Ice Cream Sandwich will debut before the end of the year, but features like the Android Beam and a zero shutter lag camera may not be enough to get iPhone users to adopt the popular mobile operating system. For starters, the new system will only be available on the Galaxy Nexus when it launches. The system will get pushed to other new Android devices, but there is no word yet on when that will be.
That's a key problem for Android fans because while their new Droid Razr might get the update in January 2012, many Apple users may have already re-upped with iPhone instead of waiting. Some iPhone users undoubtedly want to try out the new system on, say, the Galaxy S2, but they may not want to wait for the update, and instead upgrade to the iPhone 4S.
As the Android system has evolved, it's added new features and fixed old problems, but the Android 4.0 update is more like a complete rebuild than anything. It will be easier to compare the iOS system to Ice Cream Sandwich when it's finally out, but because we already know what it comes with, at least we can compare the main features.
Android Beam is one of those features, and it's an instant data swapping system for use between two Android 4.0 devices that have a near field communication chip. Again, not every Android device out there has one of these NFC chips, but the Galaxy Nexus does. It does sound cool, maybe even as handy as iPhone 4S' main feature, Siri the talking digital assistant.
The NFC chip also supports apps like Google Wallet and can be used as a mobile tap-to-pay system. Ice Cream Sandwich also features new resizeable widgets, easier switching between apps and an app that helps monitor your data usage to avoid overage charges.
Tell us in the comments if you are an Apple user who is thinking of switching to Android.