Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" coming in November
Well, looky here: I can't unlock my iPhone with my face? Can you?
Facial recognition to unlock the phone screen is one of the many features being introduced by Google in its latest Android update 4.0, aka "Ice Cream Sandwich." It's coming in November, but the software developer kit is being released to developers today, according to multiple reports.
Google announced the news today, along with a new flagship handset, the Galaxy Nexus, the first phone with Ice Cream Sandwich.
The updated 4.0 OS is being touted as a more refined user interface, according to This Is My Next. That site has a good rundown of the changes.
PCWorld's Sascha Segan thinks Ice Cream Sandwich could help Android flourish on phones and tablets, but the platform still has its problems with fragmentation, slooooooooow updates and poor app discovery in the Android Market.
Interestingly, Andy Rubin, of Google, told This Is My Next that he doesn't think there should be apps specific to phones and tablets. He thinks one app should be able to scale to both devices.
I have to respectfully disagree. I think accomplishing that scaling is hard to do well, and you may end up sacrificing some of the uniqueness inherent in each platform. I think people are willing to pay for a unique, specific, and refined tablet experience that can't be replicated on a smaller phone screen. I expect different -- and sometimes more -- from a tablet app than I do a phone app.
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