexibility to resize widgets and apps, detection with the camera and will allow Android devices to be used as USB hosts so that one can plug-in keyboards, or Xbox controllers.
If the Ice Cream Sandwich arrives by Thanksgiving, then it will play spoil sport for Apple's upcoming iPhone 5 which will run on iOS 5 juice. It is rumored that iPhone 5 is expected to be released in September.
Apple' iOs 5 which was unveiled at WWDC in June is due to arrive in fall. The upgraded OS adds 200 new features. The notable features include a new notification center, which allows users to just swipe down from the top of any screen to enter the center. New notifications appear briefly at the top of your screen, without interrupting what a user is doing. And the Lock screen displays notifications so you can act on them with just a swipe.
Another new feature is iMessage which allows users to send unlimited text messages via WiFi or 3G to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
iOS 5 adds deeper integration with Twitter. A user has to sign in once in Settings, and can tweet directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, YouTube, or Maps.
The new OS also allows users to now update their iPad, iPhone and iPod touch wirelessly without support from desktop or Mac. Enables users to activate and set up your device wirelessly, right out of the box.
Most of all iOs 5 offer iCloud integration. iCloud allows users to store music, photos, apps, calendars, documents, and other content in the cloud. It then wirelessly pushes the content to devices - automatically. Like with iCloud, when a user takes a photo on one device, it automatically appears on all your other devices without the need for syncing or sending.
Android Sandwich will have to match these features to stay in the race.